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How to build something ‘useful’ with a Raspberry Pi

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In honor of Pi Day, Chaim Gartenberg and I cooked up a tiny little Raspberry Pi project for yesterday’s episode of Circuit Breaker Live.

We started with a simple concept: a button that says “Why?” when you press it, in honor of our favorite podcast. So we knew we’d need a button, some sound files, a little bit of Python code, and, of course, a Raspberry Pi.

A new Pi is $35, but we found an old Raspberry Pi 2 in my desk drawer, which was up to the task. (Newer Pis have built-in Wi-Fi and faster processors, but for our simple button project we didn’t need internet or extra horsepower.)

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3D Printing and Open Source

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  • Open-source Felfil Evo 3D printing filament extruder available from $369

    Italian 3D printing company Felfil has made available its Felfil Evo filament extruder, initially the subject of a Kickstarter back in 2015. The extruder is available in basic (€299, $369), complete (€599, $738), and assembled (€719, $886) versions.

  • Michigan Tech engineers develop open-source GMAW metal 3D printer for only $1,200

    Joshua Pearce, a prolific engineer at Michigan Tech, has been working on developing an affordable metal 3D printing technology. The project involves hacking a CNC router kit and an metal inert gas (MIG) welder to create a low-cost GMAW metal 3D printer.

  • 3D Printed, Open Source Glia Stethoscope Receives Clinical Validation

    Dr. Tarek Loubani spent some time working in hospitals in the Gaza Strip during the worst of the chaos and violence that is unfortunately still going on there. Due to a long-standing blockade, medical supplies were scarce in the region – so scarce that doctors could often not find a stethoscope when they needed one. So Dr. Loubani came up with his own solution – he 3D printed a stethoscope, for about 30 cents.

Devices: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, LimeSDR and More

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  • Programming Linux Devices With Arduino And The Cloud

    Back in the olden days, when the Wire library still sucked, the Arduino was just a microcontroller. Now, we have single board computers and cheap microcontrollers with WiFi built in. As always, there’s a need to make programming and embedded development more accessible and more widely supported among the hundreds of devices available today.

    At the Embedded Linux Conference this week, [Massimo Banzi] announced the beginning of what will be Arduino’s answer to the cloud, online IDEs, and a vast ecosystem of connected devices. It’s Arduino Create, an online IDE that allows anyone to develop embedded projects and manage them remotely.

  • LimeSDR Mini takes off in satellites

    The Ubuntu-driven LimeSDR Mini SBC has begun shipping to backers, who have spent over $500M on the open source software defined radio hacker board, and it’s now heading to space in a deal with the European Space Agency.

    The topic of 5G mobile networks dominated the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, despite the expectation that widespread usage may be years away. While 5G’s mind-boggling bandwidth captivates our attention, another interesting angle is found in the potential integration with software defined radio (SDR), as seen in OpenAirInterface’s proposed Cloud-RAN (C-RAN) software-defined radio access network.

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ on Sale Now at $35

    Alongside a 200MHz increase in peak CPU clock frequency, we have roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput, and the ability to sustain high performance for much longer periods.

  • Raspberry Pi Model B+ arrives just in time for Pi Day 2018

    This latest iteration has the same footprint as both the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which means it’s about the size of a deck of cards, but it’s now got a 64-bit quad core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.2/BLE and Gigabit Ethernet with maximum transfer network speeds of up to 300 Mbps, or three times higher than that of the Model B.

  • The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ rolls out just in time for Pi Day

    One important thing to note with the new Raspberry Pi is that users are strongly advised to use a “high-quality 2.5A power supply.” In other words, don’t just buy the cheapest adapter you find online. The reason is that the Pi 3 B+ needs “substantially more power than its predecessor.”

  • Google's NSynth Super is an AI synth made of Raspberry Pi

    NSynth is the software - an AI neural network which can generate the sounds, pretty much anything you want. The Super is the box of tricks to make it work and that's the bit that you're probably off to build, right now.

  • Alexa development board runs Linux on Raspberry Pi Compute Module

    Gumstix has launched a version of its Linux-driven Chatterbox Alexa Voice Service development board designed for the RPi Compute Module, and updated its AeroCore 2 drone controller for the DragonBoard 410C.

  • Video: Raspberry Pi 3B+ on Pi Day
  • New Raspberry Pi Packs More Power

    The new release comes two years after the introduction of its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

    The Raspberry Pi computer runs the open source Raspbian operating system.

    The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is an incremental upgrade to a line of predecessors that have become entrenched in education, hobbyist and industry markets.

    "The initial production run was only 10,000 boards," noted Simon Ritter, deputy CTO of Azul Systems.

Review: Asus Tinker Board S – Single-Board Computer

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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

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  • [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

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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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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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Devices Coverage at Linux Gizmos

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

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  • 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.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Zorin OS 12.3 Linux Distro Released: Download The Perfect Windows Replacement
    While listing out the best distros for a Linux beginner, the ease of use and installation are the most critical factors. Such qualities make distros like Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Zorin OS the most recommended options. In case you’re also concerned about your privacy and security, a shift to the world of Linux becomes a more obvious option. Calling itself a replacement for Windows and macOS, Zorin OS has been established as a beginner-friendly option that offers a smooth ride while making the transition. The latest Zorin OS 12.3 release works to strengthen the basics of the operating system and polishes the whole experience.
  • Ramblings about long ago and far away
    I had originally run MCC (Manchester Computer Center Interim Linux) in college but when I moved it was easier to find a box of floppies with SLS so I had installed that on the 486. I would then download software source code from the internet and rebuild it for my own use using all the extra flags I could find in GCC to make my 20Mhz system seem faster. I instead learned that most of the options didn't do anything on i386 Linux at the time and most of my reports about it were probably met by eye-rolls with the people at Cygnus. My supposed goal was to try and set up a MUD so I could code up a text based virtual reality. Or to get a war game called Conquer working on Linux. Or maybe get xTrek working on my system. [I think I mostly was trying to become a game developer by just building stuff versus actually coding stuff. I cave-man debugged a lot of things using stuff I had learned in FORTRAN but it wasn't actually making new things.]
  • EzeeLinux Show 18.13 | Running Linux On Junk
    A talk about the advantages of running Linux on junk hardware.
  • Best 50 HD Wallpapers for Ubuntu
    Wallpapers are useful in many ways depending on the visual it contains for example if there is a motivational quote on it, it helps to motivate you. The images are the best type of wallpaper because they have an impact on the mind of a human being. So if you are a working professional and have to work continuously on a computer then your desktop cab be a source of inspiration and happiness. So today we are going to share 50 best HD Wallpapers for your Ubuntu which will keep your desktop fresh.
  • Ubuntu Tried Adding Synaptics Support Back To GNOME's Mutter
    GNOME developers previously dropped support for Synaptics and other input drivers from Mutter in favor of the universal libinput stack that is also Wayland-friendly. Canonical developers tried to get Synaptics support on X11 added back into Mutter but it looks clear now that was rejected. Canonical's Will Cooke reported in this week's Ubuntu happenings that they were trying to add upstream support for Synaptics to Mutter, complementing the libinput support. While it's great Canonical trying to contribute upstream to GNOME, Synaptics support was previously dropped as being a maintenance burden and with libinput support getting into rather good shape.
  • Long live Release Engineering
    y involvement in Fedora goes back to late 2003 early 2004 somewhere as a packager for I started by getting a few packages in to scratch some of my itches and I saw it as a way to give back to the greater open source community. Around FC3 somewhere I stepped up to help in infrastructure to rebuild the builders in plague, the build system we used before koji and that we used for EPEL(Something that I helped form) for awhile until we got external repo support in koji. I was involved in the implementation of koji in Fedora, I joined OLPC as a build and release engineer, where I oversaw a move of the OS they shipped from FC6 to F8, and laid a foundation for the move to F9. I left OLPC when Red Hat opensourced RHN Satellite as “spacewalk project” I joined Red Hat as the release engineer for both, after a brief period there was some reorganisation in engineering that resulted in me handing off the release engineering tasks to someone closer the the engineers working on the code. As a result I worked on Fedora full time helping Jesse Keating. When he decided to work on the internal migration from CVS to git I took over as the lead. [...] Recently I have accepted a Job offer to become the manager of a different team inside of Red Hat.

Linux 4.17 Spring Cleaning To Drop Some Old CPU Architectures and Recent Torvalds Interview

  • Linux 4.17 Spring Cleaning To Drop Some Old CPU Architectures
    Longtime Linux kernel developer Arnd Bergmann is working to drop a number of old and obsolete CPU architectures from the next kernel cycle, Linux 4.17. The obsolete CPU architectures set to be removed include Blackfin, CRIS, FR-V, M32R, MN10300, META (Metag), and TILE. Managing to escape its death sentence is the Unicore32 architecture with its port maintainer claiming it's still actively being used and maintained.
  • [Older] Linus Torvalds Interview by Kristaps

    Interviewer: we all know who Linus is, but not many people know he’s also a proficient diver. Why don’t we start at the beginning: where you first started diving, and when you started to take diving seriously.  

    Actually, it was related to open source, in some way. [...]

Software: KDE, DocKnot and More

  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 10
    Today’s Usability & Productivity status is jam-packed with awesome stuff that I think you’re all really gonna love.
  • DocKnot 1.03
    This is the software that I use to generate documentation for my software. Currently, it just handles README,, and the top-level web page for the package.
  • Linux Release Roundup: Amarok Sees First Release in 3 Years
    The past 7 days have been pretty dang busy in Linux release land. We’ve taken a look at the best GNOME 3.28 features, recapped the latest Firefox 59 changes, and made ourselves comfortable with the latest changes to Linux audiobook player Cozy.

today's howtos/technical