[Arm-netbook] simplest internet connection

Nick Hardiman nick at internetmachines.co.uk
Mon Jul 18 13:36:46 BST 2016

Thanks for your help. I ordered
* Libre Tea Computer Card
* Micro Desktop Housing for Computer Card

I’ve never even seen this board, so why did I order?

I’ve already got a few SBCs here that aren’t quite right. This new computer card is a compact board, with a great specification at a reasonable price. And I’m looking forward to feeling the benefit of these improvements over other SBCs.
* FSF certification. That means a lot of people a lot smarter than me have checked the system. I can expect it to just work.
* the card housing. I can put this in my pocket, without ripping bits off the motherboard.
* That PCMCIA socket. That’s so easy to use - all you got to do is push it in and pull it out.

And of course, it can run my favorite Linux distros.

Thanks for putting together such a great product.

> On 17 Jul 2016, at 15:25, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net> wrote:
> ---
> crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware: https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68
> On Sun, Jul 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM, Nick Hardiman
> <nick at internetmachines.co.uk> wrote:
>> So if I got this right, I can set up a card with network access in three ways - a minimal standalone setup, a full desktop setup, or a PCB for many cards. First two are linked to the current crowdsourcing campaign, third one is a future enhancement.
> correct.
>> Here’s what I understand about the first two. This look right? Please excuse my rough ASCII connections diagrams
> we like ascii connections.  thank you for not doing them as HTML.
>> a minimal standalone setup
>> power socket
>> |
>> power plug, $6
>> delivering at least 3 watts, so thats practically any USB charger
>> https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Wall-Charger-Outlet-Output/dp/B005CG2ATQ/ref=sr_1_7
>> |
>> USB OTG cable, $1.63 (!)
>> https://www.amazon.com/Micro-Cable-Power-Samsung-Player/dp/B00CXAC1ZW/
>> or
>> USB + HDMI Cable Set, $15
>> https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop
>> |  |
>> |  USB to Ethernet adapter
>> |  This one seems to contain an ASIX chip (AX88178)
>> |  $25
>> |  http://plugable.com/products/usb2-e1000
> plugable... mmmm... you're better off buying from thinkpenguin.
>> |  |
>> |  Network cable, to the network, say $10
>> |
>> Libre Tea Computer Card, $65
> that's basically it.  you won't be able to see any of the boot logs,
> early kernel messages or OS boot logs with this setup.
> if you were to get the cable set *and* then plug in the HDMI cable
> *and* the bootloader and kernel were configured to display onto HDMI,
> *then* you would be able to use just the above, because you could plug
> in a keyboard instead of the USB-ETH adapter.
>> a full desktop setup, for seeing boot loader and kernel messages
> boot loader and kernel messages go to where the boot loader and
> kernel are configured to send them.  *early* messages can *only* go to
> the serial port.  this isn't a PC, it's an embedded computer.  if
> you're not familiar with this you should read up on it, on the
> linux-sunxi wiki, and ask more questions when you need to.
> basically the boot proces goes:
> * BROM (boot rom) http://linux-sunxi.org/BROM
> * NAND or SD/MMC 16k "very early bootloader".  this is so small it
> can only do serial debug output
> depending on the very early bootloader, some people use allwinner
> boot0/boot1, other people use u-boot "SPL" early bootloader, you have
> different choices.
> * after u-boot-spl you can go direct to u-boot and from there LCD or
> HDMI or UART is initialised, you can get early u-boot messages on LCD
> or UART
> * boot0/boot1 is a bit weird, it can do LCD / HDMI initialisation but
> it's for tablets, you don't get log messages.  you can put in your own
> u-boot, that's where you could get LCD/HDMI started
> from there you get to kernel, that's when you have "console=XXXX"
> from u-boot and associated scripts (uEnv.txt), that says where the
> kernel console output goes.
> i will have this all set up correctly so that you won't need to do it
> or know all of it in advance, and there will be people (at least me)
> who can guide you through modifying it for particular setups.  there's
> also the linux-sunxi community.
>> Libre Tea Computer Card
>> $65
>> https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop
>> |
>> Micro Desktop Housing
>> $55
>> https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop
>> |  |  |
>> |  |  Network cable, to the network, say $10
>> |  |
>> |  Keyboard, Video, Mouse, say $100
>> |
>> power plug (a USB charger?)
> no, a 7-21v PSU (i'll likely supply a 12v one) with a standard 5.5mm
> pin-positive jack.  the PSU is part of the micro-desktop kit.
> l.
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