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Devices: Banana Pi, Firmware in Your Firmware, Amlogic/Arm and Arduino

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Hardware
  • Raspberry Pi: Banana Pi maker touts this new rival board with Amlogic chip and 4GB RAM

    Chinese SinoVoip has teased a Raspberry Pi-style single-board computer, the Banana Pi BPI-M5, with an Amlogic S905X3 four-core Cortex-A55 processor.

    The Raspberry Pi rival features a system on chip with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an HDMI port, and just like its fruity rival, a 40-pin GPIO (general-purpose input/output) rack to connect other devices.

  • Putting The Firmware In Your Firmware

    Performing over-the-air updates of devices in the field can be a tricky business. Reliability and recovery is of course key, but even getting the right bits to the right storage sectors can be a challenge. Recently I’ve been working on a project which called for the design of a new pathway to update some small microcontrollers which were decidedly inconvenient.

    There are many pieces to a project like this; a bootloader to perform the actual updating, a robust communication protocol, recovery pathways, a file transfer mechanism, and more. What made these micros particularly inconvenient was that they weren’t network-connected themselves, but required a hop through another intermediate controller, which itself was also not connected to the network. Predictably, the otherwise simple “file transfer” step quickly ballooned out into a complex onion of tasks to complete before the rest of the project could continue. As they say, it’s micros all the way down.

  • Low-cost Amlogic S905L2 TV Boxes Show Up on Aliexpress for $20+

    Amlogic has plenty of variants to its S905 processors, and so far I had never heard about Amlogic S905L2 processor that can be found in some Android 9.0 TV boxes sold for a little over $20 including shipping.

    There are only two such TV boxes listed with the quad-core Cortex-A53 processor so far, and they are basically the same X7 model except for different storage and memory configuration.

  • Nvidia’s Arm Acquisition Raises Licensing Questions

    This could accelerate an industry shift away from Arm designs to RISC-V, according to a Reuters source.

  • Get ready to Explore IoT with Arduino Education

    This week we are launching our Arduino Explore IoT Kit, which allows high school and college students to take their first steps in building connected devices. Educators can make a complex subject simple – explore the Internet of Things right now with Arduino Education.

    Aimed at the beginner, there is a complete set of easy to follow online projects providing students with a gateway into the digital world of connected objects and how people work together.

More in Tux Machines

Tumbleweed Gets New KDE Frameworks, systemd

KDE Frameworks 5.74.0 and systemd 246.4 became available in openSUSE Tumbleweed after two respective snapshots were released this week. Hypervisor Xen, libstorage-ng, which is a C++ library used by YaST, and text editor vim were also some of the packages update this week in Tumbleweed. The most recent snapshot released is 20200919. KDE Frameworks 5.74.0 was released earlier this month and its packages made it into this snapshot. KConfig introduced a method to query the KConfigSkeletonItem default value. KContacts now checks the length of the full name of an email address before trimming it with an address parser. KDE’s lightweight UI framework for mobile and convergent applications, Kirigami, made OverlaySheet of headers and footers use appropriate background colors, updated the app template and introduced a ToolBarLayout native object. Several other 5.74.0 Framework packages were update like Plasma Framework, KTestEditor and KIO. Bluetooth protocol bluez 5.55 fixed several handling issues related to the Audio/Video Remote Control Profile and the Generic Attribute Profile. A reverted Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures patch that was recommended by upstream in cpio 2.13 was once again added. GObject wrapper libgusb 0.3.5 fixed version scripts to be more portable. Documentation was fixed and translations were made for Finnish, Hindi and Russian in the 4.3.42 libstorage-ng update. YaST2 4.3.27 made a change to hide the heading of the dialog when no title is defined or the title is set to an empty string. Xen’s minor updated reverted a previous libexec change for a qemu compatibility wrapper; the path used exists in domU.xml files in the emulator field. The snapshot is trending stable at a 99 rating, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. Read more

Games: Arch Conf 2020, Pixelorama, Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus and More

  • Arch Conf 2020 confirmed for October, has a talk on the SteamOS-like GamerOS

    Want to learn more about Arch Linux? In October they've confirmed Arch Conf 2020 is happening and there's going to be plenty of interesting talks. All of which will be online of course, especially with COVID19 still raging on. The dates set for it are between October 10-11 and the talks will be quite varied starting with a talk about the past, present and future of Arch Linux as the first which starts on October 10, 10:00am UTC.

  • Arch Conf 2020 schedule

    On the 10th and 11th of October there is going to be an online edition of Arch Conf. The conference is going to have presentations from the Arch team along with community submitted presentations and lightning talks. We are proud to announce the first revision of the schedule!

  • Free and open source sprite editor 'Pixelorama' gets a massive upgrade

    If you're working with sprites and pixel-art, you need to pay attention to Pixelorama as this free and open source program is coming on nicely and another massive upgrade is out now. As an editor for artists, the 0.8 release that went up on September 23 has made it that step closer to an all-in-one solution for all your sprite needs. There's now a lot of different built in tools you can use, different pixel modes, animation support and much more.

  • Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus announced for release in October

    Hearts of Iron IV takes aim at the Turkish Straits with the Hearts of Iron IV: Battle for the Bosporus country pack that's coming on October 15. As one of Paradox's best-selling and most loved titles, there appears to be no end in sight for continuing to expand the experience with plenty of new events and decision paths. This new DLC will let you take control of the destinies of Bulgaria, Greece or Turkey through years of uncertainty and conflict.

  • StoryArcana is an upcoming open-world wizard school RPG

    Become like the wizard you always wanted to be in StoryArcana, an upcoming wizard school RPG that looks like it could be a huge amount of fun. It's not another roguelike experience full of random generation. Instead, StoryArcana has a focus on mystery solving, exploration, puzzles and a combat system based around intricate spellcasting. Mixing together a week of learning new spells and exploring your academy to find a secret or two, with running around a big city on the weekends to pick up new quests and perhaps a fancy new broom to fly on. [...] We spoke with the developer of email recently, and they confirmed StoryArcana will be "readily available to play on Linux the same day it launches on Windows and Mac OS". They're building it with the pretty amazing Construct game engine, so everything is built with web-tech.

  • Be a ruthless 80s salesman and close those deals in Dirty Land

    Dirty Land puts you in the shoes of Frank Marsh, a newly hired salesman for Pure Sky Properties, a real estate office where coffee is for closers and the status quo is hawking swamp land to unsuspecting buyers for a tidy profit. Inspired by classic 80s and 90s sales movies like Glengarry Glen Ross. Currently in development by Canadian crew Naturally Intelligent, the same developer behind the quirky title Patchman vs. Red Circles. Dirty Land will see if you prefer to scrape by honestly, or throw ethics out the window and make some quick cash.

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