Should our firmwares support USB?

Polls and the resulting discussions.

Should our firmwares support USB?

Poll ended at Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:49 pm

Yes
4
67%
No
2
33%
 
Total votes: 6
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Kieran
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Should our firmwares support USB?

Post by Kieran » Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:49 pm

The big question, where a USB port is available on your router, should our firmware enable its use? It may sound an obvious question but enabling it takes up more router memory, and a lot of people don't ever make use of it, so we want to see your votes and hear your views!
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Post by Neo » Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:54 pm

Just a reminder to all that when we say firmwares in this poll we refer to the RouterTech firmwares released for the Class II routers - see viewforum.php?f=23 and kb.php?mode=article&k=31
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Post by SyBorg » Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:15 am

My vote was for no. As much as I like to see a device working as fully as intended I can see no situation where I would use USB. I also like the idea of the routers memory being free for other uses (I'm hopeful that thechief will find a way to integrate a teasmade for me :lol: )
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Post by Shotokan101 » Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:19 pm

Don't forget that if you don't want it YOU could disable it.....
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Post by thechief » Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:48 pm

If it was automatically integrated into the firmware, you couldn't disable it.
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Post by Shotokan101 » Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:04 pm

thechief wrote:If it was automatically integrated into the firmware, you couldn't disable it.
Not even by using IFCONFIG or similar to disable the interface ? :?
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Post by thechief » Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:46 pm

I don't think that would free up the ram used by the USB driver. However, it may be possible (from the command line) to unload the USB driver. I have to check the kernel configuration to see whether this is enabled.
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Post by thechief » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:53 am

I have done some tests. Yes, you will be able to unload the usb driver and free up the memory used by it (from the command line), by reversing the commands used to load it. I will do some more tests to ensure that this does not make the router become unstable.
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Post by SyBorg » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:45 am

thechief wrote:I have done some tests. Yes, you will be able to unload the usb driver and free up the memory used by it (from the command line), by reversing the commands used to load it. I will do some more tests to ensure that this does not make the router become unstable.
This being the case I would change my vote to a yes then. If we can then have a series of commands to remove the USB support (or a script) then this is good enough for me and makes the RT firmware even more complete than ever :D
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Post by stevew » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:16 pm

Wow what a great forum! :D
Huge thanks for your efforts guys you've just made my day! :wink:
This new firmware is so much more stable than the Safecom one that came loaded on my SWAMR I'm a happy man! :lol:

Anyway I voted yes for USB support as I sometimes need to connect up an old laptop that doesn't have built in Ethernet but does have USB.
I hadn't considered the memory issue though. What might one use the extra free ram for?

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Post by thechief » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:05 am

Welcome to RT stevew :). The extra free RAM is not that much but every byte counts, and more RAM makes for a more stable router. Of course, you could use the free memory for bigger NAT tables, etc.
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Post by studioeng » Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:13 am

Hey everyone,

I must say that I voted Yes to the USB functionality. I myself use it for an old laptop, and also any other machines that do not have ethernet adaptors (rare now I know). So I for one would make use of the function, but then I would like ability to disable the USB if I was not using it.

This may be alittle far fetched, but how about maybe disabling the USB by default, and then for the 'lesser' advanced users; (apologies for insulting anyone) within the web interface a section in; maybe the Setup pages that allows you to enable/disable the USB port like you can with uPNP and SNMP. Maybe a tick in a box, save and then a router reboot (if needed). Granted I know that this is two very different things, one being software and the other being hardware, but hopefully you get my idea.

I personally dont have any real issues with restarting a router once in a while, since it does it some good anyway, clearing out any junk that has built up over time. Same with PCs.

If that cannot be done, or it is far too complicated, then obviously thats not an option, but if it can be done, then it might sway some people, like myself, to move over to the RouterTech third party firmware, despite its 'third party', which is proving to be more and more reliable/progressive than S***com's 'effort' (if you can even call it that).

Just ball parking some ideas :D
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Post by Neo » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:17 am

I feel I should point out that another option is available to those who only have a USB port on their PCs/Notebooks is to get a Ethernet to USB adaptor like THIS

Obviously being able to use a router's onboard USB port would be cheaper, but this alternative is not too pricey and there is less concern regarding memory usage...just and idea ;)
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Post by thechief » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:38 pm

studioeng wrote:Hey everyone,

I must say that I voted Yes to the USB functionality. I myself use it for an old laptop, and also any other machines that do not have ethernet adaptors (rare now I know). So I for one would make use of the function, but then I would like ability to disable the USB if I was not using it.

This may be alittle far fetched, but how about maybe disabling the USB by default, and then for the 'lesser' advanced users; (apologies for insulting anyone) within the web interface a section in; maybe the Setup pages that allows you to enable/disable the USB port like you can with uPNP and SNMP. Maybe a tick in a box, save and then a router reboot (if needed). Granted I know that this is two very different things, one being software and the other being hardware, but hopefully you get my idea.

I personally dont have any real issues with restarting a router once in a while, since it does it some good anyway, clearing out any junk that has built up over time. Same with PCs.

If that cannot be done, or it is far too complicated, then obviously thats not an option, but if it can be done, then it might sway some people, like myself, to move over to the RouterTech third party firmware, despite its 'third party', which is proving to be more and more reliable/progressive than S***com's 'effort' (if you can even call it that).

Just ball parking some ideas :D
Doing it via the web UI is not straightforward. So at the moment, the proposal is to see how the voting goes, and, if positive, to enable USB by default, but then people can turn it off by making an entry in a file (the system "environment" file).
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Post by studioeng » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:38 am

Thats understandable. Not knowing alot about writing firmwares, I don't know the limitations and standard requirements.

I'm just good at breaking them, and putting firmwares on that shouldn't go on :D :lol:

e.g. an old USR2249 Access Point, now running D-Link firmware :D :lol:
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