Author Topic: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?  (Read 7223 times)

alx9r

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2009, 08:18:33 am »
I now have the eee box b202 working with my system. 

Here are the hitches I encountered:
   * There is an issue with the NIC that prevents automatic setup as a diskless media director.  There are reports that this is fixed in 0810. (yay!!)
   * The workaround for the NIC problem (see http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/ASUS_eee_box_b202_setup) only works if the core is running the i386 version.  My core was running the AMD64 version.  I am now running the i386 version on my core.  This change was a blessing unto itself -- my core is now more responsive and crashes less.
   * The eee box would boot to a black screen.  Using the xorg.conf from http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6847.msg42485#msg42485 fixed this.
   * connecting the eee box to my aquos tv with a DVI=>HDMI cable produced black flashing (see http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6901.msg50757#msg50757).  I am using 720p VGA instead.
   * I was not able to get a resolution higher than 720p working.
   * The eee box would lock up once the on-screen orbiter was activated.  Setting the photo screen saver to "static" mode reduced lockups dramatically.
   * frequently the eee box isn't able to pxeboot.  the only solution that I have found is to delete the media director from the admin page and recreate it.  I wrote a shell script that does a bunch of the heavy lifting required for the NIC workaround.

Performance:
   * DVD rips playback flawlessly.
   * Some 720p media plays almost flawlessly.  I have a few 720p DivX nature shows that playback perfectly except on some scenes with moving patterns.
   * Other 720p content cannot be played.  The troublemakers all seem to use the MPEG4ISO codec.  Many of these same files also push the limits of my M2NPV-VM media director.
   * I was not able to get any 1080p content to play.

The eee box is small and inexpensive.  My goal was to come up with a media director setup for the bedroom that was unobtrusive.  The eee box definitely does the job.  The whole unit and cabling mounts cleanly behind my TV.  The network and power cables come through the wall, so it is a really clean setup.  In fact, no cables are visible.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the eee box even if it chokes on some HD content.  Hopefully this helps someone make a decision.

Alex

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5498
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2009, 08:48:42 am »
guys, we need to make device templates and associated scripts for these systems, so that these work-arounds can be automatically applied. Look at how the Fiire Station 1 is handled.

-Thom

Pnuts

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2009, 06:40:20 pm »
guys, we need to make device templates and associated scripts for these systems, so that these work-arounds can be automatically applied. Look at how the Fiire Station 1 is handled.

-Thom


I am interested in doing this but do not know where to start or how to look at how Fiire Station 1 is handled. Could you give me a nudge in the right direction? Assuming I can accomplish this, ill also make a Wiki with steps to create additional templates for other machines.

I would be making one fore the MSI Wind Nettop computer (along with a wiki page on the model itself to compliment the MSI Wind PC wiki page)

-Pnuts

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5498
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2009, 06:46:12 pm »
Start looking in our svn in src/Fiire_Scripts for examples of fiire specific configuration scripts.

It's the combination of those, and the device template for the Fiire Station 1 that allow lmce to apply needed fixes for these units.

-Thom

b4rney

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 454
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2009, 07:15:51 pm »
alx9r, thanks for listing your experiences. I have added a recommendation to the wiki to use the tested xorg.conf posted by totallymaxed.

I do not have any problems with pxeboot once initial set-up is complete. I have a wired gigabit network.

Also worth mentioning the dvi to hdmi problem seems unique to the aquos tv, I have no problems with my LG TV using dvi to hdmi at 720p.

Only issues I have are:
1. Occasional lock up requiring reboot of asus eee box (fairly rare).
2. xorg.conf gets overwritten with vesa driver (simply repeat step 5 in the walkthrough). Very rare.

I'd be interested to see your shell script too.
Barney

b4rney

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 454
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2009, 07:25:14 pm »
alx9r,
Forgot to ask ... you did complete step 6 of the wiki setup didn't you?

If you didn't do this step properly your eee box can't pxeboot after the initial boot. By recreating the image you allow it to boot only once. You must complete step 6 to stabilise your system. I think this might be your problem.

Hope this helps.
Barney

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4426
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2009, 08:49:26 pm »
Start looking in our svn in src/Fiire_Scripts for examples of fiire specific configuration scripts.

It's the combination of those, and the device template for the Fiire Station 1 that allow lmce to apply needed fixes for these units.

-Thom


Hmmm...not sure what a device template for the Eee Box B202 would achieve. In Fiire's case they needed a template so they could differentiate between their 'custom' Via units and everyone else's...apart from that there was not much point.

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

alx9r

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2009, 09:07:18 pm »
Forgot to ask ... you did complete step 6 of the wiki setup didn't you?

Yes, i completed step 6.  Without it the eee box tries to use the impugned r8169 module for the r8168 and hangs on boot. 

The pxeboot failure is very early.  Going from memory it fails attempting to find 01-00-22-15-64-a1-52 dot something (.cfg?).  I suspect this is the tftp step of the boot process.

I have copied the tftpboot folder from the working setup to a safe place hoping to diff out any changes once it fails to boot again.

Alex

alx9r

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2009, 09:16:39 pm »
Also worth mentioning the dvi to hdmi problem seems unique to the aquos tv, I have no problems with my LG TV using dvi to hdmi at 720p.
That's what I suspected.  Thanks for confirming.

Quote
Only issues I have are:
1. Occasional lock up requiring reboot of asus eee box (fairly rare).
I confirm this too.

Quote
2. xorg.conf gets overwritten with vesa driver (simply repeat step 5 in the walkthrough). Very rare.
I haven't seen this yet.

Quote
I'd be interested to see your shell script too.
I've attached it.  You'll need to change the moon # to yours in the various locations of course.  Make sure the good r8168.ko and xorg.conf files are in ./ when you run it.

Alex

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5498
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2009, 10:41:04 pm »
Start looking in our svn in src/Fiire_Scripts for examples of fiire specific configuration scripts.

It's the combination of those, and the device template for the Fiire Station 1 that allow lmce to apply needed fixes for these units.

-Thom


Hmmm...not sure what a device template for the Eee Box B202 would achieve. In Fiire's case they needed a template so they could differentiate between their 'custom' Via units and everyone else's...apart from that there was not much point.

Andrew

*shake-head*

Come on, device templates allow for any system specific fixes to be applied, without, you know, having to resort to following weird odd instructions spewed across a forum posting and a wiki page.

Think about it.

-Thom

b4rney

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 454
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2009, 11:33:41 pm »
alx9r,
I've looked at your shell script and I think I can see your problem.

Step 6 includes the step of adding a line to the modules file on the moon (in your case 94). Your script includes the line referencing this file but misses the critical step of adding the line which is the module name 'r8168' into the modules file.

Apologies if I am misreading this but I'm stuck with windows for the moment so I can't see the file properly.

Hope this helps.
Barney
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 11:35:51 pm by b4rney »

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4426
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2009, 12:36:33 am »
Start looking in our svn in src/Fiire_Scripts for examples of fiire specific configuration scripts.

It's the combination of those, and the device template for the Fiire Station 1 that allow lmce to apply needed fixes for these units.

-Thom


Hmmm...not sure what a device template for the Eee Box B202 would achieve. In Fiire's case they needed a template so they could differentiate between their 'custom' Via units and everyone else's...apart from that there was not much point.

Andrew

*shake-head*

Come on, device templates allow for any system specific fixes to be applied, without, you know, having to resort to following weird odd instructions spewed across a forum posting and a wiki page.

Think about it.

-Thom


*shakes-head-back* :-)

But all of the Eee Box B202 issues can really be dealt with by adding as standard the NIC drivers to the standard initramfs and Updated Graphics drivers to the system as a whole... none of these are entirely specific to the Eee Box... they are generic to a whole range of MD's and should just be there - not added on demand by a template. We dont need to add these on demand - indeed we have never done this for the initramfs as far as i can remember.

Fiire are the only people who have take a 'device template' approach to MD's...and they did this because they needed to have a way to install their closed drivers...but even their templates failed as any Via GPU'd motherboard would be detected as a Fiire MD ;-).

In 0810 all of these issues are taken care of by the updated kernel to a large extent and other cans be corrected in the initramfs.

All the best

Andrew


Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

Seer

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
    • Gamehendge
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2009, 04:56:52 am »
Quote
In 0810 all of these issues are taken care of by the updated kernel to a large extent and other cans be corrected in the initramfs.

All the best

Andrew
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you keep your projects in sync with the current versions of the distro you are working on.  We are not the only people in the planet to have these problems with these brand new chipsets, and the 0710 fix is to apply just enough handmade back ports to make it work.

The best idea (and the inevitable future) is riding the wave with the (K)Ubuntu crowd, keep the sun at our backs and our eyes on the horizon.  Their will be very few version-to-next upgrade issues, much easier to stay on top of, and we might even be able to drive what is included in the "extended world" package systems in the HA realm just by the fact that _we_ are using them.

Developers: Jump on now, take your time to get up to speed, and lets have some fun creating that house we had dreams about as children!

Seer

P.S. thanks alx9r for your run though of the eee box.  I'm sold!  Let's hear it for $300 25watt computers!  And another for the upcoming 204 with HDMI and Discrete Graphics card.

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4426
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2009, 11:10:07 am »
Quote
In 0810 all of these issues are taken care of by the updated kernel to a large extent and other cans be corrected in the initramfs.

All the best

Andrew
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you keep your projects in sync with the current versions of the distro you are working on.  We are not the only people in the planet to have these problems with these brand new chipsets, and the 0710 fix is to apply just enough handmade back ports to make it work.

The best idea (and the inevitable future) is riding the wave with the (K)Ubuntu crowd, keep the sun at our backs and our eyes on the horizon.  Their will be very few version-to-next upgrade issues, much easier to stay on top of, and we might even be able to drive what is included in the "extended world" package systems in the HA realm just by the fact that _we_ are using them.

Developers: Jump on now, take your time to get up to speed, and lets have some fun creating that house we had dreams about as children!

Seer

P.S. thanks alx9r for your run though of the eee box.  I'm sold!  Let's hear it for $300 25watt computers!  And another for the upcoming 204 with HDMI and Discrete Graphics card.

Well... 0810 is definitely much better in terms of the support for newer hardware that's for sure. But there are also many changes 'under the hood' and the Dev team are working very hard to resolve those.

As to the ASUS Eee Box line... well the B204's only unique feature is its on-board UPS battery. We're are testing the B206 now with its onboard ATI Radeon 3400 GPU (there is no 'graphics card' as such by the way) and it looks like ti will perform very nicely in UI2 + Overlay at 1080p (under Dianemo & 0810-alpha's). Everything else about it is identical to the B202 so if your getting good results with a B202 then a B206 will be a pretty smooth ride.

I'll update the Wiki with some info on the B206 as soon as i have some time ;-)

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

alx9r

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
    • View Profile
Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2009, 07:30:00 pm »
Step 6 includes the step of adding a line to the modules file on the moon (in your case 94). Your script includes the line referencing this file but misses the critical step of adding the line which is the module name 'r8168' into the modules file.

I can see how that line looks suspicious.  The way the script accomplishes adding the module name is by copying a pre-edited 'modules' file to the appropriate location.  I forgot to mention that file when I posted my script earlier.

Alex