[time-nuts] Beaglebone NTP server

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 11 11:14:14 EST 2014

On 12/11/14, 7:35 AM, Paul wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 9:59 AM, Jim Lux <jimlux at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> Linux isn't a whole lot better. If you have a system you cobbled together
>> in 2004
> In the PPS via GPIO this is an issue and you don't have to go back 10
> years.  There's been a major change  between (I think) 3.8 and later
> kernels which makes some things much easier but breaks other things.
> To be clear my comments aren't about
> complex and subtle $10k lab instruments.  They're specifically about 'my
> two year old BBB doesn't work like my new one'.  NTP servers are readily
> done as a real appliance.  Not a stripped down OS of choice box that is
> hosting NTPD that someone calls an 'appliance'.

Maybe that's the key.. think of it as an appliance. If it stops working, 
and it's not because of something simple (power cord), then you're 
probably better off building a new one from scratch than trying to fix 
the old one.

That is, the labor involved in "port to a new platform" might be 
substantially less than "find old platform and install it in old box", 
if only because things like tool chains tend to follow the latest hardware.

Even if you kept the tool chain for your old platform, running it on a 
new computer might be problematic. (recognizing that there are people 
out there running IBM 1401 emulators on System/360 emulators on... but 
that takes time too)

Most folks don't try to repair their 20 year old toaster or refrigerator 
or TV that has non-trivially failed.

I'm speaking as someone who just replaced a 17 year old refrigerator.
After 2 weeks of diagnosis and small scale fix attempts, the $2000 was 
painful, but as it happens, the electricity cost of $200-300/yr is a lot 
more than the $120/yr annualized cost of the refrigerator.  The new 
refrigerator has a *measured* power consumption <1/2 the old one, so if 
it lasts 15 years (my observed typical refrigerator life expectancy) the 
lower electrical costs will make up for the expense.

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