Coreboot and SeaBIOS

General discussion relating to the O2 Joggler, from the default O2 setup, to alternative operating systems and applications.
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hawsey
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by hawsey » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:40 pm

I follow this thread with interest but little understanding lol:a couple of questions apologies if I missed something and they have already been asked .
1 does coreboot and sea bios make it any easier to have say a triple boot with touch screen choice say W8 /xubuntu/Joli it is only possible via keyboard and refit or something like that at the mo but I don't think many have tried.
2 would it be possible to boot pnpiii using cbsb ?
Just random ponderings above and not requests very impressive work on here by the way...
Happy Joggling

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pete
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:55 pm

Seabios/coreboot is still in it's infancy.

That said it will allow you to utilize the PATA port inside of the Joggler for an OS and yes you will be able to triple boot the Joggler with ease; sans the EFI booting partion; actually a throwback to the old style BIOS.

You should also be able to boot into the O2 OS / PNPIII once the bios has evolved some more. One thing though is that you do not have a battery backed up clock; that said its not an issue to sync your time via the internet once booted into the OS.

I utilize a modded Seagate Dockstar for my home watering (sprinkling system) using Linux and it does just fine. While not modded inside it is booting via a CF card, running the OS from a USB stick and connected serially to two 8 port sprinkler relays; works well and has been stable for about a year.

Relating to the Jogglers; I am using them for all kinds of stuff. A few configured with Wintel/Linux Home automation screens reporting status of devices in the house and as an interface to various HA devices in the house (lights, thermostat, weather and CCTV stuff).
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:21 am

Today I got the "flipped" 15cm ZIF cable. Works great. The SSD ZIF drive now sits over the wireless stick and doesn't put pressure on the LCD.

I am guessing my ZIF connectors are different and that is the reason that I have to utilize a "flipped ZIF". I do install it with the contact face up rather than face down.
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Mevi
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by Mevi » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:05 pm

hawsey wrote:I follow this thread with interest but little understanding lol:a couple of questions apologies if I missed something and they have already been asked .
1 does coreboot and sea bios make it any easier to have say a triple boot with touch screen choice say W8 /xubuntu/Joli it is only possible via keyboard and refit or something like that at the mo but I don't think many have tried.
2 would it be possible to boot pnpiii using cbsb ?
Just random ponderings above and not requests very impressive work on here by the way...
Hi Hawsey,

1) Coreboot replaces the EFI completely and essentially turns the Joggler from a 'kinda PC' into a BIOS PC. Although it's still a work in progress, it's pretty amazing as it currently stands. Any OS images that are out for the Joggler, like Xubuntu, android, etc. will *NOT* work, so you'll have to install an OS yourself. My XP build will work on the new BIOS with some 'unpatching' of Windows files and writing the NT5 boot sector to the drive. Others with a soldered on PATA ZIF connector are able to boot from that. Pete's adventures with his flip cables and a ZIF SSD prove that it's quite possible to have a self contained tiny 'all-in-one' PC.

2) Coreboot/SeaBIOS doesn't touch the eMMC, just the chip that the EFI lives on so your factory OS/PNPiii install will be safe although you will not be able to boot it. To get your PNP back again, you must rewrite the chip back to the factory EFI ROM (that you should make a backup of before you start!).

Go for it!!! :D
I've Got The Moves Like Joggler

Windows XP Professional SP3 plus Tablet PC for O2 Joggler
http://www.jogglerwiki.com/forum/viewto ... ?f=2&t=305

How to build your own Windows XP for the Joggler
http://www.jogglerwiki.com/wiki/WindowsXP

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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by danfoshizzle » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:05 am

Going to start work on a foshizzled windows 8 soon, will have all the expected tweaks and optimizations you come to expect lol

Also, my corebooted joggler seems to run flawlessly, even did a reboot without getting stuck the other day :)
Fullscreen squeezeplay windows, server 2003, foshiz mini v1 and v2, (and a few broken builds) :P so far.....
more to come!!

Jogglers " Obi Wan" according to Pete_c :D

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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by hawsey » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:44 pm

Will have to give this a go soon, see if Santa brings me a new Joggler to play with.
The Jogglers that are troublesome, would they be fixable by getting one of these chips you talk about in this thread and refreshing?
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by Mevi » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:10 pm

I had a Joggler that refused to boot beyond the O2 logo, even after trying all the usual fixes. I'm sure that I would have had to reflash that EFI chip at some stage anyway, so I took out the EFI chip and flashed on a working Joggler with Coreboot/SeaBIOS and it's working just fine. Pick up a cheap non working Joggler on eBay and fix it up. :D

I've not needed to buy any more BIOS chips, I'm still using the ones that were inside.

As long as you can use putty or similar to type commands into one factory OS Joggler, you can flash as many BIOS chips as you like by hot-swapping them. As long as you make a backup of your EFI ROM you can easily revert back as Inaxeon has included chip flash from USB stick in the BIOS. Awesome.
I've Got The Moves Like Joggler

Windows XP Professional SP3 plus Tablet PC for O2 Joggler
http://www.jogglerwiki.com/forum/viewto ... ?f=2&t=305

How to build your own Windows XP for the Joggler
http://www.jogglerwiki.com/wiki/WindowsXP

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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by ilovemyjoggler » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:12 pm

Ok. There it is again. 'Hot-swap'. Pete_c has mentioned this too so now I'm curious - which very very bad.

Please forgive me if this is too off topic but

What is an efi chip?
Where is it?
How do you get to it/remove it?
How do you reflash it or do you replace it?
What do you reflash it with?
When would this be a possible/necessary step for a kaput joggler and what would you end up with?

Hmm, I think that's all for now... I won't be surprised if no-one answers this... ;)

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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:38 am

It is a flash chip located on the Joggler motherboard. I attached a picture to indicate where it is.

Carefully pulling apart the Joggler and turning it on; you can remove the EFI chip in vivo (hot swapping chip while Joggler is on); replace it with another chip and flash the 2nd chip. It is much simplier than it sounds and I myself was worried that I would cause more harm than good hot swapping my EFI chip.

I am not sure how many read writes the original chip has and it could maybe fix issues with a kaput joggler.
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ilovemyjoggler
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by ilovemyjoggler » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:16 am

pete_c wrote:It is a flash chip located on the Joggler motherboard. I attached a picture to indicate where it is.

Carefully pulling apart the Joggler and turning it on; you can remove the EFI chip in vivo (hot swapping chip while Joggler is on); replace it with another chip and flash the 2nd chip. It is much simplier than it sounds and I myself was worried that I would cause more harm than good hot swapping my EFI chip.

I am not sure how many read writes the original chip has and it could maybe fix issues with a kaput joggler.
Ohhh. Thanks for clearing that up Pete - now I get it!

Last question then, where would one get a replacement chip from?

btw I'm really not sure I could ever summon enough courage to take a joggler apart but this is really good to know - just in case disaster strikes! :)

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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by hawsey » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:13 pm

Yes there seem to be quite a few Jogglers with dodgy chips, I have one myself :-/ I have it booting xbmc live so it's not useless but this info is nice to know .
We are drifting a bit off thread here so I might start a new thread about this info :-)
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:27 pm

The chips are on Ebay with variable prices ($3 to $10 USD). You just have to be carefull to position the chip such that it is same side up when hot swapping it. The CPU temperature tolerances are OK per what I have been told to do this in a few minutes without damaging anything.

Back to the Seabios testing though.....I have one Joggler SB'd to Mevi's XP and it has cold and warm booted just fine 100% of the time. That said though; internal NIC doesn't appear to be there (don't know if this is my Joggler or the bios) and it doesn't have a battery backup so you will always need to sync the time when you are first booting. (but that really is a non issue). So really moving the OS to something like a PATA connected SSD will work a bit better than running the RW OS off of the flash chip. With the ARM based Chumby and its microSD OS; I chrooted it a bit to run off a CF card plugged into the side of it and it worked OK in Linux at 800Mhz; albeit a bit slow.
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Fishy
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by Fishy » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:45 pm

ilovemyjoggler wrote: btw I'm really not sure I could ever summon enough courage to take a joggler apart but this is really good to know - just in case disaster strikes! :)
Just for info, it's really no big deal - see excellent video which shows you how at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjMLUIoYQm4

Inside you will quickly find the wireless card is attached to the board by a standard usb socket.
Pull the wireless card up and it comes out easily leaving the spare usb available for you to insert a memory stick, etc.
That's what I did with my SqPOS/LMS Joggler, thus doing away with Joggler internal memory fickleness completely. :lol:

(Incidentally the wireless antenae come off the case easily by careful picking with a screwdriver. So there's no need to disconnect them from the wireless card as shown in the video)

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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:32 pm

Making a second production (for use) makeshift Joggler using "Coreboot and Seabios" and an extended ZIF SSD pata drive.

This one will be using a small footprint (apple style) USB to NIC interface sticking out back of the Joggler using the internal USB port or adding one inside to outside. Might be easier just to make a thin USB cable extending outside and fastening a small USB hub on the back of the Joggler. The USB wires are so thin that I can utilize the small "venting" holes on the top back of the Joggler case.

This said because the currently running testing with Seabios XP box is doing just fine running with XP and with an externally connected USB to NIC device.

I have now extended the POE network some such that its easy to switch from a conventional NIC to a POE NIC by just moving a couple of cables over to the POE switch. IE: where ever now there is a Joggler plugged into the network can go POE with it. (1-wire and no transformer)

I can remote this Joggler on the network and if the power goes off it will boot just fine into XP.

I am using a very small USB to NIC interface and historically I have glued it to the back of the Joggler. This time I may just use a couple of very small screws inside of the NIC part of the interface to fix it to the back of the Joggler using the aforementioned "vent" holes.

Here is a picture of the USB to NIC interface. Note this is a $1 cheapie USB to NIC converter. I couldn't find where I put the original cut end of the USB to NIC converter so made do with another connector. I was able to thread the 4 wires through one of the same holes adjacent to the USB to NIC device. Using my newly (but old stuff) set up soldering station, "extra hand clamps" helped a bunch to do this.

At some later date I could also repurpose the USB wires for use with a small USB hub mounted in the same place as the USB to NIC device.

Relating to the network and POE the smallest working POE to Joggler device was a TP-Link. I have been testing one outside in an IP camera housing and its been fine now for over 6 months. That said the Jogglers inside using these same POE voltage converter devices have been fine now for about 6 months also.

Playing with a new (old) Joggler today.

That said tested the XP USB boot initially to see if the internal NIC would come up or not; it didn't.

SSHing to it next to update the ROM to the coreboot.rom (also purchased some rom chips a couple of months back such that I would have some spares). ROM has been upgraded.

Writing an XP image to boot SSD drive. (pictures to follow installation of SSD Drive inside of Joggler).

Having it booting just fine into XP. Trying to now reimage the boot partition off a USB stick.

I attempted to keep the picture large by changing it from color to black and white.

I reduced the size of the files of the picture to 256K or less k from 1.2 Mb. The third set of pictures will show the ZIF SSD drive and extended ZIF cable inside of the Joggler.
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USB-NIC-BW-2.jpg
USBmod-3-BW.jpg
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Mevi
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by Mevi » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:27 pm

Interesting read, Pete.
I've Got The Moves Like Joggler

Windows XP Professional SP3 plus Tablet PC for O2 Joggler
http://www.jogglerwiki.com/forum/viewto ... ?f=2&t=305

How to build your own Windows XP for the Joggler
http://www.jogglerwiki.com/wiki/WindowsXP

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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:34 pm

Tested XP versions of MythTV, HDHomerun Tuners and XBMC. All run quick and streaming video works well. That said doing the second seabios/coreboot box today as it still is connected using an external USB to NIC device. I can now also remote these two boxes shutting them down and restarting them, et al.

Guessing once Linux/Android boots from the internally mounted PATA drive; it'll be very plugnplay.
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by verg0 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:02 pm

Hi Pete_c, what ssd do you recomend for the joggler?...

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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:16 pm

I purchased whatever was on sale and cheap 16Gb SSD drives as they are plentyful out there in internetlandia.

Think they were Ebay specials at around $20 USD each (but its been a while now). The R/W speeds are very much different with an SSD PATA drive than the USB stick (whether regular or SSD). I had switched over to USB SSD sticks a while ago and those were faster than regular USB sticks.

My issues though related to having to use a "flipped" ZIF cable which is one side is tinnned opposite the other side. The next issue is that the thin SSD drive / cable wasn't thin enough to sit against the Joggler motherboard without distorting the LCD screen. Thus purchased longer ZIF cables such that I could fit them in the space where the USB WLAN stick was; if fact you can put it on top of it if you want and it still doesn't press on the back of the LCD screen. I think its just the ZIF connector on the Joggler as the pictures I saw posted here showed a one sided ZIF cable. The one that I use also is the same type as plugs into the little ZIF to USB drive boards which I have three of now. There is a name for said type of cable. (FPC or FFC??)

You have to be careful with the ZIF connector; as if or when you force it the little clips can come out of the holder; while you are not really breaking it; its really a PITA to put back into place. (an analogy would be the little clips that hold your wristwatch bands in place - if the come out of place; they are a real PITA to put back into place). That and I found out there is a color schema of thickness of the ends of the ZIF connector; where a blue end is "thicker" than a white end which is "thinner". A white end with an improperly utilize ZIF connector will just fall out as it doesn't grip properly.

Moving from using the Kitchen table to a regular little workshop table helped me a great deal. I have two connected lamps on the workbench. One has a large magnifying glass on it which works well with my old eyes. The other piece was setting up my "helpful" hands clamps and leaving the soldering station in place instead of moving it temporarily to the kitchen table. IE: I had a "favorite" motherboard which had the "exploding" caps syndrome. Well it was only three of the capacitors mounted on the motherboard. Easy to replace on the workbench; but very difficult to replace on the kitchen table. Fixed it though in about 15 minutes and now motherboard is working fine.

Now testing the newest Joggler "in production". With the "feature" of being able to upgrade the BIOS (even going back to the original Joggler EFI boot) is easy; and leaving the SSD drive inside will not hurt anything. That said now I do not have to open up the Jogglers to do anything to them. I tested this out yesterday by write an image within the running OS from one partition to another without having to remove the SSD drive. This makes it easier than say taking a USB stick and writing an image to it on another computer then booting up with said image on the Joggler.

Attached is the final piece. Note that I wrap the SSD drive in a non static plastic before closing the Joggler case. (whoa; what is happening; tons of spam this morning on the forum).
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:26 pm

Today soldering a PATA ZIF connector on Joggler #4.

This said PATA ZIF connector is part of a batch of new ones that I purchased.

Looks to be well constructed but you have to kind of take it apart such that you can solder the two side pads to the Joggler Motherboard.

I will take pictures of said endeavor.

For whatever reason I cannot boot off of the PATA port with this connector and ZIF. I have double checked my connections and they are fine.

Now comparing this ZIF connection to a working ZIF connection. It appears that there is no 3.3VDC on pins 38 & 39 of the PATA connector; which is really a bit odd.

I am not sure why. Wondering if PATA traces are not connected?


That said the Joggler boots fine with the USB to ZIF device so installing that inside of the Joggler and hacking another USB connection for NIC interface.

I finished Joggler #4 with the coreboot/seabios configuration for "production" use. Similiar to the other two with a USB connected Asix Network interface. I fit a small USB to ZIF card under the ZIF SSD HD. This one is using a soldered USB port on the motherboard. Works great and boots almost as fast as the directly connected ZIF to PATA port Joggler.
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Re: Coreboot and SeaBIOS

Post by pete » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:28 pm

Fixed the next Joggler to be production that will utilize coreboot/seabios.

This one was an early one with a soldered PATA port. Worked fine until I decided to "neaten" up the soldering for the 40 pins on the ZIF connector. It appeared that I created a soldering bridge which I couldn't see; that said it did a partial boot then stopped to an earlier version of seabios. Probably related to the shorting or bridging of 2 of the 40 pins on the PATA port traces. I did see the bridge after cutting it off. I went nuts with the flux and one of the side tabs appeared to be bridged to one of the first of 40 pins on the pata port traces. Note that this was under the ZIF connector and I couldn't see it. That said it was related probably to too much flux.

I didn't want to try a desoldering suction device and gave up on using a soldering wick. Instead I just cut off the soldered on PATA port; breaking off some of the traces. Cleaned it up a bit. Booted fine then but still to the old seabios. I dropped the newest one on a USB stick and plugged a keyboard in. I was able to load up the newest BIOS and I am back to a working Joggler. That said will be doing the motherboard USB add plus the ZIF to USB boot SSD ZIF drive thing with this Joggler to put it into production. Basically then I brought back a Joggler thinking it would only be a spare for parts Joggler.

It will be #5 of the "production" jogglers running and booting XP off of the ZIF SSD drive. (this one though connected to the micro USB to ZIF board fitted inside of the Joggler.
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