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Hardware

Hardware Designs Should Be Free. Here’s How to Do It

Filed under
GNU
Hardware

First, we must understand why we can’t make hardware free the same way we make software free. Hardware and software are fundamentally different. A program, even in compiled executable form, is a collection of data which can be interpreted as instruction for a computer. Like any other digital work, it can be copied and changed using a computer. A copy of a program has no inherent physical form or embodiment.

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Arduino vs. Arduino: What We Know About The Open-Source Hardware Fork

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

The original founders of Arduino—the popular programmable DIY electronics kit—appear to have had a falling out. And that might bring about what could be the world’s first open-source hardware fork, a sort of developer schism that's much more common in the software world.

At the moment, two different websites display the Arduino logo and branding. There’s Arduino.cc, Arduino’s original site. Now there’s also Arduino.org, which prominently displays the text “the adventure continues,” as if it has been passed the torch.

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MIPS Creator CI20 v Raspberry Pi 2

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Imagination Technologies is a British company that has recently entered full production of a board based on MIPS computer architecture. The single-board computer has been designed to allow developers to create applications for mobiles, gaming, Internet of Things, and wearables.

The MIPS Creator CI20 is billed as a high-performance, fully featured Linux and Android development platform. The board includes an Ingenic JZ4780 SoC which is built around a dual-core MIPS32 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, and Imagination's PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The Creator CI20 comes with a price tag of or £50, which is significantly more expensive than the Raspberry Pi 2. CI20 is an open platform with technical manuals, schematics and source code freely downloadable. You might be interested in my Raspberry Pi 2 review together with this article.

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Ubuntu 15.04 Will Attempt To Better Update CPU Microcodes

Filed under
Hardware
Ubuntu

Dimitri John Ledkov of Intel has added support to the Ubuntu-Drivers-Common framework for having CPU family detection and being able to install the appropriate CPU microcode update packages depending on the reported processor family. It's basically just making sure the right CPU microcode packages are installed rather than having them not installed or having all of them in place.

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Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs

Filed under
GNU
Hardware

To what extent do the ideas of free software extend to hardware? Is it a moral obligation to make our hardware designs free, just as it is to make our software free? Does maintaining our freedom require rejecting hardware made from nonfree designs?

Free software is a matter of freedom, not price; broadly speaking, it means that users are free to use the software and to copy and redistribute the software, with or without changes. More precisely, the definition is formulated in terms of the four essential freedoms.

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Raspberry Pi 2 review

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Hardware
Reviews

The new Raspberry Pi 2 proclaims that it is 6x faster than the original Pi, taking the original machine to a new level. The big leaps focus on the processor and memory, with the machine now replacing a single core CPU with a quad core Broadcom BCM2836 CPU. The RAM has jumped to a very respectable 1GB.

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Using a Samsung Xpress C460FW with Gentoo Linux and Android KitKat for printing and scanning

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware

A work colleague has just received a Samsung Xpress C460FW MFP (laser printer, scanner, copier and fax machine) for small print jobs. It is possible to connect to it via USB, Direct USB, wired network, wireless network, Wi-Fi Direct and NFC; that’s impressive for a MFP that can be purchased for GBP 270 in the UK.

Toshiba Laptops To Have Improved Support In Linux 3.20

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The platform-drivers-x86 pull request has been filed for the Linux 3.20 kernel and it includes some prominent additions.

First up, the Toshiba ACPI driver (toshiba_acpi) is closer to feature-parity with its Windows counterpart. The Linux Toshiba ACPI driver now supports USB Sleep & Charge functions, USB Sleep functions under battery, USB Rapid Charge, USB Sleep & Music, support for keyboard functions mode, support for Panel Power On, support to enable/disable USB 3, etc. There's also driver clean-ups and other improvements for this ACPI laptop driver specifically for Toshiba hardware.

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Intel now No. 1 sponsor of Linux contributions

Filed under
Development
Linux
Hardware

Intel, one of the world's largest computer hardware companies, is now also among the biggest contributors to open-source software.

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Raspberry Pi 2 vs Creator 120

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

The Creator 120 and the Raspberry Pi 2 are single-board computers designed for developers and hobbyists.

The Creator C120 was announced in late 2014, but started shipping at about the same time that the Raspberry Pi 2 was announced/starting shipping, which was just last week.

I haven’t purchased a Raspberry Pi 2 yet, but I received a Creator 2 from the manufacturer this week. It was a prize I won in December and the first prize I ever won on the Internet. I’ve been playing with it all day and find it to be a very capable single-board computer. Out of the box, it’s mostly a plug-and-play device.

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More in Tux Machines

70-inch Android touchscreen targets interactive education

The CDE7060T is said to offer a Linux OS, but the datasheet more specifically notes that it runs the Linux-based Android 4.2.1 on an unnamed, dual-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chip. Also onboard are 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of flash. An optional “slot-in” PC is available for greater computing power, says ViewSonic. Pre-installed “ViewBoard” annotation and presentation software allows multiple users to write, draw, or annotate with fingers or styluses simultaneously, says the company. Read more

OpenBSD from a veteran Linux user perspective

For the first time I installed a BSD box on a machine I control. The experience has been eye-opening, especially since I consider myself an "old-school" Linux admin, and I've felt out of place with the latest changes on the system administration. Linux is now easier to use than ever, but administration has become more difficult. There are many components, most of which are interconnected in modern ways. I'm not against progress, but I needed a bit of recycling. So instead of adapting myself to the new tools, I thought, why not look for modern tools which behave like old ones? Read more

Leftovers: KDE Software

  • How KDE VDG Is Trying To Make Open-Source Software Beautiful
    One of the most often voiced complaints about Open Source Software is that it tends to be "ugly" or otherwise aesthetically uninspired. A few years ago a few people in the KDE camp came together and created, what they hoped, would be a solution to that problem: The KDE Visual Design Group.
  • KDE Connect – Insieme, unite unite smartphone
    When I wrote my Kubuntu Vivid review, I mentioned a tool called KDE Connect, which I wasn’t quite sure what it was supposed to be doing. A bunch of you emailed me, telling me it’s a nice little applet that can keep your smartphone notifications in sync with the desktop, as well as allow you to remotely control certain parts of your KDE-flavored desktop from the smartphone.
  • Video review of KDE Plasma 5 from Nerd on the Street
  • Four years later
    At beginning of June 2011 I made my first blog post about KWin support Wayland clients featuring a screenshot of Desktop Grid effect with a Wayland window shown on each desktop.
  • "Private browsing mode" for activities
    The statistics collection feature of KActivities is slowly becoming a core part of Plasma.
  • GSoC update: ocs-server
  • Fun with onion skins
    The first new feature of the GSoC project on animation in Krita is has landed in git. Until now, I have been mostly concentrating on refactoring the core structures toward their final form, which has taken much more time than I anticipated. Fortunately, it is now mostly done, and I am getting to the point where progress is more visible.

Open source COM version of BeagleBone Black hits Kickstarter

A German startup called BeagleCore is spinning a computer-on-module version of BeagleBoard.org’s BeagleBone Black single board computer on Kickstarter. Packages start at 39 Euros ($44) for the first 500 units shipping in Feb. 2016, or 49 Euros ($55) for the second shipment in April. With a baseboard, it costs 99 Euros ($111), also with April 2016 shipment. The BeagleCore and Starter-Kit support Linux flavors including Debian, Ubuntu, Android, and Cloud9 IDE on Node.js with BoneScript library. Read more