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Hardware

From Gongkai to Open Source

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Compared to the firmware, the hardware reverse engineering task was fairly straightforward. The documents we could scavenge gave us a notion of the ball-out for the chip, and the naming scheme for the pins was sufficiently descriptive that I could apply common sense and experience to guess the correct method for connecting the chip. For areas that were ambiguous, we had some stripped down phones I could buzz out with a multimeter or stare at under a microscope to determine connectivity; and in the worst case I could also probe a live phone with an oscilloscope just to make sure my understanding was correct.

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Intel Haswell HD Graphics End Of 2013 vs. 2014 Benchmarks

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware

Following on from yesterday's Phoronix testing that provided an extensive look at AMD's incredible open-source driver advancements over 2014 by benchmarking the open-source graphics stack from the end of 2013 compared to the end of this year, out now is similar treatment for Intel HD Graphics with their open-source Linux driver for Haswell hardware.

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Banana Pi project forks, as competing gen-2 SBCs emerge

Filed under
Development
Linux
Hardware

SinoVoip is prepping an “Banana Pi M2″ update built with a quad-core Allwinner A31 SoC, while LeMaker has begun shipping a competing A20-based “Banana Pro.”

It appears that the Banana Pi project has forked into two rival groups that are now pushing their own Banana Pi updates: SinoVoip’s “Banana Pi M2,” which is announced but not yet shipping, and LeMaker’s recently released “Banana Pro.”

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Best of open hardware in 2014

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Open hardware is the physical foundation of the open movement. It is through understanding, designing, manufacturing, commercializing, and adopting open hardware, that we built the basis for a healthy and self-reliant community of open. And the year of 2014 had plenty of activities in the open hardware front.

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Fedora 21 Released For POWER & AArch64 Hardware

Filed under
Red Hat
Hardware

While Fedora 21 was officially released last week, coming out today is the release of Fedora 21 for the PowerPC and ARM AArch64 architectures.

Fedora 21 and its packages are now officially available for IBM POWER servers as the only PowerPC systems being officially supported by the PPC release. Support for Apple's older PowerPC systems is mentioned as a PPC platform that's most likely broken and will not be working out-of-the-box. Fedora for POWER in the 21 release offers an installer for the Fedora Server product, support for 32-bit Power has been dropped in favor of 64-bit, and there's numerous enhancements to Fedora on POWER compared to older releases.

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Also: Red Hat and IBM Ratchet-Up Linux Partnership

Generic TrustZone Driver Proposed For Linux Kernel

Filed under
Hardware

ARM's security extensions are in the process of being bettered on Linux.

TrustZone is the marketing name for ARM's security extensions. TrustZone exposes two virtual processors with hardware access controls to let the application core switch between the two virtual states to avoid potentially leaking any information from one state/world to the other. TrustZone has been around going back to the ARMv6 days and there's been Linux support but it's largely been platform specific. Now, however, a generic TrustZone driver might finally come to the Linux kernel.

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Open source and Made in Italy: Arduino are circuit boards with a sense of style

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

One of the more surprising applications has been the natural marriage between the Arduino board and Lego. Once seen only as a child's building block toy, Lego is finding startling utility as an instant mechanical prototype maker for Arduino ideas.

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Expensive "Free/Libre Software Laptop" Uses A NVIDIA GPU

Filed under
Hardware

While there's been an ongoing discussion this week about delivering a $500 "open to the core" laptop that runs Ubuntu Linux and would be comprised of open-source software down to the firmware and Coreboot, announced last week was a high-end laptop that also aims to promote free/libre software. Though don't get out your wallets quite yet.

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Is the ASRock Q1900DC-ITX Intel Motherboard a Good ARM SBC Alternative?

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

In the recent series on ARM single board computers I have covered the BeagleBone Black, MaRS, TI's OMAP5432 Board, the Radxa, a few of the ODroid ARM machines, and many more. On the Intel desktop side I've covered the NUC and MinnowBoard. I've learned that outright performance is faster on the Intel NUC than any ARM machine reviewed so far -- the tradeoff, of course, is cost. This time around we'll see whether the ASRock Q1900DC-ITX motherboard retains the high performance characteristic of an Intel board but also dips down to the low cost and lower power draw of the ARM world.

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Imp mini PC is a tiny, ARM-based Ubuntu computer

Filed under
Hardware
Ubuntu

Want a small, low-power desktop computer that runs Ubuntu Linux, but don’t want to go through the hassle of installing and configuring the operating system yourself?

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More in Tux Machines

Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

Coding curmudgeon Linus Torvalds has gone off on yet another rant: this time against his own lawyers and free software activist Bradley Kuhn. On a mailing list about an upcoming Linux conference, a discussion about whether to include a session on the GPL that protects the open source operating system quickly devolved in an angry rant as its founder piled in. Read more

The Battle of The Budgie Desktops – Budgie-Remix vs SolusOS!

Ladies and gentleman, it’s the moment you have all been waiting for… the main even of the evening! In this corner, wearing Budgie trunks, fighting out of Ireland, created by Ikey Doherty, the man behind Linux Mint Debian Edition — SolusOS! And in this corner, built on the defending champion, also wearing Budgie trunks, aiming to be the next flavor of Ubuntu, Budgie-Remix! Read more

Leftovers: Software

  • 5 Cool Unikernels Projects
    Unikernels are poised to become the next big thing in microservices after Docker containers. Here’s a look at some of the cool things you can do with unikernels. First, though, here’s a quick primer on what unikernels are, for the uninitiated. Unikernels are similar to containers in that they let you run an app inside a portable, software-defined environment. But they go a step further than containers by packaging all of the libraries required to run the app directly into the unikernel.
  • Cedrus Is Making Progress On Open-Source Allwinner Video Encode/Decode
    The developers within the Sunxi camp working on better Allwinner SoC support under Linux have been reverse-engineering Allwinner's "Cedar" video engine. Their project is being called Cedrus with a goal of "100% libre and open-source" video decode/encode for the relevant Cedar hardware. The developers have been making progress and yesterday they published their initial patches that add a V4L2 decoder driver for the VPU found on Allwinner's A13 SoC.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 6.6 Milestone 3 Released For Linux Benchmarking
  • Calibre 2.65.1 eBook Viewer Adds Driver for Kobo Aura One and Aura 2 Readers
    Kovid Goyal released today, August 26, 2016, a new maintenance update of his popular, cross-platform, and open-source Calibre e-book viewer, converter and library management tool. Calibre 2.65 was announced earlier, and it looks like it's both a feature and bugfix release that adds drivers for the Kobo Aura One and Kobo Aura Edition 2 ebook readers, along with a new option to the Kobo driver to allow users to ignore certain collections on their ebook reader. The list of new features continues with support for right-to-left text and tables to the DOCX Input feature, as well as the implementation of a new option to allow users to make searching case-sensitive. This option can be found and enabled in the "Searching" configuration section under Preferences.
  • Calamares 2.4 Universal Installer Framework Polishes Existing Functionality
    A new stable version of the Calamares universal installer framework used by various GNU/Linux distributions as default graphical installer has been released with various improvements and bug fixes. Calamares 2.4 is now the latest build, coming two months after the release of the previous version, Calamares 2.3, which introduced full-disk encryption support. However, Calamares 2.4 is not as big as the previous update as it only polished existing functionality and address various annoying issues reported by users.
  • RcppArmadillo 0.7.400.2.0
    Another Armadillo 7.* release -- now at 7.400. We skipped the 7.300.* serie release as it came too soon after our most recent CRAN release. Releasing RcppArmadillo 0.7.400.2.0 now keeps us at the (roughly monthly) cadence which works as a good compromise between getting updates out at Conrad's sometimes frantic pace, while keeping CRAN (and Debian) uploads to about once per month. So we may continue the pattern of helping Conrad with thorough regression tests by building against all (by now 253 (!!)) CRAN dependencies, but keeping release at the GitHub repo and only uploading to CRAN at most once a month.
  • Spotio Is A Light Skin for Spotify’s Desktop App — And Its Coming To Linux
    Spotify’s dark design is very much of its identity. No-matter the platform you use it on, the dark theme is there staring back at you. Until now. A bunch of ace websites, blogs and people I follow have spent the past 24 hours waxing lyrical over a new Spotify skin called Spotio.