Sage SmartProbe FAQ


What’s a Sage SmartProbe?

See previous articles,
A Complete Pill for the Sage SmartProbe.
The Care and Feeding of the Sage SmartProbe.


Where do I get a Sage SmartProbe?

Possibly here — while supplies last. (Warning: I have no relation with this vendor and have no idea whether they still include the probe with “Gizmo 1″ kit. I do know for a fact that their latest “Gizmo 2″ product does not include it.)

SmartProbe is no longer made and at some point will only be available secondhand.


Who is selling devices comparable to SmartProbe ?

AFAIK nobody! Several vendors offer similar products but they do not support plain old GDB interface, and instead require you to buy multi-thousand-$ MS Windows closed shitware — sometimes with a mandatory maintenance contract !


Can anyone help me with sage_pill.py? When I run it, it gets through programming the FPGA, but then dies

This is the correct behaviour. The probe resets itself after it is cured by the pill and your serial connection to it will break.


How do I verify that the pill worked?

screen /dev/ttyACM0
(Or wherever your probe is connected) and hit return key a few times. You will see the string SmartProbe: 3.2_3743 (the last firmware revision released before the manufacturer went out of business.) And your probe will no longer die after N hours of use.


Do you have a pill for the Sage EDK software?

The EDK is rubbish, Java shitware, forget about it; use plain old GDB.


I got GDB working with the probe, but I can’t seem to get the probe to work with the board. If I plug in the probe to the board, the board hangs. If I try to continue I just get a bunch of ffffffs. If I do “monitor run” it says the probe is not connected ?

You plugged the cable into your motherboard backwards!


Help! GDB does strange things instead of working !

You must use version 7.8 of GDB or above, for the probe to work. Earlier versions had problems with the switches between 16, 32, and 64-bit modes of the AMD CPU.


Will Sage SmartProbe work with a PcEngines APU1 computer ?

Yes. Though you will have to solder the debug connector on yourself. (It is a 5 minute job. The header is a metric-spaced one, however, make sure to buy the right kind.)


Will Sage SmartProbe work with the recently-released PcEngines APU2 computer ?

No! on account of AMD’s PSP NSA-mandated Fritz Chip.


Does the Sage SmartProbe work with Intel CPU and motherboard?

No.


Will you help me with Intel’s XDP debugger for Intel CPU and motherboard?

No.


Why did Sage go out of business?

I don’t know. But AMD’s successful campaign of docs-withholding, stonewalling, and Fritz-chipping, to strangle Coreboot — probably did not help Sage’s life expectancy. Sage was a consultancy mainly specializing in Coreboot and custom third-party BIOS work.


Were you affiliated with Sage? Can you put me in touch with ex-Sage people ?

No. And no.


I have questions!

Try asking — politely — here.


This entry was written by Stanislav , posted on Sunday May 07 2017 , filed under Cold Air, Computation, Hardware, NonLoper, SoftwareArchaeology . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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