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Gadgets

The Original Jolla Phone turns 7 today

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Gadgets

The first one is always the first one. Most Sailfish fans remember the first ever device to run Sailfish OS, the original Jolla phone, or Jolla 1 as we sometimes like to call it. This device, a trailblazer in its own field at the time, was first launched on this very rainy November day in Narinkkatori, Helsinki exactly seven years ago. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jolla phone!

Launching the Jolla smartphone back in 2013 was a truly memorable event for many of us in the Jolla team, but also for the hundreds of fans queuing to get their hands on the first ever Sailfish device. For me, as one of the founders of Jolla, launching this iconic device was undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments in my life, which I’ll always remember. I trust many others share the same feeling with me.

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Video: Megi’s multi-boot image for the PinePhone (with 17 Linux distros)

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The PinePhone is designed to make distro hopping easy. Whether you order a model that comes with Ubuntu Touch, postmarketOS, Manjaro, or KDE Neon pre-installed, the phone is designed to boot first from any properly prepared microSD card.

That means you can install an alternate OS on a card, insert it, and turn on the phone to try a different operating system. If you like it, you can use JumpDrive to install it to the phone’s built-in eMMC storage, which should bring at least a modest boost in speed.

Just want to try out a bunch of different operating systems without committing to one or constantly flashing microSD cards? That’s where Megi’s multi-distro demo image comes in. The developer offers a single image with a bunch of different operating systems pre-installed.

Megi released a new version of November 23, 2020 and it has 17 different operating systems crammed into a 6GB disk image.

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KDE Announces PinePhone KDE Community Edition with Plasma Mobile

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Linux
Gadgets

The KDE project and Pine64 announce the availability of PinePhone KDE Community Edition with the Plasma Mobile operating system.
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Manjaro ARM Beta2 Phosh for PinePhone brings better performance, HDMI output

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Gadgets

Less than a month after releasing the first public beta of Manjaro ARM Phosh for the PinePhone, the developers of this mobile version of Manjaro have released beta 2.

Among other things, the latest release brings support for 60 fps graphics on the phone, and HDMI output for when you want to use an external display. The Torch feature also now works, allowing you to trigger the LED camera flash light on the back of the phone from the quick access menu.

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Precursor open mobile hardware up for pre-order for $450 and up (crowdfunding)

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Hardware
Gadgets

Developed by bunnie Huang and Sean “xobx” Cross, the Precursor designed to be a pocket-sized, mobile device that gives owners complete control. If you have the technical know-how to inspect the code or program the device, you don’t have to trust that the chip designers, OS developer, or anyone else is protecting your privacy – all code can be inspected, and you can “compile your CPU” from source using the FPGA.

That said, the Precursor probably isn’t powerful enough to use as a replacement for a modern smartphone. It has modern features like a USB Type-C port, but out of the box the FPGA will work like a 100 MHz, 32-bit RISC-V processor. It can be configured to operate like many other older chips, but with a top speed of 100 MHz, the Precursor has the computing power of a 15-year-old smartphone, PDA, or handheld game console like a Palm Treo 600, BlackBerry 8700, or Nintendo DS.

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PinePhone 3GB/32GB upgrades are now available for purchase

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Gadgets

There are two pricing options: customers who purchased a PinePhone “BraveHeart” edition or a PinePhone UBPorts Community Edition phone can pick up a 3GB/32GB mainboard for $80, while customers who have purchased a more recent version can buy the ne w board for $105.

A brand new PinePhone sells for $150 to $200, depending on whether you opt for a 2GB/16GB model or a 3GB/32GB Convergence Pack version, which also comes with a USB-C dock featuring Ethernet, HDMI, and USB-A ports.

So replacing the board will cost about half as much as buying a new phone. Keep in mind that you’re not just paying for a memory and storage upgrade, but a whole new mainboard featuring an Allwinner A64 processor, SIM and microSD card slots, and headphone jack.

The PinePhone’s modular design makes this upgrade possible – in addition to replacing the mainboard, you can easily repair or replace most key components including the back cover, display, cameras, battery, and USB port with just a screwdriver. Replacement parts are available at the Pine Store.

Software for the PinePhone is still very much a work in progress. While there are at least 19 different operating systems that can at least boot on the phone, many are still buggy or incomplete. But developers are making rapid progress on things like camera support, 60 Hz display support and other features that are bringing the PinePhone closer to being useable as a daily driver. Cellular support is still a little iffy, and battery life is still pretty lousy.

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Cosmo Communicator’s Linux OS gains new cover screen features

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The Cosmo Communicator is what you’d get if you crossed a smartphone with a pocket-sized laptop computer. Unfolded it looks like a tiny laptop with a keyboard inspired by the design of the classic Psion Revo PDA. Fold it and you’ve got a smaller cover screen that you can use for phone calls, notifications, or other simple tasks.

Aside from the clamshell design, the phone has another unusual feature: it typically ships with Android, but can also support alternate operating systems including Debian Linux and Sailfish OS.

Developed by Planet Computers, the Cosmo Communicator went up for pre-order through a crowdfunding campaign in late 2018 and began shipping to backers in mid-2019. Now Planet Computers has announced an update for the Debian Linux software that runs on its phone, bringing support for a bunch of new cover screen features.

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PostmarketOS update brings HDMI support for the PinePhone and PineTab

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OS
Gadgets

When the PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition smartphone began shipping to customers in September it came with a version of the operating system with one important feature missing: HDMI output.

So when my phone arrived a few weeks ago I was able to spend some time familiarizing myself with the operating system and I could plug in the included Convergence Dock to use USB accessories including a keyboard, mouse, and storage. But I wasn’t able to connect an external display.

Now I can.

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Mudita Pure OS and Purism's PureOS

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OS
Gadgets
  • Mudita Pure OS is going open source

    The company stated that MuditaOS operating system will be publicly available on the GitHub platform, under a GPL (GNU General Public License) license. In the initial phase, MuditaOS will be available as a Developer Preview, during which, Mudita will work with the growing community to fine-tune the documentation and deal with the first reported issues.

    [...]

    The Mudita phone has been delayed numerous times this year, it was supposed to have come out in April, and was slated for release in October and now has been pushed back until Spring of 2021. It will eventually come out, it is a vanity project of Michal Kicinski, who created the Witcher/Cyberpunk games.

  • A Librem 5 Video Made on a Librem 5

    When it comes to making a video, there are a lot of workflows involved. From writing, planning, to local screen capture, all the way to editing raw 4k footage with proxy clips. Even with all that workflow complexity, the following video was made completely on the Librem 5 phone.

    [...]

    Ultimately the Librem 5 phone lets you take your regular workflow with you while also keeping you in contact with your friends and family.

  • Specify Form-Factors in Your Librem 5 Apps

    While more and more applications are being redesigned to take smartphones like the Librem 5 into account, PureOS still offers lots of desktop applications which are not ready to run on such devices yet.

    As a user you want to know which applications are relevant to install, so PureOS Store will by default only present mobile-ready applications, while still letting you opt-into showing all applications to take full advantage of the Librem 5’s convergeant docked mode. As a user you also want to know which applications are relevant to run at a given time, so Phosh will let you run desktop-only applications only when the phone is docked.

    This requires the applications to provide some information on which form-factors they can handle, if you are an application developer and you want your applications to work as expected on the Librem 5, please provide the relevant information as shown below.

    To make your application appear in PureOS Store, add the following lines to your AppStream metainfo...

F(x)tec Pro1-X Announced – with physical keyboard, Lineage OS and Ubuntu Touch support but dated Snapdragon 835

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OS
Android
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Today, F(x)tec has re-launched their Pro1 smartphone, but renamed as Pro1-X and running LineageOS out of the box combined with compatibility with Ubuntu Touch OS.

The phone has been developed in partnership with XDA, hence the name. The hardware remains the same which includes the dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset; however, this phone isn't about raw power, it is a productivity tool with a strong focus on privacy.

It will then combine the chipset with 8GB of RAM a 5.99-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, an 8MP front-facing camera, and a 12MP camera at the rear.

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Android Leftovers

FontManager 0.8 Released with Google Fonts Integration

The Font Manager 0.8.0 update introduces integration with Google Fonts, one of the largest online sources of freely licensed font families. Users can click the ‘G’ tool bar icon to instantly access more than 1,000 fonts distributed through Google’s type hub. Fonts can be display by name, recency, popularity, or ‘trending’, and filtered by font type, variation, and language support. Font families can be previewed instantaneously in an increasing-size ‘waterfall’ presentation (the exact text can be customised) or a big block of randomly placeholder text. Font size, colour, and background colour are all configurable too. Read more

Top 5 Linux Server Malware and Rootkits Scanners

The theory that convinced most of us to join the Linux OS universe is its impenetrable nature. We were excited that using a Linux Operating system did not require us to have an anti-virus installed on our systems. As the latter statements might be true, we should be careful of using too many sweeteners to build up assumptions about the Linux operating system security metrics. We would not want to deal with any diabetic outcomes in the practical world. The Linux operating system is risk-free on paper but characterized by vulnerabilities in a production environment. These vulnerabilities entail risk-centered and harmful programs incubating viruses, rootkits, and ransomware. If you invest your skills to be a Linux OS administrator, you need to sharpen your security measures skills, especially when dealing with production servers. Big brands continue to invest in coping with evolving new security threats targeting the Linux OS. The evolution of these measures propels the development of adaptive security tools. They detect the malware and other flaws in a Linux system and initiate useful, corrective, and preventive mechanisms to counter the viable system threats. Read more

today's leftovers

  • 5 Reasons Why KDE Plasma = Best Desktop Environment

    KDE Plasma is my favorite desktop environment on Linux. In this video, I offer my Top 5 Reasons why I think KDE Plasma is the best desktop environment for me.

  • Inspired by the likes of Cube World, open source RPG Veloren has the biggest update yet | GamingOnLinux

    Currently in development and not yet considered a full game but still very impressive anyway, Veloren is a free and open source multiplayer voxel RPG. Inspired by the likes of Cube World, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft it's a very exciting project to be following. Written in the popular Rust programming language it fully supports Linux, macOS and Windows. This latest release is the biggest yet, with overhauls to various parts of the game as well as introducing plenty of new features to keep players busy. [...] The full source code is up on GitLab.

  • Godot Engine - Godot's 2D engine gets several improvements for upcoming 4.0

    While the focus of Godot 4.0 Vulkan rewrite has largely been enhancements to the 3D engine, the 2D side will also see several improvements. Improved Performance Thanks to Vulkan (which has a much lower draw-call cost than OpenGL), 2D itself in Godot 4.0 will see a speedup for free. But that's not the only reason, many internal improvements and optimizations also contribute to a smoother experience. Changes in memory allocation strategy and internal simplification in draw call logic make it much more efficient to manually call thousands of draw() functions from a node's _draw() callback. Many of these improvements will also accelerate GLES3 and GLES2 back-ends. Improved 2D lighting Godot 3.x supported 2D lighting, but this did not happen without several constraints. The main one was performance due to every light being rendered in a separate draw pass. This is no longer a problem in 4.0, as all lights are drawn in a single pass.

  • Auditing the CRLs in CRLite • Insufficient.Coffee

    Since Firefox Nightly is now using CRLite to determine if enrolled websites’ certificates are revoked, it’s useful to dig into the data to answer why a given certificate issuer gets enrolled or not. Ultimately this is a matter of whether the CRLs for a given issuer are available to CRLite, and are valid, but the Internet is a messy place, and sometimes things don’t work as planned. If an issuing CA is not enrolled in CRLite, the Mozilla infrastructure emits enough information to figure out what went wrong.

  • How to install FreeBSD on Raspberry Pi? (step-by-step guide)

    FreeBSD is an original operating system you can install on Raspberry Pi to experiment a bit outside Linux. But the process is not always easy if you are used to working on Debian-like systems.

    Today, we’ll see how to install it on a Raspberry Pi, to configure it and use it like almost like any other operating system.

  • October/November in KDE Itinerary

    A lot has happened around KDE Itinerary in the past two months again, since the last summary blog. All components will be part of the KDE release service starting with the 20.12 series, we got a new backend server for the station maps, arrival and departure platforms are now properly identified, and much more. [...] The biggest news behind the scenes is that the new backend for maps.kde.org is now finally live! This gives us up-to-date OSM data for the train station maps, with a lot more detail and various precision loss issues fixed. Most visible is probably that we now also see platform section labels and ticket machines, as well as almost all geometry reassembly glitches being fixed now. This work not only helps KDE Itinerary, but also the primary user of this system, Marble. A big thank you to the sysadmin team for making that happen! A number of things are happening around KDE’s Android infrastructure as well, which KDE Itinerary relies upon. See the dedicated post on that.

  • About Intel NUC Computer
  • About Asus Chromebox – Linux Hint

    In partnership with Google, Asus joined the bandwagon in reinventing desktops into smaller forms and integrating Chrome OS into it, breathing new life to the declining traditional forms. Asus Chromebox is an elegantly-styled, lightweight, compact, and versatile desktop. It’s highly favored by users who only need the basics of a desktop computer, such as web browsing, video streaming, and simple file processing. Furthermore, it has full support for Android apps on Google play. The price tag is also pocket-friendly, especially if you are content with lower-end models. There is also no need to install anti-virus software as the built-in security with Chrome OS automatically installs updates and fixes, keeping it safe from some malware and viruses. Although Asus Chromebox has not been the first in the market, it has been making waves since its introduction in 2014.