Random SBC discussion (moved from OPi Zero thread)


atharmian
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IMHO, XR819 is killing the OPi0 golden goose...All else looks so perfect for the price !

 

Can't they just go back to RTL8189 in the next couple production batches? Will that make life easier? Ironic to hear that XR819 has its own ARM core- what good is the core?

 

What is the prospect of Xunlong offering a eMMC 4-8GB version of OPi0? SD cards are expensive and unreliable, plus can add an SD card drive for more memory.

 

And adding a power barrel to the $2 expansion board that is otherwise just what is needed, maybe make it $2.50?

 

My take: OPi0 v2 512MB, say $12-15, with RTL8189, 4-8 GB eMMC + $2.50 expansion board adding power barrel + Armbian OS = market winner.

 

Other GbE, NAS stuff can be taken care of on higher models. H3 has USB- SATA bottleneck.

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Donate and support the project!

Steven sounds to me a pretty smart cookie.

In our emails from last week he talked about a "new version" (OPi0 version?) coming out in about a month, so we'll see. He said he didn't have info on the leaked NAS board.

 

But...it's really frustrating to see smart China vendors thinking they can produce good but cheap HW and make volunteers do all the software work; and on top experiment with just inexcusable things like XR819 for widely adopted RTL8189 that is already working on their own well selling models.

 

I look at CHIP, using Allwinner chip, which hired Free Electrons to do the mainlining ( apparently done since June), even though the HW is old. But CHIP also had the sense to add good WiFi/ BT and recognize that SD cards are a pain, so voila ! 4GB eMMC.

 

Yes CHIP has other issues compared with OPi0 ( no Eth port/ PoE, single core A13, no cheap expansion board with extra ports, etc), but they will sell, keep upgrading features and build the market hype. Still cheap enough. Pretty much like the non production RPi0.

 

I still hope they go back to RTL8189: they already have those tested designs, or maybe put in quietly on a v2 $2.50-3 expansion board for now. Who imagined WiFi would become a bottleneck for no good reason?

 

Don't see other problems with OPi0 for the $7/9 price, only upgrade opportunities like v2 proposed.

 

Otherwise by the time patches arrive, OPi0 will have been forgotten as a niche/ failed product with much potential.

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sftp: (standing nearby)

 

You call an sftp transfer a 'benchmark'? There's encryption involved and ciphers are autonegotiated so maybe the whole stuff is bottlenecked by encryption running on a single CPU core? SFTP is the last thing that can be used for throughput tests.

 

inexcusable things like XR819 ... But CHIP also had the sense to add good WiFi/ BT and recognize that SD cards are a pain, so voila ! 4GB eMMC.

 

OMG. This will be the last time I look into to this absolutely damaged thread.

 

Why do you call RTL8723BS 'good'? It's the same cheap and low performing crap like other RealTek modules (eg. 8189ES/FS as used on some OPi). Why do you call 4 GB raw NAND 'eMMC'? Why do you flood this forum constantly with marketing BS?

 

My last words regarding WiFi with OPi Zero. For reasonable use cases WiFi should work ok-ish (used as an IoT node that sends some data from time to time). It's a shame that this thread is flooded with speculations only and no real data. Regarding drivers this should be taken into account: https://irclog.whitequark.org/linux-sunxi/2016-12-27#18500647;

 

All that is now known about the upgraded 'Zero 2' you can find here: https://irclog.whitequark.org/linux-sunxi/2016-12-17#18435157; (AP6212 is also slow crap, this time from Ampak. No MIMO, single antenna, 2.4 GHz only)

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tkaiser,

 

I am asking quite significant questions given many of your own comments about XR819...Clearly many other quite tech folks don't necessarily agree with you either.

 

What I do see is this amazing lack of transparency with xr819 Armbian support !

 

You want to scream about accuracy re: some benchmarks, but what kind of benchmark is "ok-ish"?

 

When did I talk about different RTL models except say I would like to see 8189 vs xr819 comp, given someone said 8189 is the wifi chip for other than Zero OPi models.

 

I call 4GB as eMMC because tons of other folks say so. What counter argument do you have which majority folks will agree with you on?

 

I still don't get your morbid fascination with 2MB SPI NOR which still does nothing very useful in practise. But I still want to ask questions, not reach quick judgement.

 

My marketing bullshit or your tech hype? What BS have I offered so far except ask very legitimate tech questions that really few people seem to address...Can you give me any examples of my marketing BS??? Am I promoting any vendor product except OPi itself?

 

If you have a legitimate gripe against my OPi0 v2 wish list, say so. Don't pretend it's bullshit.

 

Re:" all that is known about Zero Plus 2..." Well maybe Xunlong knows a bit more, including some guy named Steven? " All" here arguably is a bullshit construct here on your part.

 

I keep saying OPi + Armbian OS has the best price/performance so that is what excites me.

 

Now, do you have specifics on WiFi speeds on Zero and other models ? Do you know if any supports WiFi Direct or Miracast as host?

 

Or should I assume your bullshit OK-ish is a logical, tech focused answer, as opposed to your plain BS?

 

Let's be honest...Despite many good volunteer efforts including your own, we don't have a "mainline" Armbian OS yet for Allwinner. But nothing wrong with that.

 

And yes it is true that CHIP has pulled ahead in the market given its paid tech savvy and market PR. Problem as I said is that OPis are exploiting volunteers to their own long term detriment. Now can you show this claim to be marketing bullshit too? I call it common sense.

 

I remember your recent remark about making the distro updates more consumer friendly. You should think same about answering other serious questions.

 

PS. My and hmartin's PoE discussions did result in updating the OPi0 linux-sunxi sunxi page. So useful things can happen with a cool head or two.

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What I do see is this amazing lack of transparency with xr819 Armbian support !

Why it's about Armbian suddenly? It's not an official Orange Pi OS distribution, so it depends on vendor provided sources  or on mainlining efforts. And I would prefer not to talk about "transparency" with all wireless modules that require closed-source firmware (this includes most if not all Realtek devices)

 

I call 4GB as eMMC because tons of other folks say so. What counter argument do you have which majority folks will agree with you on?

eMMC != NAND in many ways. If you don't know what the differences are, please simply call it "the onboard storage". I don't want to create confusion for other users since NAND support is much more compilcated and MLC NAND support is not even mainlined yet.

 

I still don't get your morbid fascination with 2MB SPI NOR which still does nothing very useful in practise. But I still want to ask questions, not reach quick judgement.

If it does nothing for you then please simply ignore it. If I understand it correctly, OPi Zero boards (at least one of two variants) is now shipped with soldered SPI flash and it didn't affect the proce.

 

My marketing bullshit or your tech hype? What BS have I offered so far except ask very legitimate tech questions that really few people seem to address...Can you give me any examples of my marketing BS??? Am I promoting any vendor product except OPi itself?

This:

But CHIP also had the sense to add good WiFi/ BT and recognize that SD cards are a pain, so voila ! 4GB eMMC.

Any wireless chip can be good or bad depending on a use case and a price. If stability issues with XRadio will be resolved, then it will offer wireless connectivity for an IoT node - which it is's main purpose for this board and for its price. And I can't understand people who start benchmarking this type of wireless chips or even think about using it for a desktop/multimedia purpose.

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zador,

 

Thanks for pointing out many things.

 

1. By lack of transparency with XR819 I meant some speed/ features which actually were recently posted on this thread.

 

2. I didn't call eMMC NAND. But there are many other very tech folks saying so online. Like calling many functions collectively as GPU. Yes lots of confusion- no right or wrong here.

 

3. Exactly what I said about SPI flash now included. I am not criticizing anyone - it might be useful in the future.

 

4.Why is this CHIP with seemingly better WiFi / BT marketing hype? Can you disprove it , or isn't this just one of those subjective assessments as above???

 

In sum, Armbian/ sunxi does a lot of good work for FREE. And thus competing with paid contribution is hard! Now isn't this a fact?

 

May I suggest that Armbian forum post a monthly update with relevant links and a short summary so everyone is on the same page, as opposed to milling around different threads and getting confused?

 

If you read my posts in all, I am trying to help. I truly believe in OPi/0 more than CHIPs, Pine, RPi/0. There is a reason why the world chose Steve Jobs over Steve Wozniak ( not to say I am Jobs)- it's called the Market, and it acts in its own way and it wants out-of-box operation. Or you get to be IWoz.

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4.Why is this CHIP with seemingly better WiFi / BT marketing hype? Can you disprove it , or isn't this just one of those subjective assessments as above???

But is it a better Wi-Fi or just a better marketing? I'm not paying much attention to the C.H.I.P. board itself, but since it is mainline oriented, you get all benefits of using an up to date mainline kernel driver for this wireless chip, but if you search this forum for hostapd or monitor mode related problems, you will see that people here are not happy about Realtek hardware and drivers in general.

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May I suggest that Armbian forum post a monthly update with relevant links and a short summary so everyone is on the same page, as opposed to milling around different threads and getting confused?

 

Sounds great. When will you be publishing the first monthly update?

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zador,

 

That's exactly the point- mainlining. Isnt that what this forum is also doing?

 

How do you argue with it regardless of actual tech merit, or general Realtek problems? IMHO, people will always complain. But you need to be just good enough in most categories and excel in a couple ones you can then hype.

 

Again the market speaks :)

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hmartin,

 

1. If I had the long term background of folks making significant volunteer contributions (cheers to all), I would volunteer too.

 

The other problem: as ex engineer, I know we are terrible at documentation anyway ( communication) so a lot of good work gets lost !

 

Btw, tkaiser said similar in those discussions with Igor about structuring distro updates: about being more consumer friendly.

 

2. [Just realized you edited out your 2nd point.]

 

You are exactly right: you did the update as the guy in charge with access and I asked the questions. But you do realize asking questions is half the job?

Some dimwit had to do it, and then it became much more easier to understand for all.

 

I didn't take credit for the edit. Merely said that listening with some patience can be productive.

 

Thanks again for helping folks understand the real nature of PoE support with OPi0.

 

The amazing thing is that passive PoE is so simple to implement, yet so rare. Who needs expensive 802.3af/at PoE when a cheap buck converter gets the job done ( yes, pointed by tkaiser.)

 

In the end we got to admit some facts.

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1. If I had the long term background of folks making significant volunteer contributions (cheers to all), I would volunteer too.

 

The other problem: as ex engineer, I know we are terrible at documentation anyway ( communication) so a lot of good work gets lost !

 

I'm an engineer by education and profession and somehow I manage to give useful answers to your questions.

 

2. You are exactly right. But you do realize asking questions is half the job? I didn't take credit for the edit. Merely said that listening with some patience can be productive.

 

You're right, how silly that I forgot the questions are the most important part of anything.

 

Who here wants to fix the XR819 WiFi driver so it doesn't suck?

 

Who wants to get it into mainline?

 

Whew, glad I asked these important questions so other people know what to do now.

 

In the end we got to admit some facts.

 

Yes, you are suggesting that we do extra work for you. You "suggest" that we write a monthly update, but won't spend your own time to do it.

 

You might find we're a bit more open to helping you if you contributed more than just questions.

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In sum, Armbian/ sunxi does a lot of good work for FREE. And thus competing with paid contribution is hard! Now isn't this a fact?

 

Ah, now I got your point. Since we (the community) are 'competing' with commercial entitites and we do our work for free it can't have any value or be as good as 'paid contribution'. Now I understand why you're thinking the stuff community does is worse compared to paid jobs (you're good in blindly adopting marketing BS even if you seem to have no clue about the nature of Open Source development)

 

Again the market speaks :)

 

Yes, and by letting your f*cking market trashtalking all the time this thread has now 10 pages with all real information got lost somewhere on the first pages. I would love to see the market shutting up now forever (at least here in Armbian forum!)

 

I didn't call eMMC NAND. ... no right or wrong here.

 

 

You called NAND eMMC which is plain wrong. Could you please stop flooding this forum with misleading assumptions and all this useless and stupid valuations?!

 

No one so far correctly benchmarked OPi Zero WiFi, we got only a lot of confusing feedback and still have no clue what the issues with this WiFi chip or the various drivers are. Doing such a benchmark correctly is not that easy and time consuming and as Zador already said it's stupid anyway to even try to benchmark this el cheapo WiFi crap (this applies to all these single antenna, non-MIMO, 2.4 GHz only crap chips on all the cheap SBC around)

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That's exactly the point- mainlining. Isnt that what this forum is also doing?

This forum mostly solves random issues, with 50% being SD card related problems (SD cards are not the problem, but cheap/fake/malfunctioning SD cards are), 20% being power supply issues (powering a board from a PC USB port or with a crappy phone charger for some reason sounds like a good idea for an average user), another 20% being the problem with blind spots, which for some reason affect only documentation and search buttons/links, and what's left is actual problems or requests. If there is any time left after this, it can be spent on mainlining, assuming that after dealing with previous issues you still want and can do it.

 

Edit 22.01.2017 for people that are quoting me here, on cnx-software, etc.

I am talking specifically about issues - end user problems where images don't work at all or don't work as expected. Other forum posts - questions, HW discussions and even off-topic posts don't go into the mentioned percentage because they don't usually require specific attention from any developers - there "community support" can shine at its best - users that are more experienced in some topics can help other users. And SD card and wireless quality "issues" can't be solved in reality - people will still buy the cheapest stuff they can find and will believe in marketing provided specifications.

Edited by zador.blood.stained
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hmartin,

 

I am doing what my skill set allows me to do- I am neither a HW or SW guy, but have been and am a product manager. And I do see some product questions need to be asked here.

 

Btw, that monthly report is in the best time/effort interests of contributors themselves- less questions, more work.

 

Tkaiser says that xr819 work OK ish, a very technical reply, so how do you dare say the driver sucks ? ;)

 

You don't have to do everything I ask. When does that ever happen? If you have an answer, great; if not, you can pay attention elsewhere. Volunteering is just about that. You can always find a paid gig and maybe do better- exactly the case I see with Free Electron guys bring hired by CHIP, and CHIP zooming.

 

I detect the NIH syndrome here re: CHIP. But I thought Armbian also targeted CHIP.

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Btw, that monthly report is in the best time/effort interests of contributors themselves- less questions, more work.

 

Thanks for telling us what's in our best interest. And here I thought we were doing pretty well...

 

I am doing what my skill set allows me to do- I am neither a HW or SW guy, but have been and am a product manager. And I do see some product questions need to be asked here.

 

I'm not sure you understand how open source development works...

 

Sales: We're not selling anything, so we don't really need sales.

 

Product management: Since we're not selling anything, so we don't really need someone to stand on a soap box and tell us what to do.

 

Engineers: Design the hardware, write the software, write documentation for the hardware and software.

 

So if you want to help by writing documentation, or software, then we will welcome your contributions. But no one wants, needs, or asked for a product manager, so don't be surprised when we don't welcome this with open arms. I get enough of PM crap in my 9-5 job.

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zador + tkaiser,

 

You guys get me all wrong. Hard doesn't mean worthless !

 

I think you completely ignored what I keep saying about your contributions. Do you have some kind of weird filter on ???

 

Open source is great...I promoted it at my employers and then startups.

 

Again: Nothing wrong with volunteering. But the real burden is unfairly shifted to you volunteers, by those who make/lose the money. Sure your contributions are valuable. But your own stress shows that it is a tough job, and startups like CHIP who walk the talk can best the other Pis that don't.

 

Do you understand now?

 

When there are random subjects, clearly there would be random questions. Just ignore those you don't like.

 

All you had to say upfront was what you guys are saying here- that most that stuff is crap and not worth paying much attention. OK !

 

And if you tech guys are so confused, where does this lead your readers? Ever thought of that besides making your selective arguments?

 

So bottom line is what ? You guys are volunteering for Sisyphian tasks?

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hmartin,

 

Now you got touchy. Who said you need a product manager boss??? How many fuc**ng times have I said I appreciate all you guys's volunteer work? Are you that thick ???

 

I explained my POV which is as good or bad as anyone else's. Stop complaining and reading me selectively.

 

If you were doing pretty well you wouldn't have so many same questions without good answers.

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Hmm...So eMMC cannot be called NAND?

 

WTF?! Please stop posting here, it's really annoying how you managed to destroy this whole thread. You called the raw MLC NAND (cheap and unreliable!) on the CHIP eMMC (more expensive) which is just wrong. It's ok if you don't get the differences between both technologies but please stop spreading BS all the time.

 

In case you want to learn the differences look here: https://events.linuxfoundation.org/sites/events/files/slides/brezillon-mlc-nand_0.pdf

 

We only try to keep forum readable.

 

@Igor: how can we stop this? This thread was about progress with OPi Zero and has now been completely destroyed by flooding it with untrue statements ('good' WiFi on the CHIP and other non-sense) and marketing BS / stupid comparisons from hardware vendor's perspective.

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Hmm...So eMMC cannot be called NAND?

 

https://www.datalight.com/solutions/technologies/emmc/comparing-emmc-to-other-flash-media

 

Just like technically speaking XR819 is OKish, but well, it is also just confusing and crap, like all other cheap SBC wifi chips. But then, hey, why can't they put expensive WIFi on cheap SBCs???

 

 

NAND is specific type of flash device. eMMC is a system made of a few chips / devices - and could contain any kind of storage that fits into the physical specifications allowed. If you can't work out the difference, spend some time reading up on SW and HW, and there come back and comment.

 

As for your comments on Wifi, perhaps you could go and read around a little before complaining about what is done here.

 

BTW, I have only been doing engineering 31 years, so I could be wrong. Oh, and if you want to call people "thick", perhaps instead you should get off that "product management" horse and do a proper job instead - I have fired more people with your attitude than I care to remember.

 

@tkaiser, @zador.blood.stained, @hmartin - I'm so inflamed by this thread that I feel compelled to make a generous donation.

Keep up the good work guys!

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I still don't get your morbid fascination with 2MB SPI NOR which still does nothing very useful in practise.

Maybe you didn't know yet, but more than a month ago, I've succeeded booting from USB drive by flashing this SPI NOR with a U-Boot-SPL.

Since then, Armbian build is providing such functionalities, only missing thing is a Tutorial+scripts for easy installation.

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Thank you :)

 

So 'Orange Pi Zero Plus' comes with a single Cortex-A5 core and 256 MB LPDDR2 and will be completely incompatible to the Zero or all other OPi. Some more details: http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/09/27/orange-pi-zero-and-orange-pi-i96-96boards-iot-edition-boards-coming-soon/

 

The 'OrangePi Zero Plus 2' looks a bit more interesting (according to this H5 without Ethernet but with eMMC and WiFi/BT, the latter most probably AP6212)

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Lots of flaming here and I only discovered the thread just now by accident...No email alerts, but that's OK.

 

1. Martin, I think your contributions were simply lost. I never said useless, just not useful NOW + with future potential.

 

Also you keep saying a Tut is needed, and another guy says it is already available??

 

Btw, what additional functionality do we gain now with the 2MB NOR + your code, for my own lessening of confusion...except with external USB/ netboots?

 

2. Spock, calm down. I plan on making a contribution myself. I called the guy thick when he kept ignoring my point about a lot of good work here.

 

I believe some you guys should read better. Listening is a big problem. And if I forced you to make a contribution, that is a good step too.

 

But then, why could you not make this contribution already, in a calmer state of mind? Something to do with your engineering management?

 

3. The eMMC + NAND thing was best explained by zador, who said to call it onboard memory. Which is exactly what users care- onboard vs other (SD card, for instance.)

 

Most talk about eMMC being NAND/not is loose in the industry with qualifiers, and thus see zador from earlier. But for someone to say that eMMC cannot ever be (managed) NAND is plain ridiculous.

 

Let's focus on what this all means to the end user ! Hopefully this won't be labeled by the insecure as marketing bullshit :)

 

4. For some strange reason, my wish list for v2 OPi0 got viewed as an attack on someone else's "Wiki" on the yet unreleased Zero Plus/2, supposedly the next Zero version; and which clearly has nothing to do with the Zero today. And guess who says that now?

 

Now that is marketing bullshit !!!

 

5. Again, as the great sunxi himself said: Embrace your (fr)enemy (CHIP), not oppose. Let's acknowledge they did a great job and Armbian OS+ OPi can do even better.

 

This has been my bet all along.

 

6. zador mentioned 50% of Forum discussion is about (bad) SD card problems, maybe 20-30% about power.

 

What a waste of talent and time ...Ever thought about it, seriously?

 

That tells me eMMC is not a bad idea and regardless of how crappy that guy calls it, the same guy has written tomes on how bad a lot of SD cards are ! OPi and other SBC vendors must have a good reason to use eMMC on their "Plus" models.

 

So let's stop calling it crap.

 

Just as for xr819 which the same guy says now is really no better/worse than AP6212 or RTL8189, except that the XR driver has problems ( hopefully to be fixed by Martin in a month?)

 

Cheap SBCs will have cheap parts, but they can be optimized as we all know. So there should be less effort on SD card and power posts, and more on ???

 

If you really want to argue, don't do it selectively. You are the majority here, and it is your Forum after all.

 

But be OPEN.

 

PS. I see you folks are fascinated, writing all these posts. I got your attention.

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