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Author Topic: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?  (Read 877 times)

Offline TimJ

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Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« on: May 25, 2019, 12:42:33 AM »
Does anyone know the whereabouts of Bela? Until about a year ago he was the mainstay of the maintenance and development of piCore, however he is now very seldom, if ever, seen here any more. I do hope that there is a happy story behind his absence.

I would like to thank Bela for all the hard work and effort he has done on piCore , he has done an extremely good job and has been a very valuable source of knowledge and advice. He is truely missed.

If you have a Pi3B or older, piCore 9.03 is great and just work off the website, but if you have a Pi3B+ (released March 2018) there is nothing that works without a lot of hacking. I appreciate that paul-123 has done some tcz building, and I noticed late during this work  that a piCore10.0beta12b appeared, but without any description or support files.

As a first stage I would like to be able to get to a state were a Newbie can
    download a beta piCore,
    intstall firmware-rpi-
    install wifi.tcz
and have a working wifi
   install compiletc
and have a working environment to build packages and do C development. This is clearly just a first step, but in my view an essential one.

Just let me say where I am at. I am semi-retired from embedded programming, mainly C with RTOS or no O/S, but I have done 2 commercial products based on piCore, both headless and unattended operation. I need to continue to support these projects hence my continued interest in piCore. Going back a long way I also have significant Unix sysadmin experience.

For one of these projects we need to use to a stable kernel newer than beta5a, I have therefore built a new image of piCore, provisionally named piCore10.0beta6a, based on kernel 4.14.98, this matches the latest release of Raspbian. No other significant update on beta 5. I have also built the support files, module tczs for wireless, rtc, w1, netfilter, ipv6, usb-serial. (these being the ones I initially need).

I also have an initial list of tcz that could beneficially be copied from piCore 9.0.3, or is it policy not to do copy then, but rebuild them for 10.0?
make.tcz
patch.tcz
pkg-config.tcz
util-linux_base-dev.tcz
libmount.tcz
libmount-dev.tcz
findutils,tcz
squashfs-tools.tcz
tar.tcz
rsync.tcz
popt.tcz
firmware-ralinkwifi.tcz
firmware-rtlwifi.tcz
libiw.tcz
submitqc.tcz
zsync.tcz
Plus associated -doc and -dev
I have uploaded this work to Google drive
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OWHbBpDwppLrpr47HEDVba53UFE7jaXV 
It  follows the website directory layout.

I have briefly tested this on the following platforms with both ralink RT5370 and Pi foundation USB-Wifi adapters
   Raspberry Pi Model B Rev 2
   Raspberry Pi Model B Plus Rev 1.2
   Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Rev 1.0
and the following with built in WiFi
   Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Rev 1.2
   Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Plus Rev 1.3

Does the community here think that it is worth integrating this into the main piCore Downloads area, if so how do we achieve it?

All thoughts or comments welcome.

Tim.

Offline core-user

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2019, 03:01:11 AM »
I'd like to run piCore on one of my RPi3B/3B+/3A+ & have been awaiting version 10 to do so.

(I last used TCplus a couple of years back, on an old netbook, & it worked really well, running from ram.)

I'd like to see a basic GUI + Firefox (RPi3B+) version, ready to copy to disk with dd. :)
AMD, ARM, & Intel.

Offline Paul_123

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 07:23:52 AM »
Its been a while since I've heard from him too.  Last contact was in February, he was busy with work.  Hope that is still the case.

Most of what you mentioned are safe to copy from 9.x to 10.x.   The main exceptins are extensions with openssl or ncurses dependencies, as those all need rebuilt. (Which I've done quite a few of them too)  I have no idea about X, as I only deal with headless system.

10.x will likely remain in the 4.19.y kernel tree, and Raspbian update channels (As of May20) have this kernel.


Offline TimJ

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 01:29:15 PM »
Paul,

Thanks for your reply.

My main motivation is to get piCore running on a CM3 with 2 Pi cameras. They work fine under Rasbian 2019-04-08, but not under piCore 9x or 10x.

So I think to be safe my requirements are
   Kernel 4.14.98 or newer,
   Vidiocore firmware Mar 27 2019 or newer,
   Libraries (mainly ssl and ncurses) compatible with piCore 10beta5.

Do I just go ahead and do my own "private" release, or do we try and syhronise versions and thus benefit the community? If the latter it is not clear to me that there is any means of updating the website downloads area. For instance how do we get some of the compatible v9.x tcz copied to the v10.x area, that would be to everyone's advantage?

Regards

Tim.

Offline PDP-8

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2019, 03:34:53 PM »
First - many thanks and Kudos to Bela!  Outstanding job over the years.

But perhaps he is taking a well-deserved break.

Since we don't know the status, maybe your project would be better here in this section:

http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/board,43.0.html

I don't know and not speaking as any sort of mod.  I think your project would be very welcome, and maybe the only suggestion I would have is to incorporate some sort of "auto expansion" of the filesystem after first reboot.

You know, it's the thing many newbs get hung up on when in their excitement after first boot, don't expand the partition, and wonder why things aren't working as well as they should be. :)  Bela's docs and instructions are there, but I see this step getting missed by newbs a lot.


« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 03:36:34 PM by PDP-8 »
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline Zephyrus

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 07:32:31 PM »
The 9.0.3 version seems to run fine on my CM3, is the problem the second camera TimJ?

I've got a pretty solid set up going but it only has one camera. I did notice that when I had set it up wrong and had both cameras enabled it seemed to think both were connected.

Offline TimJ

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2019, 02:58:28 PM »
PDP-8

I agree with your comments, Bela certainly deserves a well earned break.

I have the greatest respect of Bela and the TinyCore team, I certainly don't want to start any disagreement or argument..

I just feel that piCore is on the point of dying and I, and I suspect others, need support for current Pi models.

I need to attempt something for my own use, so it makes sense to try and share it.

Tim

Offline TimJ

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 03:10:33 PM »
Zephyrus

Yes we have had several units in the field with 9.0.3 for 3-4 months without issue.

I reconfigured them for 2 camera (but still actually only using one) and they would run for about 52hrs then freeze. No CPU activity and all I/O pins in their power up state.

I tried a simple script taking an image every 3 secs using raspistill, and that ran for 2-3 hours then stopped in the same way. This simple scripts runs OK on the latest raspbian, so I am hopeful that it will run OK on piCore using the same videocore firmware and kernel.

In fact I am in a state to run this script so I will try tomorrow.


Online Rich

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2019, 05:38:22 PM »
Hi TimJ
... I tried a simple script taking an image every 3 secs using raspistill, and that ran for 2-3 hours then stopped in the same way. ...
That's 1200 per hour times 2 equals 2400 images. If each image is 300K, that's about 720 megabytes. If you are saving them to
/tmp  or a non-persistent  /home  you may be running out of RAM.

Offline TimJ

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2019, 01:13:07 AM »
Rich, a good suggestion, the symptoms are exactly those of running out of some re souse. I use copy2fs so everything in in tmpfs.  But I have checked for lack of memory. My simple scipt does delete the previous image before taking another.

The good news is that on my latest piCore image my script has been running for over 18hrs, and taken  over 27000 images, each one the full camera resolution, with a jpg size around 4.5Mbytes.

I suspect that the videcore firmware on 9.0.3 does not properly support 2 cameras.

Offline xor

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2019, 10:20:31 AM »
Rich, a good suggestion, the symptoms are exactly those of running out of some re souse. I use copy2fs so everything in in tmpfs.  But I have checked for lack of memory. My simple scipt does delete the previous image before taking another.

The good news is that on my latest piCore image my script has been running for over 18hrs, and taken  over 27000 images, each one the full camera resolution, with a jpg size around 4.5Mbytes.

I suspect that the videcore firmware on 9.0.3 does not properly support 2 cameras.

"SWAP" on "RAM" is unacceptable, there is a logic error!
http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,22922.0.html

Offline curaga

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2019, 10:34:21 AM »
Please stop double posting.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline TimJ

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Re: Where is Bela? - The future of piCore?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2019, 07:48:49 AM »
I have had zero feedback on how to progress the development of piCore, There seems to be a complete block on getting new versions of piCore or extensions onto the website.

I strongly feel that it would be an awful shame to just let piCore die, and it really is on its last gasp with no effective support for the current Pi released over a year ago. In fact it might well already be too late as I suspect many potential users have looked at the lack of support  and turned away. It would be really bad just letting all the hard work and effort Bela has put into it die

What I have done is setup a temporary website mirroring the main site as far as piCore 10.x is concerned. That way I can distribute my and other users new versions, changes and extensions.

It is definitely not my intention to create a split in this community or fall out with the existing moderators on here and my website WILL only be temporary. I would welcome some feedback from the moderators. If this project is successful I am sure there will be a way of integrating it back into the main site. If it fails it will just disappear leaving the existing site intact. So in some ways it is a neat risk free way forward.

Indeed I am paying for the webserver and it is on an introductory offer, I certainly don't intend to continue paying the full rate when the offer ends.

In use using a separate server is completely transparent as it is just a matter of setting the server's url in the file /opt/tcemirror.

I will say that I do not have Bela's expertise, knowledge or time, but I will give this a serious go. For it to be successful it will need to be a community project with others contributing. In particular all my use is headless, so I have little or no interest in X.

I will announce a new release of piCore in a separate thread.

Long live piCore!

Thanks for reading.

Tim.