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Hardware

Review: Asus Tinker Board S – Single-Board Computer

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The Asus Tinker Board S is an ARM-based, single-board computer (SBC) with a quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM and support for 4K video and HD audio. It’s billed as a marvellous computer for DIY enthusiasts and makers.

SBCs are in their ascendancy, in part because of the wide variety of devices available and the unrivaled success of the Raspberry Pi (RPi), offering kids, teachers and hobbyists access to an inexpensive way to embrace computing. In April last year, Asus launched a competitor to the RPi. Their Tinker Board received a promising reception with plaudits given for its hardware specification, and it was generally regarded as a competent platform for building and tinkering.

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Eric S Raymond's UPS Rant and Solution

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • [Older] UPSes suck and need to be disrupted

     

    I use a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to protect the Great Beast of Malvern from power outages and lightning strikes. Every once in a while I have to buy a replacement UPS and am reminded of how horribly this entire product category sucks. Consumer-grade UPSes suck, SOHO UPSs suck, and I am reliably informed by my friends who run datacenters that no, you cannot ascend into a blissful upland of winnitude by shelling out for expensive “enterprise-grade” UPSes – they all suck too.

  • Eric S Raymond Taking To Working On An Open Hardware / Open-Source UPS

    ESR is very unhappy with the state of UPS power supplies and he is hoping for an open-source, easily buildable design could change the landscape. At the moment the focus is on just pushing out the PCB schematics and design for such a unit with users left to build the UPS yourself, but he has said he wouldn't mind if some startup or other company ends up making use of these open-source plans to bring a better UPS to market.

  • Eric Raymond's New UPS Project, Ubuntu's Bionic Beaver 18.04 Beta Released, Kernel Prepatch 4.16-rc5 and More

    The Upside project is hosted on GitLab and "is currently defining requirements and developing a specification for a 'high quality UPS that can be built from off-the-shelf parts in any reasonably well-equipped makerspace or home electronics shop'."

Seco unveils first i.MX8M SMARC module

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware

Seco announced a rugged, SMARC form-factor “SM-C12” module that runs Linux or Android on an NXP i.MX8M, and offers soldered LPDDR4, eMMC and QSPI flash, plus an optional wireless module and carrier board.

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Also: Your first robot: The driver [4/5]

Open standards in processor innovation with RISC-V

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Hardware
OSS

Big data applications that analyze very large and disparate datasets using computations and algorithms are spawning. These applications reveal trends, patterns, and associations. These valuable insights connect and drive more precise predictions and enable better decisions to achieve better outcomes. Because big data analysis is based on information captured from the past, today's applications also require immediate analysis of information as it happens.

As a result, there's a parallel track accompanying big data: fast data, where the immediacy of data is critical. Fast data has a different set of characteristics. Fast data applications process or transform data as it is captured, leveraging the algorithms derived from big data to provide real-time decisions and results. Whereas big data provides insights derived from "what happened" to forecast "what will likely happen" (predictive analysis), fast data delivers insights that drive real-time actions. This is particularly beneficial to "smart" machines, environmental monitors, security and surveillance systems, securities trading systems, and applications that require analysis, answers, and actions in real time.

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3-D Printing: BCN3D Markets Itself as Open

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Hardware

Devices Coverage at Linux Gizmos

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Open Hardware: Portable Guitar Amp, IP Camera, and OpenKobold

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Portable Guitar Amp – Is That A Linux In Your Pocket?

    When it comes to music production and audio engineering, Linux isn’t the most common choice. This isn’t for lack of decent tools or other typical open source usability issues: Ardour as a highly capable, feature-rich digital audio workstation, the JACK Audio Connection Kit for powerful audio routing, and distributions like Ubuntu Studio packing all the essentials nicely together, offer a great starting point as home recording setup. To add variation to your guitar or bass arrangement on top of that, guitarix is a virtual amp that has a wide selection of standard guitar effects. So when [Arnout] felt that his actual guitar amp’s features were too limiting, he decided to build himself a portable, Linux-based amp.

  • Customising a $30 IP Camera For Fun

    WiFi cameras like many other devices these days come equipped with some sort of Linux subsystem. This makes the life of a tinkerer easier and you know what that means. [Tomas C] saw an opportunity to mod his Xiaomi Dafang IP camera which comes configured to work only with proprietary apps and cloud.

  • Love Open Source but Hate People? Get OpenKobold

    [Tadas Ustinavičius] writes in to tell us of his latest project, which combines his two great loves of open source and annoying people: OpenKobold. Named after the German mythical spirit that haunts people’s homes, this tiny device is fully open source (hardware and software) and ready to torment your friends and family for up to a year on a CR1220 battery.

Make your own DIY head unit with Crankshaft, Raspberry Pi 3

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

There are a lot of options now for people who would want an Android Auto compatible head unit, but they are undoubtedly expensive. Plus, if you have an older car, chances are the newer head units won’t fit on your dashboard. A developer has shared a way for you to DIY your way to an Android Auto head unit, if you like doing DIY projects and if you’re willing to see what you can make out of the Crankshaft Android Auto software, a Raspberry Pi 3, and its touchscreen.

What is Crankshaft? Well, it is a free “turnkey” GNU/Linux distribution that you can install onto a Raspberry Pi 3 with touchscreen. Then you can place the “head unit” on your old car, connect your phone to use Android Auto, and drive away. That’s pretty easy when you read it, but there is real work involved in putting these things together. That said, it should be pretty straightforward for people who are used to DIY electronic projects.

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Raspberry Pi goes Android Auto: Now you can build your own cheap car head unit

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware

A student-developer put off by the price of Android Auto head units has released the Linux-based Crankshaft OS that turns a $35 Raspberry Pi 3 with the official $60 Raspberry Pi seven-inch touchscreen into a functioning, unofficial Android Auto head unit.

Built by Huan Truong, Crankshaft is based on the recently released OpenAuto project, an aasdk- and Qt-based emulator for running Android Auto on a Raspberry Pi.

But whereas OpenAuto requires configuration work, Truong says Crankshaft is a "turnkey GNU/Linux distribution", which only needs to be downloaded and written to an SD card for the Raspberry Pi 3 tablet.

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Also: The SMACH Z gaming handheld has switched to AMD Ryzen & Vega, pre-orders start soon

Thread-optimized IoT gateway adds Ubuntu Core support

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Hardware
Ubuntu

Rigado announced that its i.MX6 UL based Vesta IoT Gateway, which offer Ethernet, WiFi, BT, Thread, and optional LTE, LoRa, and PoE, will soon be available with Ubuntu Core and Canonical’s IoT app store.

Starting this summer, Portland, Oregon-based Rigado will offer its Edge Connectivity gateway solutions with Canonical’s IoT-focused, transactional Ubuntu Core distribution. Rigado is referring to its low-cost, Yocto Project powered Vesta IoT Gateway, which launched in Dec. 2016 without the Vesta name. The new Ubuntu Core support will enable “sophisticated control, monitoring and tracking applications,” as well as “connected guest experiences,” says Canonical in its version of the announcement.

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Also:

  • BeagleWire, GitHub DDoS Attack, Open Source Bonus Winners and More

    Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS (Xenial Xerus) was released yesterday. The update includes "security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS". See the release announcement for more info and links to downloads.

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today's howtos

Graphics: VC4 and AMDVLK Driver

  • VC4 display, VC5 kernel submitted
    For VC5, I renamed the kernel driver to “v3d” and submitted it to the kernel. Daniel Vetter came back right away with a bunch of useful feedback, and next week I’m resolving that feedback and continuing to work on the GMP support. On the vc4 front, I did the investigation of the HDL to determine that the OLED matrix applies before the gamma tables, so we can expose it in the DRM for Android’s color correction. Stefan was also interested in reworking his fencing patches to use syncobjs, so hopefully we can merge those and get DRM HWC support in mainline soon. I also pushed Gustavo’s patch for using the new core DRM infrastructure for async cursor updates. This doesn’t simplify our code much yet, but Boris has a series he’s working on that gets rid of a lot of custom vc4 display code by switching more code over to the new async support.
  • V3D DRM Driver Revised As It Works To Get Into The Mainline Kernel
    Eric Anholt of Broadcom has sent out his revised patches for the "V3D" DRM driver, which up until last week was known as the VC5 DRM driver. As explained last week, the VC5 driver components are being renamed to V3D since it ends up supporting more than just VC5 with Broadcom VC6 hardware already being supported too. Eric is making preparations to get this VideoCore driver into the mainline Linux kernel and he will then also rename the VC5 Gallium3D driver to V3D Gallium3D.
  • AMDVLK Driver Gets Fixed For Rise of the Tomb Raider Using Application Profiles
    With last week's release of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Linux ported by Feral Interactive, when it came to Radeon GPU support for this Vulkan-only Linux game port the Mesa RADV driver was supported while the official AMDVLK driver would lead to GPU hangs. That's now been fixed. With the latest AMDVLK/XGL source code as of today, the GPU hang issue for Rise of the Tomb Raider should now be resolved.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

With last week's initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I've been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers. Read more

GNU: The GNU C Library 2.28 and Guix on Android

  • Glibc 2.28 Upstream Will Build/Run Cleanly On GNU Hurd
    While Linux distributions are still migrating to Glibc 2.27, in the two months since the release changes have continued building up for what will eventually become the GNU C Library 2.28. The Glibc 2.28 work queued thus far isn't nearly as exciting as all the performance optimizations and more introduced with Glibc 2.27, but it's a start. Most notable at this point for Glibc 2.28 is that it will now build and run cleanly on GNU/Hurd without requiring any out-of-tree patches. There has been a ton of Hurd-related commits to Glibc over the past month.
  • Guix on Android!
    Last year I thought to myself: since my phone is just a computer running an operating system called Android (or Replicant!), and that Android is based on a Linux kernel, it's just another foreign distribution I could install GNU Guix on, right? It turned out it was absolutely the case. Today I was reminded on IRC of my attempt last year at installing GNU Guix on my phone. Hence this blog post. I'll try to give you all the knowledge and commands required to install it on your own Android device.
  • GNU Guix Wrangled To Run On Android
    The GNU Guix transactional package manager can be made to run on Android smartphones/tablets, but not without lots of hoops to jump through first.