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1.46_10 update issues (Telnet + spindown) - building patches

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  • Frenchy
    The latest firmware release introduces couple fixes and ... couple new bugs! As far as I know, build 1.46_10 drops these two features: - no TELNET session
    Message 1 of 16 , Feb 13, 2005
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      The latest firmware release introduces couple fixes and ... couple
      new bugs!

      As far as I know, build 1.46_10 drops these two features:
      - no TELNET session access (root or hdusers group)
      - no HDD spindown timeout (spinning 24/7 = shorter life span)

      As a community we need to come up with is a mechanism to patch
      firmware updates with known bug fixes 'cause it may not be very
      productive to keep doctoring all firmware updates manually.

      My big questions are:
      1 - What are the fixes for the above known issues?
      2 - Can we create a patch for all members to use?
      3 - How can I contribute to this platform?

      If we are able to accomplish this our platform will live on - if not
      we'll be stuck with watever updates Buffalo Japan feeds us.

      ...in love with this platform,
      Sam. (software analyst with "available time")
    • irvine_stock
      Sam, I agree with you. The samba also needs some attention and needs to be in the patch. Do you have a plan? Rich ... not
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 14, 2005
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        Sam,
        I agree with you. The samba also needs some attention and needs to
        be in the patch. Do you have a plan?
        Rich
        --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "Frenchy "
        <glasseron@y...> wrote:
        >
        > The latest firmware release introduces couple fixes and ... couple
        > new bugs!
        >
        > As far as I know, build 1.46_10 drops these two features:
        > - no TELNET session access (root or hdusers group)
        > - no HDD spindown timeout (spinning 24/7 = shorter life span)
        >
        > As a community we need to come up with is a mechanism to patch
        > firmware updates with known bug fixes 'cause it may not be very
        > productive to keep doctoring all firmware updates manually.
        >
        > My big questions are:
        > 1 - What are the fixes for the above known issues?
        > 2 - Can we create a patch for all members to use?
        > 3 - How can I contribute to this platform?
        >
        > If we are able to accomplish this our platform will live on - if
        not
        > we'll be stuck with watever updates Buffalo Japan feeds us.
        >
        > ...in love with this platform,
        > Sam. (software analyst with "available time")
      • stratmoens
        The first I m sure is considered a feature by Buffalo. With respect to disk spindown, my 1.46_10 LS spins down just fine. And I didn t have to fix it either.
        Message 3 of 16 , Feb 14, 2005
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          The first I'm sure is considered a feature by Buffalo.

          With respect to disk spindown, my 1.46_10 LS spins down just fine.
          And I didn't have to fix it either.

          On the other hand 1.46_10 still gets the timezone thing wrong, thus
          preventing programmed shutdown times to be wrong. That is unless you
          create the timezone file yourself....


          --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "Frenchy "
          <glasseron@y...> wrote:

          > As far as I know, build 1.46_10 drops these two features:
          > - no TELNET session access (root or hdusers group)
          > - no HDD spindown timeout (spinning 24/7 = shorter life span)
        • Tim Lewis
          ... I agree. I think it would be nice to come up with a plan along the lines of what the NSLU2 group is doing. What they are doing is this: 1. Add features
          Message 4 of 16 , Feb 14, 2005
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            Frenchy wrote:
            >
            > As a community we need to come up with is a mechanism to patch
            > firmware updates with known bug fixes 'cause it may not be very
            > productive to keep doctoring all firmware updates manually.

            I agree. I think it would be nice to come up with a plan along
            the lines of what the NSLU2 group is doing. What they are doing
            is this:

            1. Add features to the stock firmware.
            2. Create new firmware for the device.

            In the case of the LinkStation, I think it would be nice if
            we did the following as a community:

            1. Provide a release with only bug fixes to the stock firmware.
            2. Provide a release with feature additions and fixes to the stock
            firmware.
            3. Create new firmware not using stock LinkStation or Kuro software.

            I know that there's already an effort to run Gentoo on a Kuro, but
            what I'm talking about is not just creating a bootstrap for Gentoo.

            > 2 - Can we create a patch for all members to use?

            Some of it would be quite difficult. The latest LinkStation
            firmware doesn't provide telnet access, and many people don't
            want to take apart their box.

            We have a couple of options:

            1. We could modify the firmware image before it is installed,
            and rely on the Buffalo installer to install it. The image.dat
            is just a zip file, but the difficulty in using this method is
            that the file is password protected. The other difficulty is
            that the updaters only run on Windows.

            2. We could use the regular update mechanism to add our
            customized firmware. The issue with doing this is that
            part of the process involves talking with ppc_uartd
            (which listens on udp port 22936), using an unknown
            protocol.

            Another difficulty involved is that if we want to actually change the
            kernel image (firmimg.bin) in the flashram, we are going to need a way
            to recover from screw ups during development. In other words, we need a
            LinkStation with a working JTAG for testing our firmware before we release
            it to the masses. This is not exactly an inexpensive proposition ($160
            for a Kuro + ~$150 for a cheap JTAG wiggler).

            I don't think any of these issues are insurmountable (reference NSLU2
            group), though.

            - Tim
          • Frenchy
            Hey Rich, I am dusting off my Unix skills. I have limited use of Unix on and off since Windows came around. I am not a code programmer but I understand scripts
            Message 5 of 16 , Feb 16, 2005
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              Hey Rich,
              I am dusting off my Unix skills. I have limited use of Unix on and
              off since Windows came around. I am not a code programmer but I
              understand scripts and file systems.
              Having said that if we get a commun goal will get to the bottom of
              it for the benefit of all LS users.
              All Buffalo really want is to sell gear (PCast feature...), tuning
              existing features is not at the top of their list. So let's make out
              list and get down with our priorities!

              Samba was extra flaky and slow before 1.46 but now it seems to be in
              okay shape.

              I had my samba server tweaked up on 1.45 but since 1.46 update I
              can't get around the file system with Telnet to tune it (Master
              Browser without elections).
              I run the 1.45 release on my second LS box to experiment things out.

              Sam

              --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "irvine_stock"
              <r_obermeyer@p...> wrote:
              >
              > Sam,
              > I agree with you. The samba also needs some attention and needs
              to
              > be in the patch. Do you have a plan?
              > Rich
              > --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "Frenchy "
              > <glasseron@y...> wrote:
              > >
              > > The latest firmware release introduces couple fixes and ...
              couple
              > > new bugs!
              > >
              > > As far as I know, build 1.46_10 drops these two features:
              > > - no TELNET session access (root or hdusers group)
              > > - no HDD spindown timeout (spinning 24/7 = shorter life span)
              > >
              > > As a community we need to come up with is a mechanism to patch
              > > firmware updates with known bug fixes 'cause it may not be very
              > > productive to keep doctoring all firmware updates manually.
              > >
              > > My big questions are:
              > > 1 - What are the fixes for the above known issues?
              > > 2 - Can we create a patch for all members to use?
              > > 3 - How can I contribute to this platform?
              > >
              > > If we are able to accomplish this our platform will live on - if
              > not
              > > we'll be stuck with watever updates Buffalo Japan feeds us.
              > >
              > > ...in love with this platform,
              > > Sam. (software analyst with "available time")
            • irvine_stock
              Sam, First we need to incorporate the 1.46 fixes into a telnet enabled release. Then we need to tar in the changes so folks can easily update there boxes with
              Message 6 of 16 , Feb 16, 2005
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                Sam,
                First we need to incorporate the 1.46 fixes into a telnet enabled
                release. Then we need to tar in the changes so folks can easily
                update there boxes with working firmware.

                So Start a list and put it on the shared area and get some more
                help. We can then get a release of value here.
                Rich
                --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "Frenchy "
                <glasseron@y...> wrote:
                >
                > Hey Rich,
                > I am dusting off my Unix skills. I have limited use of Unix on and
                > off since Windows came around. I am not a code programmer but I
                > understand scripts and file systems.
                > Having said that if we get a commun goal will get to the bottom of
                > it for the benefit of all LS users.
                > All Buffalo really want is to sell gear (PCast feature...), tuning
                > existing features is not at the top of their list. So let's make
                out
                > list and get down with our priorities!
                >
                > Samba was extra flaky and slow before 1.46 but now it seems to be
                in
                > okay shape.
                >
                > I had my samba server tweaked up on 1.45 but since 1.46 update I
                > can't get around the file system with Telnet to tune it (Master
                > Browser without elections).
                > I run the 1.45 release on my second LS box to experiment things
                out.
                >
                > Sam
                >
                > --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "irvine_stock"
                > <r_obermeyer@p...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Sam,
                > > I agree with you. The samba also needs some attention and needs
                > to
                > > be in the patch. Do you have a plan?
                > > Rich
                > > --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "Frenchy "
                > > <glasseron@y...> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > The latest firmware release introduces couple fixes and ...
                > couple
                > > > new bugs!
                > > >
                > > > As far as I know, build 1.46_10 drops these two features:
                > > > - no TELNET session access (root or hdusers group)
                > > > - no HDD spindown timeout (spinning 24/7 = shorter life span)
                > > >
                > > > As a community we need to come up with is a mechanism to patch
                > > > firmware updates with known bug fixes 'cause it may not be
                very
                > > > productive to keep doctoring all firmware updates manually.
                > > >
                > > > My big questions are:
                > > > 1 - What are the fixes for the above known issues?
                > > > 2 - Can we create a patch for all members to use?
                > > > 3 - How can I contribute to this platform?
                > > >
                > > > If we are able to accomplish this our platform will live on -
                if
                > > not
                > > > we'll be stuck with watever updates Buffalo Japan feeds us.
                > > >
                > > > ...in love with this platform,
                > > > Sam. (software analyst with "available time")
              • Frenchy
                Pls shade some light on your time zone fix. I remember the time stamps being messed up in early Buffalo releases. The web UI showed the right time while the
                Message 7 of 16 , Feb 16, 2005
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                  Pls shade some light on your time zone fix. I remember the time
                  stamps being messed up in early Buffalo releases. The web UI showed
                  the right time while the system stamped files with the wrong time.

                  1.46.10 top issues:
                  1 - Telnet server not running on :23
                  2 - Samba: tuned to be NetBios master browser
                  3 - Time stamp: clock drift + time zone messed up
                  4 - HDD spin down: tweak the countdown timer
                  X - PCast: Rem the Sce + drop the UI tab

                  Polishing the UI probably makes it to the bottom of my list next to
                  driving to the car wash -:) The only thing I am itching to do on the
                  web interface is drop the new PCast Tab and comment out the service.

                  Sam

                  --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "stratmoens"
                  <strat012@c...> wrote:
                  >
                  > The first I'm sure is considered a feature by Buffalo.
                  >
                  > With respect to disk spindown, my 1.46_10 LS spins down just fine.
                  > And I didn't have to fix it either.
                  >
                  > On the other hand 1.46_10 still gets the timezone thing wrong,
                  thus
                  > preventing programmed shutdown times to be wrong. That is unless
                  you
                  > create the timezone file yourself....
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, "Frenchy "
                  > <glasseron@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > As far as I know, build 1.46_10 drops these two features:
                  > > - no TELNET session access (root or hdusers group)
                  > > - no HDD spindown timeout (spinning 24/7 = shorter life span)
                • Frenchy
                  Hey Tim, My comments online. Basicaly we can keep the scope down to something manageable and realistic. No big new killer apps features (Kuro style) only bug
                  Message 8 of 16 , Feb 16, 2005
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                    Hey Tim,
                    My comments online. Basicaly we can keep the scope down to something
                    manageable and realistic.
                    No big new killer apps features (Kuro style) only bug fixes - I know
                    developers hate bug-fixing. They would rather express their
                    creativity with fresh code.

                    Read my answers within your original text
                    sam

                    --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, Tim Lewis <spurp@c...>
                    wrote:
                    > Frenchy wrote:
                    > >
                    > > As a community we need to come up with is a mechanism to patch
                    > > firmware updates with known bug fixes 'cause it may not be very
                    > > productive to keep doctoring all firmware updates manually.
                    >
                    > I agree. I think it would be nice to come up with a plan along
                    > the lines of what the NSLU2 group is doing. What they are doing
                    > is this:
                    >
                    > 1. Add features to the stock firmware.
                    > 2. Create new firmware for the device.
                    >
                    > In the case of the LinkStation, I think it would be nice if
                    > we did the following as a community:
                    >
                    > 1. Provide a release with only bug fixes to the stock firmware.
                    > 2. Provide a release with feature additions and fixes to the stock
                    > firmware.
                    > 3. Create new firmware not using stock LinkStation or Kuro
                    software.

                    Bug fixes require a minimum of efforts as opposition to building an
                    endless list of new features. Making LS work right with the
                    essentials set's us apart from the KURO project: a great Linux
                    developper sandbox (Free developers juice for Buffalo Inc, that is
                    being cheap).
                    Another thing that sets us appart from Kuro is the Buffalo waranty.
                    It ends if you disassemble the box to recover a dead brick.


                    > I know that there's already an effort to run Gentoo on a Kuro, but
                    > what I'm talking about is not just creating a bootstrap for Gentoo.
                    >
                    > > 2 - Can we create a patch for all members to use?
                    >
                    > Some of it would be quite difficult. The latest LinkStation
                    > firmware doesn't provide telnet access, and many people don't
                    > want to take apart their box.

                    The first step to get Telnet back is to downgrade to 1.45, then Root
                    fix.

                    >
                    > We have a couple of options:
                    >
                    > 1. We could modify the firmware image before it is installed,
                    > and rely on the Buffalo installer to install it. The
                    image.dat
                    > is just a zip file, but the difficulty in using this method is
                    > that the file is password protected. The other difficulty is
                    > that the updaters only run on Windows.

                    Someone out there must have a work around to get in the archive.

                    Can't we just stay at the file system level? Once in Unix we can
                    patch and move files then reboot.

                    >
                    > 2. We could use the regular update mechanism to add our
                    > customized firmware. The issue with doing this is that
                    > part of the process involves talking with ppc_uartd
                    > (which listens on udp port 22936), using an unknown
                    > protocol.
                    I am not familiar with ppc_uart port but I gather that is what can
                    turn the LS into a brick if the flash upgrade fails (I have had that
                    twice already)

                    >
                    > Another difficulty involved is that if we want to actually change
                    the
                    > kernel image (firmimg.bin) in the flashram, we are going to need a
                    way
                    > to recover from screw ups during development. In other words, we
                    need a
                    > LinkStation with a working JTAG for testing our firmware before we
                    release
                    > it to the masses.

                    This is out of my league, unknown... Now if we get down to the
                    kernel I am sure we up our chances for brick encounters but tweaking
                    Linux services should be mostly safe.

                    This is not exactly an inexpensive proposition ($160
                    > for a Kuro + ~$150 for a cheap JTAG wiggler).
                    >
                    > I don't think any of these issues are insurmountable (reference
                    NSLU2
                    > group), though.
                    >
                    > - Tim

                    Where is the NSLU2 group hosted?
                  • Tim Lewis
                    Hey Frenchy, Let me start off by saying that I think we mostly agree. The bug fixes, at this point, have to be our top priority. This is definitely what we
                    Message 9 of 16 , Feb 16, 2005
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                      Hey Frenchy,

                      Let me start off by saying that I think we mostly agree.
                      The bug fixes, at this point, have to be our top priority.
                      This is definitely what we need to concentrate on, and was
                      the reason I put it at the top of my list.

                      Once we've established that base, I think we should move on
                      and create a release that gives end-users a consistent
                      platform that allows them to easily add features without
                      having to compile it themselves. From reading the list,
                      it is evident that many people want to add the same features
                      to their LS. Providing a consistant environment would allow
                      us to more easily diagnose problems.

                      The UNSLUNG people have already done this for the NSLU2.
                      If an end-user wants to install an iTunes server on their
                      NSLU2 they just type:

                      $ ipkg install mt-daapd

                      It's that simple. This is a *lot* better than what you have
                      to do even with a Kuro box.

                      Frenchy wrote:
                      >
                      > My comments online. Basicaly we can keep the scope down to something
                      > manageable and realistic.

                      I think what I mentioned may be realistic. Hey, if the NSLU2
                      group can do it WITHOUT a manufacturer sanctioned development
                      system, I think we can definitely do it with one. :)

                      The best part about this is that they've already blazed the
                      trail, so we can use them as a model.

                      At the very least, though I think we need to split this
                      group into "general", and "development", groups so that people who
                      have general questions about the box won't be really confused when
                      they read a bug-fix discussion.

                      > No big new killer apps features (Kuro style) only bug fixes - I know
                      > developers hate bug-fixing. They would rather express their
                      > creativity with fresh code.

                      I'm not too thrilled about creating killer apps either. What I
                      want to do is augment the standard functionality. The killer apps
                      can be made by the guys with the Kuro. I just want a fileserver
                      that doesn't suck, and maybe a better UI.

                      (I actually enjoy debugging, BTW. I spent two years practically
                      chained to profiling software looking for memory leaks.)

                      > Bug fixes require a minimum of efforts as opposition to building an
                      > endless list of new features.

                      LOL! You'd be surprised... ;)

                      > Making LS work right with the
                      > essentials set's us apart from the KURO project: a great Linux
                      > developper sandbox (Free developers juice for Buffalo Inc, that is
                      > being cheap).

                      That's the thing about the Kuro - it IS just a development
                      environement. It really isn't designed to be user friendly, and
                      if you read the Kuro group, it's obvious that the support just
                      isn't there.

                      One thing that could set us apart from all that is making it
                      easy for the end user to add new features.

                      > Another thing that sets us appart from Kuro is the Buffalo waranty.
                      > It ends if you disassemble the box to recover a dead brick.

                      That's why I want to find a way to fix it without opening the box.
                      I don't think that an end user should have to open their LinkStation
                      to use our fixes, and the fixes definitely shouldn't brick their box.

                      > The first step to get Telnet back is to downgrade to 1.45, then Root
                      > fix.

                      True. It would be nice to provide this in 1.46, though.

                      > Someone out there must have a work around to get in the archive.

                      I haven't had time for it yet. I've been looking through the
                      initrd. Anyone else?

                      > Can't we just stay at the file system level? Once in Unix we can
                      > patch and move files then reboot.

                      Yes, certainly. I don't think that there's any modifications that
                      we can't do right on the box. I was just trying to figure out a way
                      to make the installation easy to do in one swell foop.

                      To that end, I have a packet trace of a firmware installation.

                      > I am not familiar with ppc_uart port but I gather that is what can
                      > turn the LS into a brick if the flash upgrade fails (I have had that
                      > twice already)

                      Yes, it's the controlling program for the box. I don't think anyone
                      is sure about exactly everything it does (other than Buffalo).

                      > This is out of my league, unknown... Now if we get down to the
                      > kernel I am sure we up our chances for brick encounters but tweaking
                      > Linux services should be mostly safe.

                      Mine too. However, there's a lot of people in the NSLU2 group who
                      can do this. Maybe they would be willing to mod an LS.

                      > Where is the NSLU2 group hosted?

                      You can find all the information you want at: http://www.nslu2-linux.org

                      - Tim
                    • Marc Bizer
                      ... We also need to build in Netatalk 2.0.2, don t we? --Marc
                      Message 10 of 16 , Feb 16, 2005
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                        On 2/16/05 at 7:43 PM +0000, Frenchy wrote:
                        >1.46.10 top issues:
                        >1 - Telnet server not running on :23
                        >2 - Samba: tuned to be NetBios master browser
                        >3 - Time stamp: clock drift + time zone messed up
                        >4 - HDD spin down: tweak the countdown timer
                        >X - PCast: Rem the Sce + drop the UI tab

                        We also need to build in Netatalk 2.0.2, don't we?

                        --Marc
                      • Marc Bizer
                        ... So how *does* it work, and why do we need that special Windows-only app in order to update firmware? --Marc
                        Message 11 of 16 , Feb 16, 2005
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                          On 2/16/05 at 5:15 PM -0500, Tim Lewis wrote:
                          >To that end, I have a packet trace of a firmware installation.

                          So how *does* it work, and why do we need that special Windows-only
                          app in order to update firmware?

                          --Marc
                        • Tim Lewis
                          ... It s about 15,000 packets, and I need to analyze it some more, but briefly: The Updater program and the LinkStation so a lot of their communication over
                          Message 12 of 16 , Feb 16, 2005
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                            Marc Bizer wrote:
                            > On 2/16/05 at 5:15 PM -0500, Tim Lewis wrote:
                            >
                            >>To that end, I have a packet trace of a firmware installation.
                            >
                            >
                            > So how *does* it work, and why do we need that special Windows-only
                            > app in order to update firmware?

                            It's about 15,000 packets, and I need to analyze it some more, but briefly:
                            The Updater program and the LinkStation so a lot of their communication over
                            UDP port 22936 on the all-networks broadcast address. Usually these packs have
                            the MAC addresses of the LinkStation and the computer doing the update. If one
                            isn't known, FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF is used instead.

                            1. The update program sends out a "search" packet.
                            2. Any LinkStations on the network return an "info" packet to the
                            upgrade program's address and port containing the
                            LinkStation's name, workgroup, hardware type, flash version,
                            date of compilation, etc.
                            3. The Updater sends an "start update" packet containing the MAC
                            address of the LinkStation and the updating machine.
                            4. The LinkStation responds with an "ack" packet.
                            5. The LinkStation reboots, and loads the initrd image.
                            6. The LinkStation sends out a DHCP request, and broadcasts it's address
                            with ARP.
                            7. The Updater broadcasts its "search" packet again.
                            8. The LinkStation sends out its "info" packet again.
                            9. The Updater sends a "command" packet containing, "sh /sbin/mkfilesystem.sh".
                            10. The LinkStation sends an "ack"?
                            11. The Updater sends a "connection request" packet?
                            12. The Updater opens a TCP connection to the LinkStation on port 22936
                            and starts to send the "tmpimage.tgz" file.
                            13. The LinkStation tells the Updater it's done with an "ack"?
                            14. The Updater does its "search" routine again, and the LinkStation
                            answers.
                            15. The Updater sends the "sync" command.
                            16. The LinkStation sends an ack?
                            17. The LinkStation Reboots.
                            18. The Updater does its "search" routine again, and the LinkStation
                            answers.
                            19. The Updater sends the LinkStation packets mentioning the files,
                            "/mnt/image.zip", and "/mnt/ap_firm_mem".
                            20. I think the LinkStation reboots at this point, but I wasn't
                            keeping track of exactly when it happend.

                            Like I said, I need to analyze it some more. I don't know enough about
                            the packets yet, so at some point, I'll need to make another run.

                            I'm wondering how much of a security problem this is, because it appears
                            that you can send arbitrary commands over this interface.

                            - Tim
                          • Frenchy
                            Hey MArc, I am not familiar with Netatalk. What s it for? Sam.
                            Message 13 of 16 , Feb 17, 2005
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                              Hey MArc,

                              I am not familiar with Netatalk. What's it for?
                              Sam.
                              --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, Marc Bizer <mbizer@m...>
                              wrote:
                              > On 2/16/05 at 7:43 PM +0000, Frenchy wrote:
                              > >1.46.10 top issues:
                              > >1 - Telnet server not running on :23
                              > >2 - Samba: tuned to be NetBios master browser
                              > >3 - Time stamp: clock drift + time zone messed up
                              > >4 - HDD spin down: tweak the countdown timer
                              > >X - PCast: Rem the Sce + drop the UI tab
                              >
                              > We also need to build in Netatalk 2.0.2, don't we?
                              >
                              > --Marc
                            • Marc Bizer
                              ... Mounting volumes using the Apple File Protocol (AFP). It s the Mac equivalent of SMB, only much better :-) --Marc
                              Message 14 of 16 , Feb 17, 2005
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                                On 2/17/05 at 8:26 PM +0000, Frenchy wrote:
                                >I am not familiar with Netatalk. What's it for?

                                Mounting volumes using the Apple File Protocol (AFP). It's the Mac
                                equivalent of SMB, only much better :-)

                                --Marc
                              • duncankh
                                I have firmware 1.46 installed on my LS for a couple of weeks now, and the disk definatly spins down after about 30 minutes. I hear it spin down and the LS is
                                Message 15 of 16 , Feb 17, 2005
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                                  I have firmware 1.46 installed on my LS for a couple of weeks now,
                                  and the disk definatly spins down after about 30 minutes. I hear it
                                  spin down and the LS is totally silent. When I access it again it
                                  takes a few seconds for the files to appear because of the disc
                                  spinning up.
                                • Frenchy
                                  Hey Tim, I agree with your comments. Txs. I am about to learn about the NSLU2 first hand while working on my soon to be Internet web server. I am most
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Apr 6, 2005
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hey Tim,
                                    I agree with your comments. Txs.
                                    I am about to learn about the NSLU2 first hand while working on my
                                    soon to be Internet web server. I am most impressed by what the
                                    Unslug team has built: it's advanced and so well organized.

                                    The Unslug team had a plan and was able to develop an open
                                    architecture to implement it. That way all individual developer's
                                    efforts were added up towards one build release unlike us with the
                                    Linsktation who are working in parallel on our local file system.

                                    This is why our individual efforts hardly add up. That why also the
                                    NSLU2 Unslug has momentum and the Linkstation does not.

                                    It seems to me that Buffalo is not taking enough advantage of the
                                    GNU open architecture the way the unslug went. Buffalo Japan must
                                    still be afraid of losing platform control. A hand full of
                                    developers in Japan got payed at the begining to port a Linux distro
                                    and customize a UI. After that Buffalo stressed a wider product base
                                    with larger disks.

                                    Thanks for taking apart the firmware upgrade process. It is
                                    interesting to see what is happening behind the scene. I believe we
                                    have less chalenge than the NSLU because we have a fixed IDE disk
                                    with all the code where the NSLU2 has to first copy the Flash to RAM
                                    and run from RAM or from a USB disk if available.

                                    I am looking forward to get my feet wet in the NSLU2 enviroment. The
                                    NSLU2 package update is **really*slick**.

                                    We could develop our update architecture around a cgi script and the
                                    untaring of an archive in the LS tree.
                                    If we set the target path out of the way (/mnt/bin/) and create
                                    simlinks we will only need to refresh the links after a Buff
                                    firmware update.
                                    Sam.


                                    --- In LinkStation_General@yahoogroups.com, Tim Lewis <spurp@c...>
                                    wrote:
                                    > Hey Frenchy,
                                    >
                                    > Let me start off by saying that I think we mostly agree.
                                    > The bug fixes, at this point, have to be our top priority.
                                    > This is definitely what we need to concentrate on, and was
                                    > the reason I put it at the top of my list.
                                    >
                                    > Once we've established that base, I think we should move on
                                    > and create a release that gives end-users a consistent
                                    > platform that allows them to easily add features without
                                    > having to compile it themselves. From reading the list,
                                    > it is evident that many people want to add the same features
                                    > to their LS. Providing a consistant environment would allow
                                    > us to more easily diagnose problems.
                                    >
                                    > The UNSLUNG people have already done this for the NSLU2.
                                    > If an end-user wants to install an iTunes server on their
                                    > NSLU2 they just type:
                                    >
                                    > $ ipkg install mt-daapd
                                    >
                                    > It's that simple. This is a *lot* better than what you have
                                    > to do even with a Kuro box.
                                    >
                                    > Frenchy wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > My comments online. Basicaly we can keep the scope down to
                                    something
                                    > > manageable and realistic.
                                    >
                                    > I think what I mentioned may be realistic. Hey, if the NSLU2
                                    > group can do it WITHOUT a manufacturer sanctioned development
                                    > system, I think we can definitely do it with one. :)
                                    >
                                    > The best part about this is that they've already blazed the
                                    > trail, so we can use them as a model.
                                    >
                                    > At the very least, though I think we need to split this
                                    > group into "general", and "development", groups so that people who
                                    > have general questions about the box won't be really confused when
                                    > they read a bug-fix discussion.
                                    >
                                    > > No big new killer apps features (Kuro style) only bug fixes - I
                                    know
                                    > > developers hate bug-fixing. They would rather express their
                                    > > creativity with fresh code.
                                    >
                                    > I'm not too thrilled about creating killer apps either. What I
                                    > want to do is augment the standard functionality. The killer apps
                                    > can be made by the guys with the Kuro. I just want a fileserver
                                    > that doesn't suck, and maybe a better UI.
                                    >
                                    > (I actually enjoy debugging, BTW. I spent two years practically
                                    > chained to profiling software looking for memory leaks.)
                                    >
                                    > > Bug fixes require a minimum of efforts as opposition to building
                                    an
                                    > > endless list of new features.
                                    >
                                    > LOL! You'd be surprised... ;)
                                    >
                                    > > Making LS work right with the
                                    > > essentials set's us apart from the KURO project: a great Linux
                                    > > developper sandbox (Free developers juice for Buffalo Inc, that
                                    is
                                    > > being cheap).
                                    >
                                    > That's the thing about the Kuro - it IS just a development
                                    > environement. It really isn't designed to be user friendly, and
                                    > if you read the Kuro group, it's obvious that the support just
                                    > isn't there.
                                    >
                                    > One thing that could set us apart from all that is making it
                                    > easy for the end user to add new features.
                                    >
                                    > > Another thing that sets us appart from Kuro is the Buffalo
                                    waranty.
                                    > > It ends if you disassemble the box to recover a dead brick.
                                    >
                                    > That's why I want to find a way to fix it without opening the box.
                                    > I don't think that an end user should have to open their
                                    LinkStation
                                    > to use our fixes, and the fixes definitely shouldn't brick their
                                    box.
                                    >
                                    > > The first step to get Telnet back is to downgrade to 1.45, then
                                    Root
                                    > > fix.
                                    >
                                    > True. It would be nice to provide this in 1.46, though.
                                    >
                                    > > Someone out there must have a work around to get in the archive.
                                    >
                                    > I haven't had time for it yet. I've been looking through the
                                    > initrd. Anyone else?
                                    >
                                    > > Can't we just stay at the file system level? Once in Unix we can
                                    > > patch and move files then reboot.
                                    >
                                    > Yes, certainly. I don't think that there's any modifications that
                                    > we can't do right on the box. I was just trying to figure out a
                                    way
                                    > to make the installation easy to do in one swell foop.
                                    >
                                    > To that end, I have a packet trace of a firmware installation.
                                    >
                                    > > I am not familiar with ppc_uart port but I gather that is what
                                    can
                                    > > turn the LS into a brick if the flash upgrade fails (I have had
                                    that
                                    > > twice already)
                                    >
                                    > Yes, it's the controlling program for the box. I don't think
                                    anyone
                                    > is sure about exactly everything it does (other than Buffalo).
                                    >
                                    > > This is out of my league, unknown... Now if we get down to the
                                    > > kernel I am sure we up our chances for brick encounters but
                                    tweaking
                                    > > Linux services should be mostly safe.
                                    >
                                    > Mine too. However, there's a lot of people in the NSLU2 group who
                                    > can do this. Maybe they would be willing to mod an LS.
                                    >
                                    > > Where is the NSLU2 group hosted?
                                    >
                                    > You can find all the information you want at: http://www.nslu2-
                                    linux.org
                                    >
                                    > - Tim
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