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Hardware

Why I love ARM and PowerPC

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
OSS

Once upon a time, I studied environmental protection. While working on my PhD, I was looking for a new computer. As an environmentally aware person, I wanted a high-performing computer that was also efficient. That is how I first became interested in the PowerPC and discovered Pegasos, a PowerPC workstation created by Genesi.

I had already used RS/6000 (PowerPC), SGI (MIPS), HP-UX (PA-RISC), and VMS (Alpha) both as a server and a workstation, and on my PC I used Linux, not Windows, so using a different CPU architecture was not a barrier. Pegasos, which was small and efficient enough for home use, was my first workstation.

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Carnegie Mellon University's 'Open-Source' 3-D Bioprinter

Filed under
Hardware
  • Could this $500 open-source printer be the RepRap of 3D bioprinters?

    Researchers from Adam Feinberg’s lab at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an open-source 3D bioprinter that can be built affordably using a modified desktop 3D printer. The large-volume extruder (LVE) component of the bioprinter can be 3D printed.

  • Carnegie Mellon University researchers publish designs for open-source 3D bioprinter

    Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an open-source, low-cost 3D bioprinter. They have published a paper in HardwareX with the complete instructions for the installation of a syringe-based large volume extruder (LVE) on a desktop FDM 3D printer.

    The LVE allows users to print artificial human tissues at a high resolution and scale. It is designed to print a range of materials, including biopolymers, hydrogels, pastes and epoxies.

    Adam Feinberg, one of the authors of the paper and a Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon, said “The LVE 3D bioprinter allows us to print much larger tissue scaffolds, at the scale of an entire human heart, with high quality.”

How to build a plotter with Arduino

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Back in school, there was an HP plotter well hidden in a closet in the science department. I got to play with it for a while and always wanted to have one of my own. Fast forward many, many years. Stepper motors are easily available, I am back into doing stuff with electronics and micro-controllers, and I recently saw someone creating displays with engraved acrylic. This triggered me to finally build my own plotter.

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Introducing Web Pi The Raspberry Pi Web Interface

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

When working on my home network, users were reporting internet issues when I was not available to provide support, but a running theme was slow gaming. I suspected it was issues with the gaming networks such as PSN and over usage (streaming and gaming at the same time).

When users persisted that it was the internet, I set up a raspberry pi to frequently perform speed tests and log the results. As expected net speed on the connection was less than 50 mbits per second, the raspberry Pi would not be a bottleneck. After running for a few days, each time there was an issue, I was able to check the logs and diagnose any issues, which usually correlated with PSN being slow.

Although it did the job I needed, I wanted to open it up so other users could check the results without me giving them access to the server, hence I wrote the Web Pi to output the content to a browser, and gradually added more features.

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Devices With Linux

Filed under
Hardware
  • Apollo Lake Pico-ITX SBC has triple USB 3.0

    Axiomtek often uses a tick-tock cadence with its SBCs, starting out with a computer-on-module like board to showcase a new processor, and then following up with a more typical SBC with more real-world ports and fewer expansion connectors. In the case of Pico-ITX SBCs using Intel’s Apollo Lake processor, it was more like tock-tick-tock. Axiomtek started with a PICO312 with minimal coastline ports, and then followed with a COM-like PICO313. Today it launched a similarly 100 x 72mm PICO316 SBC with more coastline ports than the original PICO312.

  • Man Shows The Fastest Way To Change Google Home Songs: Open Source RPi DIY Kit

    He uses RFID tags to play his favorite songs in the quickest way possible. To do this, he connected his Google Home speaker to his open source DIY tech that he created by attaching an RFID reader to a Raspberry Pi Zero.

  • Rugged, AI focused embedded PC has Ryzen V1000 and optional GTX

    Sintrones’ Linux-friendly “ABOX-5100” embedded PC features an AMD Ryzen V1000, 4x DP, 3x mini-PCIe, and 8x GbE ports with optional PoE. A G1 model adds Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics and 4x HDMI ports.

  • Porting L4Re and Fiasco.OC to the Ben NanoNote (Part 7)

Some of tech’s biggest firms hope to save money with open-source chip designs

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

GNU/Linux Preloaded on Mintbox Mini 2 and Atari

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Linux Mint announces Mintbox Mini 2 tiny desktop PC with Intel inside

    As with the original Mini, the Mini 2 will come in standard and Mini Pro editions when they become available in June, with similar or lower price tags to their predecessors. The Mini 2 ships with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of solid-state storage, whereas the Mini Pro 2 doubles the RAM and boosts storage capacity to a 120GB SSD. While the Mini 2 is a mere $4 more than the first Mini ($299 versus $294), the $349 Mini Pro 2 is actually $45 cheaper than the previous version.

  • The Atari VCS Console will Run Linux OS to Keep that Atari Homebrew Feel

    It is 2018 and Atari is back in the console game. Didn’t think I’d be typing that one even after they announced the Ataribox last summer. Now, the re-branded Atari VCS was supposed to launch back in December 2017, but was delayed for a “number of factors” however, the company plans to be much more open about the console’s development process in the coming months. While the console probably won’t be releasing anytime soon, Atari Connect COO Michael Arzt was on-site at GDC this week to answer questions about the console. Granted, what he could say was relatively limited, but it did give us some idea of where things are in production. “Delaying the release gave us a chance to go back and look at everything again, and we found a few other things we wanted to change as well,” Arzt said. He didn’t go into detail about the delay or what else would be changing, after all, that’s old news.

Devices: Mintbox Mini, NanoNote (Part 3), MV3

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Mintbox Mini 2: Compact Linux desktop with Apollo Lake quad-core CPU

    The Mintbox Mini 2 is a fanless computer that measures 4.4″ x 3.3″ x 1.3″ and weighs about 12 ounces. It’s powered by a 10W Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core processor.

  • Linux Mint ditches AMD for Intel with new Mintbox Mini 2

    While replacing Windows 10 with a Linux-based operating system is a fairly easy exercise, it shouldn’t be necessary. Look, if you want a computer running Linux, you should be able to buy that. Thankfully you can, as companies like System76 and Dell sell laptops and desktops with Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based operating systems.

    Another option? Buy a Mintbox! This is a diminutive desktop running Linux Mint — an Ubuntu-based OS. Today, the newest such variant — The Mintbox Mini 2 — makes an appearance. While the new model has several new aspects, the most significant is that the Linux Mint Team has switched from AMD to Intel (the original Mini used an A4-Micro 6400T).

  • Porting L4Re and Fiasco.OC to the Ben NanoNote (Part 3)

    So, we find ourselves in a situation where the compiler is doing the right thing for the code it is generating, but it also notices when the programmer has chosen to do what is now the wrong thing. We must therefore track down these instructions and offer a supported alternative. Previously, we introduced a special configuration setting that might be used to indicate to the compiler when to choose these alternative sequences of instructions: CPU_MIPS32_R1. This gets expanded to CONFIG_CPU_MIPS32_R1 by the build system and it is this identifier that gets used in the program code.

  • Linux Software Enables Advanced Functions on Controllers

    At NPE2018, SISE presents its new generation of multi-zone controllers (MV3). Soon, these controllers will be able to control as many as 336 zones. They are available in five sizes (XS, S, M, L and XL) with three available power cards (2.5 A, 15 A and 30 A). They are adaptable to the packaging, automotive, cosmetics, medical and technical-parts markets.

Devices: Raspberry Pi 3, Ben NanoNote, Artila, webOS

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Benchmarks

    Last week on Pi Day marked the release of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ with a slightly higher clocked Cortex-A53 processors, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, faster Ethernet, and other minor enhancements over its predecessor. I've been spending the past few days putting the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ through its paces the past few days with an array of benchmarks while comparing the performance to other ARM SBCs as well as a few lower-end Intel x86 systems too. Here is all you need to know about the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ performance.

  • Porting L4Re and Fiasco.OC to the Ben NanoNote (Part 2)

    Having undertaken some initial investigations into running L4Re and Fiasco.OC on the MIPS Creator CI20, I envisaged attempting to get this software running on the Ben NanoNote, too. For a while, I put this off, feeling confident that when I finally got round to it, it would probably be a matter of just choosing the right compiler options and then merely fixing all the mistakes I had made in my own driver code. Little did I know that even the most trivial activities would prove more complicated than anticipated.

    As you may recall, I had noted that a potentially viable approach to porting the software would merely involve setting the appropriate compiler switches for “soft-float” code, thus avoiding the generation of floating point instructions that the JZ4720 – the SoC on the Ben NanoNote – would not be able to execute. A quick check of the GCC documentation indicated the availability of the -msoft-float switch. And since I have a working cross-compiler for MIPS as provided by Debian, there didn’t seem to be much more to it than that. Until I discovered that the compiler doesn’t seem to support soft-float output at all.

    I had hoped to avoid building my own cross-compiler, and apart from enthusiastic (and occasionally successful) attempts to build the Debian ones before they became more generally available, the last time I really had anything to do with this was when I first developed software for the Ben. As part of the general support for the device an OpenWrt distribution had been made available. Part of that was the recipe for building the cross-compiler and other tools, needed for building a kernel and all the software one would deploy on a device. I am sure that this would still be a good place to look for a solution, but I had heard things about Buildroot and so set off to investigate that instead.

  • Artila Releases New Linux-ready Cortex-A7 System on Module M-X6ULL

    Artila's new SODIMM module based on NXP i.MX6ULL ARM Cortex A7 CPU core operating up to 800MHz speed with Linux OS. The new M-X6ULL is designed to meet the needs of many general embedded applications that require power efficient, high performance and cost optimized solution, as well as embedded systems that require high-end multimedia applications in a small form factor, this cost effective M-X6ULL is ultra-compact in size with the form factor of 68 x 43 mm. In addition, M-X6ULL has 200-pins connectors to allow extension of more I/Os for peripheral signals like two 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, LCD, CAN, UART, USB, SD and I2C.

  • LG is expanding webOS usage with open-source edition to rival Samsung’s Tizen

Porting Fedora to RISC-V

Filed under
Red Hat
Hardware

In my previous article, I gave an introduction to the open architecture of RISC-V. This article looks at how I and a small team of Fedora users ported a large part of the Fedora package set to RISC-V. It was a daunting task, especially when there is no real hardware or existing infrastructure, but we were able to get there in a part-time effort over a year and a half or so.

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Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • Debian XU4 images updated
    I've updated my Debian images for the ODROID XU4; the newest build was done before stretch release, and a lot of minor adjustments have happened since then.
  • Parrot 4.0 Ethical Hacking Linux Distro Released
  • FBI says Russians hacked [sic] hundreds of thousands of home and office routers

    The warning followed a court order Wednesday that allowed the FBI to seize a website that the hackers [sic] planned to use to give instructions to the routers. Though that cut off malicious communications, it still left the routers infected, and Friday’s warning was aimed at cleaning up those machines.

  • FBI tells router users to reboot now to kill malware infecting 500k devices

    Researchers from Cisco’s Talos security team first disclosed the existence of the malware on Wednesday. The detailed report said the malware infected more than 500,000 devices made by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP, and TP-Link. Known as VPNFilter, the malware allowed attackers to collect communications, launch attacks on others, and permanently destroy the devices with a single command. The report said the malware was developed by hackers [sic] working for an advanced nation, possibly Russia, and advised users of affected router models to perform a factory reset, or at a minimum to reboot.

Software and Games: KStars, Opera, OpenStack, MariaDB and More

  • KStars 2.9.6 is Released!
    I'm glad to announce the release of KStars 2.9.6 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. This is a minor bugfix release.
  • Opera 54 Browser Enters Beta with News on the Speed Dial, Update & Recovery Menu
    Opera has promoted its upcoming Opera 54 web browser to the beta channel, giving us a glimpse of what to expect from the final version, due for release sometime next month. Based on the open-source Chromium 67.0.3396.18 web browser, Opera 54 recently entered beta stages of development with a plethora of new features and improvements, among which we can mention a new Update & Recovery Opera menu page that makes it easier for users to update the web browser and reset it to its default state, including the ability to clear temporary data, such as cookies.
  • OpenStack at a Crossroads
    The OpenStack of a few years ago is dead, however. What has emerged from the hype cycle is a materially different foundation, mission and software stack, with a great deal of change still ahead of it.
  • The OpenStack Foundation grows beyond OpenStack
    The OpenStack Foundation has made a considerable change to its development process and governance structure by introducing two open source projects that are not part of the OpenStack cloud platform. This week, the organization launched version 1.0 of Kata Containers - a runtime system with an emphasis on speed and security, enabling users to boot a VM in as little as five seconds - and introduced a brand new project called Zuul, spinning out the software development and integration platform that has been used by the OpenStack community internally since 2012.
  • Oracle nemesis MariaDB tries to lure enterprise folk with TX 3.0
    Open-source database biz MariaDB has upped the ante in its war against Oracle, promising enterprise customers better compatibility with – and easier migration from – Big Red. The Finnish firm's latest offering, MariaDB TX 3.0, released for GA today, extends the number of use cases to include temporal processing and advanced data protection for sensitive and personally identifiable information, as well as Oracle compatibility. The broad aim is to tap into customers' grumbles over legacy vendor lock-in, while convincing the bigger customers that they can move to an open-source database without compromising performance.
  • The Humble Monthly Bundle just added two great Linux games
    For those that are interested, you can secure a copy of two great Linux games in the current Humble Monthly Bundle. Just added today are: Get Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth
  • SC-Controller 0.4.3 Released, Support Steam Controller & Sony DS4 Over Bluetooth
    For those looking to manage your Steam Controller and other supported Linux gaming peripheral input devices outside of Steam, there is a new release of the independently-developed SC-Controller Linux user-space software. While Linux 4.18 is bringing the Steam Controller kernel driver, for those looking for a Steam Controller solution right now to enjoy this excellent gaming controller for now outside of Steam, SC-Controller fills that void.

Huawei, Fuchsia and More

  • Huawei will no longer allow bootloader unlocking (Update: Explanation from Huawei)

    "In order to deliver the best user experience and prevent users from experiencing possible issues that could arise from ROM flashing, including system failure, stuttering, worsened battery performance, and risk of data being compromised, Huawei will cease providing bootloader unlock codes for devices launched after May 25, 2018. [...]"

  • Fuchsia Friday: How ad targeting might be a hidden cost of Fuchsia’s structure
     

    Fuchsia, by its nature, comes with the potential for a handful of new opportunities for ad targeting. Let’s peer into the dark side of Fuchsia’s innovative features.

  • iPhone Quarter, ZTE Troubles, Facebook Troubles, Nokia Come-back
     

    So the past month or two? The Quarterly results cycle came in. The item often of great interest is the Apple iPhone performance. 52.2 million iPhones shipped and that gives roughly a flat market share compared to the year before, so about 14%-15%. I'll come and do the full math later of the quarterly data. That race is no longer in any way interesting.

    But two Top 10 smartphone brands ARE in the news. One who is facing imminent death and the other who is making a miraculous return-from-dead. So imminent death and current Top 10 brand first. ZTE. The Trump administration has put a massive squeeze on ZTE and the company is in serious trouble of imminent collapse. Then bizarrely, Trump reversed course and felt he needed to protect CHINESE employment (???) and after yet another typical Trump-mess, we now are at a Never-Neverland where Trump's own party Republicans are revolting against their President and well, ZTE may end up a casualty of this mess. We'll keep an eye on it.

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