[fpc-devel] Bounty for MIPS

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.fpc-devel at telemetry.co.uk
Mon Jan 30 21:47:22 CET 2012

Pierre Free Pascal wrote:
>>> Anyhow, I just discovered that 
>>> the /home directory is 99% full on that GCC compile farm machine,
>>> meaning that only  remote tests will be possible ☹
>>> It seems that lots of developers have the same issue about finding 
>>> MIPS machines for testing ….
>> Would you consider the NetGear WNDR3800 680Mhz, 128MB RAM with a USB Flash drive of 32GB to be good enough for the development of the FPC toolchain ?
>> (in this case, I can purchase and ship such device to your place),
>> or would you consider that only a qemu virtual MIPS machine which can handle more memory and more disk space to be suitable for the development ?
>   I just googled a bit and read that the
> USB flash drives are considered as having only a limited number of writes
> before that fail... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive)
> So I wonder how long such a system like that would last (it probably also depends on 
> the USB key quality itself?) if I run the testsuite each night
> on it...
>  Would a small USB hard drive be better? But does the device
> have enough power to support such an external drive?
> Would the speed be significantly lower or is the USB 2.0 
> speed the real limitation?

My understanding is that "naked" Flash devices have limited write 
capability, but that "thumb drives" have an embedded microcontroller 
that levels the wear. There is still the issue that some filesystems 
work better with this type of device than others.

My experience with external USB-connected drives is that their power 
demands exceed that of most (internal and external) USB hubs, that they 
might not describe themselves accurately to the hub, and that in many 
cases they lack an external PSU socket. In practice, the ports on the 
back of an NSLU2 "Slug" will drive the notebook-style drives I've got.

I've also got an external (Buffalo?) USB-connected drive which has a 
200Gb SATA internally, this has its own PSU. I can't remember whether 
I've compared the speed of this with the notebook-style drives, I'd 
expect it to be faster.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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