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Author Topic: TC in a Stick  (Read 36791 times)

Offline naf456

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TC in a Stick
« on: January 13, 2013, 03:31:56 PM »
Sooo...
I've ordered a micro ARM based computer :
http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/212436416.html

I was originally just going to develop some android software like a launcher and some bits and bobs to make it feel more like a desktop computer,
but I have  also been wondering about rolling a custom version of linux.
as it's ARM it's quite a lightweight machine, and so I thought debian or ubuntu or something would kill it - and I like the idea of a cloud based OS.
So what about TC on a one of these things. it'll be great for a little FTP / Media server box.  8)

the specs are : (if your to lazy to click the link (I don't blame you ;)))
Rockchip Rk3066 A9 dual core 1.6Ghz,
Mali-400 GPU (Quad Core 240MHz)
1GB of DDRIII,
not sure about the chipset - I mean , it's an SoC so I guess it doesn't have one / depends on the chip.

I've read somewhere there there is increasing support for the chinese SoC processors, however I'm not to sure how to get it rolling - as anything, I'm just have to experiment.  ::)

And this is IF the bootloader is unlocked / unlockable - I suppose I have to do some more research.

EDIT : Mali-400 acceleration support looks pretty slim. Hasn't anyone just contacted Allwiner / Rockchip / who ever and asked nicely for the source code for the graphics libraries?
Might ring them up tomorrow - maybe not... ^_^

Hmm... Graphics programming has always intrigued me - it seems like a black art , only 92 year old masters can understand the functioning of a GPU... hmmm....  ???
Something even more too look into.
I suppose I still have my whole life to sit around and do absolute &"$& all.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 05:40:45 PM by naf456 »
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" - Mark Twain

Offline curaga

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 04:06:40 AM »
Rockchip has bad kernel support IIRC.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline naf456

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 08:08:22 AM »
Really, I thought ALLWinner was pretty much RK?
I've heard some guys running Ubuntu desktop on one.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" - Mark Twain

Offline curaga

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 09:41:03 AM »
They're completely different manufacturers.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline roberts

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 09:41:34 AM »
Two different compaines, both in China, that make SoCs based on Arm technologies. Check out Wikipedia.

The Allwinner A1X is known for its ability to boot from an SD card GNU/Linux. That ability made it a popular target for Linux. The earyl Arm Soc (mk802) on a stick did not have the ability for a normal shutdown, not via software and no switch. Just unplug.  Still Ubuntu and several other distros are avilable. Newer sticks do not have such issues. I prefer having more ports than a stick provides such as the $49.00 Cubieboard which includes a clear plastic case, or the $49.00 Mele a200.  Both of these Allwinner devices are well supported with Linux, poweroff is normal.  Core runs very well. Also the hackberry and the Mini-X are also well supported.  Even many Allwinner A10 tablets can boot and run Linux for A10, albeit with tiny screen, impossible for me to read!

I am sure others are supporting the Rockchip Soc, just as many support the Broadcom that is in the Raspberry Pi. All are different. Arm Socs are not like x86. I have no plans for RockChip. I am considering the Samsung Quad as next target for import.
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Offline naf456

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 05:31:24 PM »
Sorry if this is a stupid question but, is the TC kernel vanilla linux or have you guys modified it?
The reason I ask is because I might try to port it over myself >_<

I apologize about the thread to - kinda didn't relies the reason why you guys are porting it to arm is because of these sticks - I didn't realize how popular they were  ???
Still an awesome concept - dual core computer in a stick - my PowerMac G4 is slower then these sticks bearing in mind it practically catches on fire and originally cost £3000 ^_^

There is no bytecode to turn off RK3033's? - so the guys at Rock chip were like - "Pft, Powering off devices are for losers"
forgive me for my little knowledge - I have only studied IA32 architecture a little bit. looks like I'll be heading down the library for some Assembly books again - this time on ARMv7  ;)

Oh and Linux 3.0 Kernel development - and get a book on Python - Hmm... overloading myself too much I think. Neither mind studying for my electronics course at college  :o

« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 05:33:22 PM by naf456 »
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" - Mark Twain

Offline SWR

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 10:29:01 PM »
I am considering the Samsung Quad as next target for import.
I've just bought the Odroid-U2 board, and would be very interrested in this.  :D

Best regards
Soren

Offline roberts

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 10:53:47 PM »
Sorry if this is a stupid question but, is the TC kernel vanilla linux or have you guys modified it?
The reason I ask is because I might try to port it over myself >_<

I apologize about the thread to - kinda didn't relies the reason why you guys are porting it to arm is because of these sticks - I didn't realize how popular they were  ???
Still an awesome concept - dual core computer in a stick - my PowerMac G4 is slower then these sticks bearing in mind it practically catches on fire and originally cost £3000 ^_^

There is no bytecode to turn off RK3033's? - so the guys at Rock chip were like - "Pft, Powering off devices are for losers"
forgive me for my little knowledge - I have only studied IA32 architecture a little bit. looks like I'll be heading down the library for some Assembly books again - this time on ARMv7  ;)

Oh and Linux 3.0 Kernel development - and get a book on Python - Hmm... overloading myself too much I think. Neither mind studying for my electronics course at college  :o

Not vanilla, because of initramfs and zram. But those details are posted.
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Offline roberts

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2013, 10:55:56 PM »
I am considering the Samsung Quad as next target for import.
I've just bought the Odroid-U2 board, and would be very interrested in this.  :D

Best regards
Soren
Drool  ;) That's the one I have my eye on as well.
Will likely proceed when I get past the Scale Expo.
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Offline naf456

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 06:16:01 AM »
Alright, zRAM sounds awesome. I would have thought compressing/uncompressing files would take up more CPU time then waiting for HDD to find files. what compression schema does it use? gzip?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" - Mark Twain

Offline tinypoodle

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 07:13:59 AM »
Alright, zRAM sounds awesome. I would have thought compressing/uncompressing files would take up more CPU time then waiting for HDD to find files.
Huh?  ::)
Any particular scenario?
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." Niklaus Wirth - A Plea for Lean Software (1995)

Offline SWR

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 08:10:58 AM »
Quote
Drool  ;) That's the one I have my eye on as well.
Will likely proceed when I get past the Scale Expo.
Nice.  8)
It's really small compared to the RaspberryPi as it's got about 8 times the processing power at half the size. I think it's really going to fly with TC.  ;D

With the hopeful succes of the Lima driver http://limadriver.org/ the quad Mali-400 GPU's will pack additional punch for graphic or calculation heavy applications. I'm looking forward to unleashing the power of this little 2"x2" cutie.  :)

Best regards
Soren

Offline roberts

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2013, 07:26:45 PM »
Alright, zRAM sounds awesome. I would have thought compressing/uncompressing files would take up more CPU time then waiting for HDD to find files.
Huh?  ::)
Any particular scenario?
I am in process of rebuilding the kernel for A10 (bye bye Bterm) so I can give you current info.
Since these arm machines are pretty much closed systems, I inlined the few modules that are needed.
Check that your kernel has BLK_DEV_LOOP, SQUASHFS, SCSI_WAIT_SCAN, and BLK_DEV_INITRD
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Offline roberts

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 12:54:32 PM »
I can now confirm that Core and Tiny Core runs fine on the original mk802!
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Offline tinypoodle

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Re: TC in a Stick
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 12:21:59 AM »
Alright, zRAM sounds awesome. I would have thought compressing/uncompressing files would take up more CPU time then waiting for HDD to find files. what compression schema does it use? gzip?
It seems to use LZO.
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." Niklaus Wirth - A Plea for Lean Software (1995)