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Old November 12th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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nanoFlash Public Beta 1.6.226 Firmware Comments

Dear Friends,

Please use this thread to post any comments about our nanoFlash Public Beta 1.6.226.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #2
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V & H Flip + more

Hello Dan et all,

I just did a small test with HV40 and my authorized 3D NF unit preinstalled with the new beta 1.6.226 firmware. I didn't have much time to test and experiment with everything, but a few of the new features in this firmware.

So far all the power saving options worked very well. Flip V and flip H worked just as described and I love it. I don't have to set the camera upside down anymore with DOF adapter!! The option to make and preserve your settings for specific shooting is a great addition. Although you can not save your settings on CF2 slot. Only CF1 slot permits that, but, you could install your settings from any of the slots. I've created and renamed on my Mac, 5 different settings I wished to try with HV40. The names must be short and clear for the user. It works great and it would be one of the very popular feature for the NF users. I wish my EX3 could have this option too. I Love it Dan!

NF lost the last settings i was shooting the test after power off and on again. I am not sure, but it seems that could be the default settings for that firmware OR the last settings I was working on before loading a setting I have pre made and saved. Not sure!

I tried the new feature of double pressing the record button to close the recording clip and switch to the other slot. I did that and removed the card after a several seconds. NF continued recording to the next card without a problem. Then I insert the same card I removed and after a several seconds pressed record twice quickly to try hot swap again on the other CF card. For my surprise NF stopped recording and both cards indicator on the very top showed that they are full. I was not in Timecode Trigger mode! I was in Trigger/Record button mode. It works but my CF cards were not useful any more after that – both was showing full for NF, although they weren't…
That is so far…
This firmware is a new milestone Dan! Thank you
Cheers
P.S.
I try to record to the CF that had my newly saved settings, but, no go.

Last edited by Luben Izov; November 12th, 2010 at 10:05 PM. Reason: P.S.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 04:13 AM   #3
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Dear Luben,

Thank you for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated.
Our team works very hard to provide these new features and loves to hear when their hard work is appreciated.

One should use a newly "Formatted in the nanoFlash" card for saving the settings.

A small capacity card, as long as it is one of the qualified card types, should work fine.

Once you store the settings on the card, we do not recommend recording to the card.

Note: If you format the card with the settings, you will loose all of your settings.

I would recommend that you keep a backup copy of your settings in a file on your computer.


I am very surprised that you lost your settings during a power off.

We will test this in our lab as soon as possible. I can not test at my location right now, as my nanoFlash and Flash XDR's are one on assignment.

Could you please run a carefully controlled test again by changing a setting, then powering off, then checking the setting?

We will also test your scenario of switching cards.

Luben, thank you for your feedback.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 07:44 AM   #4
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Hi Dan,

I have just installed the new firmware, and run some very basic, quick tests.

Everything seems to work OK, though not always:

- the first time I forced "Skip to Next Card" it closed the file on Card1, displayed it as FULL on the LCD, and continued recording on Card2. I simulated the "not enough cards in the field scenario" by off-loading the Card1 to my PC and deleting the CLP folder on the card. Then, I re-inserted Card1 to the nanoFlash (still recording to the Card2), and - what a joyful moment - the "card full" bar for Card1 disappeared, signalling free space available...

- so I "Skipped to Next Card" again (this time from Card2 to Card1, also while recording), and the situation repeated. Except this time, after I re-inserted the off-loaded Card2 into the STILL RECORDIG nanoFlash, not only didn't the "card full" long bar disappear for Card2, but it also displayed for the Card1 (?!?), and recording stopped altogether...

Don't know yet what made the second attempt fail to continue recording on the card off-loaded in the PC (this is what hot swapping is realy about, isn't it)... What's weird is that the nano stopped recording (logical if it thinks BOTH card are full), while NOT displaying any warning message! The displayed timecode was still incrementing, yet no recoding was done.

I had to re-format both cards in the nano to make it read the free space properly again.

I suspect the reason for this behavior might be that in the case of Card1, I deleted the CLP folder entirely, while on the Card2, I deleted its contents, leaving the folder empty.

I also tested storing/loading the settings file; it works as expected.

Thanks for the Beta; I hope it won't take CD a long time to refine it :)

Piotr
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; November 13th, 2010 at 08:23 AM.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 07:55 AM   #5
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Dear Piotr,

Please note that we do not support deleting file or folders from CompactFlash cards:

"Please note that, as before, if any files are manually deleted from or copied onto a CF card from a computer, the card must be formatted again before use for recording in nanoFlash."

The above is from our release notes and there are other important notes in this section of the release notes.

You may, however, reformat the card, as a Fat-32 volume in your computer prior to re-inserting it back into the nanoFlash.
Our release notes that you should test this to ensure that it works for you, prior to using this technique in a production environment.

We, of course, may have a problem with Hot Swapping.

Another person posted problems going from Card 2 to Card 1, or a problem with forcing a card switch.

Thank you for testing the new firmware.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 08:10 AM   #6
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Dear Dan,

Yes, I do realize deleting as opposed to formatting isn't officially supported - just wanted to check various possible scenarios (and it worked, though not always).

I'll repeat my tests, this time formatting the cards as FAT32 - AFAIK the cluster size should be 32k, is that correct?

Also, formatting on the computer will erase the card name (Volume), which will interfere with the automatic number incrementing by the nanoFlash, which is a useful (though not critical) feature...
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Old November 13th, 2010, 09:40 AM   #7
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Dear Piotr,

Deleting files from a card, then re-inserting a card is more than "not officially supported".

It is a practice that we specifically recommend against, to help ensure that your files will be recorded correctly.

I have not found an easy way, at this moment to determine what "Allocation Unit" size, or "Cluster Size" we use. It could be 32K, but I am not certain.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #8
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Dan,

Even though you advise against it, I have never had any single problem related to the fact that I deleted the }CLP{ folder from a CF card on my PC, then reinserted it into my nanoFlash.

Of course I'm only stating this in order to set the facts right - not that I'm questioning CD policy. It might be right for Mac users, or even for some Windows versions users - but with Vista x64, there is no need to format the cards. Deleting works OK.

And please note that people are not going to follow the tedious "format in the computer, not just delete" rule if an easier and faster way exists. Again I'm speaking now for Vista only, but there is no GUI way to format into anything else than NTFS or exFAT - one must use the following command line:

format CFdrive: /FS:FAT32 /A:32k

where CFdrive is the drive letter of the CF reader, and 32k stand for the allocation (or cluster) size (yes I've checked how nF itself formats the cards, and it indeed is 32 kilobytes).

Anyway, I have also established the right procedure for hot swapping:

- when I need to off-load a card, I force the nanoFlash to "Skip to Next Card"
- I eject the card, off-load it in my PC, and simply delete the entire }CLP{ folder
- I re-insert the card into the nano, and it's ready for recording.

Note that you MUST actually eject the card and delete its contents (or possibly format it) after off-loading for the nanoFlash to be ever able to record on it again - if you don't, the usage indicator will remain "Full" (long bar), and the nano will not record to such a card - even if there is a lot of free space on it.

Hope it helps,

Piotr
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Old November 13th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #9
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Dear Piotr,

I must be very clear about this.

Deleting files, depending on various circumstances can leave a fragmented file system.

With a fragmented file system, the nanoFlash can not perform up to its normal level of performance.

If one deletes files, and then inserts the card back into the nanoFlash without formatting, then important files may be lost.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #10
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Dear Dan,

I'd appreciate some more specific explanation of why formatting is necessary. What you have said so far is not very convincing - after all, we've been using solid state media for quite a long time and I never encountered such a strict recommendation from any other vendors.

For instance, some people recommend formatting SxS cards, while others (including myself) have always just deleted the contents after off-loading...

Another example could be the SSD drives - you can write and delete files, just like with any other drive (of course there is some wear off factor, but I never heard performance will suffer if I delete files from SSD without formatting it).

But, of course, some specific reasons may exist with the nanoFlash - so please explain.

Thanks,

Piotr
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Old November 15th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #11
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Hi Dan,

The new firmware sounds great. I am a couple of firmware back. Can I go right to the new one or do I need to step my way up.

Keep up the great work.

Piotr,
Formating is not that hard and once done you know the cards will work well. I don't see the need to push Dan on the inner workings of the Nano.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 09:19 AM   #12
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Dear Piotr,

Deleting files from CompactFlash cards is specifically prohibited as it leaves a fragmented file system on the card.

If you delete files, then use the card in the nanoFlash you are putting your recordings at risk.

If one attempts to record to a fragmented file system, there is a chance, sometime, that the nanoFlash will not be able to write to the card fast enough to keep up with the incoming video and audio.

While you are perfectly free to use whatever techniques you wish with your nanoFlash, please do not recommend this very dangerous practice to others.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #13
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Dear Paul,

It is nice to hear from you.

Yes, you are free to jump forward to any firmware version.

And you are free to go back to a previous firmware version.

I attempt to maintain an archive of all released firmware versions, and we keep recent ones available on our website.

As always, I must remind everyone, that at this time, 1.6.226 is a "Public Beta" and not for production use yet.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #14
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Hi Dan,

I will go to the previous version and not use the "Public Beta" at this time.

The Nano is one hard working bit of gear, nice to see all the cameras that have adopted the unit.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 09:28 AM   #15
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Dear Piotr,

The "Cluster Size" or "Allocation Unit" is 32K.
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