SuperZaxxon v1.72-RC

Discussion in 'Pandora OS (SuperZaxxon GNU/Linux)' started by notaz, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. notaz

    notaz Certified Guru

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    As ED is selling his last ever pandoras again (from time to time), I thought it's a good time to make another SZ release with fixes that have piled up. So here come the changes:

    Yet more wifi tweaks. This was done earlier this year, so was already available and tested by many people with positive results, so releasing as part of flashable image now.
    After some connection reliability issues to my router I had an idea to observe the TI vendor driver (2 drivers exist for our wifi chip - TI one and Nokia one, we use the later because only it supports Linux fully) and see if it did something different. What was noticed that power saving wasn't toggled as much by TI driver, and porting that over to Nokia driver helped reliability a lot in my case (but not the speed). Some testers reported improved speeds though, and things like reduced interference with other devices that they previously had. It made things worse for some CC users (I believe they have faulty hardware - wrong resistor), but I've added a config option for them to revert to old behavior if needed.

    NAND reliability tweaks. So finally some reports started appearing on these boards about something that looked like NAND wear problems. It's not surprising as the chips are well over 5 years old now. Those issues tend to show up when NAND is full or near full, probably because ubifs ends up not having where to migrate data when bitflips are detected (block becomes bad). I've had a quick look and found a few things that could be done:

    • increase number of reserved blocks for bad block handling. For whatever reason the 3.2 kernel had this set to 1% by default, while allowed expected number of bad blocks given by manufacturer is ~2%. I've changed it accordingly.
    • set reserved free space for root. Previously this was set to 0 and then the user could easily accidentally fill his NAND. Now this dangerous situation can be avoided, at least while you are not root.
    Note: the NAND needs to be formatted to make use of these tweaks, so they only take effect on full reflash.

    SD DMA tweaks. For whatever reason prefetch and burst features were not enabled in the DMA controller, so I've enabled them. It doesn't seem to help SD card transfer speed, but helped wifi transfer speed stability (had to find a free wifi channel to get reproducible results, on channels with busy neighbor routers the speed fluctuates wildly no matter what).

    Clean up. I've decided to drop some large things to relieve NAND pressure:
    - swfdec - it's very old and not really useful, I've read it conflicts with modern browser PNDs.
    - qtwebkit4 - mostly same as above
    - samba server - don't think anyone ever used it, install it with opkg if you need it (sudo opkg install samba)

    Other that that, had to merge some things to fix broken build after ED updated Debian on the server. I suspect it will not be possible to use the server to build the firmware after some more Debian updates, but maybe we won't even need to.
     
    More detailed changelog:

    DOWNLOAD AND INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS:
    Upgrading from a previous SuperZaxxon version (1.5x or newer):

    Use the "Upgrade Pandora OS" option
     

    Please note:

    • If you are updating from v1.61 or lower, it is highly recommended to do a full reflash because many system libraries have been changed in 1.70 and some users reported failures updating from v1.61 or earlier. Updating from 1.70 should be completely safe.
    • Be sure to backup any important data you might have in your NAND for the above reasons.
    • User-Modified configs will not be overwritten with the new version.
    It is recommended to do a full flash in case you are encountering any issues.

    Upgrade instructions using the Full-Flash-Image:

    Download SuperZaxxon Final v1.72 RC

    Please note: Flashing the new firmware will put your unit back into a default state. All your settings and users will be lost. Of course, this does not apply to PNDs which save their stuff on the SD-Card.

    To install it, simply extract the archive onto the root of your SD Card.
    Insert the SD Card into the left slot. Keep R (shoulder) pressed while switching on your Pandora and select "Boot from SD1"
    It will then flash the firmware onto the NAND. After it's finished, reboot your Pandora and patiently wait until the First Boot Wizard appears on the screen.

    If "Boot from SD1" doesn't appear, try to reformat the SD Card using Panasonic SD Formatter, recopy the files and retry. In some cases you may have to use another SD card.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2016
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  2. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Might be time to finally reflash my NAND and free up another SD slot then :)
     
  3. fusion_power

    fusion_power Advanced Member

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    Many thanks again for your effort, notaz. I will flash when the newest firmware turns out stable. My WiFi on my Pandora never went over 70/80kb/s so everything is worth a try, maybe it finaly will work like it should (I use a very common Fritz!Box with actualy good WiFi, at least on my PC).
     
  4. notaz

    notaz Certified Guru

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    It should already be stable, just made it -RC as a precaution because of amount of changes made.
     
  5. ekianjo

    ekianjo Hardcore Member

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    Thanks Notaz, was not expecting any firmware update anymore - great to see you are still supporting it.
     
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  6. Hồng Thất Công

    Hồng Thất Công Đả Cẩu Bổng Pháp

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    Long live the King!
     
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  7. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    I also want to express my gratitude.  Thanks for all your hard work, notaz.
     
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  8. ElPoco

    ElPoco Very Active Member

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    Thanks a lot notaz, the Pandora's base software is extremely stable and efficient, which is not that often the case with projects like this.
     
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  9. ingoreis

    ingoreis Advanced Member

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    Thx for doing it,will Upgrade soon as i can :)
     
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  10. Lanksu

    Lanksu Still Fresh

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    Thank you for the upgrade! I've a question though, can I upgrade the OS (SZ 1.71) installed on an SD card?
     
  11. ptitSeb

    ptitSeb Serial Porter

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    Thanks Notaz (am I the only one using the samba server on the Pandora to share the file with my windows PC?).
     
  12. matzesu

    matzesu Hardcore Member

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    Whoa, the realy last RC Firmware Update for the Pandora, im a bit sad because this,

    many thanks for the Update :)
     
  13. Hồng Thất Công

    Hồng Thất Công Đả Cẩu Bổng Pháp

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    Did a full flash and things are running no problem here.  I have so much space left on NAND now and I feel good :)
     
  14. matzesu

    matzesu Hardcore Member

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    Whill a normal update also delete, the not used apps from the Nand??

    Or do i use a Reflash for this??
     
  15. ingoreis

    ingoreis Advanced Member

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    @Notaz


    Is it possible to make a Driver Installer PND like the SGX Driver Installers but for Wlan Drivers?


    With this Way can everyone choose a Driver who work best for him ;)
     
  16. notaz

    notaz Certified Guru

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    Should work, but you may have to copy the kernel if updater is not able to find your old one.
    It was supposed to, but it does not do it for some reason (opkg weirdness), so you need to reflash to remove those.
    It's possible, but it's too much work to be worth it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2015
  17. matzesu

    matzesu Hardcore Member

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    Ok this but its a work for tomorow afternoon..
     
  18. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Hardcore Member

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    Thanks for the update.

    CC and 1GHz updated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2015
  19. Ziz

    Ziz Advanced Member

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    Thanks Notaz!
     
  20. Glyph Reader

    Glyph Reader Member

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    I'm a bit new to superzaxxon updates.  Should I install the RC, or should I wait for the final for an easier time? 

    -Glyph Reader
     

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