All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: EFIKA is for me...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 4:57 am 
Offline


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:41 am

1063
Image

The subject of this post is a bit provocative on purpose: I got bored by forum posts and IRC messages stating, that 'EFIKA is not for me', 'I don't know what to use it for', etc. I'm a server guy, and at first sight one might think, that it's a contradiction, that I like this little machine. And that's right, it does not have much horse power. But for a home (SO/HO) server it's not really necessary.

On the hardware side, here is what I use:
- EFIKA
- PicoPSU (for the size, and it's silent)
- USB 2.0 card
- 80GB 2.5" HDD
- 250GB 3.5" HDD on USB 2.0

Image

Why the two HDDs? The small one is good for booting and continuous operation, as it's silent and does not use much power. But it's slow. That's why USB2 and the other HDD is needed, there is a 6-10x difference in read and write speed. The external HDD is turned on only as needed, during the day when a file server is needed. For the night, when torrents are downloading even that 2-3MB/s is 10x more, than needed.

My OS of choice is openSUSE. As reported in earlier forum posts, it works fine on EFIKA. At the moment it's not yet possible to install it directly, I copy it over from my Pegasos. A little work is needed to compile a kernel supporting EFIKA, I use now the one from current factory patched by the patch collection from Crux PPC. What's not included in openSUSE 10.2, that can be installed from Packman, or compiled. Actually, this last thing, compilation, what took most of my time this afternoon, compiling my favorite torrent client, 'rtorrent' took a couple of hours on EFIKA. But it was worth, as it's the least resource intensive, but still user friendly torrent implementation.

With openSUSE and it's management system 'YaST', it's really easy to setup a system. Here is what currently runs on the machine:
- DNS server for local machines, a local resolver and master for the 'czp' domain :-)
- NFS server to access files from Linux
- Samba to access files from the one remaining Windows machine (not mine...) at home.
- DHCP server, as it's a lot more flexible, than the one built into my ADSL router
- Apache with PHP: web interface for MPD, local installation server, etc.
These services usually take a long time to configure, fine tune, but with YaST a working, partially customised setup is ready within an hour.

A few other software I installed:
- Music Player Daemon (MPD) to play music on the EFIKA in a way, that it can be remote controlled either from a PHP application or there are many MPD clients available. This comes from the Packman package collection.
- 'rtorrent' compiled from source: a curses based torrent client, using just minimal resources (I use it to seed openSUSE DVDs at 5-10MB/s without noticeable CPU consumption). This can be used during the night to download Linux installers, etc., when bandwidth is not needed for work.

With the added USB2 card, possibilities are nearly endless, I just need to find the appropriate Linux supported peripherals:
- printserver: my laser printer has an USB port
- USB wlan card to create an AccesPoint for my notebook
- USB->Ethernet converter to be able to hook up my ADSL modem. The firewall / NAT in my ADSL router is a kind of dumb, EFIKA with custom firewall script could make a much better job.
- USB->Serial converter to hook up a fax modem and send/receive faxes

These are just a few things, and one little EFIKA can handle all of these...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:10 am 
Offline


Sun May 08, 2005 8:46 pm

559

Paris
Thanks Peter, very interesting thing to read.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:32 am 
Offline
Genesi


Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am

1421
Great post! 8)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:43 am 
Offline


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:41 am

1063
Ooops, I forgot to add power consumption data:

- 4-6W for EFIKA with 2.5" HDD (depending on load)
- 10-12W for the external USB2 HDD

So it's worth to pay attention, how long the external storage is turned on...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:32 am 
Offline


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:41 am

1063
Tested USB->Ethernet converter by anyone? I only found this one: http://www.ramiris.eu/termek.php?cikksz ... F6z&page=1
Anyone has experience with this one?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 6:31 am 
Offline


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:41 am

1063
I was using this setup for almost two months now, it works really great. If just the internal HDD is used, one can barely notice, that there is a computer in the room. Of course, if the led of the case is connected to the HDD, it can make some nice light effects :-)

80GB leaves enough space to store most of my CD collection in mp3 form (150+ discs) and also act as a local file server. It's a lot more convenient, than to change the CDs :-)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 7:25 am 
Offline
Site Admin


Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am

1589

Alamo Heights, TX
czp wrote:
Ooops, I forgot to add power consumption data:

- 4-6W for EFIKA with 2.5" HDD (depending on load)
- 10-12W for the external USB2 HDD

So it's worth to pay attention, how long the external storage is turned on...


We should note that with a graphics card, the Efika draws around 9W (ATI Radeon) and barely more than 10W in normal use. This is actually much lower than we expected. A full computer drawing less than an external hard disk :)

These results will go online sometime once it's been prettied up and we have graphs (and details of the testing) and all that stuff that goes with it.
Matt Sealey, Genesi USA Inc.
Product Development Analyst


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 7:53 am 
Offline


Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:30 pm

78

Germany
My EFIKA with 2.5" HDD, Radeon 7000 (32MB), Keyboard and mouse took around 12 Watt.
..:: www.djbase.de ::..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 8:20 am 
Offline


Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am

52
Hi, I see that you installed the USB2.0 PCI card onto the PCI slot. As far as the voltages are concerned, is this a safe method?

And, forgive my ignorance if I missed something, how do you operate the Efika?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 8:34 am 
Offline
Site Admin


Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am

1589

Alamo Heights, TX
DJBase wrote:
My EFIKA with 2.5" HDD, Radeon 7000 (32MB), Keyboard and mouse took around 12 Watt.


The 7000 is a little heavier a chip. The Radeon 9250 was process shrunk and isn't THAT much more powerful - that probably contributes a lot to lower power consumption. Then you can add GPU unit power management (it turns the clocks off when parts of the chip aren't in use) built into it whether you turn PowerPlay on or off (it just makes it more aggressive). But I think the 7000 missed out on that by being 'before' the feature existed..
Matt Sealey, Genesi USA Inc.
Product Development Analyst


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:34 am 
Offline


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:41 am

1063
Finally I could buy an USB -> 10/100 Ethernet adapter (for details, please take a look at http://www.ramiris.eu/termek.php?cikksz ... F6z&page=1 ). It's based on the 'MOSCHIP 7830' and needs the mcs7830 kernel module, which is included in recent kernels.

This adapter highly extends EFIKA usage possibilities, even without an USB2.0 card. Even USB 1.1 can handle 10 mbps network traffic, and most cable and ADSL connections fall between 512kbps to 2mbps, and even top ADSL speeds are just 8mbps. This means, that an EFIKA with such an USB network adapter can easily be used as a SOHO firewall / router. With an USB2.0 card even higher speeds can be achieved, and an ADSL2 connection can be easily serviced.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:26 am 
Offline


Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:30 pm

78

Germany
Neko wrote:
DJBase wrote:
My EFIKA with 2.5" HDD, Radeon 7000 (32MB), Keyboard and mouse took around 12 Watt.


The 7000 is a little heavier a chip. The Radeon 9250 was process shrunk and isn't THAT much more powerful - that probably contributes a lot to lower power consumption. Then you can add GPU unit power management (it turns the clocks off when parts of the chip aren't in use) built into it whether you turn PowerPlay on or off (it just makes it more aggressive). But I think the 7000 missed out on that by being 'before' the feature existed..


I changed now the Radeon 7000 and inserted a Radeon 9250. The power consumption goes down to 10 Watt now.
..:: www.djbase.de ::..


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:14 am 
Offline


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:41 am

1063
openSUSE 10.3 is just around the corner. It is based on a newer kernel, so has full support for EFIKA and for many recent USB gadgets. I just published some Packman packages, so the setup in my first post can easily be reproduced by anybody, without extra trouble. Right now this is for the impatient or who would like to test, 10.3 will be released officially on 4th of October.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:49 am 
Offline


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:41 am

1063
openSUSE 10.3 is here (actually already for a couple of months). So I did a couple of changes to the original setup:

- openSUSE 10.2 -> openSUSE 10.3
- 10m (33feet) Ethernet cable replaced by USB wireless
- 3.5" external HDD is replaced by 2.5" external HDD, power consumption went down to 1/5, noise almost completely gone, capacity grew by 50% ;-)
- have nfs for UNIX clients, samba for Windows clients
- installed ampache ( http://www.ampache.org/ ) from a build service repository ( http://download.opensuse.org/repositori ... SUSE_10.3/ ), so music can be browsed using an easy, but still feature rich web interface.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:54 am 
Offline


Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:41 am

1063
And an EFIKA, but a different one: https://www.genesi-usa.com/products/efika

It is a developer board, so I use it as such most of the time. It has twice the clock rate (which we all know, that does not make a direct difference :-) ) and four times the RAM (which makes a big difference). As it is a very nice little board, not only for developers, but also for end users, I also started to use it for everyday tasks.

As my favorite Linux Distribution (openSUSE) is not yet fully ported to ARM, I use it with Debian. Ubuntu is also available, but not yet as mature, as the Debian port.

The sound quality of the line/headphones out is excellent, so using it as a music machine is an obvious choice. Using mpd it can be controlled remotely, or there are also countless command line / console / graphical music players available. One can stream music over the net using the bundled wireless, use the SD card reader or attach USB storage. The SD reader can also be used to watch pictures from a digital camera.

Being extremely energy efficient (well under 10W with the bundled LCD screen), it can also be used as an "always on" machine. No more missed IM messages or IRC conversations :-)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group