OS and Firmware testing for XO 1.5 B2

Tiago Marques tiagomnm at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 15:09:21 EST 2009

Hi John,

On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 4:59 AM, John Watlington <wad at laptop.org> wrote:
> Thank very much for this report.
> Please trac serious problems!

You're welcome! I just didn't started posting tickets because I
thought it would be worse duplicating existing ones(too many tickets
and not much experience with the system) and if some where even worth

> Comments inline,
> wad
> On Nov 15, 2009, at 2:51 PM, Tiago Marques wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Here's some data I collected:
>> Firmware Q3A13-Q3A15:
>> -------------------------------------------------
>>    OS30:
>>        hdparm -t /dev/mmcblk0: ~700KiB/s (buffered), this is too slow
>> for these cards, should be at least 2MiB/s
>>    OS32:
>>        Gnash and youtube don't work, just an error screen. This is
>> for an older codec and newer h.264
>>        Two battery icons/devices. One works and gets updated, the
>> other mimics the real battery at boot and stays that way.
>>        Screen corruption in both gnome and sugar, when minimizing
>> window or using the frame, for instance.
>>        No speaker hum is a plus, contrary to XO-1. When the mic led
>> is turned on there is a hum with no sound but some piece of software
>> usually turns both off. Kudos, some power is being saved here see:
>> http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/9505
>>        Pretty fast boot times
>>        Slow app load times (perhaps the performance issue found with
>> hdparm, see below)
>>        hdparm -tT /dev/mmcblk:
>>                  cached: 11, 13, 0.75, 0.622, 42, 83, 8.9, 138
>>                  buffered: 1.10, 4.6, 3.86, 3, 4, 2.6, 0.86, 1.28
>>        Video(flash player 10):
>>                  h.264: ok, no skips in sound, ~3-10 fps(rough estimate)
>>                  older(mpeg-2?): very good performance
>>        Speakers don't turn off, sometimes, when phones plugged in, at
>> OFW playing the boot song.
> Not surprising, as the speaker mute on headphone insert is now implemented
> by software (and probably not in OFW).  Please trac this as low priority.

Done: https://dev.laptop.org/ticket/9701

>>     OS34:
>>         Still two batteries
>>         Video seems to play at the same framerate as OS32 but h.264
>> is stalling a lot, skipping music even. Not network related, video was
>> buffered more than enough. This was reproduced consistently.
>>         Connects to all my APs fine, which was something
>> problematic(still is) in the XO-1. Connecting to WPA-EAP wasn't a
>> problem with Gnome's nm-applet.
>>     OS40+Q3A16:
>>         KB and touchpad hanged after firmware upgrade, USB worked
>> fine. Removed the battery.
>>         hdparm -tT /dev/mmcblk:
>>                  cached: ~245MB/s, very consistent
>>                  buffered: 10.8-16.5, the 16+ MB/s figure is much
>> more common than the ~10MB/s one (this is excellent! Are you caching
>> data in RAM somehow?)
> There is no way this is accurate.  It is being cached...


>>         Apps boot reasonably fast now
>>         No screen flash anymore
>>         Jumpy mouse issue seems better but not gone.
>>         Still displays two batteries (mimics on sugar but doesn't
>> update, shows 0% in gnome)
>>         Mouse cursor not animated on Gnome.
>>         Firefox in Gnome has a too big default "zoom". Fonte size in
>> Gnome Apps is good.
>>         Browse seems to need an extra level of zoom.
>>         Youtube video (adobe flash)
>>                 h.264: ok, no skips in sound, occasional 1s video
>> stall, ~6-12fps measured with "show video info" option
>>                 older: ok, very good performance, no sound skips,
>> occasional 1s skips on video(not unlike my desktop machine)
>>         Gnash and youtube is a no go. No error now, just a black screen
>> Overall:
>>   Wireless signal seems better over XO-1
>>   Apps are ***much*** more usable with the extra CPU and RAM. Hasn't
>> "locked" once due to lack of RAM and swap space, as was common with
>> the XO-1.
>>   It's a shame browse doesn't let you launch more than one instance
>> now and there are no tabs.
>>   Switch from gnome to sugar works great.
>>   Hardware seems to suffer greatly from electrical noise coming from
>> the motherboard, shuts off when opening an app, minimizing apps,
>> maximizing etc. Perhaps C-states related?
> Please trac this immediately!!!     http://dev.laptop.org
> Email to devel is interesting, but Trac is the tool for reporting problems
> like this.   This is the first we've heard of something like this.
> We certainly haven't seen it around here.

I hadn't noticed this at first. Will trac it to check if it's worth
persuing. A lot of hardware does this, like my old Intel laptop. Had
to force C2 only and not C3 or I would get an annoying electrical
noise. In the XO it is more like a hum that is variable and may come
from overcurrent on an inductor, bad quality or simply a design
problem inherent to the said inductor. Commonly used in motherboards
nowadays are solid state chokes, which among other things avoid this:
I guess that the power circuitry may be pulling the same power than on
the XO-1 but it's doing it at a lower voltage and higher current.

>>   CPU doesn't throttle but hits 90ºC when running show-temperature.
>> Haven't had time to check if it's proper contact or not.
> 90C is fine for the die temperature (which is what is being reported.)
> Without throttling and no heat spreader, you would see 120+
> Throttling should keep it below 100C

IMHO it could be good to over-engineer cooling to keep throttling away
in warmer countries. I never understood much about metal thermal
fatigue but know that heat worsens the problem to a level where the
chips may last less than a decade with some regular use.
Do the datasheets specify anything about that?

Best regards,

>> Flash videos:
>>    480x264, h.264?, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpvai3DQ0Co - The
>> video tested up to OS40 was like this, I confirmed it was h.264 when
>> gnashed gave an error. This one seems like it but since the other one
>> was pulled down due to copywritght issues, I couldn't confirm.
>> Framerate seems similar, anyone knows how to check this?
>>    320x240, not h.264, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeeie9l9taM
>> Best regards,
>> Tiago
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