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1  General Category / Success stories / Meteohub goes DreamPlug on: May 29, 2011, 01:35:22 AM
As my port of Meteohub to SheevaPlug in 2009 was well recepted by the Meteohub community I did now port it to DreamPlug. Beside some booting issues I could solve, the port was very straight forward.

If you might ask, what Meteohub is about, please have a look at my previous post on the SheevaPlug port (http://plugcomputer.org/plugforum/index.php?topic=479.0) or directly read here: www.meteohub.de

Information how to convert a DreamPlug to a Meteohub can be found here: http://www.meteohub.de/files/How-To_Build_Meteohub_on_DreamPlug.pdf

Having a WLAN enabled hardware option for Meteohub at a small physical and environmental footprint is very welcome.
2  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: New Sheevaplugs - less bogomips - timebase 10% too fast :-( on: July 08, 2010, 03:14:06 PM
good news, 2.6.32 does the trick.
3  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: New Sheevaplugs - less bogomips - timebase 10% too fast :-( on: July 08, 2010, 07:06:27 AM
@guidol: thanks for the hint with 2.6.32.

My complaining is about GlobalScale changing silicon without giving notice and bringing people trying to do business with sheevaplug into a very difficult situation in regard to their customer base.

@tbm: I don't complain about debian. I really love the work you and others have done to port debian onto the sheeva. When I know that things change I can adapt to this before sending systems to customers and to find out the hard way, that something has changed with the hardware.

However, 1000 thanks for helping me to get out of this very unpleasant situation.

I will report if the 2.6.32-kirkwood kernel does fix the issue.
4  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: New Sheevaplugs - less bogomips - timebase 10% too fast :-( on: July 07, 2010, 05:01:51 PM
I did compare "dmesg" on old and new SheevaPlug:

old: [42949373.220000] Kirkwood: MV88F6281-A0, TCLK=200000000.
new: [42949373.220000] Kirkwood: MV88F6281-Rev-Unsupported, TCLK=166666667.

Looks like they changed some system chips without further notice!  Embarrassed
5  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / New Sheevaplugs - less bogomips - timebase 10% too fast :-( on: July 07, 2010, 04:06:42 PM
A reseller of my software got a bunch of new SheevaPlugs that just show 992 BogoMips instead of 1192 my older ones. Both are running a 2.6.29 debian image. What makes things even more concerning is, that the clock of the new ones runs about 10% too fast, ntpd reports enormous jitter to time servers when inspected with "ntpq -p" while pings are going out flawlessly.

6  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Basing a product on an inconsistent source? on: May 17, 2010, 07:39:10 AM
I have resellers for a software project I migrated to SheevaPlug about a year ago who have severe problems to fulfill their customer orders because SheevaPlug production is quite unstable/unpredictable. That is extremely annoying and makes the product very problematic from my point of view apart from hobby interests.

I am just in the process of migrating the application to the GuruPlug which again starts as a nightmare (endless waiting, incomplete delivery, zero documentation, you have to google around to find some bits). Documentation and availability, is clearly sub-par from whatever I have experienced so far. I was working with products from Thailand, Switzerland and Israel before and never had this kind of uncertainty. So be warned, your pretty much on your own and delivery of products is going as they like. Engineering is also not very convincing, my customers encountered some power supply failures after a couple of months, you can read lots of this here in the forum as well.

Beside the "plug" hype the product has severe problems (from my point of view) and yes it is quite capable when finally running. Welcome to "adventure land" :-)
7  General Category / General Discussion / Re: GuruPlug - Received Yours Yet? on: May 17, 2010, 07:12:34 AM
I got mine also today but without advertised free jtag module, which makes it quite useless because the unit doesn't even boot up a mini linux without jtag fiddling. At least it does not ask for an IP connected to my LAN. Am I asking for too much from a computer? At least I would expect some way of logging in via LAN...  Sad

I have paid via credit card months in advance, they offer international shipping at ridiculous prices only, no documentation worth mentioning, no free jtag as advertised. However it can produce lots of heat while sitting sitting on my desktop powered on and being useless until I get a now separately ordered jtag module... I guess that will take another couple of months... and then I will again get some undocumented bunch of material (of course in cool black) that might do something or not...

Sorry Globalscale people, but this is inferior by any standards!
8  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Guruplug shipping! on: May 08, 2010, 03:04:04 AM
My data record at globalscale says "shipped via FedEX on 4/30/2010". For the premium price I have to pay for international shipment I would expect them to send it by plane. As it is still not here may be they really mean "shipped" ;-)

However good to know they were at least fast in charging my credit card for that months ago. Another very pleased customer...
9  General Category / General Discussion / Re: NEW GURU Standard and ridiculous PENNY Pinching on: April 28, 2010, 04:13:11 PM
Thanks for pointing to this. I didn't know about that manufacturer and I cannot find a distributor in Germany. However, in the US this microSD card will go for $90. Puhhhh... about the same amount as for the Plug itself...
10  General Category / General Discussion / Re: NEW GURU Standard and ridiculous PENNY Pinching on: April 28, 2010, 02:56:21 AM
I also have a problem with the direction of "development" of the new plugs.

My situation is that I do need some way to attach about 4 GB of flash Disk storage to make my application happy. This 4GB includes operating system, applications and a lot of data.

With SheevaPlug development kit the SD Card slot is great for this. A few changed settings in uboot and it also boots a SD card as needed. So far so good.

I expected the new products coming ahead would reflect this quite obvious and common need (to attach external flash storage). But what questionable products do ionics and globalscale launch!

There are units with internal HDDs, external SATA, 2 LANS and all that niche stuff. But no good way to put any flash storage holding the basic applications to this. Lets take a minute to go through that:

1) guru plus server now offers just a microSD card slot only. That is an extremely unwise move as there are no SLC based microSD cards available in sizes of 4GB on the planet. Go with MLC on a Linux root partition and MLC wears out very soon. Decisions to go to microSD can only be made by people knowing close to zero about demands of embedded systems. Very annoying!

2) To put a Linux on USB stick also brings up problems. There is just Transcend as major brand which offers SLC based USB sticks. And that wastes the USB connector needed to drive some devices with. And a USB stick sticking out is also good for contact interrupts of all kinds.

3) e-SATA. As it is not making sense to connect a true external HD for just having 4GB of storage and I dont want the size, the noise, the power demand and the 24/7 problems of micro HDDs, I looked for flash storage with eSATA connector. You find some (Supertalent, ect) but again they are all just MLC.

So there is no reasonable way to bring additional and relieable flash storage to it. It lags a proper integrated fullsize SD card reader (without having SD card sticking out like an antenna) and it does not provide a CF card slot as an alternative (you get tons of industrial SLC CF cards you can trust on). Having none of this is quite rediculous for an embedded device!

Sorry for blaming, but it is frustrating in what direction this product is "developing"...
11  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Sheeva Plug is a lousy product on: August 16, 2009, 12:00:24 PM
I don't think that SheevaPlug is a lousy product, but I undestand the frustration and I think Marvell is missing a chance here.

The Marvel product philosophy is based on "we launch a development kit for the tech savvy and then we wait for companies to order specialized Sheevaplug-similar retail products in orders of tens of thousands". This is how the world worked 50 years ago, but sorry that is not taking the chances of world-wide distributed smaller communities that will not have their special HW designed because they don't reach that scale for their own.

What I did critize in the "SheevaPlug not ready for prime time" thread was that Marvel makes that unwise separation between a "development kit" and a "end user product". Give the SheevaPlug a way to install a dedicated software that can be downloaded from an app-store (like apple provides for their mobile products) and it is a fine end-user equipment. This does not need to be extremely smart with connection to a portal in the internet where it just needs a klick on a button. It would be completely fine, if one can download an installer image, put this on USB stick, put the stick into the plug, power-on and this installs onto the plug. From a technical point of view I don't mean any apt-get mimic to install an add-on package on top of a running linux. This is far too limited.  By installation I mean to put a complete disk image including uboot, uboot environment, kernel, initrd, rootfs, etc onto the SheevaPlug. After that, pull off the USB stick and restart the SheevaPlug and it has become a new dedicated device.

Or take an example: You have written an apllication that changes a SheevaPlug into an network inspection tool and you assume that there will be about 1000 potential customers for that at a world-wide level. How can you bring that solution based on SheevaPlug to your customers? When SheevaPlug would have an easy software installation feature you could sell your Application online and put a 5 step installation instruction to it. Customers will order a stock SheevaPlug from a dealer they like and will be able to install your application easily. At he moment this distribution model will not work, as SheevaPlug is not aimed to provide that way of easy software installation. As an alternative you can order bunches of SheevaPlugs yourself, do the installation and ship that around the world. Cost adders will be enourmous. Or you have specialized SheevaPlug alikes build, which will not make sense for 1000 pieces. As you see, you can't use SheevaPlug for this, which means Marvell is out of this business because of ignoring customer demands.

So my request to Marvel is: Bring a SheevaPlug2 that has an easy to use software installation feature (i.e. as described above) and find some capable world-wide distributors for this single type of unit. The rest will be done by the developers out here.
12  General Category / General Discussion / Where to buy in Europe? on: August 03, 2009, 09:54:38 AM
I would like to point Meteohb users to a source where to get SheevaPlugs in Europe. Meteohub needs the SD card slot and USB serial connector to get uboot flashed, so SheevaPlug clones without that won't do.

Are there any distributors that can sell these in Europe (for a reasonable price)?
Are the units - that Globalscale sells - CE and ROHS certified/compliant?
13  General Category / Success stories / Re: Meteohub goes SheevaPlug on: July 29, 2009, 09:25:30 AM
Meteohub has a local webserver included (which also drives the web interface for administration of Meteohub).
This webserver can also display locally stored websites. You can feed HTML to be displayed by putting HTML files to the plug from your PC via a samba share. This html can also include Meteohub's dashboard flash application and WD-Live flash application.

You can also design your own HTML pages as templates that will be filled with weather data at a defined time schedule. So there are tons of options ;-)
14  General Category / Success stories / Meteohub goes SheevaPlug on: July 06, 2009, 01:44:41 PM
Low power weather station server Meteohub has been ported to SheevaPlug.

While Meteohub is available for NSLU2, ALIX-Boards, Fit-PC Slim, eboxes and VMware for a while, the SheevaPlug port is brand new and still a bit experimental. Processing power of SheevaPlug comes close to AMD Geode performance which is much better than what could be derived from good old NSLU2.

Details on Meteohub can be found here: www.meteohub.de

15  General Category / General Discussion / Re: SheevaPlug second source? on: July 04, 2009, 01:12:57 AM
Yes, delivery times of globalscale are a bit annoying. When I got mine one of the units was extremly wet (a bit of water pouring out of if when opening the paper box). But this looks more like an overseas shipping accident. Luckily, the unit works ok after drying it a day or two. To have a distributor in Europe would be nice. Hopefully, they will not apply the bad habbit of charging a hefty uplift as most companies from overseas do, when doing business here in Europe.

What remains unclear to me is, if SD card slot is part of the Ionics package. From the specs it looks like it is not, which makes it useless for my planned use.
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