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chwe

Improve 'Support over Forum' situation

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10 hours ago, Igor said:

Perhaps we can make a quiz after all :) It does the job: "promote members to a group when they reach a specific rank in the quiz"
https://invisioncommunity.com/files/file/8381-quizzes/

 

@tkaiser Would you like to design this member evaluation quiz? :D Even if we have only this quiz its worth the trouble.

 


Well, some people would want to know more and some explanation must be present.

I think mod approval should still be a thing, it's not meant to replace our work as mods. It should be stupid simple quiz asking the bare minimum questions that covers the most irritating topics. I agree, @tkaiser would be perfect to choose what this consists of :P Like 3-5 questions. Some might even only have one answer xD Perhaps more quizzes could be added later on, for ranks which comes with digital incentives. w/e.
 

@TonyMac32 The quiz isn't meant to keep out bots. It's meant to force consumers to engage with the absolute Armbian basics in the most preschool of ways. 


@zador.blood.stained "better designed toubleshooting page in the documentation." This is true, but again. The quiz idea is mentioned to weed out the pompous loonies who post without grasping the basics. Especially those who aren't even going to read the troubleshooting page. The quiz, in my mind should forcefully, very briefly, engage the consumer. I agree that, that group of people might be slim to none comparatively. More experienced Mods would be more familiar with this than me.

@Igor IF we ever decide to go the quiz route, I'll put my money where my mouth is and donate for a year (for the quote in your link) or I'll look into a MacGyver'd, free, alternative. I'm good at that ;D I take it the link you provided, is a quiz feature that directly hooks into the Armbian forum software? If that's the case, I'll throw down the scratch.

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I think the idea of the quiz is more harmful than the quiz itself.  "Who are these guys to put barriers in the way?" etc.  In general it comes across as unfriendly, snobbish, unwelcoming.

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Quiz can be used as a general educational tool better tailored (than docs) for today's "quick sweep" generation. But this brings regular work on a long term ... 

 

That's why I don't want to dismiss the idea, even it might not be the right way for the initial purpose - to force newbies to answer some basic questions, before they are able to post questions in "Technical support" area ... concerns from @TonyMac32 seems real.

 

2 hours ago, StuxNet said:

is a quiz feature that directly hooks into the Armbian forum software


Yes, it should be hassle free install. 

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15 hours ago, Igor said:

Added yet another link - directly to "Getting started". @pfeerick I hope words are not too harsh ? :)

 

No complaints here from the peanut gallery! :lol: 

 

1 hour ago, TonyMac32 said:

I think the idea of the quiz is more harmful than the quiz itself.  "Who are these guys to put barriers in the way?" etc.  In general it comes across as unfriendly, snobbish, unwelcoming.

 

Agreed. Now, if we make it so it's a quiz like 1) have you read the documentation yet 2) no, really, HAVE YOU READ THE DOCUMENTATION? 3) are you using a good microSD card (read here if you're not sure what to answer) 4) is your power supply setup a good one? (read if here if you're not sure what to answer) 5) is this an official armbian image and 6) you consent to being locked in a room with tkaiser for an hour if you are found to not have answered any of the questions truthfully and correctly (ok, maybe not that last question/condition) and they have to answer that before their first post to into the technical support section, I might be for it... sort of ;).

 

You might gather from how I'm not taking the questions too seriously I'm with Tony on that one... nice in principle, but I think it's too unfriendly and unwelcoming. But it doesn't mean it shouldn't be an option to be considered, I just don't see the need just yet. Lets see how we go with the other banners once we get the text nailed down, and go from there?

 

 

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38 minutes ago, pfeerick said:

1) have you read the documentation yet 2) no, really, HAVE YOU READ THE DOCUMENTATION? 3) are you using a good microSD card (read here if you're not sure what to answer) 4) is your power supply setup a good one? (read if here if you're not sure what to answer) 5) is this an official armbian image

 

The people who read the documentation aren't those opening new threads for well known problems. So what is the only possible answer to 1) and 2)? Obviously 'no'.

 

Now let's start to turn this into something useful. A quiz for the audience here asking the question 'Why do people do not read 'the documentation'... and how can we improve on that?' IMO for a novice there are VERY GOOD reasons to miss reading 'the documentation' (since it's not made for them and literally being inaccessible).

 

Wrt 3) and 4) I think a subforum with 'SD card and power supply issues' is the best idea. As soon as it turns out to be just another of these issues the thread can be moved to this forum so this will also be a nice collection of 'success stories' we can link to. Reading through success stories is more fun than being confronted with 'told you so!' especially in a 'me vs them' forum situation IMO.

 

Wrt 5) IMO we need to improve on making clear which images are supported and which not. In a way the target audience will it also get (the target audience is people desperately wanting to try out a new device ignoring walls of text)

 

IMO the basic problem is this: there are basically 10 kind of users: those who are able to extract information from large amounts of data (eg. walls of text) and those who don't. The former group might also understand the lame binary joke and these are the people writing 'the documentation' and everything else that represents Armbian to the outside. The latter group are those we try to address. How should this work?

 

Back at the days when macOS was Mac OS (non Unix) I tried to understand why some of the Mac admins back then hated Unix/Linux so much. Simple test: interpret dmesg/syslog. If you literally read this stuff you're lost. That's what happened to them (unfortunately for them few years later Mac OS turned into OS X ;) )

 

These people are not stupid, just somewhat different compared to a dev and BTW the majority of people on this planet. By adding specific devices last year to our list of supported devices we attracted automagically a lot more of these people. IMO there are only two ways to deal with that: revert back to where we were 2 years ago (dropping support for all cheap boards immediately) or trying to deal with this user group in an appropriate way.

 

Speaking of consensus, user groups and adding something new 'to our list of supported devices': https://github.com/armbian/build/commit/89a6cc3e1fc88c399201c7c801dfdbb5ea53b2e6 (seems I missed another 'Board Bring Up' discussion, right?)

 

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4 hours ago, Igor said:

to force newbies to answer some basic questions, before they are able to post questions in "Technical support" area

If newbies (or rahter let's call it "the most problematic user group") can't post in "Technical support" before passing the quiz test, they'll post in other forum sections because they are too smart to pass any tests and their time costs too much to spend time on this useless crap </sarcasm>

 

2 hours ago, pfeerick said:

Agreed. Now, if we make it so it's a quiz like 1) have you read the documentation yet 2) no, really, HAVE YOU READ THE DOCUMENTATION? 3) are you using a good microSD card (read here if you're not sure what to answer) 4) is your power supply setup a good one? (read if here if you're not sure what to answer) 5) is this an official armbian image and 6) you consent to being locked in a room with tkaiser for an hour if you are found to not have answered any of the questions truthfully and correctly (ok, maybe not that last question/condition) and they have to answer that before their first post to into the technical support section, I might be for it... sort of ;).

We are talking about "good" SD cards and "good" power supplies, but IMO the current explanation about what is good and what is bad in this SBC world is not good enough to point our users to. That's why I would prefer to improve the docs first (I made some notes for myself and I'll try to finish it by the end of this week)

 

1 hour ago, tkaiser said:

Wrt 3) and 4) I think a subforum with 'SD card and power supply issues' is the best idea. As soon as it turns out to be just another of these issues the thread can be moved to this forum so this will also be a nice collection of 'success stories' we can link to. Reading through success stories is more fun than being confronted with 'told you so!' especially in a 'me vs them' forum situation IMO.

Agree, IMO it should be located in "Technical support/Common" section

 

1 hour ago, tkaiser said:

Speaking of consensus, user groups and adding something new 'to our list of supported devices': https://github.com/armbian/build/commit/89a6cc3e1fc88c399201c7c801dfdbb5ea53b2e6 (seems I missed another 'Board Bring Up' discussion, right?)

WIP is not "supported" (especially when there are no prebuilt images and when this target doesn't compile at all yet) and is used to evaluate current software and hardware situation, so you didn't miss anything.

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1 hour ago, tkaiser said:

These people are not stupid, just somewhat different compared to a dev and BTW the majority of people on this planet.

 

The latter group are those we try to address. How should this work?

 

That's my perspective on this, and why I said some stuff needs to be built into Armbian. The viewpoint of the non-devs is simple... it should operate just like their old VCR. Like the original ones that just had play, fast forward, rewind, stop, and eject buttons. Not like the ones that had a million and one buttons, and could do everything from chroma editing to transition effects to audio redubbing. And needed a small encyclopedia to drive them. These are are the normal people, which is why they need stuff to be written in plain English and digestible format, with pictures and even videos where practical. 

 

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1 hour ago, tkaiser said:

Speaking of consensus, user groups and adding something new 'to our list of supported devices': https://github.com/armbian/build/commit/89a6cc3e1fc88c399201c7c801dfdbb5ea53b2e6 (seems I missed another 'Board Bring Up' discussion, right?)

 

Elaborating again on this (since I think it's pretty stupid discussing how to improve support situation here if we add support nightmares there). Maybe I missed it but I've not seen all relevant developers joining the discussion about mandatory 'Board Bring Up' discussion threads and I fear we miss here a consensus?

 

I'm not talking specifically about K2 (though a 'use case' would be interesting since it's essentially the same as an ODROID-C2 plus Wi-Fi/BT) since here we speak about a vendor not behaving like an idiot. NanoPi K2 is fully supported by the vendor: technical documentation, schematics, sources all available, since SoC vendor Amlogic pays BayLibre currently the board might run even with mainline kernel soon. All reasons I would vote for K2 support immediately if asked.

 

I'm talking about Micro USB support nightmares like BPi M2 Berry: http://www.cnx-software.com/2017/06/28/banana-pi-bpi-r2s-u-boot-linux-4-4-source-code-mediatek-mt7623n-datasheet-released/#comment-543450

 

The company's CEO made it pretty clear that he's not able to understand why 'technical documentation, schematics, sources all available' might matter (asking for that considering 'an attack'), he also proofs not being able to understand why Micro USB is wrong especially when designing something that will be sold to Raspberry Pi users suggesting them to use inappropriate powering. The vendor is renowned since community did their work in the past while community at the same time being actively hindered supporting them (the missing 'technical documentation, schematics, sources' part they don't get).

 

Community helping irresponsibly acting vendors helps them selling their hardware and improving their reputation (see my and @wtarreau's opinion on that) so how will Armbian deal with that: @Lion Wangwill send some dev samples + some cash and we help them playing their irresponsible game further or will there be a proper 'Board Bring Up' discussion happening most probably refusing to support any new hardware from them until they improve (the missing 'technical documentation, schematics, sources' part they don't get)?

 

(yeah, I know, I'm the one who should be called brain damaged retard since I still didn't give up on them. I still hope they are able to improve)

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I'll shush for a while so we get some other voices here in the conversion, but let me be the first to say Thomas, you're a brain damaged retard for hoping (in my opinion against all hope) that somebody might listen and actually do something about it. But no, they insist on making excuses, and saying that they're doing a good job. And you know what I think we should do... boycott all the way until they learn the error of their evil ways.

 

I don't think you missed any discussions on the forum, as I didn't see anything either, but who am I to argue with the boss. But then again... unsupported WIP, and new toys... :D

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6 minutes ago, tkaiser said:

(yeah, I know, I'm the one who should be called brain damaged retard since I still didn't give up on them. I still hope they are able to improve)

Regarding "giving up" - that's, for example, why I don't touch discussions related to some boards. If vendor makes bad boards with bad support, I don't care and I don't want to spend waste my time trying to improve them ("them" meaning both boards and their vendor) both as a person and as an Armbian developer. They are competing on an open market, so let the market and their customers decide if they are doing a good job or not. I'd better spend my time working on hardware interesting to me, that requires less efforts to improve due to better documentation and software situation to start with.

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34 minutes ago, pfeerick said:

These are are the normal people, which is why they need stuff to be written in plain English and digestible format, with pictures and even videos where practical.

 

No, more simple. Let's have a look at: https://www.armbian.com/pine64/ but looking through the eyes of a first time SBC user.

 

He might choose the right OS image, then when searching for device specific documentation he'll click on the obvious 'Documentation' link, where he's already lost. Searching for pine64 in the upper left search bar there only the changelog turns up, the next logical step is clicking on 'H5 and A64' which turns out to not be useful at all, so at this point he's already lost for being ever sent back again to 'Documentation' since personal experience: 'WTF?'.

 

The very small link to 'Getting started' at the top of the download page is of no use too (since users overlook it for sure), for software configuration issues he would need to click on the 'Hardware details' link (exactly same contents below in 'Notes' section as another huge wall of text), somewhere in between there's a small line of text telling 'it’s recommended to power the board through GPIO header' (Why?! There's neither a reason nor a link to an explanation --> only possible reaction: ignore this) and then somewhere in between is another wall of text called 'Known issues' easy to miss and at the very bottom of this page where no one ever will scroll to there's 'Quick start'.

 

Formally this can be called 'documentation' but in this shape it's only useable for those people not needing it anyway (Google-Fu blackbelts). When trying to look at Armbian from the outside it's obvious that this won't work. We discussed this already many times but it's useless since if we agree on an improvement, the next time an edit happens all of this starts over again. IMO these pages do only work if they're looked at always from the outside.

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8 minutes ago, tkaiser said:

Formally this can be called 'documentation' but in this shape it's only useable for those people not needing it anyway (Google-Fu blackbelts). When trying to look at Armbian from the outside it's obvious that this won't work. We discussed this already many times but it's useless since if we agree on an improvement, the next time an edit happens all of this starts over again. IMO these pages do only work if they're looked at always from the outside.

I stopped talking about download pages because AFAIK the current software implementation is just not flexible enough and not easy to change and adapt to all suggestions.

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Back in old VoIP, days I had found asking for the needed info at the start of tech post got the user off to a good start.

 

Having issues?
You need to provide us with these items for us to help.
Make model ver of board
Make model ver of SD card
Make model ver of power supply
Armbian Image used
Logs (You do know how to produce logs, right???)
What level of linux user / tech are you? New, Some skills , or Expert


As I am new to U-boot and running an OS off a sd card, and my linux skills are mostly forgotten (old age does than) as the last linux I used was Redhat / Centos from more than 10 years ago .... I would class myself  "some simple skills".

 

 

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lol... back in old voip days. ....When I was your age we only had 1 codec and it was lossless and without compression?

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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3 hours ago, zador.blood.stained said:

I stopped talking about download pages because AFAIK the current software implementation is just not flexible enough and not easy to change and adapt to all suggestions.


https://github.com/igorpecovnik/webpage

 

It did a lot of cleanup but still it's dirty. Perhaps it needs to be done from scratch. Essentially git clone + run.sh ... it makes cache files, which are included into Wordpress blog which handle those special tags and there is one bug with md parsedown library under php7 which results in some missing translation between md and html.

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On 29.6.2017 at 9:53 AM, tkaiser said:

These people are not stupid, just somewhat different compared to a dev and BTW the majority of people on this planet. By adding specific devices last year to our list of supported devices we attracted automagically a lot more of these people. IMO there are only two ways to deal with that: revert back to where we were 2 years ago (dropping support for all cheap boards immediately) or trying to deal with this user group in an appropriate way.

If they want not read stuff, give them more stuff to read. :D I did some tests with cheap USB chargers (bought two only for this test) and cables and thought I would publish it somewhere here in the forum. Cause I knew, that this would give a longer thread I collected all my data in Word (yeah, I'm normally a Windows user. :lol: ) and thought to copy paste everything when I'm finished.  During the collection of data, I thought why shouldn't make something like a 'white paper' out of it? If I jump into a new topic I'm always interested  in application notes or white papers. 

So, this is a draft (language has to cleaned up and some 'peer review' process should also been done before publishing it) about micro USB and what's to consider when using it. Maybe a set of such 'white papers' with common tasks, mistakes etc. about SBC could be something for armbian?

 

BTW: I started this test with four USB chargers, the 0.60$ one from china didn't survive the test...:wacko::lol:

unnamed.jpg

Powering throught micro USB.pdf

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23 hours ago, Xalius said:

@chwe, that is a nice idea, I will help with reviewing, but maybe it is better to start a new thread for this?

I'll only start with a new tread if others show the willingness to contribute to such a set of armbian related 'whitepapes'. I have several topics in my mind. Some where my knowledge isn't good enough and others where I need to much time to bring this on paper. Reviewers are needed but firstly, something to review has to be written :P. IMO it doesn't make sense to figure out a peer review process nor how we present this stuff if this is the only white paper ever written.

Some topics in my mind:

  • Raspberry user moves to Armbian
  • Mainline or Legacy (differences and knowledge needed to work on mainline)
  • Wlan on SBC (what is possible with the onboard wirelesschips?)
  • NAS 
  • etc. 

So, a lot of topics but more users have to jump in to get this to a successful story.

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I can contribute to this, I would recommend having a checklist for each SBC marking off what Armbian-related documentation has been completed.  People with specific hardware would of course have to step up, of course a lot of this stuff exists in piecemeal throughout the forums.  

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I finally made a copy past monkey work out of it and posted it in the forum. So if people want to keep this 'white paper' idea alive we could still do it, but as long as there's not enough manpower i'll left it in the forum (doesn't make sense to hide it)

 

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A nice read in regard to OSS and where it can improve.

 

We collected responses from 5,500 randomly sampled respondents sourced from over 3,800 open source repositories

 

Our goals

In today's digital world, open source software powers nearly all of our modern society and economy. Understanding the people who build, maintain, and use these projects is important to anyone concerned about the sustainability of open source, and the critical network of services and technologies that depend on it.

source: http://opensourcesurvey.org/2017/

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2 hours ago, tkaiser said:

Saves everyone a lot of time, efforts and trouble

How about, if we rewrite the documentation section or add a sdCard & Powersupply check-up section.

If a thread comes along like this - we (moderators) will write a message with a link to : sdCard & Powersupply check-up section.

 

a further note, until the original poster has not done the test and reported back here about his findings, every new answer in this thread will simply be deleted.

Beside writing a proper  sdCard & Powersupply check-up section  there isn't much to do.

 

bad idea ?

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1 hour ago, Tido said:

every new answer in this thread will simply be deleted.

Horrible idea (censorship). Spotting those boring 'underpowering' issues is a good idea, collecting all those [solved] threads in the repective subforum should happen all the time and yeah, when such new threads are started it should be simple link to this subforum so users can educate themselves.

 

IMO that's the whole purpose of this subforum: collecting a bunch of threads that are basically all the same so the collection allows new users to learn from others' mistakes already made.

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1 minute ago, tkaiser said:

Horrible idea (censorship)

You call it censorship - I call this forcing to help yourself.

Whereas with your idea you would brutally force everybody todo a burnin whether it is necessary or not.  Reminds me about using the whole SDcard eachtime although I don't want that.

 

In this regard, mine would apply to few, yours to all.

I already know which of the suggestion I would support.

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11 minutes ago, Tido said:

You call it censorship - I call this forcing to help yourself.

 

As soon as a moderator deletes here the first post I'm out. I dealt with so many morons already that are enabled to censor since they got moderator status somewhere and I can't stand it any more (people being dumb not understanding what others write and misusing their powers. It's as easy as this).

 

If people are reluctant to accept facts simply answer every new post of them with 'Please read $subforum first and answer our initial questions in post #2'. Such threads once they're marked as [solved -- SD card issue] can be moved to the specific subforum and make for a great read enabling the next users to learn from.

 

Also it seems you simply not understood what I proposed (not a burnin but simply CRASHING boards that are underpowered WITHIN SECONDS)

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If you had read and understood:

a further note, until the original poster has not done the test and reported back here about his findings, every new answer in this thread will simply be deleted.

 

I try to explain to you:

If Military does testing and put a warning in front of the area - you walk in anyway and die. Who is responsible ?

 

 

24 minutes ago, tkaiser said:

WITHIN SECONDS)

Aha, and if I have a proper PowerSupply, how long will your test run ?

And if Zador is right, what I think is quite reasonable, an error in your code would lead to bad experience - for nothing - because as I said before - just a few face this problem.

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2 minutes ago, Tido said:

If you had read and understood

 

Thanks for confirming. It's exactly that attitude why moderators who want to delete posts should not be moderators. 

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@Tido

If you think that a user didn't do his homework like using Etcher and trying a good power supply, IMO it's better to ignore posts/threads and move obvious hardware issues (for tested stable images) to the dedicated subforum, not delete them. If you delete something they may post the same thing again and again (happened already, even if you simply moved their thread to another subforum), and not giving an answer may give a person some time to think and search for a solution, and only if people complain that they think their problems are ignored they can be pointed to the power supply and SD card FAQ.

 

Again, it was discussed already - the only things that should be hidden or deleted are spam and duplicate posts. Anything else should be left as is, though sometimes you (as a moderator) can i.e. fix typos in the thread title to make the thread searchable in the future.

 

15 minutes ago, Tido said:

And if Zador is right, what I think is quite reasonable, an error in your code would lead to bad experience - for nothing - because as I said before - just a few face this problem.

IMO the main problem with this is that without a serial console you can't be 100% certain that it's the power supply stress test that caused the board to not boot. This doesn't mean that we don't need to implement the stress test, it just means that it may not be as effective solution for diagnosing boot problems as we want.

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17 minutes ago, tkaiser said:

As soon as a moderator deletes here the first post I'm out.

I delete posts... Double posts.. :D Can't be that serious every time.. 

IMO I'm not a fan of deleting posts. Only when we have sub forums (like development subforum where 'I d'love to see *random function" too' are just mess up the whole thread.  But this would need pointed out clearly in some sort of 'subforum rules'. Since this is probably not the opinion of majority here, I don't think it would ever be implemented...  (clearly a different topic).

I would like to see such a 'tool'. About implementation, I'm out cause lack in knowledge how and if somebody can design such a tool which is 'sharp enough' to kick out the badly powered ones but not 'too sharp'. If someone can program this, I would be glad to test it.  If it's possible to implement it via 'armbianmonitor' this is IMO the better opinion so that supporters can ask for 'give please the output of armbianmonior -u and armbianmonitor -'set of stress tests'. 

 

7 minutes ago, zador.blood.stained said:

IMO the main problem with this is that without a serial console you can't be 100% certain that it's the power supply stress test that caused the board to not boot. This doesn't mean that we don't need to implement the stress test, it just means that it may not be as effective solution for diagnosing boot problems as we want.

Maybe a 'how to deal with board doesn't boot properly up' how to should be written. Where the SD-Card and PSU stuff is repeated once.. And some recommendations about things you should have at hand when you start to trouble shoot your issue.  E.g you should have a multimeter, serial  console etc. at hand. I'm sure this would be still an other how to, which is not read by most of the people it belongs, but I'm still optimistic that parts of them will read it. :) 

 

Just as an example.. Over 50 registered people read my powering through micro USB thread... So, there are people which want to educate them self.. 

And for the others.. We should learn to live with ignorants, seems that this is not only a SBC related issue in those days... (This post ends as it starts.. not as serious... :P

 

btw. @Igor, since forum theme update the 'who read this topic' button disappeared. Is this a theme issue or just not activated anymore? In 'haze old' it's still available. 

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