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16  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Availability on: July 04, 2010, 05:20:40 PM
AFAIK, the only US distributor is Globalscale...and yes availability is slow. I don't know anything about the European distributor. Some things come to mind. If you only want one or a few devices for testing/development don't expect them in a week. Probably 2-3 weeks. If you are in Southern CA, you could try calling them and requesting a pick up. I don't know if anyone has done this before, but it might be worth a try. If you want some SheevaPlugs, and some GuruPlugs, call them and request they send what they have and you will accept more than one shipping charge.

In Feb, I made the mistake of ordering one SheevaPlug and one GuruPlug Plus (on pre-order at the time). They held the SheevaPlug until the GuruPlug became available in late May.

There are some threads here that bad-mouth either Globalscale and/or the various Plugs, but I take these with a grain of salt. These are "development" products, and they have issues. As developers or hobbyists we just have to struggle through these. My calls to Globalscale have been handled reasonably well. Some others report email is next to useless. I could be wrong, but I have the impression that the "Globalscale" facility is just a small import shop with few employees. They probably don't have the people or resources to respond to requests out of the ordinary. They do seem to be dealing with the GuruPlug heat issues responsibly, or at least they're trying to make good with a reworked model.

I don't know the relationship between Marvell and Globalscale, or who does the actual Plug manufacture, but I'm guessing it's a third party. Personally, I'm a bit miffed at Marvell as I think the buck stops with them. I think the idea of small efficient headless computers is very exciting one compared to fixed NAS type devices with embedded, limited chipsets. Perhaps Marvell should get more involved! Sorry for the rant...

Regards,
feffer
17  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Can I increase Plug longevity? on: July 02, 2010, 04:49:52 PM
Not sure what version of Sheeva it is, but I got it and a GuruPlug Plus in the same shipment about 5-6 weeks ago. It's been on pretty much continuously, and gets pretty warm, not hot though. I'm inclined to take precautions, and as I mentioned I have a 5v 3a external psu on order.

Will a small fan be unnecessary? If I use one, can I solder it in parallel to the new psu? I'm not savvy about such things, but I follow directions well...

thx
feffer
18  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Can I increase Plug longevity? on: July 02, 2010, 01:37:50 PM
I have been avidly reading about Plug heat issues and what some users have done about them. I've been using a Sheeva Plug for about 6 weeks as an upgrade to my old NSLU2 (Linksys "slug"). Although the slug was slow, it had excellent longevity. I fear this is the one weakness of my new Sheeva. It is integral to my home network and does vital backup, and other duties so I need it to be durable!

I want to do some mods, and would like feedback on whether they should be workable, effective, and  doable for a home hobbyist with no electrical background. I'm in the US and have 120v power. Following are my proposed mods aimed at heat reduction/dissapation to increase the life of my Sheeva:

1. Attach an external power supply 5v 3a (already ordered from ebay)

2. Drill several holes in the Sheeva case.

3. Possibly add a simple fan to the unit.

I haven't cracked the case yet, but from other threads it sounds like the external power supply can be attached to the red and black wires going to the existing psu. Is that right? Should I use solder, twist and tape, wire nuts or what? Should I leave the existing psu in place, or try to remove it? If someone reading this has already done an external power supply mod, I'd be especially interested in your howto...probably others would too. 

Is a small fan worthwhile or shouldn't I bother? If so, how would I power it? And any recommendations for a proper fan for the Sheeva? I saw a link in one thread but lost track of it.

As for drilling holes, are they pointless, if I have an external power supply? If they are still useful, what's better, a bunch of smaller ones, or fewer big ones? For appearance I'd prefer a grid of smaller (prox 1/32") ones. Useful or a waste of time?

Thx,
feffer
19  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: Mounting eSATA Drive on boot on: June 20, 2010, 05:22:29 AM
You could try:
Code:
/dev/sda1 /srv ext4 auto,defaults,noatime 0 1
Normally the "defaults" option should mount the partition, but since it's not, maybe the extra "auto" will force it. Also try putting the actual fs (ext4) rather than "auto"  might help and couldn't hurt. Also I noticed that you used a bold font on your "auto fs" entry. If that's what's actually in your fstab, it shouldn't be. Hope it helps.

And if it were me, I would use "uuid=xxxxx...." instead of /dev/sda1" but you already tried that  Wink

feffer
20  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: Mounting eSATA Drive on boot on: June 16, 2010, 09:21:01 PM
Not sure, but try this -- use uuid in fstab. First get the uuid designation of your esata hdd by attaching it to a booted machine. In linux you can use the command "blkid" or if that is not available
Code:
ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid
Not sure how to do this in windows though.

Mount your SD card on your booted machine and open /etc/fstab with your editor (nano, vi etc) and change your line to something like this:
Code:
uuid=the-output-from-above /srv ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1
The older way to indicate a device, like "/dev/sda1" can be inconsistent, but the uuid is unique and can only mean that one device. Frankly, I'm not sure if this is the root of your problem, but it might be, and in any case, couldn't hurt.

Regards,
feffer
21  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: Problems reinstaling CUPS on: June 16, 2010, 08:49:14 PM
My guess is that because "apt-get remove cups hplip" leaves behind the config files whereas doing "apt-get purge cups hplip" would have removed the config files as well. Later you manually deleted the config files along with /etc/cups The problem is that apt thinks the config files are still there. Consequently, when you reinstalled cups, it did not add the config files because doing so would overwrite the ones apt expected were still there.

Perhaps try "apt-get purge cups" and then install again. This might get a clean install including the config files. If that does not work, then you might have to pick up the missing cups.conf and cupsd.conf files elsewhere (maybe your backup or another linux system).

As you now realize, it is better to use apt tools to maintain system files, and not manually delete them.

Regards,
feffer
22  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Debian Squeeze upgrade issues on: June 16, 2010, 04:22:16 PM
I'm upgrading my debian squeeze install by
Code:
apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
and have some questions. Is that the preferred way, or should I be doing something else?

On the latest dist-upgrade some issues arose, and apt gave these messages:
Quote
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
   LANGUAGE = (unset),
   LC_ALL = (unset),
   LANG = "en_US.UTF-8"
    are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").
/usr/bin/mandb: can't set the locale; make sure $LC_* and $LANG are correct

and...

The boot loader configuration for this system was not recognized. These settings in the configuration may need to be updated:                               
 │                                                                         
 │  * The root device ID passed as a kernel parameter;                         
 │  * The boot device ID used to install and update the boot loader.         
 │                                                                         
 │                                                                           
 │ You should generally identify these devices by UUID or label. However, on MIPS   
 │ systems the root device must be identified by name.     

and...

insserv: Script twonky is broken: incomplete LSB comment.
insserv: missing `Required-Stop:'  entry: please add even if empty.
insserv: Script twonky is broken: incomplete LSB comment.
insserv: missing `Required-Stop:'  entry: please add even if empty.

The system was able to reboot OK, so can I disregard the note about bootloader config?
I did not understand the perl warning about locale settings (or the lack of them), is that a problem?
Finally, I'm aware that insserv is the new method of initiating services on boot, but I don't know how to alter my twonky init script to make insserv happy. What to do there?

thx
feffer
23  General Category / General Discussion / Re: External USB drive not loading on: June 15, 2010, 10:02:36 PM
Not sure if this will help in your case, but sometimes the OS is confused by the /dev/sda or whatever designation of an external hdd. It expects to mount /dev/sda but does not find it. That is why the newer method in linux is to use the UUID of the device instead of sda, sdb etc. Look in your /etc/fstab file. The devices created during installation probably have a long number/letter sequence. Find the UUID of your external hdd with the command "blkid" or "ls /dev/disk/by-uuid" Then change /etc/fstab to use this designation instead of the /dev/sdx one.

My OS is on an SD card, but I have a powered hub attached to the plug and a couple of devices on the hub. Using the UUID method, I can reliably mount additional hdd, memory sticks or whatever, and a reboot will still find and mount them all.
24  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Which "Plug" should I buy? on: June 15, 2010, 05:03:45 PM
I'm also a switcher from the Slug. In Feb I pre-ordered the GuruPlug Plus and a SheevaPlug. After initially setting up the SheevaPlug, I began reading about the heat/design problems here. Since the std SheevaPlug was working so well for me, I called Globalscale and asked them to replace my unused GuruPlug with another SheevaPlug which I'll use for a backup and some testing. So I think the question of which Plug to buy depends upon what you want to use it for.

Currently mine does unattended backup. It is a print, file and music server. Also TwonkyMedia is installed and I can stream my photos and videos to my TV through a PS3. This works but it connects through my wifi router and is not ideal. Later, I'll run an ethernet cable under the house to improve this. So for these uses the SheevaPlug is just fine. My only concern is whether it will have the longevity of the Slug!

Regards,
feffer
25  General Category / General Discussion / Re: How can i edit the files in sheevaplug? vi does not work well on: June 11, 2010, 01:59:27 PM
Maybe you search VIM instead of VI-tiny ... by default it's a slim version of VIM in Debian

edit :
The full version of VIM is around 25Mo Roll Eyes (VIM + VIM-common + VIM-runtime)
VIM-tiny is around 2Mo (VIM-tiny + VIM-common)
Personally, I can't tolerate vim-tiny as it behaves quite differently than vim (full), so I purge tiny and install the full one. My install is on an SD card, so room is not a problem. I'm just more use to vim than nano, so that's my preference.

feffer
26  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: considering switching from nslu2 to guruplug w/ lil linux experience on: June 07, 2010, 03:50:12 PM
I recently switched from NSLU2 to a sheeva plug. It works great, but to get the most out of it, you need to use the linux on the command line. This is just a heads up -- you will have to spend some time learning about it and configuring it especially if you are new to linux. I wouldn't worry about the esata thing for the uses you mentioned. I'm using samba to mount sheeva shares on my linux client boxes, and transfer speeds are about 20 MB/s which is fast enough for file serving, music sharing, media to PS3, backups etc. Probably not fast enough to work on video on the sheeva though. Compared to the Slug speeds, the SheevaPlug blows it away! During my transition, I've been running both the Slug and the Sheeva on my home network. That way, I'm under no pressure to suddenly have the Plug working.

If you are looking for an easier entry, the SheevaPlug comes standard with Ubuntu installed to internal memory (NAND). You could use it that way, and later after getting comfortable, do something like install debian to an SD card. I don't know about your enclosure though and whether it would work OK with the Plug, or if it would how much trouble it would be to set it up. I'm using a powered USB hub into the Plug and have a WD Elements hdd attached to it. This works nicely. These drives are about $110 for a 1.5 TB.

Regards,
feffer
27  General Category / General Discussion / Re: External Drive Spin Down? on: June 06, 2010, 02:51:52 PM
I used a FreeAgent 500Gb with a Linsys NSLU2 (a precursor device to the Plug). I was able to configure it to spin down (the debian OS was located on the hdd) when not in use, but it was a convoluted process. Those Seagate drives can be controlled by a windows app to vary "inactivity time before spin down." You can use that to set a minimal time of 15 minutes (you can set more too, but not less). Then use something like "top" or "htop" to see what processes are active. If they are not needed, make sure they don't start at boot-time; if they are needed, deal with them case by case to minimize the writes.

The FreeAgent was also a bear to format. It has a GUID partition table rather than a DOS one, and it required Parted to change this. As someone else advised, WD drives are much easier to deal with!

 
28  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Using the SheevaPlug as a fileserver? on: June 06, 2010, 02:21:17 PM
thx chaotix! I've set a permanent mount point for //Plug/data in fstab using cifs in each of the client machines. Transfer speed is about 20 MB/s using gigabit ethernet. The limit is probably the usb connection to the hdd attached to the Plug. Tests on text files, pix etc are very good. No noticeable lag except for an initial one if the hdd is sleeping. Thx for the link to unison, it looks very promising for my purposes...and it's in the debian repo!

Regards,
feffer
29  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: Should /var be moved off the SD card? on: June 06, 2010, 01:31:01 PM
Quote
It is quite easy to try this out. Keep the old var around, maybe with a different name just in case.
Good point, you're right I will test this. The only downside I can see is that the attached hdd, a WD Elements is quite good at spinning down when inactive for a while. Some logging might still be going on though and if /var is moved to the hdd, it might interfere with the spin-down. I'll test it and see.

An underlying question is whether leaving /var on the SD, shortens it's life. And if it does, will this be of practical significance to me or other users?

Regards,
feffer
30  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Should /var be moved off the SD card? on: June 05, 2010, 02:25:14 PM
I have debian squeeze installed on a 4GB SD card running my std Plug. The OS currently takes up about 1GB, but I'm worried about leaving the /var directory on the SD, because it can rapidly grow in size and because lots of writes to the SD happen there.

Also I just installed TwonkyMedia and the tutorial mentions that the db which live in /var can get pretty big and recommends moving it to a separate location. I'm not sure if that only pertains to those who are booting from NAND, or includes those running on an SD.

If I decide to move /var to the attached hdd, how would I do it? Just move it with "rsync -av src  dest" and then add a line to /etc/fstab pointing to it, and finally delete /var from the SD card? Anything, I'm overlooking here? Or am fine just leaving it on the SD card?

Wondering...
feffer
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