So, you've got an E3 and you want to start playing with it.
First, you need to sort out a serial lead to connect to it. You need a 3.5mm stereo jack plug for the E3 end, and a 9 pin D for your PC end. The connections go:
Pin2 -> Tip
Pin3 -> Ring
Pin5 -> Sleeve
Once you've got this you should be able to start up a terminal program on your PC (minicom or cu for example). You want a speed of 115200, 8 bits, no parity and 1 stop bit. And no flow control.
What you /want/ to see is something starting:
Amstrad Delta - PBL V4.9 Build:1311 Assert Debug ICE
If you see:
Amstrad Delta - PBL V5.1 Build:1314
then you have a PBL version that we currently can't talk to. We hope in time to be able to get round this, but at present V4.9 is the way forward. There are currently (April 2006) no known instances of brand new E3s having 5.1, only those that have been allowed to download updates from Amstrad.
Assuming you have V4.9 you want to grab http://the.earth.li/pub/e3/2.6.15/pbltool.c and compile it with gcc -o pbltool pbltool.c
You also want to download http://the.earth.li/pub/e3/2.6.15/rootfs.arm_nofpu.ext2.gz, http://the.earth.li/pub/e3/2.6.15/u-boot.bin, http://the.earth.li/pub/e3/2.6.16/uImage-2.6.16-omap2-e3 and http://the.earth.li/pub/e3/2.6.16/linux.pbl. Put them all in the same directory as you compiled pbltool in and type:
Wait for it to say Prodding... and then apply power to your E3. The voice/email lights should flash briefly and stop, and you'll see a Handshaking... message appear from pbltool. Time will pass as pbltool feeds the kernel, rootfs and u-boot images to the E3 over the serial port. When this has finished, return to your terminal emulator and you should see an E3 # prompt (you may have to hit return).
Type setenv bootargs mem=32M console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200n8 root=/dev/ram initrd=0x11c00000,4M here and hit enter. You'll get another E3 # prompt. Type bootm 11d00000 and hit enter. You should be rewarded with ## Booting image at 11d00000 ... followed by some details about the image and then a kernel boot, ending with a shell prompt. Congratulations. You're running a 2.6.16 kernel on your E3.