I took the plunge and, at the risk of bricking my Verdex, updated u-boot. I can only begin to describe the improvements! The process was not nearly as perilous as I anticipated (though I did hold my breath when I rebooted the first time). Noteworthy improvements are the ability to load the kernel directly into the U-Boot environment, and the inclusion of ymodem file transfers over the serial line. The former reduces my boot time to a breathtaking 23 seconds, while the latter reduces rootfs flash time via serial connection by more than half!
With a lot of grunting and groaning, a good amount of grepping through forum posts, and gallons of patience (coffee), I have finally got my verdex board to acknowledge my Belkin F5D7050 and bring the interface up. Due to a small bug in the zd1211rw drivers, the device needs to be brought up before an ESSID can be assigned to it. Without doing so, I would receive a permission denied error for a majority of the iwconfig options:
This weekend I spliced together a couple of USB cables to allow me to attach my USB-A devices to the USB-B port on the Console-VX. I have successfully connected my USB thumbdrive, 60Gb iPod, and Vimicro webcam to the tiny board. I still need to compile the video drivers for the camera, but it was quite exciting to see the Verdex mount and search my iPod's 60 gig hard drive.
Soon after buying my Video iPod, I wanted to put my massive library of videos onto it, so I could watch them on long trips without carrying along my entire laptop. I wrote a small shell script to perform the mundane task of converting for me, using the free, open-source tool ffmpeg (http://ffmpeg.org).
I decided to buy a new toy for myself this weekend. The product: iriver's H10 20GB MP3 Player. I arrived at home and charged it up only to turn it on and realize that the blasted thing would not work out of the box. I struggled for three hours searching online, upgrading firmware, and sitting on the phone with tech support, all with the same outcome: a brick which would could not get past a screen which says "BOOT 1.01 MTP Initialize." In frustration I cried out, but unfortunately for me, Staples was closed by the time I decided to return it. In one last-ditch effort, I scoured the interweb and found instructions for getting my $200 paperweight to play music.