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LINMOB.net - Weekly #MobilePOSIX Update (25/2022): Better Processing in Megapixels and another report on the PinePhone Pro Cameras

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OS
Gadgets

The usual development progress, another nice Q&A video by UBports and DOOM on a Modem!

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How RISC OS happened, as told by original Acorn Arthur lead

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OS

One of the longest-lived GUI operating systems in the world has its origins as an emergency project – specifically the means by which Acorn planned to rescue the original Archimedes operating system.

This is according to the original Acorn Arthur project lead, Paul Fellows, who spoke about the creation of RISC OS at the RISC OS User Group Of London, ROUGOL [after some helpful arrangements made by Liam Proven – Ed].

On Monday, your correspondent hosted and moderated a reunion of four of the original developers of Acorn's RISC OS.

Fellows explained that participating were "Paul Fellows (VidC controller, Palette, I2C interface, Real Time Clock and EEPROM), Tim Dobson (Fonts, Audio and Utilities), Richard Manby (Graphics and Desktop), and Stuart Swales (Fileswitch and Heap Manager)."

Today, RISC OS is still rumbling along, and version 5 is now open source. But it wasn't the original, planned operating system for Acorn's Archimedes computer. That was going to be ARX, of which almost no trace exists today apart from a few Usenet posts. What information survives has been compiled into the Wikipedia article.

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RISC OS is 35 but it's still kicking

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OS

RISC OS, the operating system of the original Arm computer, the Acorn Archimedes, is still very much alive – and doing relatively well for its age.

In June 1987, Acorn launched the Archimedes A305 and A310, starting at £800 ($982) and running a new operating system called Arthur. At the time, it was a radical and very fast computer. In his review [PDF] for Personal Computer World, Dick Pountain memorably said: "It loads huge programs with a faint burping noise, in the time it takes to blink an eye."

Arthur was loosely related to Acorn's earlier MOS, the BBC Micro operating system but looked very different thanks to a prototype graphical desktop, implemented in BBC BASIC, that could charitably be called "technicolor."

Renamed RISC OS, version 2 followed in 1989 – the same year that Sun started selling its new SPARCstation 1 (a snip at £7,500c $9,200) and DEC launched the MIPS R2000-chipset-based DECstation 3100 (for £8,800/c $10,800).

RISC OS has had a rather convoluted history, partly due to Acorn spinning out Arm, eventually pulling out of the computer market, rebranding as Element 14 and being acquired by Broadcom, where Arm co-designer Sophie Wilson still works today. And partly due to drama over the ownership of the OS post-Acorn at one point.

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LINMOB.net - Weekly #LinuxPhone Update (24/2022): postmarketOS 22.06 and other software progress

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Gadgets

Call me a postmarketOS shill or don't, Modem and Modem Firmware news, and a lot more!

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Programming and Modding

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Development

  • Path of Least Resistance

    In machine learning, optimizations algorithms often move towards a local minimum (or maximum) by a process called gradient descent that finds the path of steepest descent. In smaller dimensions, this looks a lot like the path of least resistance.

    Consumers often choose products that are on the path of least resistance.

  • Async Cancellation II: Time and Signals

    For the past few years I've been working on the async-std library, which provides an async implementation of the APIs exposed by std. However, we also added several new APIs related to things unique to async Rust: concurrency, control over execution, and the interaction between the two.

    These APIs were initially introduced in async-std as "unstable", and have been the main focus of my work to design since. On this blog there are numerous posts related to for example: concurrency, cancellation, and parallelism. Today I want to share a new experiment I've been working for time-based operations in async Rust. I've designed it as a stand-alone crate for now, but I intend to PR its addition to async-std in the near future.

  • Write documentation first. Then build.

    Write your idea first. You then have a script to follow, a consistent way to share your story with others. We’re this, not that, here’s why.

  • We’ll see you at CSTA 2022 Annual Conference

    Connecting face to face with educators around the world is a key part of our mission at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and it’s something that we’ve sorely missed doing over the last two years. We’re therefore thrilled to be joining over 1000 computing educators in the USA at the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Annual Conference in Chicago in July.

  • Upgrading Qubes 4.0.4 to 4.1.0

    For those running Qubes 4.0.4 looking to upgrade to 4.1.0, let’s review the upgrade process using a Librem 14. To get started, you’ll need a USB hard drive to store your backup and a USB flash drive to boot the upgrade ISO.

    Most file system formats will work as long as they support large files, but you’ll need something more than fat32. If your drive uses fat you’ll need to reformat with ext4, exFAT or NTFS. To reformat, install GParted.

GNU/Linux in 'Clown' Computing and Linux-based Zenterio OS

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GNU
Linux

  • Supporting Scientific Training with Cloud Resources | Newsroom

    The team quickly decided to provide the Ubuntu Linux environments within the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Each Linux system provided 16 CPUs, 104 GB RAM, and 500 GB of attached disk space to meet the computational need. Hemant Kelkar developed a custom Linux image with the tools needed for the class including R, conda, and jupyter. Final configuration and testing was completed just days prior to the start of the workshop with 30 identical custom Ubuntu Linux systems ready for student use.

  • Megacable taps Oregan Networks for set-top upcycling

    Oregan says that the latest release of the Linux-based Zenterio OS enables UX performance gains, as well as enabling access to premium content applications such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on the installed base of set-tops.

postmarketOS 22.06 aims to revive end-of-life smartphones

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OS
Linux
Gadgets

A Linux distro for smartphones abandoned by their manufacturers, postmarketOS, has introduced in-place upgrades.

Alpine Linux is a very minimal general-purpose distro that runs well on low-end kit, as The Reg FOSS desk found when we looked at version 3.16 last month. postmarketOS's – pmOS for short – version 22.06 is based on the same version.

This itself is distinctive. Most other third-party smartphone OSes, such as LineageOS or GrapheneOS, or the former CyanogenMod, are based on the core of Android itself.

The project is quite different. It uses the mainline Linux kernel, and a standard userland, to support a wide variety of devices. The theory is that not needing a manufacturer's outdated firmware or drivers means that pmOS can use more current components, direct from the various upstream Linux projects. The project's own wiki currently lists over 200 supported devices, including phones, tablets, and e-book readers, ranging back to the venerable Nokia N900.

They're not all equally supported, though. Most of them can can boot, many have Wi-Fi support, but currently just two actual phones work as phones: the open-source hardware PinePhone and the Purism Librem 5. Even saying that, though, the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and use an old device as a pocketable terminal could make obsolete hardware useful again.

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Oracle Linux 9 Developer Preview Now Available for Download

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OS
Server

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Oracle Linux 9 Developer Preview release for the 64-bit Intel and AMD (x86_64) and 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platforms. Oracle Linux 9 Developer Preview is a major release that introduces many new features, enhancements, and changes. It is 100% application binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 General Availability (GA) release; Oracle Linux 9 Developer Preview can be leveraged by developers, ISV and IHV to get ready for the GA release of Oracle Linux 9.

Oracle Linux 9 Developer Preview includes security feature updates, networking, high availability, and file system improvements, and enhanced developer tools, compilers, and scripting language support. Oracle Linux 9 Developer Preview ships with the kernel-uek-5.15.0-0.23.1.el9uek Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 7 (UEK) and kernel-5.14.0-1.7.1.el9 Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) packages. For details of the new features, enhancements, and changes, refer to the Oracle Linux 9 Developer Preview Release Notes.

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Linux Mint Overhauls Cinnamon 5.4 Desktop for Anticipated OS Release

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OS
Linux

The new version of Linux Mint's default desktop will feature improved support for multiple monitors and other enhancements.

The developers of Linux Mint have announced a new version of the default Cinnamon desktop environment, version 5.4. The release comes ahead of the pending release of Linux Mint 21, dubbed "Vanessa."

The biggest change in Cinnamon 5.4 is a new version of the Mutter window manager, according to 9To5Linux. The JavaScript engine is also being overhauled.

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The Helios microkernel

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OS

I’ve been working on a cool project lately that I’d like to introduce you to: the Helios microkernel. Helios is written in Hare and currently targets x86_64, and riscv64 and aarch64 are on the way. It’s very much a work-in-progress: don’t expect to pick this up and start building anything with it today.

Drawing some inspiration from seL4, Helios uses a capability-based design for isolation and security. The kernel offers primitives for allocating physical pages, mapping them into address spaces, and managing tasks, plus features like platform-specific I/O (e.g. reading and writing x86 ports). The entire system is written in Hare, plus some necessary assembly for the platform bits (e.g. configuring the GDT or IDT).

Things are still quite early, but I’m pretty excited about this project. I haven’t had this much fun hacking in some time Smile We have several kernel services working, including memory management and virtual address spaces, and I’ve written a couple of simple drivers in userspace (serial and BIOS VGA consoles). Next up is preemptive multi-tasking — we already have interrupts working reliably, including the PIT, so all that’s left for multi-tasking is to actually implement the context switch. I’d like to aim for an seL4-style single-stack system, though some finageling will be required to make that work.

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today's howtos

  • How to install go1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04 – NextGenTips

    In this tutorial, we are going to explore how to install go on Ubuntu 22.04 Golang is an open-source programming language that is easy to learn and use. It is built-in concurrency and has a robust standard library. It is reliable, builds fast, and efficient software that scales fast. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel-type systems enable flexible and modular program constructions. Go compiles quickly to machine code and has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. In this guide, we are going to learn how to install golang 1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04. Go 1.19beta1 is not yet released. There is so much work in progress with all the documentation.

  • molecule test: failed to connect to bus in systemd container - openQA bites

    Ansible Molecule is a project to help you test your ansible roles. I’m using molecule for automatically testing the ansible roles of geekoops.

  • How To Install MongoDB on AlmaLinux 9 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MongoDB on AlmaLinux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, MongoDB is a high-performance, highly scalable document-oriented NoSQL database. Unlike in SQL databases where data is stored in rows and columns inside tables, in MongoDB, data is structured in JSON-like format inside records which are referred to as documents. The open-source attribute of MongoDB as a database software makes it an ideal candidate for almost any database-related project. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the MongoDB NoSQL database on AlmaLinux 9. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

  • An introduction (and how-to) to Plugin Loader for the Steam Deck. - Invidious
  • Self-host a Ghost Blog With Traefik

    Ghost is a very popular open-source content management system. Started as an alternative to WordPress and it went on to become an alternative to Substack by focusing on membership and newsletter. The creators of Ghost offer managed Pro hosting but it may not fit everyone's budget. Alternatively, you can self-host it on your own cloud servers. On Linux handbook, we already have a guide on deploying Ghost with Docker in a reverse proxy setup. Instead of Ngnix reverse proxy, you can also use another software called Traefik with Docker. It is a popular open-source cloud-native application proxy, API Gateway, Edge-router, and more. I use Traefik to secure my websites using an SSL certificate obtained from Let's Encrypt. Once deployed, Traefik can automatically manage your certificates and their renewals. In this tutorial, I'll share the necessary steps for deploying a Ghost blog with Docker and Traefik.

Red Hat Hires a Blind Software Engineer to Improve Accessibility on Linux Desktop

Accessibility on a Linux desktop is not one of the strongest points to highlight. However, GNOME, one of the best desktop environments, has managed to do better comparatively (I think). In a blog post by Christian Fredrik Schaller (Director for Desktop/Graphics, Red Hat), he mentions that they are making serious efforts to improve accessibility. Starting with Red Hat hiring Lukas Tyrychtr, who is a blind software engineer to lead the effort in improving Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Fedora Workstation in terms of accessibility. Read more

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Android Leftovers