No more Snowball -- Posted by mjb67 on Friday, February 27 2015
Well my attempts to get a decent media set top box out of an ST-Ericsson Snowball were ultimately doomed. The whole hardware and software support products were cancelled as ST-Ericsson split up, and before some bugs affecting me were fixed (audio quality, display modes, codecs). Ah well.

Reboot -- Posted by mjb67 on Wednesday, November 28 2012
Finally figured out why my new posts, and some old posts, were not appearing. I had screwed up some paths when trying to configure Coranto's styles feature.

XBMC! -- Posted by mjb67 on Wednesday, April 18 2012
I realise this could be a picture of anything, but it happens to be XBMC running on my ST-Ericsson Snowball.

Variations in MicroSDHC cards -- Posted by mjb67 on Thursday, April 5 2012
There is an enormous variation between memory cards. Even cards sold from the same manufacturer with the same model name and number have significant hardware variations (memory geometry, drive geometry where applicable, even actual size).

I remember having the same problem with Compact Flash cards a few years ago when I was working on the RenderDrive RD6400 network appliance. Our software upgrade procedure involved flashing a disk image in the field, and we had to emergency-rewrite it as it became obvious that no single disk image would work across the hardware variations we were seeing in the CF cards.

Things have got a bit better since then, flash cards no longer emulate hard drive geometry, but there are still problems.

My Snowball is refusing to boot off my PNY 8GB card (uboot reports 'card failed to respond to voltage select'), although the card can be mounted fine after boot.

I ordered a SanDisk 16GB Class 4 card from Amazon, after checking on the uboot website that people had successfully booted with it. When it arrived, it was an unbranded card in a brown paper bag.

This is pretty typical of buying memory over the Internet. The dodgy-looking card cost 8 whereas retail sellers could easily charge 30 for one in SanDisk packaging. If it boots my Snowball I don't care too much (although I'll leave bad feedback), otherwise I'll have to return it.

Snowball hacking report -- Posted by mjb67 on Saturday, March 17 2012
I've been hacking around with my Snowball, trying to get a feel for what works and what doesn't with the most recent releases of all the relevant software.

So, current hacking projects include:

Snowball has arrived -- Posted by mjb67 on Tuesday, March 13 2012
Woot, my ST-Ericsson Snowball SDK has arrived, here it is fresh out of the box:

After a few false starts I managed to get the latest Linaro Ubuntu image installed and a working serial console:

root@linaro-ubuntu-desktop:/# uptime
00:35:33 up 35 min, 2 users, load average: 0.12, 0.14, 0.09
root@linaro-ubuntu-desktop:/# uname -a
Linux linaro-ubuntu-desktop 3.2.0-1000-ux500 #7-Ubuntu SMP PREEMPT Mon Feb 20 20:14:21 UTC 2012 armv7l armv7l armv7l GNU/Linux

Next step, XBMC, I hope.

Yay! -- Posted by mjb67 on Friday, March 9 2012
Yay! Snowball has been dispatched.

Delays -- Posted by mjb67 on Thursday, March 8 2012
Ordered Snowball on Friday, it's now Thursday and Calao haven't updated my order status. I e-mailed them yesterday and no reply.


Other bits (5v power supply, HDMI splitter) arrived from Maplin and I'm raring to go.

Snowball needs a powered USB hub to do anything useful. I've got an optionally powered one but I don't really want to have two DC adapters plugged into the wall so some sort of power distribution will be needed.

Raspberry Pi -- Posted by mjb67 on Wednesday, March 7 2012
Have pre-ordered a Raspberry Pi from Farnell.

We will see what happens, apparently they're receiving an enormous number of orders.

I got impatient about Raspberry Pi so I've also ordered a Snowball from CALAO Systems.

My intention is to get some sort of set-top-box with DVD-player functionality working in place of my existing multi region DVD player.

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