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Hello

Post by VeloxVN »

Hi all.

I'm new on Odroid. Just got a C2 to develop some stuff and use it as compilation station. And test station.

I will probably have some questions :)
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Re: Hello

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Hello!
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Re: Hello

Post by L67GS »

Welcome! What language are you developing in?

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Re: Hello

Post by crazyquark »

Hi there, you should try Rust on the C2, aarch64 support is pretty good.


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Re: Hello

Post by VeloxVN »

I'm developing in C.
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L67GS (Mon May 31, 2021 11:04 pm)

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Re: Hello

Post by L67GS »

VeloxVN wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 5:32 pm
I'm developing in C.
Oh cool! I'm learning C++

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Re: Hello

Post by mctom »

I like you guys for learning relatively low level stuff.

I got a broken C2 today, generously donated by our forum colleague. If I manage to fix it, I'll be porting my PiStackMon project to this board. The link is in my signature. Feel free to fix my C code, sometimes it segfaults right at the start, but it is so rare I never traced the cause :D
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Re: Hello

Post by L67GS »

mctom wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 11:13 pm
I like you guys for learning relatively low level stuff.
"Low level" as in "technologically core" or "childlike"?

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Re: Hello

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The former, of course.
I'm an EE and I'm not keen on people wasting bytes and cycles, because "memory is cheap" and so on. What's the point of making progress, when coders will find yet another way to bloat things up and demand more.
Take Etcher for example - a tool that could easily be replaced with dd wrapped in a script that does all that - downloading images, verifying writes and so on.
Instead, you download ~100MB of a web page canned in a stripped off web browser, and for some reason nobody bothers to question it. Oh, and it turned out to be spyware.

I used to have an x86 PC that was almost 10 years old and I failed to find any good reason to update it. I believe I don't need more power to check damn e-mails, print a damn recipe or design a damn PCB from time to time. :D
So I switched to N2+, because I calculated that it will pay off in electricity bills in one year or so. And I sold an old rig for even more money.

So, yes, I'm always respectful towards people who actually code stuff using low level tools, even if it takes more time and effort to do the same thing.
And don't get me wrong - I use Python to do one-off scripts here and there. I wrote my printer driver in Python, just because I really needed it and I'm not clever enough to do it in C. Which is a shame!

For the record, for my MEng thesis I coded ATmega8 in Assembly - 1000+ LOC or so, bitbanging RS232, controlling stepper motors and measuring laser light intensity in ~10pW range.
Most of my colleagues abandoned microcontollers because they were coding in C and didn't understand why they can't fit simple code into ATmega. In fact, you may write a=a*2; and see quarter of program memory being eaten away. But instead of investigating, many of them simply switched to BeagleBoards and Pi1s. That's not an engineer's attitude, if you ask me.
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Re: Hello

Post by L67GS »

I concur

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Re: Hello

Post by VeloxVN »

@mctom

I got my first PC XT 8088 based in 1982. Then PC AT came in Europe in about 1985.
And during the 90', I gave all my old computers (8086, 80286, 80386 and the first pentium) to african schools

And in my working life, I developed so many RS232 protocols... I can't have a count right now.
:D

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Post by mad_ady »

Ah, the joy of Electron apps (etcher, vscode, etc).... I agree that they waste RAM like it grows on trees, but it seems RAM is either cheaper than developers or isn't paid for by the company that writes the code.

Most likely the reason is cost savings. HTML/CSS "programmers" are cheaper than C/C++ programmers. And sadly, cost is important for engineers...

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Re: Hello

Post by mctom »

Well, the first PC I can remember was AT. I had some puzzle games on it! ;)
I think I started doing HTML on Pentium 133, and Visual Basic on Celeron 333.
I was a promising boy, but then I went to High School and i got interested in girls instead. Oh, the wasted potential! :D

Oh yeah, that reminds me of another reason why I don't need overpowered rigs: I was raised on 2D PC games, back when you bought a game in a box and got a fully working game. I gather it's unthinkable these days! ;)
When I dived into "Linuxing", that was 6 or 7 years ago, I was skeptical of FOSS games - I imagined them representing the level of early 1990s shareware games for Windows 3.1. But nope, it seems that there are many great open source games. Although maybe not appealing to modern teens because you've got to play it yourself, and use a bit of imagination here and there, I surely am more than content with these.
Which reminds me I wanted to try out OpenRCT2 at some point.

That's very nice of you donating the computers. I gave up a laptop last year for a local school. For some reason, some families with 5+ kids couldn't afford 5 computers for remote learning. I've got my own opinion about having more kids than you can provide for, but I strongly believe in the right for education in the first place.

You obviously lived longer in the times of RS232 dominance. The one that I developed for MEng thesis wasn't my last RS232-related work. Last week I was writing a new printer driver for another thermal printer. And I think I'm gonna build my own USB-RS232 dongles, because it's easier than looking for a brand and model (and batch), and supplier, that actually has all control lines, proper voltage levels and doesn't drop bytes randomly. With USB 2.0 hub included, because I'd use a few more ports under my desk. :)
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Re: Hello

Post by mctom »

mad_ady wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:36 pm
Ah, the joy of Electron apps (etcher, vscode, etc).... I agree that they waste RAM like it grows on trees, but it seems RAM is either cheaper than developers or isn't paid for by the company that writes the code.

Most likely the reason is cost savings. HTML/CSS "programmers" are cheaper than C/C++ programmers. And sadly, cost is important for engineers...
The popular theory states that programmers simply get too powerful machines to work on, and don't even know they just developed crap. Reportedly Google's engineers each got $10k lappies, that's what "they" say...
And also, the general population actually believes that as "tech" (electronic toys) gets old, they magically slow down and must be replaced. No questions asked.
Unbelievable. ;)

Oh yes, and I've got my own opinions about running modern software companies and workers in them. No wonder why all supercomputers in the world don't run proprietary software, eh?
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Re: Hello

Post by mctom »

I measured typical mean power consumption of my PC before I sold it - it was 80W, browsing the web etc.
In case of Odroid N2+, it's about 6W or so.

I also bought a new monitor in place of the old one - also 30", but 10 years "younger", so it consumes 30-50W instead of 200W.
And surprisingly, my halogen-bulb lamp over my desk turned out to have a broken transformer that was always hot - even when the lamp was turned off. I didn't measure power consumption, but if it was hot all the time - that couldn't be good. I got a few meters of LED strips instead.
All this matters when you work from home and use your computer for 10 hours a day.
Not that I halved my electricity bills or anything, but there IS an improvement. :)

And finally, I try to get everything powered from 12V - N2+, LED lamps, USB charger, even a thermal printer - so in future I'll just install a solar panel and a motorcycle battery to power it all :lol:
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Re: Hello

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The popular theory states that programmers simply get too powerful machines to work on, and don't even know they just developed crap. Reportedly Google's engineers each got $10k lappies, that's what "they" say...
Hmm, that's why my employer keeps me on an outdated, low memory, keys missing, dead battery laptop... For me to write more efficient code, not because they don't care... I see :D

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Re: Hello

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mad_ady wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:08 pm
The popular theory states that programmers simply get too powerful machines to work on, and don't even know they just developed crap. Reportedly Google's engineers each got $10k lappies, that's what "they" say...
Hmm, that's why my employer keeps me on an outdated, low memory, keys missing, dead battery laptop... For me to write more efficient code, not because they don't care... I see :D
I assume your office is in the cellar and shares the space with a hot water tank?

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I wish... It's a big open space where it's difficult to conceal the junk on my desk... But for the past year my office has been in the kids room, between the crayons and the lego, so I can't complain...

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Post by mctom »

That was a brilliant thing about the whole pandemic situation. No time wasted to get to work and back, my own familiar 30" screen, no open space noise all the time, a fluffy cat on my lap, no need to order food or use public restrooms...
But these days are nearing the end, starting with the next week, my boss asks us to come to the office at least once a week.
Which is a good thing, I guess. I gained like 10kg sitting at home all the time, and my psychiatrist urges me to get some exercise too :?
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Re: Hello

Post by rooted »


mctom wrote: And also, the general population actually believes that as "tech" (electronic toys) gets old, they magically slow down and must be replaced. No questions asked.
Unbelievable. ;)
Planned obsolescence.


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Re: Hello

Post by L67GS »

In my lab, I still have a BK 3025 (1981), and a Heathkit SG-1271 (late 1970's?).
Naturally I have a couple other function generators but out of respect they're plugged in and see occasional use. The Heath more because the BK has a funny pot I've never gotten around to trying to replace. Still have a Heathkit dual trace scope in storage too, but it takes up too much space to have there.

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Re: Hello

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rooted wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:32 am
Planned obsolescence.
Been working in a few companies in the industry and saw for myself that no such thing exists, or at least is not as widespread as many are inclined to believe.

It's as simple as that: Reliability is a cost that no consumer wants to pay for. Consumers willingly pick stuff that is the cheapest within their demanded specs, without ever thinking how long will this thing last. Thus, the companies that are currently in business sell, basically, nice looking crap.
The world's leading companies that are powerful enough to start a cult around their products (Apple, Samsung, RasPi :D) CAN play the "planned obsolescence" game because they do not risk losing their market share anyway.
It's not true for anything else.
Nobody planned to dumb down the programmers and force them to write bloated software, right?
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Re: Hello

Post by crazyquark »

Lots of interesting threads to pull here, finding it hard to focus :) so I'll just talk about myself, why not!
I am a C/C++ guy too originally though I learned other things in the past years(including web stuff). I like ASM quite a lot(not as a practical development language), did a bit of it a long time ago, but now I look at disassembly only for fun; I do RE challenges when really bored, I used to work in a company where this was a useful skill, nowadays I just develop buggy software (keeps the client coming back for more, ha ha!).

This article is interesting: about the "new" and "old" developers: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/maga ... oblem.html
You probably already know this one, but if you haven't read Andrew "bunnie" Huang's "Hacking the Xbox" you might find it fun(I finally got around this year to reading it, shame on me) - it tries to be a tutorial on getting started with hardware hacking.

I realized that with the C2 dead I no longer have an AArch64 device; I almost bought a C4 but then realized I have too many SBCs!

About planned obsolescence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5v8D-alAKE. At first they did it with lightbulbs and cars :). But yeah, it's probably just a byproduct of not having any incentive to do software updates for 5-10 year old devices.

P.S.
I am also good at breaking things(the C2 being the latest victim). I once smoked(as in literal smoke coming out) a Pi3 when I drew too much current directly from its onboard voltage regulator(I think the Pi has the worst power design of all SBCs but I am no expert).
I also once broke a NanoPi in a very interesting fashion: only the serial(UART) console got damaged, the board worked perfectly otherwise.
I broke many SD cards and discovered there is a low level SPI interface which I can use to poke at them to recover some data.
I broke an HDD by doing a bad flash(I think) and discovered there is a serial console on HDDs!

As child I had this idea that if I can open something up I can figure out what was wrong with it but most of the time I couldn't figure out how to put it back together. I hope my son will have the same curiosity so that we can destroy things together!

Keep hacking, ppl!

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Re: Hello

Post by mad_ady »

I broke many SD cards and discovered there is a low level SPI interface which I can use to poke at them to recover some data.
Regular backups are a much easier/cheaper alternative any day! Image
I broke an HDD by doing a bad flash(I think) and discovered there is a serial console on HDDs!
Happened to a friend of mine too. Turns out his HDD's firmware had a SMART bug that caused the disk to fail after a number of power on hours. Via serial console we could clear the smart counters and recover the drive.

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Re: Hello

Post by crazyquark »

mad_ady wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:48 pm
I broke many SD cards and discovered there is a low level SPI interface which I can use to poke at them to recover some data.
Regular backups are a much easier/cheaper alternative any day! Image
I broke an HDD by doing a bad flash(I think) and discovered there is a serial console on HDDs!
Happened to a friend of mine too. Turns out his HDD's firmware had a SMART bug that caused the disk to fail after a number of power on hours. Via serial console we could clear the smart counters and recover the drive.
Yes, lol, of course, the particular experiment I did when my wife's phone sd card died. It had some worth recovering data - which I eventually did.

This is what I did: https://www.cristiansandu.ro/2015/09/17 ... msung-hdd/

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Re: Hello

Post by rooted »


mctom wrote:
rooted wrote:
Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:32 am
Planned obsolescence.
Been working in a few companies in the industry and saw for myself that no such thing exists, or at least is not as widespread as many are inclined to believe.

It's as simple as that: Reliability is a cost that no consumer wants to pay for. Consumers willingly pick stuff that is the cheapest within their demanded specs, without ever thinking how long will this thing last. Thus, the companies that are currently in business sell, basically, nice looking crap.
The world's leading companies that are powerful enough to start a cult around their products (Apple, Samsung, RasPi :D) CAN play the "planned obsolescence" game because they do not risk losing their market share anyway.
It's not true for anything else.
Nobody planned to dumb down the programmers and force them to write bloated software, right?
Nearly every device that depends on software updates to continue to function properly after X amount of time is planned obsolescence, of which there are literally hundreds of thousands of devices.

Companies produce these devices knowing their support will end and functionality will falter, to me this is planned obsolescence.

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Re: Hello

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rooted wrote:
Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:29 am
Nearly every device that depends on software updates to continue to function properly after X amount of time is planned obsolescence, of which there are literally hundreds of thousands of devices.

Companies produce these devices knowing their support will end and functionality will falter, to me this is planned obsolescence.
It is true in many cases, but I don't believe it's as widespread.
The obvious example are electronic toys market, which is also known as "devices" - cell phones and tablets.
There's not much you can do about a cell phone that doesn't get updates anymore. Mine saw last update 3 years ago or so, and hey it still works. Barely, scrolling through Google map is almost impossible, even though it sports an octa core Snapdragon at 1.2GHz. Would any software update actually solve my problem? I don't think so. Could Google Maps be less bloated? Certainly, just like it used to be.

If it comes to laptops, considering that a regular user is stuck to Windows and won't give it up, XP saw 12 years of support, and Win7 11 years for OEMs. I wouldn't ask for more, somehow the idea of supporting XP to this day sounds ridiculous.

The hardware failures are mostly limited to mistreatment by the end user. No major cases of planned failures are to be seen. Also it's extremely hard to make a reliable way to plan hardware failure, unless you actually hard code self-destruction sequence into it, which is not widespread, is it.

There are exceptions that I pointed out before - Apple products being deliberately made harder to tear them apart and fix, updates that underclock the CPU and so on. But Apple is more of a religion than a brand, so asking consumers for reasonable choices is asking for too much.

Lack of support for older products is just a business decision. There are few manufacturers that offer Windows10 drivers for their 15+ years old devices, and I can't blame them, and I wouldn't exactly call it a planned action on their side - did they plan Windows 10 release ahead?

The light bulb conspiracy was possible because there were 5 manufacturers in the world. These days, if some company deliberately does unreliable stuff, they'll simply go bankrupt. No person with right senses would buy again the same brand that failed on them prematurely. Unless it's Apple of course. How would the manufacturer actually benefit from planned obsolescence? By forcing their market share to switch to their competitors?
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