The sub-prime sister company of BT Retail is doing-it-on-the-cheap? Are we surprised?
There's a serious bug with these devices, causing them to periodically reboot
. That's not normal behaviour. Especially not for an embedded device which runs exactly the same processes every day. It's not like a home PC; hammered every day with more and more applications, often from dodgy sources. Embedded devices just run a few dozen of the same, tested processes all the time.
The system log of the HH5a alludes to an Inter-Process Communication (IPC) invoking those reboots. So it's not a crash per se
. Perhaps more of a workaround to return the device to a stable state. Possibly indicating 'memory leaks' in the code. Allocated buffer space not being released after use; bad stack management; that sort of thing. The hallmark of poor programming.
Since the kernel- and userspace- code of these devices is largely well-tested open source GNU/Linux - where "many eyes make all bugs shallow
" - perhaps the problem is in the proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) code. The DSP code runs on the second core of the Lantiq VRX268 SoC in these devices.
That DSP code communicates using IPC - messaging via a shared memory window - with the first core. The first core runs the Linux operating system and kernel processes, and all the userspace applications, including httpd and other network servers, etc. If the DSP code running on the second core starts to run out of memory then it would presumably send an IPC using that shared memory window to the Linux kernel. The kernel then sends a warning message to syslog (which we can see) and, as gracefully as it can, it invokes the shutdown and reboot.
Although it's not clear why only the HH5a -- and time will tell whether the"Hub One" too -- suffers from this rebooting 'issue'. Whereas the Openreach-supplied ECI modem, which uses the exact same Lantiq core - and presumably runs the same DSP code - doesn't appear to suffer from the same problem.
Until the bug is resolved - if ever - it remains one device worth avoiding. Not worth the headache.
But presumably if you've got a Guangdong warehouse of these devices --and no buyers - what better place to dump them than on the subprime customers of BT Group PLC? It's telling that they didn't even fork out for another injection mould for a new case; to disguise its origins. They just re-branded the device and used a different colour plastic. More proof that BT subsidiaries Plusnet and BT Retail ISP are not independent operations; and don't operate at arm's length.
Edited by edwincluck (Fri 13-Nov-15 04:43:44)