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Re: Is the flash optimized IRLP generally available?

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  • n8vjp
    ... Dave, Thanks for the reply. I do have it running from a 2GB compact flash right now (Sandisk Extreme IV, faster than most notebook HDD), but maybe I am
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 11, 2008
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      > Of course you could use a 4GB flash device, and just load it onto the
      > flash drive, and run it from there. The concept of read/write cycles
      > (which is not the issue it used to be) led me to designing my systems
      > they way I do.

      Dave,

      Thanks for the reply. I do have it running from a 2GB compact flash
      right now (Sandisk Extreme IV, faster than most notebook HDD), but
      maybe I am just overly paranoid about the read/write cycles. While I
      appreciate the offer of the preloaded Flash drive, I have a total
      investment into this box (all New Old Stock) of under $100, doubling
      that to support the OS is a little beyond my current scope.

      I'll keep plugging along with what I've got. I also have the CF
      cloned to a 3GB Notebook HDD, which sits nearby in case the CF fails.

      Thanks again for the replies.

      -N8VJP
      John
    • Nate Duehr
      ... John, Most consumer grade flash stuff nowadays has load leveling to keep from burning out a group of flash before the rest. But it s in blocks , and
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 11, 2008
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        n8vjp wrote:

        > Thanks for the reply. I do have it running from a 2GB compact flash
        > right now (Sandisk Extreme IV, faster than most notebook HDD), but
        > maybe I am just overly paranoid about the read/write cycles. While I
        > appreciate the offer of the preloaded Flash drive, I have a total
        > investment into this box (all New Old Stock) of under $100, doubling
        > that to support the OS is a little beyond my current scope.

        John,

        Most consumer grade flash stuff nowadays has "load leveling" to keep
        from burning out a group of flash before the rest. But it's in
        "blocks", and each manufacturer picks their size.

        So *in general* you don't have to worry about it as much anymore. Just
        watch for disk I/O errors, and have backups and be prepared to replace
        the flash device if it acts up at all.

        Also, if you have enough RAM in the machine to support everything, not
        running any SWAP space on the "disk", would mean read/writes are
        minimized. You could get crazy and turn off things like logging, etc...
        if you were really worried.

        As one person who is in our local Linux Users Group here put it... "With
        16GB flash sticks going for $19.95 this Christmas, I just don't care
        anymore... keep backups of important stuff, throw the flash away when it
        finally dies and reload."

        Your mileage may vary, of course... depending on who's flash devices and
        how smart they are... and sometimes the "name brand" doesn't even knkow,
        since they're relying on the chipset manufacturer... so finding specs on
        it all is nigh impossible, on most of the cheaper stuff. :-)

        Nate WY0X
      • Rick Bates
        With the cost of computer memory so darn cheap (2 gig sticks for $24 lately even in the laptop flavor) wouldn t it make sense to use the flash device as a boot
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 11, 2008
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          With the cost of computer memory so darn cheap (2 gig sticks for $24 lately even in the laptop flavor) wouldn’t it make sense to use the flash device as a boot only device and then not worry about it (no external swap space)?  Am I missing the point?

          The only time you’d have to write to the flash chip is when you updated the kernel and/or support software.  That can’t be all THAT often, even with nightly updates.  While I wouldn’t want to trust it on a hilltop with known lightning activity (Murhpy’s law says they’re still fragile for that environment) it should be fine where there is quick access (closet, RV, garage).

          Is there a control that can be tripped so that if you want to shut down a hard drive (if you used that for booting) you could to save the energy (and bearings)?  Potential risks with that?

          Rick

          www.HappyMoosePhoto.com

          Wildlife and scenic images


          From: irlp-embedded@yahoogroups.com [mailto: irlp-embedded@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Nate Duehr
          Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 3:28 PM
          To: irlp-embedded@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [irlp-embedded] Re: Is the flash optimized IRLP generally available?

           

          Also, if you have enough RAM in the machine to support everything, not
          running any SWAP space on the "disk", would mean read/writes are
          minimized. You could get crazy and turn off things like logging, etc...
          if you were really worried.

          ___

        • Randy Hammock
          ... There is a utility that copies all updates from the RAM back onto the CF for later reboots. The OS is basically compiled and a directory tree is configured
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 11, 2008
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            On Dec 11, 2008, at 10:34 AM, n8vjp wrote:

            > I understand the need to compile the kernel with support for the
            > various hardware devices present. I guess I was hoping that one of
            > three responses would be given...
            >
            > 1) There was a CD iso build used to create the embedded install.
            > 2) The embedded build was compatible with my VIA EPIA CL6000E
            > 3) The scripts/programs needed to make a standard IRLP build run/sync
            > from/to RAM would be available.

            There is a utility that copies all updates from the RAM back onto the
            CF for later reboots. The OS is basically compiled and a directory
            tree is configured to look like the structure used to make a Hard
            Drive operate. That is then converted into an image file that is saved
            to the CF along with other utilities that will boot , configure the
            RAM, copy the image to RAM from the CF, start the image running, then
            the CF is unmounted, so that it cannot be accessed unless it is
            mounted. This keeps the CF from being used except when needed.

            Bear in mind, custom ID files are not used, no PERL, PHP, apache and
            other restrictions apply due to memory/CF storage limitations.

            > Since you have created you own two, how did you address the issue of
            > limiting read/writes to the flash device?

            Only special boot loaders run from the CF but these do not do any
            writing to the CF. As mentioned above, the OS image is copied from the
            CF into RAM and that is what gets run.

            Want to learn something about building an embedded system take a look
            at the Limey-Linux site: http://limeylinux.org

            --
            Randy Hammock KC6HUR
            http://kc6hur.net/~rhammock/
            http://irlp.kc6hur.net/
            If there are no horses in heaven, then when I die, I want to go where
            they went.
          • k9dc
            ... I built a node for my mobile repeater based upon the VIA LN series motherboard, using a 2 GB IDE flash drive. I customized the Linux installation using no
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 17, 2008
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              --- In irlp-embedded@yahoogroups.com, "n8vjp" <n8vjp@...> wrote:

              > Since you have created you own two, how did you address the issue of
              > limiting read/writes to the flash device?

              I built a node for my mobile repeater based upon the VIA LN series
              motherboard, using a 2 GB IDE flash drive. I customized the Linux
              installation using no swap partition. The machine has 1 GB of RAM
              (was only $8 more than 512M) The only other thing I did was
              create another small ramdisk partition for /home/irlp/run where the
              audio files are ground up. but in the grand scheme of things I doubt
              that makes much difference.

              I found that IRLP CentOS, had some strange audio artifacts on some
              wav files. So I went back to FC3, which works perfect.

              -k9dc
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