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Failed platform. . .

Posted by gnexus 
Failed platform. . .
October 22, 2012 12:33AM
Due to lack of community support, and after careful discussion between the 3 founding community members, we regret to inform that the a10linux.org project has been suspended. The site has been discontinued, and all github accounts deleted.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 22, 2012 03:17AM
Outch! why so?
I will be glad to provide the server (not a mele a2000 ;-) and hosting if it could restart the service.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 22, 2012 08:43AM
The xbmc cedar project looks promising and I think that any mainstream support for the platform will be tied to the success of that project. And while there are many other promising and emerging platforms, If you don't need solid display drivers the a10 still makes an inexpensive and useful hobby platform.

Feel free to continue any a10 related discussions here. If anyone needs hosting for files < 100M, let me know and I'll be more than happy to provide space on this server.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 22, 2012 09:51AM
Quote

I will be glad to provide the server (not a mele a2000 ;-) and hosting if it could restart the service.

You should have stepped up to the plate before the decision was made. The appeal for hosting had been there since the site was posted.

Everything is deleted now. Final decision. We sold all our A10 devices over the weekend. No going back. . .

Quote

Outch! why so?

That's self-explanatory. See above. But to elaborate further:

Allwinner won't properly support the devices, and delivers incomplete and buggy Linux drivers and code.

Sellers of the devices are only in it to ride the coat tails of Raspi and make an easy profit. No community support.

Linux-sunxi developers (primarily Android devs it seems) fail to deliver adequate Linux support in a timely mannner.
They seem only to be in it to help Tom Cubie and Olimex to sell devices. A year later Rhombus is still out of the picture.

Allwinner still can't get another product out the door even after a full year. That is the case even with ARM doing all their design work. Their new quad-core SoC has not make it in time for tablet manufacturers to integrate it into their products for sale this Christmas. All other manufacturers release every 6 months, and have dual or quad core SoCs. Tablet manufacturers are discontinuing the use of A10/A13 due to poor performance and excessive power usage. The A10 is on it's last legs in tablets, and Allwinner is probably losing money now. There are other SoCs either already here, or on the way, that have better performance and better Linux support. Even if the quad-core SoC eventually arrives Linux support would be a year away. Linux developers and users would be better off sticking with Marvell and Nvidia, for example.

Most importantly - the community interest and user base is simply not there, as evidenced by this almost dead forum.

The a10linux.org site was started by me as a fun project. Then three other guys in my local LUG decided to help start an independent site. We made the decision then that if the site did not attract the community within a couple of months we would close it down. I wanted to give it to the end of the year. But to wait longer would be more problematic, as users would expect the site to be there. There have been tons of downloads, but the "community" was just not there. . .

It was not fun anymore. . . just a poor waste of time and bandwidth.

There are other sites with A1X information all over the place. LInux-sunxi is there for the profit makers. A10linux is not needed.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 22, 2012 10:37AM
Oh, and why the other LUG guys never posted here or there. In their words:

Quote
Aengus
Nach bhfuil muid go maith ag scríobh Béarla.

I'm sure that is the case with lots of A1X users ;)

In the words of the guy who has the hosting account, and made the "Guiness-inspired decision" to "rm -rf *" everything:

Quote
Caoimhghín
Is é an ardán cur amú ama.

Quote
Caoimhghín
Translation: The platform is a waste of time.

You can thank him for deleting all the Linux images, etc. . . I did not have the space on my laptop to make backups.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 22, 2012 10:57AM
one last thing. . .

Then, at the end of the closing party, finally we ran out of Guiness. So we had to sell our A10's to another guy to buy more.

Guiness is much more important for survival here than A10's. . . unfortunately it is also more expensive here than A10's.
ciquta
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 22, 2012 05:04PM
I disagree with gnexus opinion, maybe , I do think A10 is catching interest, the community is growing and more has yet to come.

Thank anyway, a10linux.org and your uboot patches were really helpful to me :)
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 23, 2012 01:06AM
Hi Gnexus,

Thanks anyway for your support of A10 linux. As i have said before, there is little help from A10 manufacturers on Linux driver/kernel support. The vendors are to be blamed, not you :-)
Inge
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 23, 2012 05:04AM
Anybody knows if there is a copy of Gnexus' latest uboot around somewhere after everything is burned to the ground?
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 23, 2012 09:35AM
From my humble point of view:
- a10linux.org done a great job with multi-uboot.
- deleting the github is just a waste.
- gnexus is just immature with his guiness story ;-) (at least it made me laugh and remember me some old times).
- gnexus's points on the "Failed platform" are fallacious and oriented. Just take a look to the Cubieboard and the still highly competitive price of the a10. It's not a race of performance (look at the RaspPi), it's a race of affordability and simplicity. It's not Tom's fault if he succeed to unify the community around his project... which is great.

At least, long life to Guiness !

Quote
Inge
Anybody knows if there is a copy of Gnexus' latest uboot around somewhere after everything is burned to the ground?

I have a copy of the multi-uboot on my laptop. I will make it available tonight for the spirit (no support from me).
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 23, 2012 03:00PM
Quote
Inge
Anybody knows if there is a copy of Gnexus' latest uboot around somewhere after everything is burned to the ground?

http://guillaumeplayground.net/a10linux-org-multi-uboot-backup/
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 23, 2012 04:35PM
Thanks for posting that guillame. It looks like it's just one config patch on top of the lichee-dev-ICS branch. To save anyone else having to download the entire archive, I've attached the patch to this post.

git checkout https://github.com/hno/uboot-allwinner.git
git checkout -b lichee/lichee-dev-ICS
wget http://forum.doozan.com/file.php?6,file=219,download=1 -O 0001-Enabled-the-MMC-subsystem-updated-the-default-enviro.patch
git apply 0001-Enabled-the-MMC-subsystem-updated-the-default-enviro.patch



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2012 04:37PM by Jeff.
Attachments:
open | download - 0001-Enabled-the-MMC-subsystem-updated-the-default-enviro.patch (11.9 KB)
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 23, 2012 07:17PM
hi,

gnexus, you're absolutely right that the chinese SOC makers have zero interest in mimicking the strategy of the likes of samsung or freescale, their objective quite understandably is to knock up a dirt cheap SOC based on older (cheaper) ARM licences .. knock out an android reference board and source and thats it .. pump it out to chinese manufacturers as cheap as possible in as vast a bulk as possible in as shorter space of time as possible ... theres nothing wrong with this thats their call and the way their top down "command" market works

and i totally agree with you about the obnoxious tin foil hat cowboys trying to make a buck out of the chinese SOC's on the back of the raspi's coat tails .. but hey so what ... the more competition the better ... the only issue i have is their constant trolling vitriolic hatred and jealousy of the raspi success at every opportunity .. pretty nasty really and rather pathetic

going back a year there was nothing sub $100 on the market boardwise that provided a cheap arm box with decent performance .. then came the pi to create a new market ... and all of a sudden the A10 based mele offered the opportunity of a cheap easily hackable linux headless device (i paid GBP40 incl postage from HK) ... as you get a nice boxed device with psu and sata drive caddy its a lot for the money still

yes the linux available for it is not the greatest but thanks to Guillaume's efforts SATA is finally working and my mele has replaced my aging hacked iconnect running 24/7 my squeezebox server/minidlna etc and running armhf has made a huge difference in squeezebox server performance .. so I'm happy with it for the money i paid .. great for headless servers but these single (and even dual) core ARM devices are really too slow for running a full fat GUI based linux distro IMHO

I would love eventually to get my sd card based uboot/kernel/rootfs up in to the nand (should be faster still then) once i'm happy the SD card base is stable and then do a rescue script of some kind to periodically back up my squeezeboxserver settings (squeezeboxserver is pretty poor in terms corrupting the settings) and i'm happy :-)

With the quad core Freescale iMX6's boards/sticks already out at sub $100 prices this sounds like todays way to go .. time waits for noone .. the A10 is dead as is the cubie board and the like ... long live the iMX6 ;-)

hopefully Jeff will have a section for the iMX6 as well in due course
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 23, 2012 07:22PM
Oh ! ;-)

I never tried to diff it.... this is odd. Gnexus claimed it was a highly modified uboot.

http://forum.doozan.com/read.php?6,9527,9622#msg-9622

Quote
gnexus
No. You are wrong. It is absolutely NOT forked from uboot-allwinner!

Where the hell did you get that idea? Have you even read the uboot-multi-allwinner wiki?

uboot-multi-allwinner is forked from lichee. It has absolutely no code from uboot-allwinner.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 24, 2012 12:13AM
hyena Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> With the quad core Freescale iMX6's boards/sticks
> already out at sub $100 prices this sounds like
> todays way to go .. time waits for noone .. the
> A10 is dead as is the cubie board and the like
> ... long live the iMX6 ;-)
>
> hopefully Jeff will have a section for the iMX6 as
> well in due course

Hi hyena, do you have links for these iMX6 boadrds/sticks? Thanks!
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 24, 2012 04:42AM
Quote
hyena
With the quad core Freescale iMX6's boards/sticks already out at sub $100 prices this sounds like todays way to go .. time waits for noone .. the A10 is dead as is the cubie board and the like ... long live the iMX6 ;-)

Bodhi,
Just google "i-mx6 board" -> http://wandboard.org/

Single Core, 512Mo ram: $69
Dual Core, 1Go ram: $89
Quad Core: no.

Still no board... and no shipping delay, seems to me the A10 and cubie board ($49) is the only thing really alive here ;-)

i.MX6 was announced in January for a high production in second half 2012.
One stick is available on aliexpress in quad core for $89. http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=i.mx6&catId=0&manual=y
ciquta
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 24, 2012 05:00AM
guillaume Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
Quote
Inge
> Anybody knows if there is a copy of Gnexus' latest
> uboot around somewhere after everything is burned
> to the ground?
>
>
> http://guillaumeplayground.net/a10linux-org-multi-
> uboot-backup/

Thanks!!! :)
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 24, 2012 05:36AM
Thanks guillaume!
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 24, 2012 09:15AM
Aaargh...
That's a bit of bad news gnexus... I do believe you are not taking into account the traffic and community that is present and also growing slowly.. Going by the arm-netbook ,linux-sunxi mailing lists (which I know you would have seen)

I believe that the kernel work would be fairly mature and the lima project would bring out a version by mid-December...
At which point it becomes so very feasible for Linux to be a very very nice OS for these devices....

There is the h6 arm netbook that can be run on linux instead of the factory android... (folks at rikomagic and cnxsoft have reported about it)
And that would be a very very good bet...
Firstly, this decision to stop the site *could* have been by first telling all the people subscribed to the lists! The work you guys have done is so much! At least we could have taken backups.

Fedora on these machines would still be so nice to have....
(If anyone does have a fedora rootfs/ image. Please pls... make it available even if for a day... I will be thankful to you guys... or else even instructions to build..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2012 09:21AM by johnsonc.
Inge
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 24, 2012 12:26PM
guillaume Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> http://guillaumeplayground.net/a10linux-org-multi-
> uboot-backup/

Thanks, Guillaume!

Inge
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 24, 2012 03:31PM
Quote
johnsonc
I do believe you are not taking into account the traffic and community that is present

We did take account of all of that. The traffic was certainly there - that was part of the problem - it was over 200GB in Sept. alone. But it was not a commercial site, and we refused to make it such. So the traffic was actually a negative as it prevents the site being hosted on a low-bandwidth connection. The community was not there - only 25 forum users, and no wiki editors or ANYBODY offering to help with the site, or the images, or the hosting, or anything. Two offers for forum moderator - but they were only from new users who knew nothing of the platform. Did not see you there, johnsonc, offering to help. . .

So at the party after closing Kevin's PC shop (he also failed to sell his €185,000 apt. for €35k at auction last week - top bid was €30k) we decided that, since Kevin could not host the site we would just close it down since there seemed to be little interest in it except for the leeches. Everything (including uboot), except the community, was available elsewhere.

I discontinued the DNS, but I did not expect Kevin to delete everything. . .

Quote
guillaume
deleting the github is just a waste.

Agreed. But it wasn't my account to decide. Kevin (Caoimhghín in Irish) posted the git, and did the hosting. When, due to the dead economy here, he had to close his computer shop, and thus the hosting account for the shop's site (and a10linux), he drunkenly wiped everything in the mistaken assumption that I had backups ("you ALWAYS do backups - right?" No! Only for my own stuff-not Linux stuff that is mostly all in debs.) I wasn't too happy about losing all my work. I called the hosting co. and they wanted $120/hr for many hours to get me a backup. So I said hell with it. I would let somebody else host the site if I had a backup. But I don't. BTW there were at least 15 forks of uboot-multi. The git must be out there somewhere. . . That is why Kevin deleted his account. He said he did not want responsibility and it would "nag on him" if he kept the git acct.

Quote
guillaume
Gnexus claimed it was a highly modified uboot.

No. I did not!

What I did say in your quote is correct. It is lichee - the original Allwinner code, and I stated that I tried many times to merge Lichee (which has NAND support and less broken code) and hno's crap. I had no success, even after a month of making diffs, because the code had changed too much. Thus I determined it was not possible to use any uboot-allwinner code. Lichee MMC merges but it needs more work to get a good SPL. So I decided to just use lichee with hno's SPL, and then hope that later on we could get the SPL to build with Lichee. But nobody else offered to help, and I don't currently have the time to rewrite the problematic code where it changes from static to relocatable. But, unlike hno's code, at least lichee has NAND support and thus is a good base to work on the SATA, USB and NET code. Just need more people to help, i.e community. . .

Quote
Jeff
It looks like it's just one config patch on top of the lichee-dev-ICS branch.

Close. The only change I managed to get done before the site was up was sun4i.h. Mainly just the env, but not only that, also some support for other uboot modules. I also had the MMC code from lichee merged into the ICS branch. But it still needed more work. I'll have to do a diff against lichee-dev-ICS to see if there were any other changes I can't remember.

The sun4.h for each version, MMC and NAND, is attached. That should be sufficient to build from lichee-ICS. Just copy respective file as sun4i.h into lichee-ICS. Use uboot-allwinner for the MMC SPL. The latest linux-sunxi uboot SPL should support devices with > 512 MB and different memory timings. But the best way to overcome the memory issues is just to avoid the SPL altogether and use uboot on NAND with BOOT1 instead of the SPL.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2012 08:42PM by gnexus.
Attachments:
open | download - sun4i.h.mmc (14.4 KB)
open | download - sun4i.h.nand (14.3 KB)
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 24, 2012 03:51PM
Here is latest MMC u-boot with "Linux on NAND" support.

To use it on devices with > 512 DDR or different memory timings you should be able to use SPL built w/ uboot-allwinner.
Attachments:
open | download - u-boot.multi.sun4i.mmc.13102012.tar.bz2 (174.6 KB)
jackpublico
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 25, 2012 12:39AM
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 25, 2012 04:33AM
gnexus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
Quote
johnsonc
I do believe you are not taking
> into account the traffic and community that is
> present
>
> We did take account of all of that. The traffic
> was certainly there - that was part of the
> problem - it was over 200GB in Sept. alone. But it
> was not a commercial site, and we refused to make
> it such. So the traffic was actually a negative as
> it prevents the site being hosted on a
> low-bandwidth connection. The community was
> not there - only 25 forum users, and no
> wiki editors or ANYBODY offering to help with the
> site, or the images, or the hosting, or anything.
> Two offers for forum moderator - but they were
> only from new users who knew nothing of the
> platform. Did not see you there, johnsonc,
> offering to help. . .
>
Bro... I would have been glad to.. had I known...(too late now I believe) Just a little nudge would've been enough..
Maybe.. its a really good idea to follow up mail on the registered members and encourage them to participate..
People are a bit laidback usually...


So nevertheless, iMx6 hopefully doesnt have as many hurdles as the a10. So it seems promising...
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 25, 2012 09:11AM
Bodhi,


APAD quad core imx6 stick :

SoC – Freescale i.MX6Q Quad Core Cortex A9 Processor with Vivante GC2000 GPU
System Memory – 1GB RAM
Storage – 16GB NAND Flash Memory + microSD card slot
Video Output – HDMI
Connectivity – Built-in Wifi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth
USB – USB Host + USB OTG



hi heres a link to a video of one of them .. about $90 plus shipping



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=J19D-vM5RQ4


hopefully we will see a nice board/box with ethernet soon ... likewise there are a few of the samsung quadcore sticks/boxes rumoured starting to appear

rgds

ian
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 25, 2012 12:53PM
Quote

So nevertheless, iMx6 hopefully doesnt have as many hurdles as the a10. So it seems promising...

Looks promising to me also. But after the A10 fiasco I will want to look through the code in things such as uboot first.
Good thing is that at least Freescale is a manufacturer we can trust. Usually their uboot is in mainline Denx.

If Raspi came out with faster model I could also support that now that Broadcom has changed their open source stance.

BTW, the other option we discussed, rather than closing the site, was to make it generic ARM for any GNU supported SoC. But Kevin did not have the time or cash to keep the site going due to the bad real estate market here in Ireland. Maybe later we can all work together to get something like that going. But beforehand we must all try to work together on it as a community.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 25, 2012 01:39PM
Quote

APAD quad core imx6 stick :

Also this:

http://www.chinistore.com/en/chinese-tablet-pc/511-buy-chuwi-v90-quad-core-freescale-imx6-tablet-pc-android-4-ips-97-inches-1gb-ram-hdmi.html

Quote

The Chuwi V90 QuadCore is the first Chinese Quad Core tablet pc featuring a Freescale i.mx6 processeur running at 4*1.2Ghz moreover the Vivante GC2000 GPU is also Quad Core. First benchmark shows that this tablet is even more powerful than Tegra3 based tablet pc !

Vivante GC2000 GPU is also in the Marvell Google TV SoC, and in latest OLPC. Should be open drivers now or very soon.

$269.99 - not too bad for what you get. Certainly blows away any A10, AND has working video drivers for Linux. . .

Edit: Hey this one is only 169,90 € :

http://www.chinistore.com/en/chinese-tablet-pc/676-buy-ampe-a10-quad-core-tablet-pc-android-4-10-inches-ips-1280x800-1gb-ram-16gb-bluetooth-hdmi.html

Now - how easy is it to boot Linux on these? Unlocked bootloader? Is it possible to boot from MMC or USB?
I will need to look at the uboot code. But that only works if bootloader is unlocked.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/2012 01:48PM by gnexus.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 25, 2012 01:56PM
IMX uboot and kernel is fully documented by Freescale and has MMC uboot support. Uboot is at latest Denx - 2012.10. and is at Denx as a custodian tree. Looks good! Much better GNU/Linux support than Allwinner.
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 25, 2012 03:09PM
It didn't last long to find a new project for gnexus ;)


I'm following.
My page around my cluster project is finished.
My mele are working flawless. 25 days of uptime now and serving nicely.

Added one picture of the second cluster and a last update.

http://guillaumeplayground.net/allwinner-a10-cluster-mele-a2000/

I will backup my sources ;-), keep an eye on this forum and be far less active here from now on.

This project was fun, this forum was fun and our discussions were quite interesting.
I had great time with everyone here and wish you all the best.

If anyone here need anything for a nice opensource project (hosting, etc..), i will be glad to help.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish ;-)

Best regards,
--
Guillaume
Re: Failed platform. . .
October 25, 2012 04:43PM
Thanks Ian!
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