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Devices: Netbooks, Raspberry Pi and RISC-V

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Hardware
  • Netbooks: The Form Factor Time Forgot

    The first machine to kick off the craze was the Asus EEE PC 701, inspired by the One Laptop Per Child project. Packing a 700Mhz Celeron processor, a small 7″ LCD screen, and a 4 GB SSD, it was available with Linux or Windows XP installed from the factory. With this model, Asus seemed to find a market that Toshiba never quite hit with their Libretto machines a decade earlier. The advent of the wireless network and an ever-more exciting Internet suddenly made a tiny, toteable laptop attractive, whereas previously it would have just been a painful machine to do work on. The name “netbook” was no accident, highlighting the popular use case — a lightweight, portable machine that’s perfect for web browsing and casual tasks.

    But the netbook was more than the sum of its parts. Battery life was in excess of 3 hours, and the CPU was a full-fat x86 processor. This wasn’t a machine that required users to run special cut-down software or compromise on usage. Anything you could run on an average, low-spec PC, you could run on this, too. USB and VGA out were available, along with WiFi, so presentations were easy and getting files on and off was a cinch. It bears remembering, too, that back in the Windows XP days, it was easy to share files across a network without clicking through 7 different permissions tabs and typing in your password 19 times.

  • Raspberry Pi–powered robot farmers
  • Efinix Releases Three RISC-V Software-Defined SoC’s Optimized for Trion FPGA’s

    Efinix has announced three RISC-V Software-defined SoC’s based on Charles Papon’s VexRiscv core and optimized for the company’s Trion T8 to T120 FPGA’s.

    VexRiscv is a 32-bit RISC-V CPU using RISCV32I ISA with M and C extensions, has five pipeline stages (fetch, decode, execute, memory, and writeback), and a configurable feature set. Each SoC includes a RISC-V core, memory, as well as various I/O and interfaces.

More in Tux Machines

Mozilla: Rustup 1.22.0, Servo and Performance Improvements via Formally-Verified Cryptography in Firefox

    • Announcing Rustup 1.22.0

      The rustup working group is happy to announce the release of rustup version 1.22.0. Rustup is the recommended tool to install Rust, a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

    • This Week In Servo 131

      Welcome back everyone - it’s been a year without written updates, but we’re getting this train back on track! Servo hasn’t been dormant in that time; the biggest news was the public release of Firefox Reality (built on Servo technology) in the Microsoft store. In the past week, we merged 44 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

    • Performance Improvements via Formally-Verified Cryptography in Firefox

      Cryptographic primitives, while extremely complex and difficult to implement, audit, and validate, are critical for security on the web. To ensure that NSS (Network Security Services, the cryptography library behind Firefox) abides by Mozilla’s principle of user security being fundamental, we’ve been working with Project Everest and the HACL* team to bring formally-verified cryptography into Firefox. In Firefox 57, we introduced formally-verified Curve25519, which is a mechanism used for key establishment in TLS and other protocols. In Firefox 60, we added ChaCha20 and Poly1305, providing high-assurance authenticated encryption. Firefox 69, 77, and 79 improve and expand these implementations, providing increased performance while retaining the assurance granted by formal verification.

today's howtos

Stable Clonezilla live 2.6.7-28 Released

This release of Clonezilla live (2.6.7-28) includes major enhancements and bug fixes.
ENHANCEMENTS and CHANGES from 2.6.6-15

  • The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2020/Jun/30).
  • Linux kernel was updated to 5.7.6-1.
  • ocs-iso, ocs-live-dev: sync syslinux-related files when copying syslinux exec files.
  • When creating recovery iso/zip file, if it's in Clonezilla live environment, we have those syslinux files. Use that first so the version mismatch can be avoided. Ref: https://sourceforge.net/p/clonezilla/support-requests/127/
  • Move grub-header.cfg from bootx64.efi to grub.cfg so that it's more flexible.
  • To avoid conflict with the patch of grub in CentOS/Fedora, for GRUB EFI NB MAC/IP config style, the netboot file is now like grub.cfg-drbl-00:50:56:01:01:01 and grub.cfg-drbl-192.168.177.2 not grub.cfg-01-* anymore.
  • Add xen-tools
  • Partclone was updated to 0.3.14. The codes about xfs was updated to be 4.20.0.
  • Package exfat-fuse was removed since the kernel has module for that.
  • A better mechanism to deal with linuxefi/initrdefi or linux/initrd in the grub config was added.
  • Read more

Pico-ITX board based on i.MX8M ships with Linux BSP

F&S has launched a $407 and up “armStone MX8M” Pico-ITX SBC that runs Linux on an i.MX8M with up to 8GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC with GbE, WiFi/BT, 5x USB, MIPI-CSI, DVI, and a mini-PCIe slot. F&S Elektronik Systeme originally announced the NXP i.MX8M-based armStone MX8M Pico-ITX board in early 2018 with an intention to begin sampling in Q2 of that year. The i.MX8M-based SBC has finally arrived, selling for 360 Euros ($407) in a kit that includes cables, a Yocto/Buildroot BSP, and full access to documentation. The key new addition since the 2018 announcement is a mini-PCIe slot and SIM card slot. Instead of supplying 4x USB 2.0 host ports, you get 2x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0, and the micro-USB OTG port has been updated from 2.0 to 3.0. Read more