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Question: do you use the CF slot on your OSD?
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Author Topic: Important News for OSD users!  (Read 52786 times)
greyback
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« on: November 25, 2007, 09:19:35 am »

Hey all,
I'm writing this post to notify those who are not on the mailing list of the new direction the OSD is taking, and the consequences it has for us users.

The post by Michael Gao is available for reading here:
http://groups.google.com/group/Neuros/browse_thread/thread/932775f498f3387c

To summarise and simplify for those who are not programmers, the OSD GUI is being revamped. Currently the GUI is built on top of a graphics server called NanoX, a tiny version of X designed for embedded devices. However it's not very powerful, feels slow on the OSD, and just isn't capable to supply the modern graphics that users now expect. Also it's not popular, practically no software exists that runs on it.

Instead, a graphics server called Qt will be implemented on the OSD. Anyone who uses KDE will recognise this toolkit immediately, it's a well known and popular framework that has been used for well over a decade. It's far more powerful than NanoX, capable of pretties like gradients, anti-aliasing and animations.

Having Qt on the OSD will open it up to many other open source projects, and so making applications easier to develop or port for the OSD. With time, there should be a barrage of useful programs for your OSD, maybe a microbrowser or an email reader?

Qt has one drawback, it demands extra storage space on your OSD. The 32MB built-in flash of the current model is not enough to hold it. So to rectify this, Neuros has decided to give all existing owners of an OSD a free CF card as permanent storage!

As Michael says: you can obtain your CF-card in the near future at http://www.neurostechnology.com/support

I think this is exciting news, but also quite an investment from Neuros. I invite you to show your support by posting words of inspiration below!
-G
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 10:34:18 am by greyback » Logged
dotslashlycos
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2007, 05:32:22 pm »

This sounds fantastic, but what does it mean in terms of usage?  Will the OSD not function without the Compact Flash card in?  If so, doesn't this render the CF card slot useless as a video storage option?

I'm psyched to hear about a solid Qt implementation on the OSD.  I know crweb was working on that some time ago, but I stopped keeping track of the progress. 

Keep up the good work guys!
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greyback
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2007, 06:50:53 pm »

This sounds fantastic, but what does it mean in terms of usage?  Will the OSD not function without the Compact Flash card in?  If so, doesn't this render the CF card slot useless as a video storage option?

I asked this question straight away, and the answer is that yes the CF slot will be permanently taken up for this purpose. The OSD may not even boot with the card missing Sad

Newer OSDs will have larger internal memory and so won't have this problem. But if you use CF cards often with the OSD, you'll need to cease upgrading your firmware soon or else loose that functionality.
-G
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illin_technology
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2007, 09:38:42 pm »

So, this new GUI/OS would be stored on the CF card, could you have the GUI/OS information AND video files on it?  I mean, thats how my computer is, OS is on the same drive as everything else.
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Carbon Altered
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2007, 05:22:32 am »

Well this has made my purchasing decision for me - I'm going to put off purchasing the OSD for now. I was looking to purchase one pre-Xmas, but I'm not interested in buying something that is going to be outdated almost instantly, especially as the work-around seems much less than ideal (permanantly taking up one of the slots). I'll either wait till the new model comes out, or look to implement a different solution.

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greyback
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2007, 11:39:41 am »

Well this has made my purchasing decision for me - ....I'll either wait till the new model comes out, or look to implement a different solution.
I can't argue with you, if I were in your shoes I'd wait too. I can't say when the "OSD 1.5" is planned for release however.
-G
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greyback
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 11:42:03 am »

So, this new GUI/OS would be stored on the CF card, could you have the GUI/OS information AND video files on it?  I mean, thats how my computer is, OS is on the same drive as everything else.
From the sounds of it, recording/playing with the permanent CF card won't be recommended, but probably quite easy to work around (quick soft link jobbie). I guess bad things may happen if you fill up the CF card and the OS needs some file space.
-G
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greyback
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2007, 12:07:26 pm »

I don't think this is the case.

From the mutterings I've heard, the OSD 1.5 will just have a larger internal flash memory than the current model. So that we're all running the *same* firmware, we're getting free CF cards to extend the current model's memory to keep us up to date.

Unfortunately you will loose the CF slot's usage.
-G
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Lou Jacob
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2007, 04:48:00 pm »

I think this is interesting news and would encourage people to look at this from an optimistic perspective:

Whereas many vendors might change gears with their development platform, and essentially announce that the current product is EOL and/or put the burden on the consumer to supply the additional memory card, its clear that Neuros is attempting to take care of their customers by offering a path to the new platform even with the current product.

I'm sure I am not the only person who has purchased a product WITHOUT knowing the future direction and I think it is admirable that Neuros is taking this position and also sharing the information with customers and potential customers today.

I've all too often been burned AFTER purchasing a product and finding out that the next generation platform won't even run on it, let alone be given a free option, or ANY option to get me from here to there.

Yes... I understand that those who have recently or even not so recently purchased the OSD might be bummed to find out a new one is coming out with more memory that will easily run the new OS.  But at least there is a way to run new stuff on the old box.  Again, another type of company might just EOL the product and move onward.

I think they are doing the right thing, and if anything are taking the risk of slowing down sales during a potentially busy Holiday Season because they are putting the customer first. 

I'm sure there are more pessimistic ways of looking at this, but I don't see it as anything other than a good thing because it keeps the options open for the customer.

Lou
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JoeBorn
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2007, 05:03:57 pm »

Hey, this really sucks. You people are going to use the existing user base until a new design comes out. Then what? You're going to code TWO firmwares? One for the old model and one for the new? I doubt it.

The handwriting is on the wall!

No, we architected this plan to make sure that the existing user base is not put out to pasture at all.  In fact, my guess is that eventually the OSD 1.0 won't have a CF card slot at all (since it's expensive and so rarely used).  Future OSD s beyond 1.0 surely won't have a CF slot.  Either way, we will certainly support the OSD 1.0 for an extended period, there is no end of life plan at all for the OSD, it will co-exist with other, presumably more expensive models in the line.  The whole "free CF card" program is a strong statement that we're making to illustrate that we're very much continuing to aggressively develop for the OSD 1.0 and we're sparing no expense to make sure that all the early folks are 100% included.
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satur9
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2007, 05:12:14 pm »

this may sound crappy to some. but cardreaders are a dime a dozen nowadays. would one hooked to the usb port still function.if not then that would suck for cf users. could you also use a  sd card instead for the new memory.if you want to retain your cf slot. or a jump drive for the usb.it may be a better option to allow people to choose thier slot. im not saying you have to give all 3 options away for free. but just have the ability to pick which slot to sacrifice if possible. i personally dont use the cf slot so im game. although having owned both previous recorders.theve all done want i needed them to do at the time.  and so does the osd. and i wasnt expecting much out of the osd. but hey if they can keep making it better. more power to them( and us). i wish microsoft would have found a way to fix the wall my webtv and and subsequent msntv2 has hit. I doubt this was an easy dicision for a relatively new product but oh well.also could a current osd be sent back for a small fee to be internally upgraded.
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flatcurve
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2007, 05:18:27 pm »

I think this is both good and bad news for current owners. It's bad because we're losing the CF slot (which I've never used). It's good because Neuros is keeping the product alive and current, and being up front about it. They could have easily end-of-lifed this product instead of giving away free CF cards. That's pretty much the standard thing for manufacturers to do. I'm just really glad that Neuros is doing everything they can to keep us in the game and the keep the product current at the same time. No solution is perfect, and I think this is the best they could have done. I'd much rather have Qt implementation than my vacant CF slot.

This thread should be stickied, btw.
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budwzr
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2007, 05:36:16 pm »

I deleted my previous post because it was a little harsh. It's not the end of the world.
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greyback
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2007, 05:44:17 pm »

This thread should be stickied, btw.
Done. I'll add CF claim info to the top post when it's announced so it's obvious to all.
-G
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dotslashlycos
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 06:42:55 pm »

To be honest, this news comes as really a very positive thing for me.  The UI on the OSD is functional but it really does feel like a bit of a hack.  It's sluggish to respond and from what I've heard on the IRC channel, its a real pain to develop for.  Enabling Qt on the OSD opens up a large number of options in terms of porting existing Qt apps and will significantly aid development of new applications in the future. 

The only reason I brought up the issue w/ the CF card slot is because it wasn't obvious in the initial post and it seemed too important to ignore. 

Personally, I don't use any of the card slots on the OSD as I mount all of my network volumes over samba, so the impact on me is relatively minimal.  Additionally, I welcome the prospect of being able to make changes to the root file system without having to "flash the device"... not sure if this would be possible - but it would be something to consider. 

All in all I'd have to say that the benefits of this clearly outweigh the negatives of losing a CF slot.  To those of you on the fence in terms of buying the OSD - I think this only proves that Neuros is committed to their user base so much so that they would send each and every customer a CF card even if it means losing a relatively significant amount of money.  Thats dedication, and thats why I don't own an Apple TV. 
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