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16  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: SheevaPlug v2 - Hardware Requests on: July 01, 2009, 11:30:26 AM
From my (application driven) perspective I would like to see
- 2 or 3 more USB 2.0 ports
- a cooler plug (I find it heating up a much)
- a smaller plug (the bulky box is not really filled well)
- a tiny included buzzer to be able to give some status beeps
- a compact but sturdy way to add a few more GB of storage (hiding a CF or SD card)
- a more easy way to bring an application to it, even for the non-geek
- a mini-pci adapter to take a WLAN card

I can't see a need for e-sata/usb3. I can't believe someone using a plug to connect a bunch of external drives to it. There are plenty of NAS out there putting all this into a suitable box instead of doing a mess with connecting different boxes with cables. Kirkwood might be a fine NAS platform, but the plug doesn't fit there from its physical design... Like NSLU2 which was used for a lot of things instead of being a NAS, it was originally designed for ;-)

just my $.02
17  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / U-Boot stuff / Re: Booting from SD card on: July 01, 2009, 08:44:52 AM
Based on the SheevaPlug installer I put a script and documentation together that explains how to patch a stock SheevaPlug to boot from SD in the most easy way. Setting up the SD card is explained for Meteohub, but you can skip the last step and do what ever you want to put on your SD card.

Description with links: http://www.meteohub.de/joomla/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_details&gid=275&Itemid=29

Many thanks to this forum, without the assets provided here, I would not been able to put this together.

Remark: The script just updates u-boot to an SD enabled version and makes u-boot environment settings (keeping the original MAC). It is not installing any Linux distro to SD, flash or elsewhere. So it is a very limited subset of SheevaPlug installer, but easy to use.

18  General Category / General Discussion / Re: SheevaPlug - not ready for prime time? on: July 01, 2009, 01:36:12 AM
just to let you know... I started modifying the SheevaPlug installer to make a Meteohub installer out of it.
Reading u-boot environment before flashing and by that having a chance of preserving the original MAC does work.

Unfortunately, reading the NAND via "nand dump" is extremely slow. It takes nearly half an hour to get the 128 KB read. Any idea how to tweak this? Here is the corresponding code:

Code:
proc sheevaplug_read_uboot_env { } {

        # read the u-Boot environment
        sheevaplug_init
        nand probe 0
        nand dump 0 uboot-env.old.bin 0x000a0000 131072
        resume

}
 
19  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / loose daughter board connector on: July 01, 2009, 01:31:00 AM
One of my plugs did not work with SD cards. Finally I opened it and found a loose connector ribbon cable to the daughter board. Plugging that in a gain solved my problem. When doing so, please make use of the brown tabs at both ends of the connector. When pulling them out, the cable can be detached/attached without force. pressing these tabs into the connector fixes the ribbon cable. I hope this might help...
20  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / U-Boot stuff / Re: Booting from SD card on: June 30, 2009, 09:53:40 AM
I tried with another plug and this time it works. Looks like something is broken in the plug... weird.
So no problem with the particular SD card!
21  General Category / General Discussion / Re: SheevaPlug - not ready for prime time? on: June 30, 2009, 09:51:48 AM
@ianjb:

Thanks for your ideas!

Meteohub is not avail as ipkg. Meteohub shapes the plug into a dedicated appliance with a web interface, networking setup, etc and is not a package to be installed on the standard linux stack for the linux developer. It is a complete different approach.

Meteohub needs a total of about 4 GB of storage as it is a data logging application. Not having the SD card makes the plug useless. Having USB storage connected via USB HUB (as USB port is mainly needed to connect to weather stations) is not an option as
a) this has turned out to be not reliable (I had that experience with NSLU2)
b) u-boot not being able to boot from USB when other devices are also connected to USB (u-boot bug discussed in this forum).
22  General Category / General Discussion / Re: SheevaPlug - not ready for prime time? on: June 30, 2009, 08:47:49 AM
@ianjb:

I am just developing and selling SW and would like to add the SheevaPlug as an alternative platform for meteohub. I am not going to sell anything physical as I have a global customer base and I will not start shipping tiny boxes worth $99 around the world ;-). The idea is: get a generic SheevaPlug from one of your local dealers and install the application you need yourself in an easy way that is ready for the masses.

@Rabeh:

I don't think that selling dedicated devices will be a success. Having a generic device that can be bought everywhere and can be easily adapted to several applications by the end user is the way to go, from my perspective.

re 1) so I do need the udev-rules, right?
re 2) how can I read the MAC before environemnt gets flashed? can you give me a pointer where in which file to handle this?
re 3) is that a new installer or just the one released as alpha?

Any chance to make installation from a USB stick without any other systems connected? I have read something about a recovery USB stick here in the forum, which sound promising. When I can provide users with an USB stick to plugin in, starting the plug and waiting until installation done, that would be a HUGE step twards prime-time ;-)
23  General Category / General Discussion / Re: SheevaPlug - not ready for prime time? on: June 30, 2009, 07:51:52 AM
Thanks for your swift reply!

My intention is to find a way of installing Meteohub on a SheevaPlug as it comes from the factory as easy as possible. The way I discovered to do that was ok for me, but will not work for a larger customer base. When you have a look at the provided link to the end user documentation, you might probably come to the same conclusion. If you can line out a more easy alternative I would be more than happy.

Reading more, I am just playing with SheevaPlug installer, that also needs a separate Linux box, but at least takes tftp out of the equation. Some questions in regard to the installer:
1) does it need the two serial connections correctly setup? If so the burden of giving udev-rules to the Linux box to make these /dev/ttyUSBx popping up would still be there. This is another hickup for customers (apart from not having a linux box at hand).
2) can I set u-boot environment variables without having the environment flushed before? I would hate to have the user to type in a MAC address as this is another error-prone thing and the info is already there in the box
3) How can I access the SD card with the installer to bring the Meteohub data on it?

Your statement, that SheevaPlug installer makes it easy to bring any Linux distro onto the plug is certainly right, but I am looking for a way to bring a turn-key application onto it and things like the need of a Linux box to issue commands from or typing in anything by means of a terminal programm will simply not work with large non-geek customer base.

Any hints are very welcome!
24  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Sheevaplug installer - alpha-6 release - Testers needed on: June 30, 2009, 07:32:54 AM
Is there a way to set environment variables for u-boot without having these erased before?
Background of my question is, that I would like to preserve the MAC of the plug.
25  General Category / General Discussion / Re: SheevaPlug - not ready for prime time? on: June 30, 2009, 04:55:54 AM
one more thought (sorry for thinking in serial)...

Does SheevaPlug installer fit my needs?
1) looks like it brings SD enabled u-boot onto the plug without ftfp hassle
2) looks like u-boot environment settings can be controlled by the installer script, that would be great
3) I guess "runme.sh" can be started automatically, right?
4) unclear remains how/if SD card can be reached from the installer. Is the installer itself SD aware?

any hints are welcome!
26  General Category / General Discussion / Re: SheevaPlug - not ready for prime time? on: June 30, 2009, 04:01:58 AM
one more thought...

An alternative might be an external program that detects a SheevaPlug (in stock condition) on the LAN and can make a complete Backup and Restore (including u-boot and it's environment) of it. just my $0.02
27  General Category / General Discussion / SheevaPlug - not ready for prime time? on: June 30, 2009, 03:45:26 AM
First of all I would like to say that I really enjoy working with the plug and porting meteohub to it (www.meteohub.de) was quite straight forward. To make Meteohub running from an SD card on the plug I had to
1) update u-boot by an sd enabled version via tftp
2) make a serial connection to make the u-boot flash happen and to tell the plug how to boot from SD
3) prepare an SD card
To my impression that is a fair procedure for tech savvy early adopters, but if I would have to guide the meteohub community (which is more weather enthusiastic than linux experts) through this, this will be a no go. (you find the much too complicated meteohub installation instructions here: http://www.meteohub.de/joomla/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_details&gid=270&Itemid=29)

On all other platforms (even NSLU2) I found a quite easy way to setup the rig, but the plug is a nightmare in regard to this.

I think a more easy way for setting up a dedicated plug system is a vital precondition to make it a success. For meteohub I would need some prebuild function that looks for a connected USB stick on boot and hands over control to it, when it detects a certain signature. Then USB stick will do the setup (including setup of SD card stickking in the plug and including flashing a more recent u-boot version and doing settings there if needed. Installation should be something like this: Take the plug, insert preconfigured USB stick, insert emtpy SD card, power up, wait until beep/blink, power-off, tear-off USB stick, power-on, have fun.

Please give this a serious thought or the plug will remain geek ware not ready for prime time (imho). 
28  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / U-Boot stuff / Re: Booting from SD card on: June 28, 2009, 06:30:17 AM
I followed instructions and setup a 4GB SDHC card from Transcend. All I get when trying to boot from it is...

Code:
Marvell>> print bootcmd
bootcmd=setenv bootargs $(console) $(bootargs_root); run bootcmd_mmc; bootm 0x400000 0x0800000
Marvell>> print bootargs
bootargs=console=ttyS0,115200 mtdparts=nand_mtd:0x100000@0(uboot)ro,0x0@0x100000(uImage),0x1ff00000@0x100000(rootfs)rw root=/dev/mmcblk0p1
Marvell>> run bootcmd
SDHC found. Card desciption is:
Manufacturer:       0x03, OEM "SD"
Product name:       "SD04G", revision 8.0
Serial number:      1887016415
Manufacturing date: 12/2008
CRC:                0x00, b0 = 0
Error! cmd : 17, err : 0040
mmc_block_read: mmc read block cmd fails
mmc block read error
Error! cmd : 17, err : 0040
mmc_block_read: mmc read block cmd fails
mmc block read error
bad MBR sector signature 0x0000
** Bad partition 1 **
Error! cmd : 17, err : 0040
mmc_block_read: mmc read block cmd fails
mmc block read error
bad MBR sector signature 0x0000
** Bad partition 1 **
## Booting image at 00400000 ...
Bad Magic Number
Marvell>>

Any idea what is going wrong?
Boot from USB works fine (when applying the corresponding environment settings in u-boot.)
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