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Devices: Tizen, OpenZWave, and Ibase

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Hardware
Gadgets
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch, Running Tizen, is Launched

    Today, as expected, Samsung have launched a new smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch, yes, the name change is real (previously it has been known as the Gear S4). At the Samsung Unpacked event, we were given the Note 9 and the Galaxy Watch. The big headline for us is the watch will not be running Wear OS, as speculated once upon a time, but the Galaxy Watch will be running Tizen 4.0.

    We will have two models to choose from: 46mm available in silver and a 42mm black and rose gold versions. Samsung have realised that “one size does not fit all” and some might find a smaller watch face appealing.

  • Building a better thermostat with Home Assistant

    Next, I needed to look at software to use my hardware acquisitions as a thermostat. While all my devices were Z-Wave, and OpenZWave provides both C++ and Python interfaces I could use to access and control my devices, it was a bit too low-level for my taste.

    Instead, I decided to use the Home Assistant project, for a few reasons. First, I know a bunch of people who use it, hack on it, or both. Second, while all my current devices are Z-Wave, Home Assistant will let me branch out to use other kinds of devices if I want. Home Assistant supports a ton of different devices and services—you can look at the component list to see them all. For Z-Wave support, it leverages OpenZWave and provides a higher level interface that is a bit easier to deal with. Home Assistant is written in Python 3, which is very convenient for me since I do most of my programming in Python. It also has an active community that has been responsive and helpful.

    I installed Home Assistant on one of my servers and proceeded to configure its interface with my devices. There is a lot of detailed information available on setting up Home Assistant—you can refer to the official documentation for a starting point. For specific Z-Wave instructions, see the Z-Wave section in the Home Assistant docs.

    After setting up Home Assistant, I had a single web interface and API for controlling my new power switches and displaying data from the MultiSensor. But, I still didn't have a thermostat—just a pretty interface (that I could use remotely) for manually turning the AC on or off.

  • IP65 protected panel PCs feature Apollo Lake or Core-U chips

    Ibase announced three open-frame panel PCs with Linux support. The 15-inch, 1024 x 768 OFP-151-PC and 21-inch, 1920 x 1080 OFP-2100-PC run on the Pentium N4200 while the 21-inch OFP-2101-PC offers a choice of 7th Gen Core-U CPUs.

    Ibase, which last year launched an SE-102-N signage player, has now returned with a pair of fanless, open-frame touch-panel PCs that similarly run Linux 4.x or Windows 10 on an Intel Apollo Lake SoC. The 15-inch, 1024 x 768 OFP-151-PC and 21-inch, 1920 x 1080 OFP-2100-PC ship with a quad-core, 1.1/2.5GHz Pentium N4200 with 6W TDP.

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    Middleware, both as a term and as a concept, has been around for decades. As a term, like other terms in the Darwinian world of IT jargon, it has followed a typical fashion lifecycle and is perhaps somewhat past its apogee of vogue. As a concept, however, middleware is more relevant than ever, and while a memetic new label hasn't quite displaced the traditional term, the capabilities themselves are still very much at the heart of enterprise application development. Middleware is about making both developers and operators more productive. Analogous to standardized, widely-used, proven subassemblies in the manufacture of physical goods such as cars, middleware relieves developers from "reinventing the wheel" so that they can compose and innovate at higher levels of abstraction. For the staff responsible for operating applications in production, at scale, with high reliability and performance, the more such applications use standardized middleware components and services, the more efficient and reliable the running of the application can be.
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