I made a new backplane for my Terramaster F2-221 NAS

Posted on Apr 26, 2024

In a previous post I wrote about how I setup NixOS on my Terramaster F2-221 instead of using the included TOS provided by Terramaster. This in itself was quite simple as the NAS contains Intel J3355, a standard X86_64 CPU. However the NAS only has 2 SATA connectors, both of which were being used for the 4TB hard drives, so I had to resort to plugging in an external USB SSD for storing the operating system. This quickly became a little annoying to make room for this external SSD behind the NAS and make sure it’s always plugged in when something is moved around in the shelf where I keep it, so I wanted to see if I could come up with a better solution.

Making NanoPI R4S booting sane with SPI Flash

Posted on Apr 4, 2024

There’s one thing I really don’t like about many popular ARM SBCs (Single Board Computers) that for some reason has been deemed acceptable and that is the lack of on-board flash for storing the bootloader. This means that the bootloader (most often u-boot) needs to be written to a specific location on the SD card or eMMC (if available). Generally distributions for such boards offer an image for download that can be written as is to the boot medium, including the bootloader, requiring such images to be created for each supported SBC. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just pop in a generic installer USB stick where we can partition the drive as needed before installing, like is done with generic x86 computers?
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