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Hardware

Linux Picking Up Support For The Fireface UCX High-End Professional Audio Solution

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Should you be assembling a recording studio or have another purpose for some high-end audio kit, the RME Fireface UCX is the latest sound device seeing support in the upstream Linux kernel.

The Fireface UCX is a USB 3.0 / Firewire audio interface with onboard DSP that supports 18 input/output channels, eight analog I/O ports, and a variety of other connections. This 36-channel USB/Firewire audio interface has received a lot of praise from online reviews, but this professional audio gear retails for around $1,600 USD.

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Radio Telescopes Horn In With GNU Radio

Filed under
GNU
Hardware

Who doesn’t like to look up at the night sky? But if you are into radio, there’s a whole different way to look using radio telescopes. [John Makous] spoke at the GNU Radio Conference about how he’s worked to make a radio telescope that is practical for even younger students to build and operate.

The only real high tech part of this build is the low noise amplifier (LNA) and the project is in reach of a typical teacher who might not be an expert on electronics. It uses things like paint thinner cans and lumber. [John] also built some blocks in GNU Radio that made it easy for other teachers to process the data from a telescope. As he put it, “This is the kind of nerdy stuff I like to do.” We can relate.

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XGI Display Driver Finally On The Linux Kernel Chopping Block

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Linux
Hardware

XGI Tech, the nearly two decade old spin off from SiS that was short-lived and once aimed to be a competitor to ATI and NVIDIA, still has a Linux driver within the mainline kernel. But this frame-buffer driver is slated to soon be removed.

There's long been the "xgifb" driver within the mainline Linux kernel staging area. This has served for display purposes with XGI hardware without any hardware acceleration, but the driver was limited in scope and hasn't received any real maintenance in years. Plus with being an FBDEV driver while all modern Linux display drivers make use of the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) infrastructure, it's really outdated.

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How to Turn a Raspbery Pi into a Plex Server

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Hardware
HowTos

Running a Raspberry Pi as a Plex Server does come with several benefits. It won’t take up as much room as a server or a full-size PC. It also will use less electricity, even when idle all day. Best of all, it costs less than most other hardware capable of working as a server.

There are some downsides to be aware of, though. The Raspberry Pi 3 has an ARM processor that just doesn’t have the power to support transcoding. So when you are setting up your videos, you are going to want to choose MKV as your video format. That will usually bypass the need for transcoding. (Just about every Plex player supports MKV without transcoding on the fly, but a few smart TVs might have problems.)

Even then, while you’ll be able to watch standard Blu-ray quality locally, you probably won’t be able to view these videos remotely. And 4K Videos are likely not going to play well either. Also, keep in mind that this is not officially supported, and you’ll need to update the server software manually.

But once you account for those potential pitfalls, the Raspberry Pi does make a competent Plex Media Server.

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Boosting Open Science Hardware in an academic context: opportunities and challenges

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Hardware
OSS
Sci/Tech

Experimental science is typically dependent on hardware: equipment, sensors and machines. Open Science Hardware means sharing designs for this equipment that anyone can reuse, replicate, build upon or sell so long as they attribute the developers on whose shoulders they stand. Hardware can also be expanded to encompass other non-digital input to research such as chemicals, cell lines and materials and a growing number of open science initiatives are actively sharing these with few or no restrictions on use.

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Also: The Entire Hardlight VR project is now Open Source

EVOC on Back Doors (ME) and Newt on an Arduino

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Touch-panel PCs offer a choice of Skylake or Bay Trail chips

    EVOC’s P15 and P17 panel PCs provide Intel Skylake-U or Bay Trail CPUs with IP66 protected 15- or 17-inch resistive displays, plus 2x to 4x GbE ports, up to 8x USB and 6x COM ports, and HDMI, VGA, mini-PCIe, and SATA.

    Like EVOC’s 15.6-inch PPC-1561 touch-panel PC from May 2008, EVOC’s fanless P15/P17 touch-panel PCs run on 6th Gen Skylake-U or Bay Trail Celeron J1900 processors. The 15-inch P15 and 17-inch P17 offer 5-wire resistive touch and a “next generation design” with “true flat display surface and narrow bezel,” says China-based EVOC. The front aluminum alloy panel offers IP66 waterproofing, dustproofing, and anti-vibration support, as well as over 7H-mohs hardness to prevent scratches, oil, dust, metal chip, and water mist damage.

  • Newt-Duino: Newt on an Arduino

    Here's our target system. The venerable Arduino Duemilanove. Designed in 2009, this board comes with the Atmel ATmega328 system on chip, and not a lot else. This 8-bit microcontroller sports 32kB of flash, 2kB of RAM and another 1kB of EEPROM. Squeezing even a tiny version of Python onto this device took some doing.

Giant Board Linux mini PC in final stages of development

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Developers, hobbyists and Linux enthusiasts may be interested in a new development board called the Giant Board which is capable of running Linux on a form factor similar to that of the Adafruit Feather. Powered by a Microchip SAMA5D2 ARM Cortex-A5 Processor 500MHz tiny single-board computer has been based on the Adafruit Feather form factor created to provide users with plenty of power for a wide variety of projects and applications.

“The Giant Board is a super tiny single-board computer based on the Adafruit Feather form factor. We always want more power in a smaller package and the Giant Board delivers! There are always those couple of projects that just need a little more power, or a different software stack. With the release of the ATSAMA5D27C-D1G, it’s made linux possible in such a small form factor. Listed below are the specs and current pinout of the board.”

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Also: Axiomtek announces its first Type 7 module

Open Hardware/Modding: PC in Mouse, Palitra, ULX3S

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • This Mouse Is Actually A Complete Computer With Screen And Keyboard

    A couple of years ago, a YouTuber named Slider2732 created a “PC In A Mouse” using an Orange Pi and an optical mouse; it gained lots of media coverage and praise from the DIY enthusiasts.

    Fast forward to today, another YouTuber, whose channel goes by the name Electronic Grenade, has invented a similar device. Called “The Computer Mouse,” it’s a completely functional computer with a normal-sized, 3D-printed mouse.

  • Palitra open source retouching module for photographers

    Photographers looking for an affordable, configurable, open source retouching module may be interested in the new Palitra hardware created by Bitgamma and now available to purchase via the Crowd Supply website from just $25. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Palitra photographic retouching hardware and its features.

    Palitra has been designed to be used for photo retouching, vector art creation, general image manipulation, debugger control, as an addition to your IDE, controlling your media player, video editing, music creation, sound engineering or any task that relies on multiple keyboard shortcuts.

  • ULX3S: An Open-Source Lattice ECP5 FPGA PCB

    The hackers over at Radiona.org, a Zagreb Makerspace, have been hard at work designing the ULX3S, an open-source development board for LATTICE ECP5 FPGAs. This board might help make 2019 the Year of the Hacker FPGA, whose occurrence has been predicted once again after not quite materializing in 2018. Even a quick look at the board and the open-source development surrounding it hints that this time might be different.

Top 15 Best Arduino Projects That You Can Build Right Now

Filed under
Development
Hardware

If you’re an avid electronics lover like me, who loves to play with complex components to forge something unique out of them, welcome to this guide. Today, we are outlining 15 best Arduino projects to boost your eclectic journey into the magical field of electronics realism. Arduino, as you should know already, is a cheap electronic board that lets you build not only complex but also one of a kind electronic systems. You can program these systems pretty easily, thanks to Arduino’s implementation of an effective programming environment. Enough with the chit-chats, let us delve right into this list of best Arduino projects for you to build this year.

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IEI’s Puzzle family of x86 and Arm based net appliances debuts with two Coffee Lake models

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

IEI unveiled a Linux-driven “Puzzle” series of 1U rackmount network appliances and uCPE systems with VNF support and a choice of Intel Coffee Lake, AMD Epyc 3000, Armada 8040, NXP LS2088, and Cavium Octeon CPUs.

IEI is launching a new family of Puzzle-branded 1U network appliances that supports software virtual network functions (VNFs) and real-time software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) services. The Linux-powered rackmount systems can also be used for uCPE (Universal Customer Premise Equipment) systems and will be available with a variety of x86 and Arm processors.

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Also: Compact, rugged industrial AI computer runs Linux on TX2

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Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • Compact Bay Trail SBC has option for third GbE port
    Axiomtek’s “CAPA84E” is a 3.5-inch Bay Trail SBC with an optional third GbE port, dual M.2 slots, plus VGA, DisplayPort, USB 3.0, SATA, and -20 to 70°C support. Axiomtek’s motto may well be: “If first you succeed, iterate until you don’t.” The king of the spinoffs has released yet another iteration of one of the first Intel Bay Trail SBCs, the CAPA841, which in 2015 was followed by the slightly scaled down CAPA840. The new CAPA84R similarly supports Bay Trail and conforms to the 3.5-inch form factor, but with a different mix of features.
  • Letting people work where they want shows how much you value them
    Open organizations are inclusive. They aren't inclusive solely because it's the right way to be but because it produces better outcomes. Inclusivitiy enables a more diverse set of viewpoints.
  • Cities agree on minimal interoperability mechanisms

    Over a hundred European cities have agreed on ‘Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms’ defining the communication between software programmes and building blocks to allow co-creation and sharing of services. The MIMs, advocated by the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative, are “simple steps towards using new technology”, OACS chairman Martin Brynskov said on Thursday.

  • Containers On The Edge
    There are two major families for the choice of operating system and ecosystem: RTOS-based and Linux-based families. Smaller, cost-constrained devices tend to benefit from the simplicity of RTOS-based, while more full-featured and complex devices benefit from the richness of Linux (see The Shift to Linux Operating Systems for IoT for more background on the reasons for these approaches in IoT). Linux has been used in embedded devices for almost as long as it has existed (see here for an excellent timeline of early embedded Linux usage by Chris Simmons). The focus here is on Linux based products, as they have the needed functions such as access controls and memory segregation that allows for upgrading portions in a controlled fashion.
  • YouTuber Fits A Fully Functional Computer Into A Mouse
    While the YouTuber’s original plan was to squeeze a Raspberry Pi inside of a regular computer mouse but was unable to do so due to size constraints. Hence, he 3D printed a computer mouse to fit the components of the computer inside the mouse. Dubbed as “The Computer Mouse”, the device consists of a Raspberry Pi Zero W computer, a 1.5-inch color OLED LCD display with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, a 3D-printed mouse, a rechargeable 500 mAh battery, and a tiny Bluetooth retractable keyboard for text inputs and more complicated commands. It also has a power button at the edge to start the tiny computer. Further, it runs GNU/Linux-based operating systems such as Raspbian.
  • Microsoft Wallet for Windows Phone to be retired in February
    Support is set to end for all Windows 10 Mobile devices by the end of this year, and Microsoft is already beginning to retire apps in anticipation. In an update to the , Microsoft has noted that the app will be "officially retired" on February 28, 2019. Microsoft Wallet is the official tap-to-pay method for Windows Phones, similar to Apple Pay and Google Pay on iPhones and Android devices. The app also allows users to load up their loyalty and membership cards, allowing them all to be stored in one place.
  • mintCast 300.5 interview 5 Joe Ressington

Phoronix Test Suite Improvements

  • Making It Even Easier To Gauge Your System's Performance
    For those trying to understand their system's performance on a macro level will enjoy a new feature being introduced with Phoronix Test Suite 8.6-Spydeberg for seeing how your CPU/system/GPU/storage/network performance compares at scale to the massive data sets amassed by OpenBenchmarking.org and the Phoronix Test Suite over the past decade.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.6 Milestone 2 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking
    Two weeks since the initial Phoronix Test Suite 8.6 development release, the second milestone release is now available for your open-source, cross-platform benchmarking evaluation.

GNOME and KDE: GTK, KEXI, KookBook and Krita

  • Theme changes, revisited
    We’ve made a 3.24.4 release, to fix up a few oversights in 3.24.3. This release does not include the new theme yet, we will push that to the next release. We’ve also made another NewAdwaita tarball, which includes refinements based on some of the suggestions we received since last week.
  • KEXI 3.2 Beta
    Yesterday KEXI 3.2 Beta shipped, effect of improvements from entire 2018. Full info in the wiki. That's best KEXI to date! Pun intended because among other things one is especially worth mentioning, entirely new and final date/time grammar for user's SQL.
  • KookBook 0.2.1 – now actually kind of useful
    There was a snag in the KookBook 0.2.0 release, and 0.2.1 is available.
  • Krita Interview with Edgar Tadeo
    Comparing to Photoshop, I think Krita can make good digital painting that looks like it was made with a real brush. However,  PS is not a paint program, Krita’s advantage is its brushes.