2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby jbv » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:54 am

Hi Toni,

Over the weekend, I got FoxyRoxy properly updated to 2.6.32-48squeeze10 (lts)

I re-installed all 3 kernels (486, 686, 686-bigmem) and every (squeeze) support package is now at the latest release from either LTS or Squeeze-Updates. I have also got all of the ALSA stuff to Alas 1.0.25 (the latest stable release for squeeze), which includes, the drivers, libs, and tools (previously this was a bit of a mash-up of 1.0.23 and 1.0.25) - now everything is 1.0.25

Currently battling some issues/glitches with drivers for the latest Intel Video and Network chips as used in the new NUCs. Not sure exactly how I'm going to handle this as they require newer versions of xorg which requires newer kernel versions. I may need to sped some time reviewing the source-code for them or something creative. Will start looking at that tomorrow or the day after.

I have also merged everything into a single sqf and fixed/sorted dpkg (I think) - I may need to write a script to run a sanity check over it, but I'm pretty sure it's solid and golden.

I've also found and fixed some of the strange start-up things I shot you a PM about. Additionally I have updated Firefox to v35.0.1 (latest release as of Saturday <g>). I've got some testing to do as I only finished this late on Sunday Night (2am this morning) and I want to test properly, but I should have a Beta-4a this weekend.

Cheers, Brenton
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby saintless » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:26 am

Thanks, Brenton!
I will wait for your new upload.

Cheers, Toni
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby KazzaMozz » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:47 pm

Hello Boys
Whoa you have both been very busy. Have just started to catch up on all of the antics and changes. Looking forward to downloading and giving this a whirl.
Off to keep reading and then will visit your site Toni to see what you have been up to.

Cheers
Kazza
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby saintless » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:19 pm

Hi, Kazza.
Thanks again for your kind hosting offer in puppy linux forum!
Using gftp for fast uploading and replacing files and keeping all in one place saves me a lot of time.

Cheers, Toni
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby jbv » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:29 pm

Hi Toni, Hi Kazza,

I have been overseas for the last 4 weeks. I need a weekend off.

I have checked that everything is fine and hangs together properly. I've sorted out the various issues with the Intel NUCs - as best I can without upgrading the whole X11 sub-system. Audio, Video, and Network (wired adapter) support for the newest chipsets (as used in the NUCs) is better than the latest releases of Debian.

Will get something up soon.

Cheers, Brenton
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby jbv » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:17 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm pretty sure that there are only the 4 of use here (myself, Toni, Kazza, Steen) with a few interlopers.

While I have paid for hosting for another year (though until December 2015) I am thinking of pulling the plug on the site from a public access perspective. I don't mean this to sound like sour-grapes, although the reality is that the site has not achieved what I hope it might have. My hope was that it was going to attract some like-minded people that could help me. From a development perspective, I got lucky on one front, and not so luck on another. Those of you who "got it" were certainly able to help in some very important areas, such as testing and pointing me somewhere, but not from the perspective of actually doing stuff.

I may take FoxyRoxy "private" (in the next month or two) in which case, those of you who have signed-up will still be able to see the Forum and participate - if you want to.

Since my last post to this site, I have achieved some amazing things with FoxyRoxy. It is now deployed in quite a few sites (about 20) that would be considered "mission critical" and are in public areas, on public display so if anything funny happens, thing start to get real ugly, real quick. It has been in these sites for about 3 months now, and to date the total number of phone calls I've has been ... 0 :)

I have deployed FoxyRoxy on hardware that was never imagined when this project started .. Intel NUC's and Gigabyte BRIX's - both have quirks, and while I have had to compile some network drivers and play with some of the sound stuff and video drivers, FoxyRoxy has shown itself to be (almost) bulletproof.

- I'll finish this tomorrow.... bv
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby SBP » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:55 pm

Hi Brenton

Thanks for your update, and while understand your point I really think it is unfortunate if it is going in that direction.

I'm still using your first version of FoxyRoxy as my LMS server - and I would have loved to follow further development. But as you know I don't have the skills to help in development.
So I would really appreciate if I'm allowed to follow the progress on the forum here.

Maybe we all should come up with ideas on how to attract more interest in FoxyRoxy? If you haven't followed it here then it is impossible to know that it even exists. So a description on various places might be needed?


Regards
Steen
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby saintless » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:09 am

Hi, Brenton.

FoxyRoxy is a very specific distro and needs special hardware for testing. For example I can't test properly most of the improvements you made. Media server, Intel NUC's and Gigabyte BRIX's... All this needs special hardware most people do not have. The people who do have it most probabaly do not need NAS system or use something different.
The problem now is people with new hardware like to use new OS versions (even if it is only for media server). In a month Debian Jessie will be stable version, Wheezy old stable and Squeeze old-old stable version. Building new kernel and drivers for new hardware does not solve the software update problems. For example you can not install working Skype in Squeeze anymore (not without some special skills at least). The versions that work on Squeeze are too old and skype protocol was changed last year.
I know FoxyRoxy is much more stable now than any regular Squeeze, Wheezy or Jessie version and maybe works better on new hardware, but reading based on Debian-Squeeze today makes the people think it is too old for their hardware and needs. And the other problem is FoxyRoxy configuration needs typing terminal commands. Without GUI most linux users feel lost.

I'm really sorry I could not help you more and you did not have the luck to find someone like Fred I work with now in puppy linux forum.
I think FoxyRoxy should be available for public download and new changes posted in some form if you keep updating the iso version. I will follow the progress as long as I can here and if I can help you further I will, but you are the only one who knows the low level setup and mods you made in FoxyRoxy and from the active forum members you are the one with the best scripting skills.
To keep this forum in public or private or close it is something you have to decide and you should not listen any of us about this. You are the only FoxyRoxy developer and keeping the main documentation and changes posted in some form will be great. I know you are happy with the result and I'm grateful for all I have learned from you here. Feel proud of yourself!

Cheers, Toni
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby jbv » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:57 am

Hi Guys,

I may have mus-represented my intentions. Let me make it clear that I do intend to continue with FoxyRoxy and that there is no way I am ever going to drop you two guys off.

What I feel a little bad about is that I have not had a chance to update things and keep you updated. Professionally, things have just gone nuts for me. When I get home, I am just beat that I want (need) to rest.

I am also needing to travel overseas for extended periods at short notice. As I am often in locations with poor internet, it makes it hard for me to communicate.

While on the surface it may look as though I have not done much with FoxyRoxy over the last few months, I have actually done quite a bit. I have sorted out all of the little things that Toni noticed with my first rev-up to LTS and I'm pretty sure I have also sorted out all of the issues with the various dpkg things. However, I still need a little longer to get it to a state where I can give it to you guys.

The reason for this is as I will now try to explain...

Professionally I have had a couple of projects on what I would call a "background simmer". These are projects (or products) that as an organization, the company I work for may have a need to develop rather quickly or bring to commercial reality within the foreseeable future. FoxyRoxy (specifically Linux) has been a potential candidate as a proof of concept for two of these projects/products. As things have turned out, overnight .... two of them went from being things that we may need to do within the next year or two, to being things we needed to do in record time. Therefore I needed to quickly evaluate where FoxyRoxy was in relation to the latest releases of Debian, and how I was going to get to where I needed to be in the fastest and most stable way possible. As you can imagine FoxyRoxy was my first choice. I quickly realized that with FoxyRoxy, I have issues in three areas. 1) Network Driver, 2) Video Driver, 3) Sound Driver ... Network Driver was easily resolved, as I could simply compile the latest drivers and everything was great. Video was bit more of a problem. The source for the chipset specific video drivers required the latest X-11 stuff which required the latest everything and when I poked and prodded, I realised that unless I had the exact same versions of everything as the bloke who provided the video driver source had, it wasn't going to work. However the basic VESA drivers in FoxyRoxy worked and they worked as well as, if not better than those on the current versions of Debian. Sound was the same. The Latest versions of Debian had no better support for the latest chipsets than FoxyRoxy. While I could not get perfect Sound Support in FoxyRoxy, I could still get better functionality in FoyxRoxy than I could in the latest versions of Debian.

Now as for which versions of Debian I looked at. I downloaded all of the current Live versions of Debian and they all behaved the same. I then downloaded what I think was the correct latest version of DebianDog. They all looked identical from my viewpoint and they all had the same issues. They did not support the latest hardware/chipsets any better than FoyxRoxy, and in most cases the performance or support was lower or worse than FoxyRoxy. Sure, they may have supported a later version of Skype or Office, but what good is that when the basic network or audio/video is broken?

When I started to look at things like support for other filesystems and core network/access capabilities, I noticed that once again, the latest and greatest releases just don't have what I already have.

To cut a short story medium, I was able to get FoxyRoxy running better on the newer hardware than I was using any of the newer Debian based stuff. Sure, FoxyRoxy may not have had latest version numbers, and it may not have looked as pretty, but it worked and it worked a darn sight better and more reliably. This is probably due to the 6 months Toni and I spent just playing with stuff and getting the core basics right.

On a positive note, this showed me that I really don't need to support Application Layer stuff, as I think Toni's DebianDog does this much better - or at least it does to the point were I don't need to worry about it any more :) Over the last 18 months there has also been a huge development in the Android Tablet marketplace such that in Australia you can now buy a somewhat reputable Android Tablet for less than US$50- from a major chain that means you can take it back if it doesn't work. I'm thinking this is the space for satellite type devices (think Audio/Sound Streaming a Video/Movie Players) - Seriously Steen, what I think we can do with these devices for the money is just amazing and will leave the whole SlimPlayer marketplace/device just dead in its track. Crap, you can even buy a decent quality Android Phone for under $50- Now consider that these come with WiFi built in, and always have a headphone socket, and you don't need to buy a SIM and connect them to a Telco Network to make the work ... Am I making sense now?

Professional, before the end of this year, I will probably have 2 Electonics Engineers designing my own base-board (processor) using an ARM device and writing the low-level video drivers for our video and audio output streams - This will most likely be using the 2.3x Linux Kernel (same as FoxyRoxy) and I will also have 2 software guys working on some higher level application layer code.

I am still going to finish FoxyRoxy as my ultimate NAS, as I know it is the right direction. I need another few weeks to turn back on the services I turned off when I needed to deploy 20 or so sites nationally with a house-branded version that had a lot of services turned off for security reasons, and I then need about 2 weeks to sort out the RAID thing. I between this I will be playing with a few things, and I'd like to ask you guys some really dumb questions. I'd like to ask Toni about some of the things in DebianDog that I think are broken, and I'd also like to ask him about some of the simple easy stuff in FoxyRoxy, l that I hope he remembers from our early days, as I've forgotten. I'd like to do this somewhat in private without knocking out everyone who actually has an interest, hence the thought about taking this to a "private" level that requires sign-up/login to see/read.

Your thoughts/comments guys/gals ?

Cheers, Brenton
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Re: 2015 ... Where Has The Time Gone ... Beta-4

Postby SBP » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:44 pm

Over the last 18 months there has also been a huge development in the Android Tablet marketplace such that in Australia you can now buy a somewhat reputable Android Tablet for less than US$50- from a major chain that means you can take it back if it doesn't work. I'm thinking this is the space for satellite type devices (think Audio/Sound Streaming a Video/Movie Players) - Seriously Steen, what I think we can do with these devices for the money is just amazing and will leave the whole SlimPlayer marketplace/device just dead in its track. Crap, you can even buy a decent quality Android Phone for under $50- Now consider that these come with WiFi built in, and always have a headphone socket, and you don't need to buy a SIM and connect them to a Telco Network to make the work ... Am I making sense now?


Hi Brenton, Yep I agree that Logitech as a seller of audio players would have a hard time now. This was probably the reason for their decision to stop making hardware players.

HOWEVER, I find that their server software (LMS) which is open-source is still highly needed and what sets them apart from competition.
As you know LMS allows for multiple streams throughout your house either in synch or different streams and it makes it easy to use either local audio files or online radio-stations. This would be difficult without LMS and it is here that I think FoxyRoxy is very useful as the backbone for the server software.

On the hardware player side I agree that there are many interesting options Android devices, ARM based devices or Intel based devices.
They only need to install the excellent software "Squeezelite" in order to be recognized as a Squeezebox audio player.

So if you were to design a small low-powered ARM based device with build-in wifi and possibly powered via LAN cable it could easily be adopted into the "Squeezebox world" but for this pure audio-player a full blown FoxyRoxy might be overkill?

Regards
Steen
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