Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9 - Plan9

This is a discussion on Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9 - Plan9 ; Hi all. I am considering purchasing an eBox IV Series box for a Plan9 installation, and I was curious of any of your successes or failures with these or similar systems. Specifications for each box in the series can be ...

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Thread: Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

  1. Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    Hi all.

    I am considering purchasing an eBox IV Series box for a Plan9
    installation, and I was curious of any of your successes or failures
    with these or similar systems. Specifications for each box in the
    series can be found at http://www.wdlsystems.com/downloads/specs/1EBX48T_s.pdf.
    The eBox-4854 is what Zombu uses for their $99 subscription machine,
    so I imagine it is open-source friendly enough, but I have had all
    manner of difficulty installing Plan9 on many machines. I recalled
    seeing a few posts here concerning success on VIA EPIA platforms, but
    not much, so I figured I would voice a few concerns and questions:

    The eBox-4854 box features Realtek RTL8100B 10/100 Base-T Ethernet.
    This is not listed on the Plan9 hardware compatiblilty page. Perusing
    online forums suggests that this adapter can be driven on some Linux
    distros with 8139too. How likely is Plan9 to similary drive this
    ethernet adapter?

    It also features integrated VIA UniChrome Pro II video to which the
    Plan9 hardware compatibility page suggests it can be driven in VESA
    mode. However, I do not know if there are key differences between
    UniChrome and UniChrome Pro II that would prevent this. Are there any
    such differences? Notwithstanding said differences, at what maximum
    resolution would Plan9 enable on this adapter?

    Rather than a traditional hard disk, the eBox-4854 fits an IDE Flash
    SDD. I imagine that this would pose no problem for Plan9, since such
    devices usually internally manage translation from Flash to standard
    IDE. Am I about right in this assumption?

    Finally, a related, but misplaced question: Does anyone know on what
    chipset the optional integrated wireless adapter is based? I have
    searched in vain. Again, it must be open-source friendly, but open-
    source wireless compatibility varies wildly across platforms and
    distributions.

    Thanks. I look forward to your inputs or suggestions if and when you
    have the inclination and time.

  2. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    > The eBox-4854 box features Realtek RTL8100B 10/100 Base-T Ethernet.
    > This is not listed on the Plan9 hardware compatiblilty page. Perusing
    > online forums suggests that this adapter can be driven on some Linux
    > distros with 8139too. How likely is Plan9 to similary drive this
    > ethernet adapter?


    should work with the 8139 driver.

    > It also features integrated VIA UniChrome Pro II video to which the
    > Plan9 hardware compatibility page suggests it can be driven in VESA
    > mode. However, I do not know if there are key differences between
    > UniChrome and UniChrome Pro II that would prevent this. Are there any
    > such differences? Notwithstanding said differences, at what maximum
    > resolution would Plan9 enable on this adapter?


    vesa mode works. unichrome II is propritary and you can't get the
    programming docs without an nda.

    > Rather than a traditional hard disk, the eBox-4854 fits an IDE Flash
    > SDD. I imagine that this would pose no problem for Plan9, since such
    > devices usually internally manage translation from Flash to standard
    > IDE. Am I about right in this assumption?


    this might be a problem. these boxes typically have 30 or 40w power
    supplies. you might not have enough juce to run a hard drive. but
    we use similar machines for terminals.

    - erik


  3. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    On Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 4:38 AM, erik quanstrom wrote:

    > vesa mode works. unichrome II is propritary and you can't get the
    > programming docs without an nda.


    That's changing. Native linuxbios mode support is coming. So the information
    will exist outside NDA.

    ron

  4. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    >> vesa mode works. unichrome II is propritary and you can't get the
    >> programming docs without an nda.

    >
    > That's changing. Native linuxbios mode support is coming. So the information
    > will exist outside NDA.
    >
    > ron


    actually programming documentation or just code?

    - erik


  5. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    On Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 10:47 AM, erik quanstrom wrote:

    > actually programming documentation or just code?


    just code, but, while I realize code alone is often useless, I am
    willing to bet the docs in this case are less useful than code. The
    code will have all the huge doc gaps filled in.

    ron

  6. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    >> actually programming documentation or just code?
    >
    > just code, but, while I realize code alone is often useless, I am
    > willing to bet the docs in this case are less useful than code. The
    > code will have all the huge doc gaps filled in.


    ☺. it seems to be a truism among hardware folks. the worse
    the documentation is, the more tightly it is kept.

    the via parts do a very good job with vesa. i find our 800mhz
    terminals very usable. the graphics are pretty snappy.

    i think it would be more of a priority to tackle the amd(ati)
    and intel parts for which there is actual documentation.
    intel documentation is not that great, but, you can learn
    to live with it.

    fortunately adding one more thing to the list of things
    to do will not decrease the amount of my infinite spare
    time.

    - erik


  7. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    On Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 10:56 AM, erik quanstrom wrote:

    > fortunately adding one more thing to the list of things
    > to do will not decrease the amount of my infinite spare
    > time.



    Maybe all the 9fans moved here? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0418737/

    In any event, you forgot: what order of infinity is the work vs. your
    free time anyway? You might just be slacking. Enquiring minds want to
    know!

    ron

  8. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    > Maybe all the 9fans moved here? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0418737/
    >
    > In any event, you forgot: what order of infinity is the work vs. your
    > free time anyway? You might just be slacking. Enquiring minds want to
    > know!


    the work items are not hard, there are just countablly many of them.
    since one works at a basically fixed rate, time to complete the countablly
    many items is countable. ...

    oh, wait ... sorry. what i mean is hell ya, i'm totally slacking. i haven't
    finished a driver in *days*.

    - erik


  9. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    > I am considering purchasing an eBox IV Series box for a Plan9
    > installation, and I was curious of any of your successes or failures
    > with these or similar systems.


    As has been mentioned on the list recently, the Everex gPC sold by
    Walmart (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=7754614)
    is comparable inasmuch as it's also a Via based system. I ordered one
    and installed Plan 9 on it without any problems a couple of days ago.
    (Well I'm getting heavy I/O load after booting even w/ DMA turned on
    but I suspect that's because I did a fossil+venti install and haven't
    gotten around to figuring out what's going on.) Video and and
    ethernet work out of the box. The gPC's case is much bigger than it
    needs to be so isn't nearly as compact as the eBox, but on the plus
    side it has more room for expansion.

    John

  10. Re: [9fans] Consindering eBox-4854 for Plan9

    > As has been mentioned on the list recently, the Everex gPC sold by
    > Walmart (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=7754614)


    Double-checking the link it looks like I got mine just in time as that
    page now says that it's no longer sold online. Don't know if that
    means they're simply sold out or want you to pay extra for the Vista
    version.

    John

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