[Openchrome-devel] [ANNOUNCE] Found the ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD01 buried inside a black garbage bag

Kevin Brace kevinbrace at gmx.com
Wed Sep 28 04:24:56 UTC 2016

Hi everyone,

Sorry for sending out this odd titled announcement, but a few days ago, I found my ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD01 buried inside a (clean) black garbage bag.
I feared it might have been stolen since it was in a good condition (I tend to treat my computers fairly well, so I do not wreck too many of them. That being said, I have smoked a few mainboards I have repaired the bad caps due to a faulty power supply.), but I am glad the employees of a dishonest building repair / cleanup firm did not steal this one. (They likely stole some money from my place.)
Even if they did, they would not have been able to use it other than Windows at this point, unless one knows how to install the VIA Technologies' non-mainlined proprietary graphics device driver.
Anyway, I obtained a 250 GB SK hynix SATA SSD in a raffle drawing, so I decided to use it with ZBOX nano VD01 since I only have partial access to my collection of computer parts like a SATA hard drive at this point.
Many of my computer parts are buried in the black garbage bags I still have not been able to go through since they are so many bags.
    Since drm-openchrome is still not mainlined, I will be going through the installation method I figured out for HP Pavilion a800n desktop PC.
I will install Lubuntu 12.04 first, then I do an upgrade installation to Lubuntu 14.04.
After Lubuntu 14.04 is installed, will clone drm-openchrome repository, and install Linux 3.19-rc6 kernel that contains drm-openchrome.
While I have not seen it work in front of me, James Simmons wrote the code to support HDMI, and Frank Huang made a fix several months ago to the HDMI code inside drm-openchrome.
As some may already know, ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD01 was marketed as an HTPC (Home Theater PC), so probably because of this, it does not come with a VGA or DVI output. (i.e., legacy-ish PC monitor interfaces)
It only supports HDMI and DisplayPort.
Obviously, this makes the installation painful for now since drm-openchrome is still not mainlined.
In other words, I cannot just attach an external DVD drive and install Lubuntu to ZBOX nano VD01 at this point. (Obviously, this will be remedied eventually by me.)
I am installing Lubuntu images to the SK hynix SSD on my usual development computer (Epic Learning Epic 1314 laptop), and when I am done with this, I will transfer the SSD to the ZBOX nano VD01.
As of right this minute, I am in the process of converting one of the partition with Lubuntu 12.04 to Lubuntu 14.04.
After that is done, I will be cloning drm-openchrome to the Lubuntu 14.04 partition.
I will also need to find an old (9 years old) abandoned Full HD HDTV I found at the apartment trash collection site (I rescue lots of working computer parts, and several of my VIA IGP mainboards were also rescued.) where the TV tuner does not seem to work, but HDMI input works (confirmed this with an Intel Baytrail based WinBook tablet I bought at Microcenter last year), so I was planning to use this one for HDMI testing, but it is still buried somewhere in the room at this point. (I hope it was not stolen.)
    Basically, I am writing this message to let users of OpenChrome know that I will be backporting drm-openchrome's HDMI support code to OpenChrome DDX.
I am sure the process is not going to be as easy as copy and pasting drm-openchrome's code to OpenChrome DDX, but as a practical matter, mainlining drm-openchrome will take a while, so in the meantime, I think it is helpful to the existing OpenChrome users with VX900H chipset (VX900 chipset with HDMI activated) to backport the HDMI code so that they can see something on the screen.
That being said, please do not expect this will be completed right away.
It is likely be available around OpenChrome Version 0.7 or 0.8 at the earliest.
Regarding DisplayPort, that will be done after HDMI is working.
    That's all for now, and I will likely send out another announcement piece when I get HDMI working with ZBOX nano VD01.


Kevin Brace
The OpenChrome Project maintainer / developer

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