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Author Topic: DreamPlug  (Read 13765 times)
guidol
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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 01:40:23 AM »

true it is hard to be sure , But I THINK it`s going to be like the guruplug
it may even be the same JTAG board for the guruplug
I couldnt see the same Ports as on the Guruplug (for JTAG/RS232)...
and my opinion would be that a "Dream Plug" has to be like the Sheevaplug - with a included JTAG/RS232-USB-Port
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peter a
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2011, 02:13:20 AM »

so , if you are right , the JTAG tools most be software ?
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sfzhi
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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 02:14:13 AM »

Looks nice. But I don't like the absence of internal NAND flash. Internal Micro-SD card is not quite the same.
Whats the problem with internal MicroSD in your opinion?
From my point of view its seems to be better...
- you could swap it if it get faulty
- you could reprogram it externally it the content goes bad (no need for a jtag)
- you could upgrade(?) the size
I think the main problem is reliability:
- the mechanical contacts are not as reliable as soldering
- I have read here many people complaining about faulty, slow or just incompatible SD-cards, but I can't remember anyone complaining about faulty internal flash
- internal flash should be considerably faster, as it uses much wider internal bus (although I don't have numbers at hand to compare)
- SD-card is typically used with "normal" file systems (such as ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, etc) originally meant for hard drives. While the internal FTL in the card may be doing good wear-leveling job, but I doubt it can be better than a flash-aware filesystem, such as UBIFS. Although, if the rootfs is read-only most of the time (which I believe it should be) then this won't matter that much.

What's wrong with JTAG? I like JTAG Smiley. By the way, you would need JTAG anyway to re-program U-Boot. And if you have U-Boot working then you don't really need JTAG to flash kernel or rootfs.

As for the size upgrade, IMO, if 512MB is not enough that means there is too much bloatware installed. My complete system used as network gateway/router/server/etc occupies under 100MB (of which about 40MB is occupied by Samba - a piece of bloatware I couldn't do without). I strongly doubt I will ever need to upgrade the size.

In the end of the day I have to agree that this is largely a matter of opinion.
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Lack of knowledge is not such a big problem, unwillingness to learn is.

guidol
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 04:26:48 AM »

I think the main problem is reliability:
- the mechanical contacts are not as reliable as soldering
- I have read here many people complaining about faulty, slow or just incompatible SD-cards, but I can't remember anyone complaining about faulty internal flash
I personally did got problems with a (Micro)SD Slot - and this one will not be changed/switched very often.

I read many onboard flash problems, but with the Seagate Dockstar.
There is a special programm needed to go around the errors in the flash chip which has "bad sectors"/cells
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Fletch
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2011, 10:13:38 AM »

Quote
I couldnt see the same Ports as on the Guruplug (for JTAG/RS232)...
and my opinion would be that a "Dream Plug" has to be like the Sheevaplug - with a included JTAG/RS232-USB-Port

It's hard to tell what all the ports are, but I agree.  This thing certainly looks big enough to hold the JTAG logic, so the only reason to leave it out would be cost.
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mail4asim
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2011, 10:35:23 AM »

Any idea what kind of processor they are using  ? I wonder if it's the same as in Sheevaplug, which means we'll be stuck using the old Ubuntu 9.04
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Blüto
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« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2011, 12:24:16 PM »

Now Playing: Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who

Let's take a look at that datasheet again while wearing our bullshit-sensitive sunglasses:

  • Boot device: 2MB SPI NOR Flash for uboot
  • Flash memory: 1GB on board micro-SD for kernel and root file system

    Verrry interesting. Why do we need the NOR at all when we have a spacious MicroSD to hold the device's firmware?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    That's right! because if you had uBoot living on MicroSD you wouldn't need to buy a separate JTAG device to flash it with!

  • 2x Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 16-bit ADC/ DAC
  • WiFi : 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth: BT2.1 + EDR

    No fan? No obvious means of adequate ventilation? Even without the PSU on board, just how many cubic feet per minute get sucked through those little slots on the case?

  • Low cost dedicated JTAG tools for system development

    Goodness! Will the system be backed by GST's ironclad 30-day warranty, too ? 


I'll pass, but thanks for trying.
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peter a
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« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2011, 12:59:28 PM »

Quote
Verrry interesting. Why do we need the NOR at all when we have a spacious MicroSD to hold the device's firmware?

Sorry , but why do we need bios on computer when we have harddrives .

The NOR Flash is the boot strip , need for the first step to do anything .
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Blüto
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« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2011, 02:46:25 PM »

]The NOR Flash is the boot strip , need for the first step to do anything .

I'm not saying you don't need uBoot (or Redboot or similar) to boot the thing, I'm saying there's nothing magical about NOR/NAND that requires you to load uBoot from there. It would work just as well from the SD card containing the kernel and rootfs.

I believe the design is gimped to make the Low cost dedicated JTAG tool anything BUT an optional accessory. Get it?


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peter a
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2011, 03:00:04 PM »

Sorry , but you missed the point , you need a boot strap loader in some form of rom / nand / eeprom etc.

You need hardware which the hardware understand at the base level .
It`s chicken and the egg !!! you need uboot or software to make it use the sd-card.

 
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Blüto
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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2011, 04:04:51 PM »

It`s chicken and the egg !!! you need uboot or software to make it use the sd-card.

Okay, I'll buy that. But it doesn't alter the big picture, which is that the FTDI chip SHOULD be on the system board, as with the SheevaPlug. Putting it in an external case and charging $35 for it is a ripoff.

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peter a
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2011, 05:06:03 PM »

I fact is no one here know ? , It is all guess work in the end.

You are right they should include a way for serial access etc , but have they ?
o.k read again :- Low cost dedicated JTAG tools for system development

The word there is LOW COST and not free or included .
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Blüto
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« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2011, 06:12:15 PM »

Okay, Peter, I tried reasoning with you, now you're just being obtuse.

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radael
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2011, 10:28:16 PM »

It depends upon the perspective, doesn't it?  Sure might seem like a rip-off to package the JTAG separately if you only plan to buy one unit.

But, maybe if you've got something to sell to the public, you buy 100 Plugs and one JTAG port.  That way, you don't have to pay for the FDDI chips, etc. for all the sale units.


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guidol
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« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2011, 11:32:54 PM »

But, maybe if you've got something to sell to the public, you buy 100 Plugs and one JTAG port. 

but then the device and the cables/connectors should be more stable.
On the Guruplug (plus) I wouldnt connect/disconnect the cables to much times...it seems to be only
a one time connect for developers.
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