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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
Surfboard x86
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 09:19    Post subject:  Surfboard x86  

Ok I just purchased a Surfboard, it cost around $174 USD or $196AUD, here's the specs
CPU Fanless Xcore86 1Ghz “Device on Chip”
BIOS AMI BIOS
RAM 512MB DDR2 onboard
Storage 1 IDE for 2.5 inch internal, 2 x SD external
LAN 10/100 Mbps r6040 NIC
WIFI Optional WIFI module available (802.11 b/g)
3G Network Optional 3G module
Video Integrated 1280 x 1024 with 128 MB dedicated video RAM
VGA out, Composite out and SVHS out
Audio Hi Definition Audio, Stereo speaker, Digital Array Mic
Audio Jack Audio in and out
I/O Enhanced IDE Interface x1, USB 2.0 x 2, RS232 x 1
OS Microsoft Windows XP, Linux
.Surfboard
Power Consumption .5 watts
Per year 40.63 Kwatts
CO2 generated 30.31 pounds
Compared to gasoline 1.58 gallons


It took a bit to get it going on Wary 0.6, Its using xvesa driver so it running slow, sound isn't working externally, but the internal speaker is working with the 2 barks at startup, after that no sound because mplayer and pmusic doesn't work, it works fine online but mplayer just crashes when started.
Looks like it will take a bit of work to get this going, I have Wary installed on 32GB sd card that uses a sd/flash adapter.

below are some pic's, funny after I bought the surfboard I went out and bought a new desk for it Smile also the speakers you see are ones I bought last week for the wii game system, I had to hack them to work on things because they were made to use the wii 2amp power supply, so basically I opened them up, removed the wii power supply plug and soldiered a 350ma 9v unregulated power adapter that was actually producing 12v. then I closed it up and gave it a test and boom it worked great Smile

Things to do list
compile new drivers, xorg, maybe alsa, mplayer or gxine. and continue testing.

ttuuxxx

Surboard website
http://www.xcore86.com/site/node/11
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_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile


Last edited by ttuuxxx on Thu 02 Sep 2010, 10:11; edited 1 time in total
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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 09:52    Post subject:  

Very nice Ttuuxxx.

I thought you were going sea surfing on a motherboard . . . pictures helped . . . Wink

Is the silver tube a subwoofer?

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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 10:03    Post subject:  

Lobster wrote:
Very nice Ttuuxxx.

I thought you were going sea surfing on a motherboard . . . pictures helped . . . Wink

Is the silver tube a subwoofer?


yes the silver tube is a subwoofer, That's why I bought the wii speakers, they had them OVERPRICED at Target, The regular price was $80 for 2 speakers and subwoofer , The sale price was $12 what a sale, so I figured there and then I just had to hack the power supply and I would have a nice set of small full range speakers at a small price, even if it didn't work it would only be $12 lost. hmmm I might go back and buy another set for the future Smile
ttuuxxx

_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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jemimah


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 4309
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 10:12    Post subject:  

Can I trouble you for an lsmod? To get a better idea of the hardware...
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 10:14    Post subject:  

jemimah wrote:
Can I trouble you for an lsmod? To get a better idea of the hardware...


# lsmod
Module Size Used by
snd_pcm_oss 27699 0
snd_seq_dummy 903 0
snd_seq_oss 18053 0
snd_seq_midi_event 3480 1 snd_seq_oss
snd_seq 30329 5 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_seq_device 3605 3 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq
snd_mixer_oss 10073 1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_hda_codec_realtek 161575 1
snd_hda_intel 14910 3
snd_hda_codec 37389 2 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel
snd_pcm 44779 4 snd_pcm_oss,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec
snd_page_alloc 4669 2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
snd_timer 11284 3 snd_seq,snd_pcm
snd 30666 14 snd_pcm_oss,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_mixer_oss,snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm,snd_timer
soundcore 3143 1 snd
battery 7216 0
evdev 5392 0
serio_raw 2816 0
pcspkr 1151 0
fbcon 29409 0
bitblit 3674 1 fbcon
softcursor 829 1 bitblit
tileblit 1505 1 fbcon
font 6932 1 fbcon
r6040 7693 0
mii 2630 1 r6040
apm 9250 1
fuse 41743 0
aufs 114970 746
nls_iso8859_1 2937 3
nls_cp437 4465 3
usb_storage 29801 4
usbhid 17717 0
squashfs 15512 1
ohci_hcd 17156 0
ssb 29746 1 ohci_hcd
ehci_hcd 26356 0
usbcore 89595 5 usb_storage,usbhid,ohci_hcd,ehci_hcd
psmouse 43782 0
#


Hope that helps Smile
ttuuxxx

_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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jemimah


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 4309
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 10:29    Post subject:  

Do you know what the video card is?

You can get a netbook for that price with better hardware - but it can't touch .5watts. Of course if you add a monitor, .5 watts goes out the window.
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 10:42    Post subject:  

jemimah wrote:
Do you know what the video card is?

You can get a netbook for that price with better hardware - but it can't touch .5watts. Of course if you add a monitor, .5 watts goes out the window.

That price was including the $42 dhl shipping, which was outrageous, I did opt for the tv-out extra feature and a North America to Australia $3 power converter plug. The thing is that it weighted less than my asrock superman keyboard that I had shipped from the USA for $20, plus it was 30% larger package. I think they need a new shipping carrier.
The developers forum is located at http://www.deviceonchip.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=54&func=showcat&catid=18
thats where I have a puppy linux version thread, It should be the same video output as the edubook, Its still all new to me, I've only had it 24hrs or so right now. Funny thing is that it still post the battery on the taskbar, must be reminiscences of edubook, hmmm I could make a plugin UPS box in theory that could last 24hrs really cheap since it wouldn't power the monitor just keep the pc awake until the power comes back on, or moved to a new location with power.

I wish I knew what video driver it needs, it has a long lag right now.
I figure they should keep the sources for default drivers available to the general public.
ttuuxxx

_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 11:28    Post subject:  

I think its this driver http://deviceonchip.com/index.php?option=com_rokdownloads&view=file&Itemid=27&id=58:rdc-xorg-driver-r0-0-9
but its getting late, I have to get up for work in 4 hrs.
I'll try again tomorrow, tonight was a good start.
ttuuxxx

_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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jemimah


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 4309
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: Thu 02 Sep 2010, 11:44    Post subject:  

I think you'll need a kernel driver too, yes?
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alas

Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun 05 Sep 2010, 06:46    Post subject: puppy 4.31 on the surfboard  

Hi all, I am new to this forum and an enthusiast puppy fan. I have also ordered a surfboard, and I had the possibility to play with it and puppy linux 4.31 (gecko netbook edition). I would like to share my experience with you so far:

1. interesting features:

a. the keyboard is very light and compact, so I can imagine to use it on travel from home to the office almost like a netbook; it suits in my netbook travel case;

b. puppy 4.31 (gecko edubook edition) runs very well on the surfboard; sound (speakers out and mic) works out of the box, ethernet too.

c. hub supported, which extends the capabilities of the surfboard.

d. I keep the surfboard running during the last two days, and on the contrary to the gecko edubook, it does not become too hot, which is nice.

2. contra

a. wifi: I bought the surfboard with wifi built-in, which needs the driver rtl8188SU and the corresponding firmware; these are not in puppy 4.31; I tried to compile the driver using the archive provided by www.deviceonchip.com, but got a lot of issues... so I ended up using another usb dongle;

b. xorg: it needs the RDC driver (version 1.3) also provided on the web site of device on chip; the driver as just to be copied at /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/; after that, reboot X and configure xorg; though what is anoying to me: I can't get the 1366x768 resolution that my monitor needs, and I am stucked with a 1024x768 resolution...

I think that the wifi trouble can be solved with Lupu 5.1 as it has the driver and the firmware for the usb-wifi; but I don't know if it would behave nicer with X and the RDC driver.

After my contact with Michael Barnes from X86core, it seems that the surfboard behaves well with Quirky 008, but I did not test it.

So far, it is a very green and a efficient product, really happy to use it with puppy.
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Mon 06 Sep 2010, 00:52    Post subject:  

Hi guys

I have a little SD2USB adapter, when I would run grub2dos to make the grub menu it would give it a pmedia=usbhd because the adapter was a usb, but that didn't work if I wanted to use just the sd card without the adapter in the surfboard, So I updated the script to make it ideflash each time Smile
So once the menu is made just take the SD card out of the adapter and slide it into your sd slot
ttuuxxx
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_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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alas

Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon 06 Sep 2010, 13:31    Post subject: flash ooops  

unfortunately, the surfboard does not handle youtube video and flash better than the gecko edubook... that is not good, given the name of the device.

After my emails to Michael Barnes, he told me that it should behave better with unbuntu 10.04 made for the surfboard. I can not imagine that it is true, I tried to tweak the bios in order to make it behave better with youtube video, but no go.

ok, i did not buy the surfboard in order to watch youtube video, nevertheless, not a good experience at this side.
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10747
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Mon 06 Sep 2010, 16:29    Post subject: Re: flash ooops  

alas wrote:
unfortunately, the surfboard does not handle youtube video and flash better than the gecko edubook... that is not good, given the name of the device.

After my emails to Michael Barnes, he told me that it should behave better with unbuntu 10.04 made for the surfboard. I can not imagine that it is true, I tried to tweak the bios in order to make it behave better with youtube video, but no go.

ok, i did not buy the surfboard in order to watch youtube video, nevertheless, not a good experience at this side.


hi alas

I'm thinking its a cpu architecture thing, sure its a 86 vortex cpu, but I have a feeling that its not as complete as a a normal 86x desktop cpu, Barry's version of the edubook puppy had a kernel patch, other puppies I've been trying like 4.0,4.3 etc have all run about the same, 4.0 was missing the networking for the lan, that just a compile away.
Plus I noticed the memory was running at 400 MHz, I don't think that's right since it suppose to be ddr2 which at a min should be 533MHz.
I think it might take 6 months to a year before we see youtube running at full speed. I'll look more into it this weekend. I have a feeling that Glibc, Gtk, xorg and the kernel might need to be compiled. First the patches would need to be found and applied.
ttuuxxx

_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile

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gjuhasz


Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Fri 10 Sep 2010, 09:30    Post subject: Re: flash ooops  

ttuuxxx wrote:

I think it might take 6 months to a year before we see youtube running at full speed.


Using a webm compatible browser, join the HTML5 beta first:

http://www.youtube.com/html5

then locate the video you want to see in youtube. There is a chance that you access the webm format this way.

I have a PII 400 MHz Toshiba Tecra 8000 laptop with Neomagic chipset and 256 MB RAM - far below the capabilities of the Surfboard.

Youtube videos have been jerky on this machine for a long time.
Tried V8/webm videos but they simply killed Seamonkey (SM 2.1a/b builds support webm).

Then I tried Wary 060. Installed Midori browser (pet from technosaurus, see http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=51971), with Pup-advert-blocker (see http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=59290).
Youtube videos played much better due to the lighweight browser.
But Midori 2.2 is not a webm-compatible browser.

Then I downloaded some webm videos to play them locally with mplayer. Surprisingly, it showed local webm files as a charm.

Then I simply renamed the downloaded x.webm files to x.mp4. I opened the renamed files with Midori, which recognized and played them using Wary's default mplayer plugin - no jerky effects. Wow!

Other browsers still crash. I am trying to tweek Midori to access and play webm files.

As far as I know, Midori supports webm videos from v0.2.4. Hopefully, the current Midori will be available as pet package soon.
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cobyhoff

Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Fri 10 Sep 2010, 12:35    Post subject: APM  

I don't have a surfboard, but I do have an Edubook, which I assume is very similar as far as the software sees the hardware. All the hardware has been functional out-of-the-box using Lupo 5.1. The only thing that hasn't (and still doesn't) worked is the limited implementation of Advanced Power Management (APM) that the Xcore86 module uses. The real-world manifestation of this is the inability to shut down the computer. (I really dislike holding the power button for 5 seconds after the OS has halted!) It sounds like you have been fighting different problems. Is there really a difference in the display drivers on the surfboard versus the Edubook? I had no problem using Xorg.
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