Desktop Factory Test

We've just shipped the desktop factory test off to the assembly line, and they'll soon begin the process of turning bare boards into desktop models.

We ran the initial factory test -- the one I mentioned earlier -- on every board we produced. This first test ensures that the board is assembled correctly, has its own MAC address assigned, and has a root filesystem image. This test performed well, and actually caught an assembly error that prevented the Ethernet test from running. More on that later.

Now that we have finished boards to work with, we can begin the process of testing the auxiliary boards that make up the desktop model. In addition to the main circuit board, the desktop model brings with it the addition of at least four other boards, five if you count the chip-on-glass PCB that makes up the LCD. Additionally, we must program the Senoko passthru board, and update the kernel on the hard disk to take advantage of the new features.

The factory test instructs the operator to hold down the "Reflash" button, and then proceeds to reprogram the Senoko board. Immediately afterwards, the three user-facing "buttons" are tested: The front "Custom" button, the front "Power" button (which goes directly to Senoko), and the "Lid Switch", which is itself a separate PCB. Only once these three buttons have been manually verified can the test continue.

After the button tests are completed, the software installs new versions of the kernel and U-Boot. These can be obtained via apt-get, but they take advantage of Senoko so we update them as part of the factory test.

Finally, a pleasant melody is played when the test is complete. This tests the speakers, and informs the operator that the unit is ready to be packed up. We chose a procedural pentatonic song so that multiple disjoint units can finish at the same time and it won't sound too disharmonious.

There's a little bit more refinement to go when it comes to the battery version of Senoko, and we still have work to do with graphics acceneration and driver support, but it's definitely coming along nicely. Happy holidays, everyone.