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Manjaro Linux and Star Labs team up for their Linux-focused hardware

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Star Labs, a small Linux vendor from the UK has teamed up with Manjaro Linux to offer Manjaro as an option on their custom Linux laptops. Announced today previously you could get Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS but now your choice will include Manjaro too.

Unlike some other hardware vendors, Star Labs are not using generic Clevo casing and hardware. They originally did when the first started but nowadays they actually make their own. What they offer do look and sound great too. It's really awesome to see more Linux-focused hardware vendors.

What's also great, is that they're not focused on the top-end hardware that costs a small fortune. Instead they have the sweet little Star Lite Mk II with a 11-inch IPS display, with an Intel Pentium N4200 processor and Intel HD 505 Graphics, a very speedy 240GB SSD and 8GB RAM starting at £399...

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BreadBee tiny Linux development board soon launching via Crowd Supply

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A new small form factor Linux development board called the BreadBee will be launching via the Crowd Supply website in the near future offering a ARM Cortex A7 development board based on a relatively unknown IP camera SoC, the MSC313E, from a company called MStar. Measuring just 32 mm x 30 mm the tiny embedded Linux development board can be mounted vertically in a standard breadboard with a small adapter socket.

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Open Hardware/Modding: Raspberry Pi Zero W, OpenFlexure Microscope, Bill Dally's Ventilators

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  • Engineers developed a low-cost, open-source, indoor robotic airship

    To date, most unmanned aerial vehicles have a multicopter design. The popularity of this design is mainly due to the fact that it is quite simple in terms of mechanics as well as control when compared to aircraft-type drones. But they usually have very short flight duration, about 20-30 minutes. In addition, multicopters have to rotate the screws at high speed, which makes them noisy and dangerous, so using such devices indoors is not a good idea.

    To address these problems, New Zealand engineers Gal Gorjup and Minas Liarokapis have developed a low-cost, miniature indoor robotic airship project, which is intended for indoor use and will be used for educational and research purposes. The engineers are part of the New Dexterity research group at the University of Auckland.


    The 3D-printed case contains a Raspberry Pi Zero W, the motor drivers, a set of DC motors...

  • Print your own laboratory-grade microscope for US$18

    For the first time, labs around the world can 3D print their own precision microscopes to analyse samples and detect diseases , thanks to an open-source design created at the University of Bath.

    The OpenFlexure Microscope, described in Biomedical Optics Express, is a fully automated, laboratory-grade instrument with motorised sample positioning and focus control. It is unique among 3D-printed microscope in its ability to yield high-quality images. It has been designed to be easy to use, with an intuitive software interface and simplified alignment procedures. It is also highly customisable, meaning it can be adapted for laboratory, school and home use.

  • NVIDIA Chief Scientist Releases Low-Cost, Open-Source Ventilator Design

    NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally this week released an open-source design for a low-cost, easy-to-assemble mechanical ventilator.

    The ventilator, designed in just a few weeks by Dally—whose storied technology career includes key contributions to semiconductors and supercomputers—can be built quickly from just $400 of off-the-shelf parts, Dally says.

    Traditional ventilators, by contrast, can cost more than $20,000—and that’s when the world hasn’t been slammed with demand for the life-saving machines.

    “I hope that we don’t get so many people sick that we run out of ventilators,” Dally says, speaking from a spartan home electronics workshop stocked with oscilloscopes, voltmeters and other lab equipment.

OpenRazer 2.8 Brings Broader Razer Device Support On Linux

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OpenRazer 2.8 as this third-party, open-source solution for managing Razer devices on Linux is capable of now interfacing with a lot more hardware. Now supported with OpenRazer 2.8 are the Abyssus Elite (D.Va Edition), Abyssus Essential, Base Station Chroma, Basilisk, Blackwidow Essential, Blade 15 Studio Edition, Blade Pro (Late 2019), Blade Pro 2019, Chroma HDK (Hardware Development Kit), DeathAdder Essential (White Edition), DeathAdder V2, Huntsman Tournament Edition, Lancehead, Lancehead Wireless (2019), Mamba Elite, Mamba Wireless, Nommo Chroma, Nommo Pro, Tartarus V2, Viper, and Viper Ultimate.

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Linux Laptop Buying Advice: System76 Lemur Pro Vs Tuxedo InfinityBook S 14

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Two spectacular and very similar Linux laptops just launched, courtesy of System76 and TUXEDO Computers. On paper they may seem identical. The System76 Lemur Pro and TUXEDO Computers InfinityBook S 14 are both sourced from the same Clevo chassis. They both feature the same 10th-generation Intel CPUs and keyboard integrated into the body. Same webcams, same speakers, similar Samsung SSDs, same RealTek audio controller, same marathon 73wh battery, and 14-inch 1080p matte displays. However, there are subtle but meaningful differences to consider if you’re stuck on which laptop to choose.

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Compulab’s embedded Tensor-PCs take modularity to the extreme

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CompuLab is launching a line of fanless “Tensor-PC” systems starting with an Intel 9th Gen “I20A” model with a choice of multiple sizes and enclosures plus a variety of optional open source “Tensor Element” modules for storage, power, I/O, and networking.

Compulab is re-inventing its fanless, embedded PC product line with a highly modular Tensor-PC architecture, starting with an Intel 9th Gen Coffee Lake Refresh based Tensor-PC I20A system due this fall. The x86-based Tensor-PC systems will run Linux and Windows.

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Also: End of the 32-bit world?

Devices: Raspberry Pi 4, Nintendo Game Boy Color

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  • Argon One Case Brings All Raspberry Pi 4 Connectors on One Side

    Due to its small size, the Raspberry Pi 4 board has Ethernet and USB ports on one side, and micro HDMI ports, AV port, and USB-C port on another side. This may not be an issue for most people, but having all ports on one side may make cable management easier.

    Argon One case for Raspberry Pi 4 makes that feat possible thanks to an adapter board that brings HDMI and AV ports on the left side of the USB ports, and an extra power expansion board does the same for the USB-C port plus adds a power button.

  • Pi-oT ESP Module Leverages ESP32, Screw Terminals for IoT & Automation (Crowdfunding)

    Last year, we covered Pi-oT Raspberry Pi add-on board designed for commercial and industrial IoT applications with five SPDT relays and eight analog outputs housed in a DIN rail enclosure, although some noted it may not be suitable for all industrial applications due to the lack of 24V DC input and protected outputs.

  • Reverse-engineering the audio chip in the Nintendo Game Boy Color

    The Nintendo Game Boy Color is a handheld game console that was released in 1998. It uses an audio amplifier chip to drive the internal speaker or stereo headphones. In this blog post, I reverse-engineer this chip from die photos and explain how it works.1 It's essentially three power op-amps with some interesting circuitry inside.

The new ODROID-Go Advance adds WiFi and more buttons (Linux handheld game console)

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  • The new ODROID-Go Advance adds WiFi and more buttons (Linux handheld game console)

    The Hardkernel ODROID-Go Advance is an inexpensive portable gaming device with a 3.5 inch display, an quad-core ARM Cortex-A35 processor, and Ubuntu Linux software. Designed for emulating classic game consoles, Hardkernel introduced the device late last year and began shipping it earlier this year.

    Now the company is preparing to launch a new batch, and it includes a number of hardware updates.

  • ODROID-Go Advance Black Edition Gets WiFi, R2/L2 Button, and USB-C Power Input

    At the end of last year, Hardkernel launched ODROID-GO Advance portable Linux retro game console powered by a Rockchip RK3326 processor with 1GB RAM, and a 3.5″ color display. While it was fairly well-received, people wished it would not come with a large power barrel jack and included WiFi among a few other requests.

    COVID-19 also delayed mass-production of the device, but the silver lining is that the company decided to make a new revision 1.1 PCB with a USB-C port for power input, a WiFi module, and R2 and L2 buttons that’s planned to launch soon under the name ODROID-Go Advance Black Edition.

Open Hardware With Focus on COVID-19

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  • Build Your Own 3D Printed Open Source Motorized Microscope

    I always enjoy a good 3D printed DIY project, whether it’s truly helpful or just for fun. These projects are even cooler when you add Legos into the mix, like Reddit user DIY_Maxwell did. He posted about his work using 3D printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Lego bricks to make an open source, motorized microscope. But, the microscope itself is not fully 3D printed – instead, the body was built with Lego bricks and some 3D printed components. What makes this project more awesome is the stop motion-style video he made showing the various parts of the project and how they all fit together to make a working microscope.

  • Before We Welcome Open-Source Ventilators With Open Arms, We Need to Talk About IP

    Medical device manufacturers have been historically secretive about their designs. Now, they've flung the doors open on ventilator specs. Could this lead to sticky IP problems down the line?

    With the global COVID-19 crisis, medical manufacturing companies have pushed ventilator productions to its limits. But still, it hasn't been enough. These medical device manufacturers cannot produce ventilators as quickly as hospitals need them. As the race for medical equipment continues, certain medical device providers have made their ventilator designs public for third parties to help increase output.

  • Can Free Open Source Hardware Tackle The Shortage Of PPE And Ventilators During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

    While globally hospitals are grappling with the acute shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, a group of researchers at the University of Sussex recently published a study that says free and open source hardware can help in meeting the ever-increasing demands in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

    Free and open source hardware refers to the blueprints for tools and new hardware designs that are available online for free for others to access. These blueprints can be studied, customized, modified, and even used for learning purposes to create face masks, PPE, diagnostic tools, valves, and even ventilators.

    In the PLOS Biology study, the authors suggest that this open source hardware can be used in disaster situations as these designs can be shared globally and have lower implementation costs to meet local needs as compared to mass manufacturing. These designs can be used even with the help of 3-D printers.

  • Boston Dynamics Open Sources Their Healthcare Robotics Toolkit

    Boston Dynamics has released a payload and application architecture for their mobile robot in order to protect healthcare workers amid COVID-19.

    In a recent blog post, the robotics firm stated — “Mobile robots play a vital role in removing people from dangerous environments. We have spent the last six weeks building and testing a payload and application architecture that would enable our robot — ‘Spot’ — to help reduce exposure of frontline healthcare workers to the novel COVID-19 virus.”

    The company further stated that it has developed and tested the payload, hardware, and software for this application in order to generalise it as well as make it easy to be deployed on other mobile robotic platforms with APIs and capacity for custom payloads.

  • Nvidia’s top scientist develops open-source ventilator that can be built with $400 in readily available parts
  • NVIDIA Chief Scientist developed an open source ventilator that can be made under 100

    NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally has created an open-source design of a low-cost, ventilator that is also easy to assemble, as a contribution to the global fight against the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Dally has developed the ventilator in just a few weeks and made it around readily available components.

    The ventilator that Dally has designed needs a proportional solenoid valve and a microcontroller. The scientist believes the ventilators can be assembled for a few hundred dollars.

    The ventilator can also be assembled in a few minutes. It can be attached to a simple display and packed into a Pelican carrying case. The prototype that Dally built was made using off-the-shelf components for $400 (roughly Rs 30,000). When produced at bulk, Dally believes manufacturers can shave off another $100. If 3D-print parts are used, the whole can be manufactured for under $100, which is quite impressive. According to NVIDIA, the cost of a traditional ventilator is around $20,000.

  • Open access hardware and 3D printing can help tackle demand for health supplies

    In a study published by PLoS Biology, Professor Tom Baden and Andre Chagas at the University of Sussex have suggested that this could be a viable option to provide our health services with the tools and equipment they so desperately need.

    The study provides an overview of the blueprints which are currently available for free online and which could be used to help in the fight against coronavirus, focusing on personal protective equipment, ventilators and test kits.

  • UJ creates cheap, open-source ventilator as Covid-19 spreads

    multidisciplinary team of engineers and healthcare practitioners at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has used open-source designs to develop a cheap, minimal viable ventilator with elements that can be produced through 3D printing and laser-cutting techniques.

  • UJ creates low-cost, open-source ventilator prototype as Covid-19 infections increase

    The group has identified several simple, safe and scalable open-source designs that could meet the strict specifications for use on patients once these designs are further developed and tested.

    In response to the Covid-19 crisis in South Africa, a team of engineers and healthcare practitioners from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) aim to create low-cost open-source ventilators, reports Randburg Sun.

    According to the team from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the skills shortage in facility and technical equipment maintenance at healthcare facilities in South Africa, and Africa at large.

  • UJ creates low-cost, open-source ventilators as Covid-19 infections increase

    In response to the Covid-19 crisis in South Africa, a team of engineers and healthcare practitioners from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) aim to create low-cost open-source ventilators.

    According to the team from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the skills shortage in facility and technical equipment maintenance at healthcare facilities in South African, and Africa at large.

    Led by Dr Deon Sabatta and Dr Samson Masebinu, the group has identified several simple, safe and scalable open-source designs that could meet the strict specifications for use on patients once these designs are further developed and tested.

  • UJ designs open source, cheap ventilators to fight COVID-19

    The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has created open source, cheap ventilators to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

    South Africa has recorded 4 996 confirmed cases, 2 073 recoveries and 93 deaths to the coronavirus, to date.

    The university believes it may have the solution to help curb the effects of the devastating virus.

  • Amid SA’s looming shortage, UJ creates open-source, cheap ventilators

    As the world continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with over 2.3 million reported cases at the time of publishing this article, many countries are seeing a rise in cases – South Africa included.

    As of 28 April, the country has a total number of 4 793 confirmed cases, and 87 confirmed deaths. And, according to News24, Africa, and by extension South Africa, is not currently on the top of supply lists for life-saving ventilators.

Intel Core i9 With Linux

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More in Tux Machines

CNCF (Linux Foundation) and 10 Years of OpenStack

  • Linux Foundation Partners With CNCF on Kubernetes Certs, Training

    The Linux Foundation and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) announced today they are collaboratively developing a Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) certification expected to be available in November. At the same time, the two open source consortiums announced the availability of a training course dubbed “LFS244 – Managing Kubernetes Applications with Helm.” The CNCF is an arm of The Linux Foundation. Clyde Seepersad, senior vice president and general manager for training and certification at The Linux Foundation, says the Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) certification will require IT professionals to be certified in Kubernetes management fundamentals as a prerequisite. The goal is to expand the amount of cybersecurity expertise IT professionals can bring to bear while also managing Kubernetes clusters, he says. The exam for the certification covers cluster setup, cluster hardening, system hardening, microservice vulnerabilities minimization, supply chain security, monitoring, logging and runtime security.

  • 10 Years of OpenStack
  • New Training Course Teaches Kubernetes Application Management with Helm

Restricted Hardware and Open Hardware (Raspberry Pi, Arduino Nano)

  • Ryzen Embedded signage system offers secure boot

    EFCO’s “VideoStar100” signage player runs Linux or Win 10 on a Ryzen Embedded V1000 or R1000 with up to 4x simultaneous 4K displays plus 2x GbE, 4x USB, 2x serial, and optional “SecuBoot” security.

  • Raspberry Pi add-on offers dead reckoning GNSS with RTK support

    SparkFun’s “GPS-RTK pHAT” for the Raspberry Pi features u-blox’s 184-channel ZED-F9R module for ADR of up to 4x concurrent GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou links with 20cm accuracy when linked to an RTK base station. SparkFun has launched a $250 Raspberry Pi add-on board for “highly accurate and continuous position” in automotive, robotic rover, and other unmanned vehicle applications, including asset tracking. The GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning pHAT for Raspberry Pi showcases u-blox’s 184-channel ZED-F9R GNSS receiver module, which supports up to 4x concurrent location signals from sources including BeiDou, Galileo, GLONASS, GPS, and QZSS. Sparkfun also announced a $160 Raspberry Pi 4 Hardware Starter Kit 4GB (see farther below).

  • A hand-following AI task lamp for your desk

    Gao’s 3D-printed device uses a USB camera to take images of the work area, and a Python image processing routine running on a PC to detect hand positions. This sends instructions to an Arduino Nano, which commands a pair of small stepper motors to extend and rotate the light fixture via corresponding driver boards.

Mozilla Explains VPN and Neglects GNU/Linux

  • No-judgment digital definitions: VPNs explained

    Many of us spend multiple hours a day using the internet to do everyday things like watching videos, shopping, gaming and paying bills, all the way to managing complex work projects and having confidential video calls. A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the best ways to stay private and secure online, and keep your personal data protected. [...] Connecting to a public WiFi network is at times convenient, like when you’re without internet service or can’t get any bars on your phone. On the other hand, connecting to public WiFi can be a risky endeavor. It’s impossible to be sure that someone else isn’t connecting to the same network to snoop on what you’re doing. Even if your traffic is encrypted they can still see which sites you are visiting. And if you’re using an app that doesn’t have encryption — and even today, many don’t — then they can see everything you are doing. When you’re at home, the risk of bad actors showing up on your home network is lower. However, your internet service provider (ISP) can track and share your online activities because all the data that you access on the web is routed through your ISP’s network, some of which may not be encrypted. A VPN can prevent ISPs from spying on you by encrypting your traffic to your VPN provider no matter where you are.

  • Mozilla VPN Goes Live …But Not For Linux Users

    Mozilla’s VPN service has officially launched in six countries, but Linux users will find they can’t take advantage of the tech just yet. The new subscription-based privacy service is available to web surfers in the USA, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and several other locales from today. But, frustratingly for tux fans, it requires a Windows, Android, and/or iOS system to use. The good news is that Mozilla VPN Linux support is on the way. The company hasn’t shared an exact timeline on when to expect it but says it is “coming soon” to more devices and platforms. The benefits of using a VPN are fairly well known at this point: better security on public wi-fi; anonymous surfing and no IP logging; and network-level encryption. And since Mozilla VPN runs on over 280 servers in 30+ countries it should provide dependable with less downtime too.

Purism "Investing in Real Convergence" and Purism Librem 14

  • Investing in Real Convergence

    Like “privacy” and “security” the word “convergence” has become a popular term these days. When words like these become popular, companies tend to redefine them to match whatever they happen to sell. For instance when Google says they protect your privacy they mean “from everyone but us.” When Apple says they are secure, they mean “as long as you give us full trust and total control.” When most people think of the promise of convergence they think of what I’ll refer to as “real convergence”–the idea of a single, portable computer that has your data and applications and that can be a desktop computer, a laptop or a pocket computer. To summarize: real convergence means taking your desktop computer with you in your pocket wherever you go. Fake convergence is the opposite: stretching a phone to fit on a larger screen.

  • Purism Librem 14

    The next generation of Librem laptop brings a lot to the table. Gigabit throughput over native RJ45 enables you to enjoy blazing-fast download speeds, security, and reliability. Compared to the Librem 13, the Librem 14 has a similar device footprint while the Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake i7 is much more powerful.