Business and free software have been intertwined for years, but the two often misunderstand one another. That's not surprising -- what is just a business to one is way of life for the other. But the misunderstanding can be painful, which is why debunking it is a worth the effort.
An increasingly common case in point: the growing attempts at open hardware, whether from Canonical, Jolla, MakePlayLive, or any of half a dozen others. Whether pundit or end-user, the average free software user reacts with exaggerated enthusiasm when a new piece of hardware is announced, then retreats into disillusionment as delay follows delay, often ending in the cancellation of the entire product.
It's a cycle that does no one any good, and often breeds distrust – and all because the average Linux user has no idea what's happening behind the news.
My own experience with bringing products to market is long behind me. However, nothing I have heard suggests that anything has changed. Bringing open hardware or any other product to market remains not just a brutal business, but one heavily stacked against newcomers.
Samsung, with the launch of the Tizen Samsung NX1 Smart Camera, has introduced a new 28 megapixel (MP) APS-C CMOS image sensor for digital cameras, which is said to offer superior light absorption thanks to the back-side illuminated (BSI) pixel technology and 65-nanometer (nm) low-power copper process.
Intel launched its Edison COM for IoT apps, with a “Tangier” SoC that mixes a dual-core Atom running Linux with a Quark chip, plus optional breakout boards.
Intel’s tiny Edison computer-on-module for wearables and other Internet of Things applications is finally available for $50, along with two Intel development boards plus an array of third-party expansion boards from SparkFun. According to Jim Chase, product manager for the Intel Edison and Galileo platform hardware and ecosystems, the 35.5 x 25 x 3.9mm Edison module integrates a new system-on-chip codenamed “Tangier,” a stripped down version of Intel’s Atom Z34xx (“Merrifield”), a 22nm “Silvermont” processor, typically aimed at smartphones.
After my first X99 motherboard burned up in a strange situation, since yesterday my Core i7 5960X Haswell-E system started working wonderfully with Linux after using a different motherboard. I've been hammering the system hard for the past day and no X99/i7-5960X issues have come about (albeit I've refrained from doing any overclocking or DDR4 tweaking yet) and this high-end $1000+ (USD) CPU is running great under Linux.
A few weeks back Roy posted improved re-clocking code for NVA3 GPUs. Today his latest set of patches work on memory re-clocking improvements for DDR2/DDR3 hardware. The patches also implement wait-for-vblank to remove flickering during memory re-clocking, improvements for reducing the downtime of PFIFO pauses, etc. These patches are prep work for the actual memory re-clocking code that he says will follow later.
The open-source x264 program does support OpenCL acceleration -- when building x264 it will check for the presence of OpenCL development support and then at runtime the --opencl switch must be passed for exploiting the potential of any OpenCL hardware. The x264 test profile part of the Phoronix Test Suite is strictly intended for CPU-based testing so this weekend I added a x264-opencl test profile that uses the same revision of x264 and the same media file, but the only difference is that it forces OpenCL support. So now with the Phoronix Test Suite it's as easy as running phoronix-test-suite benchmark x264 x264-opencl to run the CPU-bound x264 and the OpenCL version for easy comparison purposes.
Since last year AMD's had the FX-9590 as the top-end Vishera CPU that can top out at 5.0GHz with its Turbo Frequency, but initially this processor was only available to OEM system builds. Over time the OEM version of the FX-9590 became available to consumers while earlier this summer AMD launched a retail version of the FX-9590 that included the eight-core CPU with a closed-loop water cooling solution. Today we're reviewing this highest-end Vishera CPU to see how it compares to other AMD and Intel processors on Ubuntu Linux.
This holiday weekend (in the US) can be a great time to test your Linux system to see how it's performing against the latest AMD and Intel processors to see if it's time for a good upgrade.
This weekend I'm working on many Linux CPU benchmarks for the upcoming Linux review of the Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E system (still waiting for Intel's review sample to arrive though...) and also have some other hardware in preparation for an unrelated launch that's happening next week from another vendor. I'm testing several different Intel/AMD CPUs from the latest desktop CPUs to the Extreme Edition models to some slightly older parts. Beyond the raw performance results are also the power consumption data and much more.
In recent years with more motherboard vendors enabling the updating of the BIOS/UEFI from within the setup utility itself and support loading the BIOS file off a USB thumb drive or other storage, it's generally easier for Linux users and all around a smoother process than the days of having to make a MS-DOS start-up floppy disk or similar. For most of these BIOS updates, Windows is generally not required as you can just head on over to the vendor's web-site, download a zipped up copy of the BIOS, transfer it to a USB drive, and reboot into the UEFI setup utility and flash away.
Some vendors will package their BIOS file inside an EXE that has to be executed that will then extract the file right away, but fortunately there's many programs capable of straightaway extracting the files from the EXE or the worst case scenario is generally just running the EXE under Wine. As a Linux user, with MSI motherboards their BIOS packaging takes it to an additional level of annoying and for some Linux users could be show-stopping.