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1  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Poll: What is the status of your SheevaPlug's Power Supply? on: November 30, 2010, 05:07:20 PM
My SheevaPlug at work appears to have died.  I had disconnected the network cable two weeks ago and then when I reconnected it to a DHCP server it received a new IP... presumably, as I could not log in via SSH.  I then tried to access the plug via the serial interface so I could determine the IP leased to it, I was able to log in, did not see an assigned IP, so I performed a reboot.  I had some problems ... the hard drive was not remounting, the usual Marvell text did not shoot by, so I rebooted again and after than the plug just went into a mode of blinking green light every 2 seconds.  I unplugged and let it rest and when I plugged the unit back in, it just went into the green blinking mode (the LEDs on the network port blink in tandem, too).  After I unplug it, the green light blinks for a few more times... probably the discharge from a capacitor providing the current?

My plug has been running continuously for about 14 months (September 2009) with a Seagate hard drive (the hard drive has its own power).  This was my second plug computer, my first (March 2009) at home is still running, but now I'm thinking I cannot rely on it to live much longer.

I did nothing to the system other than restart it and disconnect/connect a network cable.  I even retried soft restarts with the paperclip.

Question: is a blinking green light (about every 1-2 seconds) and nothing more (the serial interface does not respond) the sign that the plug is no longer going to work? 

If that's the case: ouch, this really hurts. 

2  General Category / Application ideas and development Q/A / Google Wave on: November 04, 2010, 08:11:20 AM
Google Wave is now being actively migrated to open source and the code is at a level where I think it may be ready for trials on a SheevaPlug.  Basically, senior management at Google decided that offering Wave to the public was not worthwhile.   The Google Wave team members are making an earnest effort to migrate the code and/or technology out of Google's vault into the open source.  Of course, they probably have certain plums that Google wants to retain, but I think what I have been seeing in the last few weeks merits mention in this forum and alerting early adopters of a possible new technology for the Plug.

I run Gentoo on my Plugs and the free Java support for ARM is just not there, I cannot say that there is a Gentoo/Plug ready solution for Wave at this time.

However, for the bulk of you who have more generic Linux systems running on their plug, if you have Java, then you may want to start trying out the rapidly development Google Wave Protocol (the name of the project which is basically the open sourced version of Google Wave) at:


The current code, e.g. build 629, is not ready, but the development is at a stage where you can have a server running that will have client code that is starting to look like the Google Wave client currently offered by Google.  Note: Google is abandoning Wave and has warned that they will be terminating the service at the end of this year.

If you have your plug running in a community/corporate environment, then you might want to consider trying out the code and evaluating whether this project may have some merit down the road. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you have a Plug that runs Java and want to see what your plug can do in terms of providing a nifty collaborative tool, then take a look at Wave and report your findings in this forum.
3  General Category / Application ideas and development Q/A / Spam Control on: May 06, 2010, 10:26:24 AM
There has been a noticeable increase in spammers and it is becoming tiresome to deal with their presence.

Can a setting be made where if one person's post is deleted, their ability to post any further is suspended?  Although I have the ability to delete posts, I do not have any ability to corral the offender.

I also think some sort of review for posting privileges is warranted; if someone has something to contribute and is seriously interested in this technology, they'll understand that to keep the content on this forum free of trash, certain validations need to be made before they can post.
4  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Filesystem Backup Strategy on: April 05, 2010, 09:51:53 AM
I had previously posted that I had mounted an external hard drive (Seagate external 1.5 TB) and mapped my /var and /usr to the drive.  I have two identical drives and had intended to create a back-up strategy.  I had not implemented one (6 months down the road) and, of course, the hard drive that I have the data mapped to has a malfunction rendering my plug inoperable for the moment.

I'm looking into what might be done to recover the data and it appears to be a minimum $500 charge. 

I posed the issue of drive manufacturers providing data recovery on reddit when their drive fails and the unified response was pretty much: I'm a dumbass and should have had the data backed up, presumably by RAID.  (I've been researching the issue and it looks like an external RAID controller exposed as a USB drive would be the safest solution; you're then placing your data at risk of the design/implementation of the RAID controller, some of the cheapest ones seem to have postings on forums of completely losing their data.)

Given the SheevaPlug's design of not having internal drives and a linux community's opinion that back-up is a requirement, I wonder what people developing on the SheevaPlug do for their back-ups.  Seems that if you are using a hard drive, you probably should use two (as I did, but never configured as I planned) to protect yourself when one goes bad.  In another posting to this forum, the opinion was a software RAID is unacceptable, and I"ll agree with that opinion.

So what are people doing who attach hard drives to the plug?  Or is the safer course using multiple stick USBs and not having a lot of data? 

I guess what I'm thinking is that if you are using an external hard drive, it must be in conjunction with a backup system.

5  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: RAID on SheevaPlug on: March 31, 2010, 04:34:18 PM
don't run software raids on USB disks.

I am taking this to mean that you do not recommend RAID =>USB=>disks. 

Would you have any suggestions for a USB=>RAID=>disks solution, which I guess is a stand-alone hardware solution where the hardware RAID configured drives are exposed to the USB port?  This is the approach Drobo takes.
6  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: RAID on SheevaPlug on: March 31, 2010, 01:18:00 PM
I just had a Seagate 1.5 TB fail on me, I had my /var and /usr mapped to it so I'm hosed.  My setup had been working flawlessly and I really put it to the test compiling some monstrous stuff.

Now I'm looking for a RAID solution.

Drobo looked possible, but as I read the reviews on Amazon, there are too many complaints, some serious insofar as files are just missing without notice and Drobo simply reboots.  Looks like Drobo is not a good candidate.

So the issue becomes do I find a SheevaPlug => USB => RAID solution, or can I do a RAID within my operating system, Gentoo, with mounted USB drives.

No answer yet, just thought I'd post my current thoughts.
7  Linux Stuff / Linux distributions / Support for Java for the ARM architecture in Gentoo on: February 18, 2010, 10:31:50 AM
I've logged an enhancement bug in Gentoo for support for Java on the ARM architecture.


Gentoo's bug system does support voting, so if this matters to you, then please consider voting and/or participating in the bug.
8  General Category / Application ideas and development Q/A / Re: Correct "script" for the GCC cross compiler for Sheeva Plug Computer on: February 18, 2010, 10:27:47 AM
I just want to chime in that I've been struggling with cross-compile on Gentoo. 

I had hoped that I could easily cross-compile on an AMD quad-core Phenom using Gentoo because the Gentoo documentation for cross compiling made it look straight forward and I've found that documentation in Gentoo, if followed carefully, works.  Turns out the documentation exposed to me through Gentoo's site was admittedly deprecated; I learned this after chatting with one of the main crossdev gurus on Gentoo IRC channel.  Needless to say, it has been a very discouraging struggle and I think the problem lies in the lack of precise documentation.  I believe so much is taken for granted by those in the know that much of the critical dependencies go undocumented or addressed in the documentation.

I was finally able to cross compile helloWorld, but when I tried something greater, such as a kernel, bad things happened. 

It is a real time sink... and this is on my own time (most of the time).  Right now, my priority is to get Java working on Gentoo on the SheevaPlug.
9  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Possibility of adding a shutdown battery on: February 14, 2010, 06:14:36 AM
Having temporary power to shutdown is very desirable.

The plug is designed to run in non-server secured environments, and as such, will be subject to intermittent power interrupts.  The risk of software being thrown a curve ball because shutdown was not properly had argues in favor of having a simply battery port based on the suggestion herein.  I'm hoping the engineers monitoring this topic will consider such an option for future releases.  I often worry about the status of matters when I return to my office where I have a plug running and it probably has been subject to a sudden power outage.
10  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: Jabber Server on: February 06, 2010, 10:09:10 AM
If you have a Java run time installed on your plug, the Openfire Server should meet your needs perfectly. http://www.igniterealtime.org/projects/openfire/
11  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Powering it On and Off on: January 07, 2010, 05:28:17 PM
I just experienced an SDHC corrupted card.  The SheevaPlug affected has been subject to multiple down times when power to the building is turned off.  This brings me to wonder: is there a way to signal the SheevaPlug to power down and not restart remotely?

It seems to me if the Plug is running and then suddenly the power goes off, there is a risk of the process which writes to memory of doing something that may cause the memory not to be closed properly which may, in turn, lead to other complications.  This is all speculation on my part as I'm not familiar with the working of memory cards, I can just relate to my experience with hard disks.

I guess what I'm getting at: I'd like to be able to power down my SheevaPlug remotely so I don't have to worry about the effects of a power outage.  I'm pretty sure it cannot be done, but hope the Plug developers take note.  In a commercial environment, power outages are a scheduled item and it's inconvenient to have someone right at the plug to bring it down and pull the cord out.
12  General Category / Application ideas and development Q/A / Re: Java on Gentoo? on: December 23, 2009, 03:38:24 PM
Xerxes built me a binary of the JDK that I have used with some success, see his site at:


In particular try:


and give some feedback!


Here are the results of my attempt.  I visited http://labb.zafena.se/shark-testing/armv5/

[DIR]   Parent Directory        -
[TXT]   5nov-armv5-build-info.txt   05-Nov-2009 16:43    775
[ ]   5nov-j2sdk-image-ecj.tar.gz   05-Nov-2009 16:29    120M
[ ]   5nov-j2sdk-image.tar.gz   05-Nov-2009 16:30    126M
[ ]   libffi-3.0.8-r0-armv5.tar.gz   07-Dec-2009 11:10    13K

and downloaded 5nov-j2sdk-image.tar.gz and gunzipped and tarred it.  Here's there error message I get when testing for the version:
plug 5nov-j2sdk-image # ./bin/javac -v
dl failure on line 696Error: failed /usr/local/src/j2sdktest/5nov-j2sdk-image/jre/lib/arm/server/libjvm.so, because /usr/lib/gcc/armv5tel-softfloat-linux-gnueabi/4.1.2/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.9' not found (required by /usr/local/src/j2sdktest/5nov-j2sdk-image/jre/lib/arm/server/libjvm.so)
plug 5nov-j2sdk-image #
plug 5nov-j2sdk-image # locate libstdc++.xo.6
plug 5nov-j2sdk-image #

I'm on Gentoo.
13  General Category / Application ideas and development Q/A / Re: We need a USB to RJ11 device for VoIP asap! on: December 21, 2009, 05:16:48 PM


 wonder what the status of this project is.

Wonder better by following his blog at: http://openusbfxs.wordpress.com/
14  General Category / Application ideas and development Q/A / Re: xPL Perl on the plug? on: December 21, 2009, 05:07:50 PM


If you really want to add value,  can you advise me  how to find a particular Perl Plug-in,  Catalyst::Plugin::DefaultEnd. It is not called out in the Makefile.PL.   (It must be referenced somewhere else, but I am b******d  if I can find it). I need to find out how it was used and how the new module Catalyst::Action::RenderView 0.11 works in its place.

Perl has a very convenient package manager that automatically installs packages you select. 

To find modules, use:

Once you found the module you want (note: some a wrappers that include a whole set, so you might something like that for Catalyst if such exists).


For example:
plug ~ # perl -MCPAN -e shell
Terminal does not support AddHistory.

cpan shell -- CPAN exploration and modules installation (v1.9402)
Enter 'h' for help.

cpan[1]> h

Display Information                                                (ver 1.9402)
 command  argument          description
 a,b,d,m  WORD or /REGEXP/  about authors, bundles, distributions, modules
 i        WORD or /REGEXP/  about any of the above
 ls       AUTHOR or GLOB    about files in the author's directory
    (with WORD being a module, bundle or author name or a distribution
    name of the form AUTHOR/DISTRIBUTION)

Download, Test, Make, Install...
 get      download                     clean    make clean
 make     make (implies get)           look     open subshell in dist directory
 test     make test (implies make)     readme   display these README files
 install  make install (implies test)  perldoc  display POD documentation

 r        WORDs or /REGEXP/ or NONE    report updates for some/matching/all modules
 upgrade  WORDs or /REGEXP/ or NONE    upgrade some/matching/all modules

 force  CMD    try hard to do command  fforce CMD    try harder
 notest CMD    skip testing

 h,?           display this menu       ! perl-code   eval a perl command
 o conf [opt]  set and query options   q             quit the cpan shell
 reload cpan   load CPAN.pm again      reload index  load newer indices
 autobundle    Snapshot                recent        latest CPAN uploads
cpan[2]> i Catalyst
CPAN: Storable loaded ok (v2.20)
Going to read '/root/.cpan/Metadata'
  Database was generated on Mon, 21 Dec 2009 22:47:20 GMT
Module id = Catalyst
    DESCRIPTION  The Elegant MVC Web Application Framework
    CPAN_USERID  MRAMBERG (Marcus Ramberg <mramberg@cpan.org>)
    CPAN_VERSION 5.80016
    CPAN_FILE    B/BO/BOBTFISH/Catalyst-Runtime-5.80016.tar.gz
    DSLIP_STATUS MmpOp (mature,mailing-list,perl,object-oriented,Standard-Perl)
    INST_FILE    (not installed)

15  General Category / Application ideas and development Q/A / Re: Java on Gentoo? on: December 21, 2009, 04:44:28 PM
Have you tried building the IcedTea versions?

Boy, have I -- and with baby steps success.  I still am gated, see gcc gnu Bug 42409
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