Thursday, February 15, 2007

Known Problems in Loongson Box (Part)

As a product in testing, Lemote Box satisfies my need. However, there are still problems at present which are expected to be solved in future. Some friends asked me if they can get a Lemote Box. The answer is "yes" if you are keenly looking for it and prepared for any potential annoying problem and you can do something with it. Recent posts on Lemote BBS suggest that there are still about a score of Boxes remaining.

Recent feedback from users shows problems as follows:
1. Auto switch on without pushing the power button when power supply is given.
2. No APM is present. We have to switch it off manually by pushing the power button for 5 seconds. Moreover, sometimes we must press reset button after pressing power button to switch it on.
3. There may be waves or bands on the screen. The design is not so good that electronic flows are interfering with each other.
Command line interface is rarely failed to be shown when pushing Ctrl+Alt+F1 in Xwindows
5. If we set screensaver to "blank screen", we sometimes can't activate the machine from being locked.
6. The box may be a little longer than it should be. This leads to that some USB device like flash disks cannot be recognized. Some user also found they have to press their audio plugs hard into the Box to make them work.
7. Current 32-bit kernel only support a main memory of 256M. Debian on Lemote Box is extremly stable at 32-bit. So far as I know, no system breakdown is reported! Some ones continuously ran the box for over a month(>720 hours), it is still in good state. But if we would like to try 512M memory we have to use 64bit kernel. Recent posts on Lemote BBS shows that 64bit kernel is not very stable with 32-bit applications.
8. The fan is noisy. CPU, graphic card and FPGA share one small fan. As no APM is available, the fan always runs and it do make some noise.

To be continued.

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Gecko said...

I hope they solve their problems soon and release the loongson 3 with x86 support. I can't still waiting to test one of thoose amazing machines.

ubuntpku said...

Lemote promised that these problems will be solved in next batch. Actually, most "problems" asked by users are not on Loongson Box hardwares but questions on Linux OS. Users are still not very familiar with it But they will soon understand how great Linux is.

As for x86 compatibility, due to copyright issues Loongson can not support it directly. Loongson3 will only partly support x86 by virtual machine acceleration. So...Hope it not let you down.

debiandevil said...

I wonder if the fan is really necessary. With a less than 20W TDP for the entire system, I think one can easily cool it with only passive heatsinks.