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Hardware

Devices: FluSense, Agile Linux, APs, Ventilators and Routers

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Hardware
  • FluSense takes on COVID-19 with Raspberry Pi
  • Agile Linux: Enabling DevOps with Continuously Delivered Embedded Linux
  • Best Wireless Access Point Devices

    An ordinary router cannot handle the congestion created by multiple users trying to access the internet at the same time. They also leave dead spots (areas with zero coverage). If you are running a small business where multiple people need access to the internet or just want better internet coverage around your home, you require a specially designed and powerful wireless device that can help share the load and provide coverage over a large area. That is where the best wireless access points come in handy. They handle large throughput by sharing the traffic load. In addition, they come with essential security settings to keep every user safe. Below is our breakdown of the top 7 WAP devices that can be used with Linux.

    [...]

    All said and done, the products mentioned above are carefully picked to satisfy your requirements. Regardless of the cost, all of them offer excellent value for the price and come with more than enough reach, coverage, and speed that will leave you satisfied when putting to use. That is all for now. We hope you enjoyed our reviews. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

  • MIT-based team works on rapid deployment of open-source, low-cost ventilator

    One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators. These machines can keep patients breathing when they no longer can on their own, and they can cost around $30,000 each. Now, a rapidly assembled volunteer team of engineers, physicians, computer scientists, and others, centered at MIT, is working to implement a safe, inexpensive alternative for emergency use, which could be built quickly around the world.

    The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12 in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace.

  • Getting root on a Zyxel VMG8825-T50 router

    TL;DR: using these four simple tricks you can get a root shell on your Zyxel VMG8825-T50 router:

    1. The DLNA server is running as root and follows symlinks.

    2. Even though they’re hidden in the web UI, SSH and other services can be enabled by setting a few fields in the configuration backup file.

    3. A local subnet can be set as the remote management IP whitelist through the configuration backup file, enabling (local) SSH access.

    4. An innocent DDNS configuration setting can be used as a decryption oracle.

RHEL9 Likely To Drop Older x86_64 CPUs, Fedora Can Better Prepare With "Enterprise Linux Next"

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Red Hat
Hardware

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 will likely see support for older x86_64 CPUs eliminated to focus on more modern x86_64 Intel/AMD families. With that, Red Hat developers working on Fedora have been working on an "Enterprise Linux Next" proposal to not only vet such x86_64 build changes but also to provide a feedback workflow for other changes.

Brought up last month already was an extra buildroot for testing x86_64 microarchitecture updates on Fedora. Currently, Fedora and RHEL support x86_64 CPUs going back to the original AMD K8 CPUs but with RHEL9 some middle-ground will likely be pursued of aiming to support more recent x86_64 families and newer instruction set extensions by default while still supporting a diverse enough range of hardware to be in production use-cases during RHEL9's life-cycle.

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Raspberry Pi: Rocket.Chat, $50 Raspberry Pi 4 Kit, Education and More

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Build a private chat server with a Raspberry Pi and Rocket.Chat

    The internet offers plenty of free messaging services. Applications like WhatsApp and Viber are part of our daily life and are the most common way we communicate with relatives and friends. But security awareness is increasing the demand for a truly private chat solution. Furthermore, messaging apps take up a lot of space in our devices, so an alternative chat channel could be useful to share media, info, and contacts with our friends.

    Today we are going to see how to install a private chat and messaging server with a Raspberry Pi and Rocket.Chat.

  • Start hacking at home with this $50 Raspberry Pi 4 kit

    That’s not a bad starter pack at all, especially if you plan to use the Raspberry Pi 4 for some hardware hacking. If your plan is to use this as a regular PC, you might also want a Raspberry Pi 4 case. Either way, be sure to check out the aforementioned Humble Bundle if you’re looking for ideas on how to use it, along with our guide to 10 surprisingly practical Raspbery Pi projects anybody can do.

  • Using Raspberry Pi for deeper learning in education
  • Henri Bergius: Cruising sailboat electronics setup with Signal K

    With this, we had a workable lighting and power setup for overnight sailing. But next obvious step will be to increase the range of our boat.

    For that, we’re adding a solar panel. We already have most parts for the setup, but are still waiting for the customized NOA mounting hardware to arrive. And of course the current COVID-19 curfews need to lift before we can install it.

    Until we have actual data from our Victron MPPT charge controller, I’ve run some simulations using NASA’s insolation data for Berlin on how much the panel ought to increase our cruising range.

Raspbian and Raspberry Pi Modding/Hacking

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Hardware
Debian

ESP32-S2 WiFi SoC Sells for $1, ESP32-S2-WROOM & ESP32-S2-WROVER Modules for $2 and Up

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Hardware
OSS

Espressif Systems ESP32-S2 was announced in May 2019, before the release of the datasheet and first internal development boards a few months later. Mass production was delayed due to COVID-19, but earlier this month we reported ESP32-S2 mass production had started and the company has a new ESP32-S2-Kaluga-1 multimedia development board in the works.

So it was just a question of time before the processor, modules, and boards become available. Unexpected Maker recently got a development kit with ESP32-S2 final silicon, so I thought maybe I could find ESP32-S2 hardware on Aliexpress.

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Also: An open-source ventilator design has been submitted for fast-track approval

ARM9 in 2020 – Meet Microchip SAM9X60 SoC & Evaluation Kit

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Development
GNU
Linux
Hardware

In my first job, I wrote code for a MIPS processor for VoIP phones, then I switched to NEC/Renesas MCUs for CD and DVD players, before going back to Linux and my first experience with an Arm processor: Cirrus Logic EP9307 with a single ARM9 (ARM920T) core clocked at 200 MHz. That was in 2005, and according to Wikipedia various ARM9 cores were released between 1998 to 2006, and now such cores are not recommended for new IC designs with most companies now building their chips around Arm Cortex-A/M/R cores.

At the end of last year, we wrote about Banana Pi BPI-F2S SBC based on Sunplus SP7021 “Plus1” quad-core Cortex-A7 processor with ARM9 and 8051 co-processor. Odd enough but at least the ARM9 core is not the main processor, however, while looking at the upcoming Linux 5.6 Linux kernel log I read an entry about a new SAM9X60 ARM926-based SoC from Microchip.

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Intel: Bleujour, IWD and OpenSWR

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Hardware
Software
  • Fanless Whiskey Lake mini-PCs include a model based on Intel NUC Elements

    Bleujour has launched a $836 and up “Kubb Passive” NUC system and is prepping an even smaller NUC Elements based Meta U mini-PC, both of which run Linux Mint on Intel’s Whiskey Lake.

    If you’re spending more time than usual on your computer in these days of quarantine, you may ask yourself: Why does my computer have to be so ugly? French embedded vendor Bleujour, which is known for its cutting-edge enclosure designs, would answer “C’est absurde!” In other words, your computer need not be ugly so long as you’re willing to pay a bit more for style.

  • Intel IWD 1.6 Wireless Daemon Released With MAC Randomization, Per-Network MAC Addresses

    Intel open-source developers have released IWD v1.6 as their open-source, embedded-friendly wireless daemon for Linux systems as an alternative to WPA_Supplicant.

    IWD 1.6 comes with some practical additions for privacy-minded users. IWD 1.6 now allows full MAC address randomization each time it (re)connects to a network as well as a per-network MAC address override option too.

  • Intel Working On OpenGL 4.x Support For Their OpenSWR Software Rasterizer In Mesa

    Intel is working to enable OpenGL 4.x functionality for their OpenSWR software rasterizer within Mesa.

    Intel has begun publishing their slide decks and other information they were preparing for the GDC game developer conference before it was cancelled. This included an update on the oneAPI rendering toolkit. Much of the information is a repeat for anyone familiar with the likes of OpenVKL, Embree, and OSPray. The presentation can be found on devmesh.intel.com for those interested.

Asus Vivobook - Long in the tooth, going strong

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GNU
KDE
Linux
Hardware

For a brief while, I did ponder reinstalling the system from scratch, but then decided against it. The problems I encountered were small (if annoying), and I was able to resolve them quickly. The system works well, it's fast enough. Not bad for a 2013 laptop that was made to be frugal to begin with. Now ideally, there should be no niggles and no upgrade ghosts, but there you have it. As far as the road test goes, I had everything I needed in strange and foreign places, and the Vivobook + Plasma did their job dutifully.

I will probably follow up with one or two more articles of this nature in the future. I'm not sure how extensively I'm going to be using the Ultrabook, but then, its age will be an interesting factor to reckon with. My older laptops are handling the brunt of passing years fairly well, but they were also in a higher cost category when new. With this machine in the mid-price range, I don't really know how things are going to evolve. That's about it for now. The end.

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Know the Differences between Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and ESP8266/ESP32

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

When it comes to choosing a platform for STEM education or hobbyist projects, there are a number of low-cost, compact maker boards on the market. The most popular include the kid-friendly Raspberry Pi SBC that was designed with children in mind, Arduino boards for electronics projects, and more recently boards and modules based on EspressifESP8266 and ESP32 wireless SoC’s. In this post, we’ll look at the use cases and strong points for each of the boards whether you are just dabbling in the hobby of coding and DIY electronics, or you have a commercial project.

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Best Android tablet for 2020

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Android
Hardware

Android tablets rarely make the case for ditching Apple iPads, but that doesn't mean you don't have any good options available. Here are our favorites.

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