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<  Firmwares, enhancements and upgrades  ~  When the update comes ...

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nwhitfield
Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 6:47 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
As some of you might have been noticed, and update to the TF5800 firmware is about a week away. I thought it prudent to outline to people what they will need for the update.


In the Guides section of the site, you'll find a Topfield document explaining the software update procedure.


If you've not downloaded it already, you will need the Topfield PC utilities, and you will need to install either TFDN_USB, which is used for software updates via USB, or TFD-Down, which is used to transfer software updates via a serial port instead. These are both options during the software installation.

Mac users are at present not catered for with any specific update software; as soon as I have established how to do it using Virtual PC, I shall post more details here.

Remember that it's also possible to transfer software via a serial port cable from another TF5800, so if you have a friend who's updated theirs, you can do it that way.

So, it might be helpful if Mac users who don't have a PC emulator on their systems, or easy access to a PC, can ask if there are other forum members near them who may be able to either update from a PC, or by connecting their TF5800 directly.

Nigel.
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nwhitfield
Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 7:00 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
And for more information - see my post in the Site news forum, to find out how you can join the Announcements group, where we'll let people know as soon as the udpate is available for download.

Nigel.

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TOMMYD
Posted: Fri May 06, 2005 5:08 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 06 May 2005 Posts: 2
I am new to this. When you say TF5800 does that cover TF5800T
Also you mention that there is no download for mac users users, are we going to get one ? Shocked Shocked
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nwhitfield
Posted: Fri May 06, 2005 5:24 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
Strictly speaking, there's no such thing as a TF5800T, though some people do refer to it as that. The model designation on ours is TF5800PVR. The reason the T is bandied around is that a) it's a terrestrial model, and b) for the original TF5000 model, there are two versions, one for satellite and one for terrestrial, so the terrestrial one is called the TF5000PVRt.

There's not a 'T' suffix on the TF5800, since there's only one version of it, and it's a terrestrial one anyway. Unless I've missed something, and there's a ton of boxes out there with something different on the front panel and the box...

As for Mac users, it's not quite accurate to say there's no download for Mac users. The firmware upgrade will be available in just the same way. What we lack is a Mac application to transfer it to the Toppy.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any plans for Topfield to make one of those. I will be investigating how to do the upgrade using Virtual PC, but I realise that's not an option for those who don't have that on their systems.

In that case, the best solution is likely to find a friend who has a Windows laptop that you can borrow, or to take your Toppy to someone who has Windows on their computer, or a TF5800 to which they've already added the softwasre - you can copy it from one machine to another.

If any Mac users are really stuck, it would be good if PC owning TF5800 users could help them out...

Nigel.
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IanP
Posted: Fri May 06, 2005 5:47 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 05 Apr 2005 Posts: 330
Is the spec for the USB update is available it should be possible to develope a JAVA update utility that would then run on a MAC, Linux or Windows box.
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nwhitfield
Posted: Fri May 06, 2005 9:59 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
Having now seen how it's done, I can report back that upgrading the firmware is an amazingly quick process - 30 seconds, start to finish, and pretty simple to follow. We'll have a guide available on the web site, by the time the update is available to download.

I'll post more later about details of what issues are definitely resolved in the update.

Nigel.

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nudel
Posted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:49 am Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 02 Apr 2005 Posts: 38 Location: London, England
When the update comes out I'd be happy to help any Toppy owners who don't have a Windows PC and are local to London, E14.

(Well, those who are not local too if they're willing to bring their Toppy here, heh.)
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toodeep
Posted: Sat May 07, 2005 11:45 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 30 Apr 2005 Posts: 282
The FAQ indicates that the up-date can be made via USB. In that case it'll surely be doable with a Mac, won't it?
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nwhitfield
Posted: Sat May 07, 2005 11:57 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
It's done by USB, but it's not a simple matter of copying a file to the hard drive, in the same way as loading a TAP.

Instead, you use a PC application provided by Topfield; you tell that which firmware file to use, click the start button, and then turn on the Toppy, which sucks the fiirmware down the USB cable (ten seconds is all it takes), then updates the machine.

Without knowing exactly what the firmware updater is doing, it's hard to know how you could replicate things on the Mac.

Presumably, it must be signalling something so that the Toppy sees there's an update there as soon as power is applied. You don't even see the usual front panel C456 message; since the Toppy does start normally when plugged into a PC, if you're running Altair, it's not the simple physical connection that triggers the update process.

Nigel.

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toodeep
Posted: Sat May 07, 2005 1:41 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 30 Apr 2005 Posts: 282
I run Windows XP under VPC on my Macs. Maybe Topfiled could test this solution for Mac users...
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nwhitfield
Posted: Sat May 07, 2005 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
I shall be trying it via virtual PC when I get the final version of the update here. Australian users have reported mixed results going down that route.

I think the main problem is that you have to start with the Toppy turned off, and it's virtually instantaneous when it's turned on, so I'm not sure whether or not VPC will respond quickly enough.

Nigel.

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nwhitfield
Posted: Sat May 07, 2005 3:26 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
A partial list of resolved issues can been found via the Services bugs page, where you can now select 'All resolved issues' from the category list.

Note that at the moment, I've only marked a few things as resolved, because I want to make sure people don't experience problems, rather than just accepting the list of what I've been told will be fixed.

Nigel

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cazlar
Posted: Sun May 08, 2005 1:01 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 26 Mar 2005 Posts: 121 Location: Back in Sydney!
Although there has been an occasional claim of someone getting the firmware uploaded via VPC on a Mac, I have never been able to do so. As Nigel mentions above, the issue as far as I can tell seems to be that VPC takes a few seconds to recognize the new USB connection, by which time the critical part of the boot sequence to respond to is past.

Topfield has released info on the USB commands the Toppy uses for file transfers (enabling MacTF, the Altair functionality of MPEG StreamClip, and the puppy project to be written), but not for firmware upgrades. I guess it could be reverse-engineered (ie someone run a USB logger during an upgrade, then works out the protocol form there), but that may be a fairly large job, for updates that may only occur a few times.
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PhilA
Posted: Tue May 10, 2005 7:27 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 23
Not here yet Crying or Very sad
Need to wait until after work now, but gives me all evening to play (if available) Razz
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TOMMYD
Posted: Fri May 20, 2005 6:03 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 06 May 2005 Posts: 2
Is there any more news about how mac users can transfer the upgrades and taps to the topfield 5800
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