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1  General Category / Application ideas and development Q/A / Re: Sheevaplug as dvb-t recorder with mythtv on: February 09, 2011, 08:25:09 AM
Well, from what I have heard, there are reportedly some issues with Sheevaplu when used alongside MythTv. This can be particularly seen when trying to decode dvb-t stream. The main reason why this is the case, in my opinion, is that the Sheeva Plug isnít virtually capable enough to do so! Hence, until and unless they come up with something to fix the compatibility issues, this idea remains farfetched!
What issues? I'm using one without issue*, and so is the guy that PANiCnz linked to, so how is this farfetched? What fix is needed?

*Admittedly, I'm using ATSC rather than DVB-T.
2  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Seagate FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter as plug computer on: August 20, 2010, 02:11:18 PM
Is there any other user friendly way to install linux on this device?
One idea I've been kicking around is distributing a VMWare Player VM that you could run on a Windows or Linux PC. You'd connect your USB stick/drive (or SD card via USB adapter) to this VM and the VM would send the image down to your attached storage device and then do a few tweaks like setting the time zone. Then it would ssh into your Plug and execute the necessary nandwrite+blparam commands for you. Finally you would move your drive/card over to the Plug and reboot.

Come to think of it, you could also plug a factory-fresh DockStar into you PC with a crossover cable (or use an isolated hub/switch), and this VM could prevent any firmware downloads yet still SSH in and set up the USB OS. That removes the need for users to do any command line stuff at all on the 'Star. That would be nice for "user friendliness".

Anyway, I'm thinking about eventually creating something like this for my upcoming PlugMyth distribution (http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/plugmyth/), but it could be generalized to do other OSes too.
3  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Seagate FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter as plug computer on: August 20, 2010, 10:57:21 AM
EDIT: Yep, the DockStar power brick is indeed 100-240V compatible. However I just noticed it outputs 12V!
4  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: USB Weirdness on: August 19, 2010, 09:21:31 AM
Crikey I thought this died out in the late 90'es when pc mobo's had this problem wrt capacitors.....
The capacitors in the Sheeva PS aren't defective, they are merely under-specified -- used for a purpose they were never designed to endure.

You may wish to open the cover on your Sheeva and check the RTC clock battery voltage. The fact that you have date problems makes me think the battery may have an issue.
5  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Seagate FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter on: August 19, 2010, 08:41:07 AM
From my researches on the web it looks like Seagate FreeAgent DockStar is the cheapest option but it only have 128MB ram and no JTAG and no SD card reader.
Actually, the JTAG pinouts have recently been obtained for DockStar. So we'll have JTAG "real soon". JTAG isn't really necessary though, because you can chainload a second u-Boot from mtd3, which is almost entirely safe.

What are other limitation of Seagate device in comparation with Sheeva ?
You'll need to purchase a TTL serial adapter and open the case if you want access to the serial console. Also, you'll need to patch your kernel to control the status light on the front (an unpatched kernel still works without light control). Other than that (and no SD slot)... none that I can think of. In fact the DockStar has a lot more USB ports than Sheeva, which is a plus. As is the external power supply (which means less heat).
Can I install same operating system (ubuntu 9.04) on Seagate device as on Sheeva ?
Can I run XWindows on Seagate and login using vnc ?
Can I share data stored on USB drive pluged into Seagate device in the same way as I could do on Sheeva (for example as samba share) ?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Which application I CAN'T run because of only 128MB of RAM on Seagate ?
If you use a hard disk drive, you can use a swapfile which definitely expands your options. Firefox, for example, is a bit of a memory hog and isn't too happy running in 128MB without some swap. Other than that it's hard to say, as there are thousands of applications out there.
What are your experience with Seagate regarding stability, heat problems, power consumption or any others ?
No heat problems on my DockStar, but I have the cover off so I can use the serial port. Even so, the 'Star has a large metal shield over the whole top which is thermally coupled to the CPU, and has lots of side venting, so it's probably better at dissipating heat than the Sheeva. No stability problems either. It shouldn't draw any more power than Sheeva, maybe even a little less (no SD, no serial->USB, less RAM).
6  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Sheevaplug + USB to RJ11 (PSTN) + Skype = problem? on: August 16, 2010, 09:21:47 AM
Low power/heat/noise x86 options include:

Netbook (such as Asus EeePC)
Nettop (such as Aspire Revo)
Mini-ITX (such as Via Epia or Intel Atom) (you can use a mobo or case that uses a laptop-style power "brick")

If you're not married to Skype, look into the open source Asterisk project. It does SIP/VoIP and WILL run on an ARM-based Plug computer like the SheevaPlug.
7  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: FreeAgent GoFlex based on sheevaplug on: August 13, 2010, 10:07:15 AM
128MB isn't as limiting as it might sound; it all depends on your application. I've been playing around with MythTV on my 128MB DockStar, and mythbackend + mysql are quite happy and 'top' even shows considerable space left over for buffers and cache. On the other hand, I did have to add some swap in order to run mythbackend + mysql + mythfrontend. Compiling MythTV needed swap too (gcc and ld are both RAM hogs).

I don't know about OpenSolaris, but for just simple Linux NAS, you really don't need much RAM at all. The kernel itself it quite compact.
8  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: mmcinit fails with "No MMC card found" after psu failure. Damaged SheevaPlug? on: August 13, 2010, 09:47:50 AM
First, I would try a different PS -- the one you are using may be faulty, or a little out of spec (voltage a little too high or too low).

Assuming you have a known good PS, though...

I believe MMC cards run at 3.3v. It's possible the failed power supply damaged the 5-3.3v DC-DC converter on the Sheeva mainboard which leads to MMC failures. Possibly even segfaults/reboots could be due to damaged DC-DC converter(s) as a lot of components like RAM, CPU etc run at less than 5v.

I wonder if it would be possible to probe around on the board with a multimeter to see what some of the voltages are, if any of the leads or traces are exposed enough.
9  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Need BootROM image on: August 11, 2010, 04:36:01 PM
I emailed it, as it was too big to fit in a post here.
10  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / U-Boot stuff / Re: Can't boot my Sheevaplug on: August 10, 2010, 04:53:26 PM
Yes, the Debian page you linked to is a good starting point. The "Burn a New Kernel " section is of particular interest. Rather than tftp, though, you can load the kernel into RAM with these commands (assuming your kernel is named 'uImage' and is placed on the first partition of an ext2-formatted SD card):

ext2load mmc 0:1 0x2000000 uImage

With the kernel now in RAM, you can write it to flash with 'nand erase' and 'nand write' as the Debian page outlines. You may wish to consider using the write.e command, though, as it automatically deals with any bad blocks that might be in your way.
11  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / U-Boot stuff / Re: Can't boot my Sheevaplug on: August 10, 2010, 03:49:26 PM
Can I somehow copy the SD card to the NAND?
Yes. First you load your images into RAM using any of u-Boot's standard load mechanisms: tftp, or fatload/ext2load from MMC/SD/USB. Once in RAM, you can use the write.e command to flash the image to NAND.
12  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Suspect bad RAM - how to test? on: August 08, 2010, 05:39:40 PM
Followup to my own post: I think the segfaults are heat-related. I generally get them (or worse, a kernel oops requiring a reboot) when I'm driving the CPU to 100% compiling software etc in the evening when it's hottest (no A/C). Serial or no serial doesn't matter.

Yesterday I pointed an 80mm fan on my Sheeva and was able to compile MythTV for a couple of hours with no segfaults. Everyone talks about the GuruPlug heat problems, well, apparently the Sheeva can have problems too at 84įF ambient.

I have an external PS on the way -- hopefully it will help keep some heat out of the enclosure.
13  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Rsync Backup Server on: August 08, 2010, 11:52:16 AM
In regards to SheevaPlug, GuruPlug, PogoPlug, TonidoPlug, and DockStar, yes, they mainly differ in perhiperals -- installed RAM size, number of USB/SATA/Ethernet/serial ports, SD card slots, wireless, etc. Generally, distros and software that runs on one should run on the others (with bootloader tweaks of course).
14  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Rsync Backup Server on: August 08, 2010, 09:34:57 AM
You can run whatever distro you like that supports ARM. See: http://www.plugcomputer.org/plugwiki/index.php/Main_Page

There is Windows ports of Rsync (see: cwrsync) so you can sync Windows to Plug.
15  Linux Stuff / Linux distributions / Re: [SheevaPlug] Install Plugbox Linux on an USB Stick on: August 08, 2010, 09:30:55 AM
Take a look at the PlugBox instructions for PogoPlug/Dockstar, as those must use USB. You'll need to alter the procedure a bit since you do not want to flash a new bootloader, though.

Linky: http://www.plugapps.com/index.php5?title=PlugApps:Pogoplug_Setboot
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