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Fiery X2 (MIPS R5000 200Mhz, 128MB RAM, 100MbFD)
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das_leid
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:36 pm    Post subject: Fiery X2 (MIPS R5000 200Mhz, 128MB RAM, 100MbFD) Reply with quote

Look Ma,

I found this beautiful piece of hardware on the trash and I carried it home. It has a shiny front LCD with some nice buttons and a cool design.

How do I actually install Linux (Gentoo) on it ?

1. I connected an external scsi cdrom but it does not boot the debian install cd for mips.
2. It has no serial output although there is a connector.
3. I accidently formated the harddisk (I am such a b****)

Only way of reinstalling original OS is by asking the kind xerox support for the install cd.

Any other ideas ? Thoughts ? Hacks ?
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ian!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Fiery X2 (MIPS R5000 200Mhz, 128MB RAM, 100MbFD) Reply with quote

das_leid wrote:
1. I connected an external scsi cdrom but it does not boot the debian install cd for mips.


Did you try netbooting that machine?

http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/docs/gentoo-mips-install.html#doc_chap2
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CrazyApe
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!! - I have one of these as well!!!

Perhaps we can both hack at it and see what we can find out.

Mine had no drive in it by the time I ended up with it so I can't help out with any info on that, I'm in the same boat as you in that respect.

Here is what I know.

Since the thing still goes through some kind of boot sequence, it's OS would apear to be located on flash. The hard drive may have contained /usr level programs and of course printing data.

The OS is VxWare and hence it has a unix like structure.

The 34 pin connector that looks like a floppy connector IS NOT A FLOPPY CONNECTOR!! - Things go Bang! (and get rather smelly) :cry:



Things to try:

1). VxWare may have a maintanence shell accessible via the RS-232 port on the back. Conncet a null-modem cable between the fiery and your PC. Then try power cycling the fiery and looking for any messages with a terminal program like minicom (emerge minicom). Try at all common baudrates but check 9600,8,n,1 first.

Ooops, I just noticed you said there was no serial output, was the cable connected and a terminal running, some devices only check at boot for a cable. I'll have a go at this as soon as I'm in the mood to make a null-modem cable (I may have one not sure)

2). Thank's for the info netbooting Ian, to begin with I almost skipped over it thinking you were talking about netbooting a gentoo .iso on the firey, ooops, my mistake. Anyway, he's the link again to keep this all together.
http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/docs/gentoo-mips-install.html#doc_chap2

3). Many companies OEM'd the fiery, mine is the "Xerox Firey X2", some of these companies offer firmware updates and other patches, these could be used for several things, such as getting a better idea of the OS, tapping an entry point to transfer control to a linux kernel etc.

Just found a link, it looks like some folks have started already:
http://www.smashtech.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=82&mode=thread

I would love to see Gentoo running on this thing if not only for the geeky "look at this" factor.

Does anyone have one of these units or any other ideas to try and get controll of the beast??
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das_leid
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CrazyApe wrote:
Ooops, I just noticed you said there was no serial output, was the cable connected and a terminal running, some devices only check at boot for a cable. I'll have a go at this as soon as I'm in the mood to make a null-modem cable (I may have one not sure)

Just found a link, it looks like some folks have started already:
http://www.smashtech.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=82&mode=thread



1. Next thing I will try is connecting to the internal serial connector next to the memory. Hopefully this one will send something to my terminal.

2. Haha... DAS_LEID=RGBIERNAT (the thread at smashtech)

3. In the next few days I will get an installation CD. Let's see how the bootsector looks like.

4. 32Bit PCI Slot is not turned on at bootup.


Cheers
Rüdiger Biernat
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das_leid
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: Fiery X2 (MIPS R5000 200Mhz, 128MB RAM, 100MbFD) Reply with quote

ian! wrote:
das_leid wrote:
1. I connected an external scsi cdrom but it does not boot the debian install cd for mips.


Did you try netbooting that machine?

http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/docs/gentoo-mips-install.html#doc_chap2



Next thing is trying to get that think to talk over the net at all :-)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be qurious to have a look at that boot sector my self.

On a related note, some embeded systems simply look for a special filename on the CD and execute it, rather than using a boot sector. It's worth investigating both possibilities.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CrazyApe wrote:
I'd be qurious to have a look at that boot sector my self.

On a related note, some embeded systems simply look for a special filename on the CD and execute it, rather than using a boot sector. It's worth investigating both possibilities.


Cobalt does this. And it's a pretty sick hack they did too. Essentially, they used a mauled linux-2.0.34 kernel with special (and as far as I know, unpublished) modifications that make it into a bootloader. It's then rigged to specifically look for /boot/vmlinux_raq-2800 on /dev/hda1. Not the best method, IMHO, but I do have to admit, for a machine built in 1997, it is pretty slick.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:10 am    Post subject: FINALLY Reply with quote

As I moved internally in my company we cleaned up our computer stock. In a dark, dirty corner I found it : Three CD's labeled Xerox Fiery X2. Directory contents :

rgbiernat@janeway /media/cdrecorder $ ls -laRrt
.:
insgesamt 5
dr-xr-xr-x 1 root root 2048 23. Jul 1998 fieryins
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root 212 27. Jul 1998 loadx2sw.bat
dr-xr-xr-x 1 root root 2048 31. Jul 1998 .
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 80 10. Jul 09:21 ..

./fieryins:
insgesamt 111485
dr-xr-xr-x 1 root root 2048 23. Jul 1998 .
dr-xr-xr-x 1 root root 2048 31. Jul 1998 ..
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root 114155532 31. Jul 1998 xerf6.uxb

As stated in another forum I connected a SCSI cdrom to the internal connector and started the box. Going through the menu I was able to restore the OS. For further analysis I copied the entire cdrom to my computer and named it "FIERY X2 PROPRIETARY OS (XEROX BRANDED!).ISO.GZ" (my caps is somehow locked at this point. strange..)

Cheers
Das_Leid
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like a damn nice machine.

I don't think there is an official port of Linux to this particular machine... MIPS machines come in all shapes and sizes... even in the SGI line, they vary vastly between models -- enough to require special bootstrap code in the kernel for each unique system board. (i.e. I cannot just take an O2 kernel and run it on my Indy or Indigo2 Impact... or vice versa) Therefore, I can almost guarantee, none, of the LiveCDs or netboot images, will work on this machine. The stages will be useful, however, as these should run without modification on your box... but you'll need a specially patched kernel... one which we don't provide, and I'll bet, the required patches aren't even in existance.

However, all is not lost... there's plenty that can be gleemed from these machines by opening them up, noting down what chips you find, and looking up on the net to find what they do.
There's also some useful tools, such as file, objdump, strings, etc... that will tell you volumes about the firmware on the CD.

I'm slowly doing this with a Tektronix TekXPress XP338 Xterminal. This box is only a IDT 79R3052E CPU (presumably ~40MHz), 16MB RAM and no disk drive... so I'm thinking it'll be running some form of µClinux initially... first though, we've got to get some sort of bootloader together. http://tekxp-linux.hopto.org is the site... That should give you ideas of how to go about dissecting the machine you've got.
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