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Author Topic: NEW GURU Standard and ridiculous PENNY Pinching  (Read 3005 times)
scologic
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« on: April 22, 2010, 03:39:32 AM »

It appears that Globalscale are not putting on a 20 cent part on to the board to allow memory expansion on to the standard version of the guru plug. - NO SD card wsocket as it's 'optional'.

As a company thats invested thousands or dollars/ gbp into product development to create a range new devices my level of frustration and anger with this penny pinching attitude is off the scale currently. Why they would develop a new standard product and not feature the same as the sheeva plug is beyond me.

Our designs are suffering from globalscales stacked USB plug instead of 2 x mini  usb( a more sencible option i'd suggest, and only offering the memory socket on the SATA version adds over 10mm on to what should be a 30mm deep product.

Whilst we all understand unit order quantities for bespoke development - but not putiing a surface mount memory socket on a board thats already got it on the PCB is ridiculous.

Sco Logic Angry

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lopgok
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 07:53:08 PM »

Is there a way to solder on after the fact?
I sure could use one right now...
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SgtPepper
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 10:05:09 PM »

So, providing a cheaper version with a few less features for those that don't want to pay for the full version is "penny pinching"?  You're offered a SheevaPlug minus a couple of features not everyone needs plus other features many would appreciate for the same price and you're complaining?  If you need the SD card slot, stick with SheevePlug or spend a few more dollars and get the GuruPlug Plus.

The fact that the internal hardware has the capability is irrelevant.  I've heard the same arguments with slightly disgruntled people where I work, when we tune down a high-tier product and sell it for less.  However, the amount of investment in development of the product remains the same.  So, you can either charge everyone (including people that would have been happier with the lesser, cheaper model) a price substantially higher than the original lower-tier price (though slightly lower than the original higher-tier price), or limit the added expense to those that actually want (and are more willing to pay for) the added features.  This allows those to which the added R&D was targeted to effectively subsidize (by paying a higher price than you for the same internal hardware) "penny pinchers" like yourself who don't want to pay for the full version, while still delivering an enhanced product.  Everyone wins.

/rant off
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 10:08:56 PM by SgtPepper » Logged

scologic
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 01:46:58 PM »

no we cant solder it on.

Our problem is not trying to get it cheaper.. we need the main board to have a lower profile and the addition of a sata port and second ethernet is not an option as it adds around 15mm onto our new designed product.

The flash memory is too slow and only has a number of data rewrites until it degrades so no the facility on the board is not suitable.

Having a version and then a 'plus' version you'd expect the base version to have a similar spec , and the sata connection makes the onboard memory a bit of a waste of money as most would boot from hdd. further the fact that the plus version has 2 memory sockets you'd have expected at least 1 on the 'standard' version.

the cost factor between guru and sheeva is the jtag. for less than a few usd the standard could be a whole lot better. and to be honest i'd pay the extra..

so far from discussion with resellers everyone is buying the plus 5 units to every 1 standard therefore making the standard a waste of development expenditure..
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fragfutter
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 01:58:12 PM »

I'm pretty sure, that the standard is the stripped down version of the plus. So first the plus is developed, using basicly everything the SoC provides plus a bluetooth/wifi chip. Then think what can be stripped (most likely without even altering the PCB) and looking at every penny, there is the standard.

But i don't understand why you are complaining? If you developed something and the guruplug doesn't fit your criteria, look for something else. If developed for exactly this platform, well you didn't consider the final specs, so don't complain.
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docbee
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« Reply #5 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"...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 02:58:50 AM by docbee » Logged

madman2003
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 01:58:17 PM »

Strictly speaking there is 4GB SLC microsd, it's just very very rare.

http://www.atpinc.com/p2-4a.php?sn=00000391

But for your purposes i understand your problem.
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docbee
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« Reply #7 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...
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