This site aims at describing devices I happen to own and that happen to be programmable somehow, and how I got -- or not -- to re-program them.

Apologies, LaCie.

If you read my ramblings about the ED Mini on this site, you know I was less than happy with my interactions with LaCie (and with the GPL tarball they provide for the ED Mini V2).

The key word here is 'was'.

In the first days of June, Chris and I were approached by LaCie folks willing to contribute to LaCie support in the kernel. Since then, conversations have been highly fruitful and the LaCie folks show a genuine will to help getting things done.

I should have mentioned that right then, and I failed to.

For this failure, I apologize to LaCie and all the people there who've managed to reverse my opinion by their openness, their sense of cooperation with the open source community and, simply put, with their likeable personality.

Apologies, then, LaCie... and thanks for all your efforts.

Welcome to Tweaky! (updated)

This site was created because:

  1. I like to tinker a lot with whatever I own,
  2. I dislike not to be able to tinker when I should,
  3. I like to talk with no one interrupting me for petty reasons such as the fact they'd like to talk too,
  4. Maybe even, someone could find the info useful.

Tweaking the Lacie 5Big Network

The nice folks at the LaCie R&D department kindly sent me a LaCie 5Big Network enclosure for me to get a decent Linux running on it!

Site evolutions

I've just finished moving Tweaky to Drupal 6.x (and Drupal 7 is looming already...)

I'll also start overhauling the content, by taking less of a 'book' approach and more of a 'loosely organized set of pages with tags' one. :)

That should not alter external references to tweaky, but in case it does, just drop me a message.

Patch the kernel, man!

Long time no see again, you know by now I don't update often--I need real news to feel the need to add something to this site. And news I have, but still, I took my own time...

For some time already the Marvell folks have contributed support for their SoCs to the Linux kernel. And recently, kernel 2.6.28 was published, which contains a commit by Chris (and to a lesser extent, myself) to add support to the Marvell-based ED Mini!

The commit is there:

DKU-5 versus ARM-USB-OCD (updated)

For some time I've been unable to access my ED Mini's console.

This was not a fault in the wiring or a failure of the DKU-5 cable. This is a fault of the Linux kernel on my host, development, machine: it freezes completely when opening the /dev/ttyUSB0 device which represents the DKU-5 cable; and when I say 'freeze', I mean it. Mouse pointer dead. Keyboard dead. Filesystems not synced. Only way out is reset or, as my computer does not have a reset button, forced power-off.

I don't like that at all.

A fixed u-boot, with instructions

For those who want the result without wading through my rants, here it is.


  • An ED Mini V2 with a Macronix MX29LV400CBCT FLASH part;
  • A serial console hooked up on the ED Mini V2;
  • A machine to act as a TFTP server.


Do not try this on anything else than an ED Mini V2 with a Macronix MX29LV400CBCT FLASH part.

Hooking up the console

Recently, I came in contact with another edminiv2 owner, who goes by the nick rosbif, and who also likes to tinker. That gave me the impulse to proceed further, so I went and did what had to be done: hook up a terminal to the EDMini's serial console.

The serial is 3.3V, which is not standard RS232 but is, fortunately, common across many mobile phones. A web search will show that Nokia's DKU-5 USB cable is an ideal candidate to connect a modern PC to any 3.3V UART.

Deep dive into the Lacie kernel source

Well, LaCie finally has put a GPL archive on their site, and inside it lies a 'linux-2.6.12-mv-1.10.3-lacie5b.tar.gz' file, and yes, it contains their kernel source tree. The trick is, it is based on an old Marvell set of patches, different from that which Marvell has officially contributed to the ARM kernel.

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