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12 Raspberry Pi projects to try this year

Sunday 14th of March 2021 07:00:00 AM

Remember when the Raspberry Pi was just a really tiny hobbyist Linux computer? Well, to the surprise of no one, the Pi's power and scope has escalated quickly. Have you got a new Raspberry Pi or an old one lying around needing something to do? If so, we have plenty of new project ideas, ranging from home automation to cross-platform coding, and even some new hardware to check out.

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My review of the Raspberry Pi 400

Saturday 13th of March 2021 08:01:00 AM

The Raspberry Pi 400 promises to be a boon to the homeschool market. In addition to providing an easy-to-assemble workstation that comes loaded with free software, the Pi 400 also serves as a surprisingly effective videoconferencing platform. I ordered a Pi 400 from CanaKit late last year and was eager to explore this capability.

Easy setup

After unboxing my Pi 400, which came in this lovely package, the setup was quick and easy.

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Build an open source theremin

Saturday 13th of March 2021 08:00:00 AM

Even if you haven't heard of a theremin, you're probably familiar with the eerie electronic sound it makes from watching TV shows and movies like the 1951 science fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. Theremins have also appeared in popular music, although often in the form of a theremin variant.

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Build a router with mobile connectivity using Raspberry Pi

Friday 12th of March 2021 08:02:00 AM

The Raspberry Pi is a small, single-board computer that, despite being the size of a credit card, is capable of doing a lot of things. In reality, this little computer can be almost anything you want to be. You just need to open up your imagination.

Raspberry Pi enthusiasts have made many different projects, from simple programs to complex automation projects and solutions like weather stations or even smart-home devices. This article will show how to turn your Raspberry Pi into a router with LTE mobile connectivity using the OpenWRT project.

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Visualize multi-threaded Python programs with an open source tool

Friday 12th of March 2021 08:00:00 AM

Concurrency is an essential part of modern programming, as we have multiple cores and many tasks that need to cooperate. However, it's harder to understand concurrent programs when they are not running sequentially. It's not as easy for engineers to identify bugs and performance issues in these programs as it is in a single-thread, single-task program.

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Set up network parental controls on a Raspberry Pi

Thursday 11th of March 2021 08:03:00 AM

Parents are always looking for ways to protect their kids online—from malware, banner ads, pop-ups, activity-tracking scripts, and other concerns—and to prevent them from playing games and watching YouTube when they should be doing their schoolwork. Many businesses use tools that regulate their employees' online safety and activities, but the question is how to make this happen at home?

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Test cases and open source license enforcement

Thursday 11th of March 2021 08:02:00 AM

A test case is a lawsuit brought primarily to achieve a policy outcome by securing a judicial ruling that reverses settled law or clarifies some disputed legal question. Bringing a test case typically involves carefully planning out where, when, and whom to sue and which legal arguments to advance in order to maximize the chances of winning the desired result. In the United States, we often see test case strategies used by public interest organizations to effect legal change that cannot practically be attained through other governmental means.

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4 questions for the OSI board of directors candidates

Thursday 11th of March 2021 08:01:00 AM

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the community-driven nonprofit organization that maintains and evaluates compliance with the Open Source Definition. Last year, I wrote a piece for with a series of questions for candidates in the 2020 election for the OSI board of directors.

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An open approach to recovering from burnout

Thursday 11th of March 2021 08:00:00 AM

Editor's note: This article is part of a series on working with mental health conditions. It details the author's personal experiences and is not meant to convey professional medical advice or guidance.


I'm writing this in the middle of another cold and seemingly endless New England winter. It's the time of year many people begin feeling the effects of burnout.

At the same time, we're observing the first anniversary of many lockdowns since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. So feelings of burnout are even more widespread.

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Troubleshoot WiFi problems with Go and a Raspberry Pi

Wednesday 10th of March 2021 02:02:00 PM

Last summer, my wife and I sold everything we owned and moved with our two dogs to Hawaii. It's been everything we thought it would be: beautiful sun, warm sand, cool surf—you name it. We've also run into some things we didn't expect: WiFi problems.

Now, that's not a Hawaii problem. It's limited to the apartment we are renting. We are living in a single-room studio apartment attached to our landlord's apartment. Part of the rent includes free internet! YAY! However, said internet is provided by the WiFi router in the landlord's apartment. BOO!

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3 open source tools for producing video tutorials

Wednesday 10th of March 2021 02:01:00 PM

I've learned that video tutorials are a great way to teach my students, and open source tools have helped me take my video-production skills to the next level. This article will explain how to get started and add artfulness and creativity to your video tutorial projects.

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Understanding file names and directories in FreeDOS

Wednesday 10th of March 2021 02:00:00 PM

The open source operating system FreeDOS is a tried-and-true project that helps users play retro games, update firmware, run outdated but beloved applications, and study operating system design. FreeDOS offers insights into the history of personal computing (because it implements the de facto operating system of the early '80s) but in a modern context. In this article, I'll use FreeDOS to explain how file names and extensions developed.

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Collect sensor data with your Raspberry Pi and open source tools

Tuesday 9th of March 2021 08:02:00 AM

I have lived in 100-plus-year-old brick houses for most of my life. They look nice, they are comfortable, and usually, they are not too expensive. However, humidity is high in the winter in my climate, and mold is a recurring problem. A desktop thermometer that displays relative humidity is useful for measuring it, but it does not provide continuous monitoring.

In comes the Raspberry Pi: It is small, inexpensive, and has many sensor options, including temperature and relative humidity. It can collect data around the clock, do some alerting, and forward data for analysis.

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Learn Python dictionary values with Jupyter

Tuesday 9th of March 2021 08:01:00 AM

Dictionaries are the Python programming language's way of implementing data structures. A Python dictionary consists of several key-value pairs; each pair maps the key to its associated value.

For example, say you're a teacher who wants to match students' names to their grades. You could use a Python dictionary to map the keys (names) to their associated values (grades).

If you need to find a specific student's grade on an exam, you can access it from your dictionary. This lookup shortcut should save you time over parsing an entire list to find the student's grade.

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Take the first global open source maintainer survey

Tuesday 9th of March 2021 08:00:00 AM

Nadia Eghbal's 2016 Ford Foundation report on open source software infrastructure shed light on the problem of public code being built and maintained in large part by unpaid volunteers. Since then, the industry has been eager to understand how and why maintainers do this and what we can collectively do to support them better.

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Cast your Android device with a Raspberry Pi

Monday 8th of March 2021 08:02:00 AM

It's hard to stay away from the gadgets we use on a daily basis. In the hustle and bustle of modern life, I want to make sure I don't miss out on the important notifications from friends and family that pop up on my phone screen. I'm also busy and do not want to get lost in distractions, and picking up a phone and replying to messages tends to be distracting.

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6 open source tools for wedding planning

Monday 8th of March 2021 08:01:00 AM

If I were to say I had planned on writing this article a year or so ago, I would be wrong. So, I'll give you a small amount of backstory about how this came to be.

On March 21st, I will be "getting married." I put that in quotes because I got married in Las Vegas on March 21, 2019. But I'm getting married again because my mom, who told us to elope, decided she was wrong and wanted a real wedding. So here I am, planning a wedding.

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10 articles you should read right now by women in tech

Monday 8th of March 2021 08:00:00 AM

"Women in tech" is a label we use to describe humans who identify as women who are working in or playing with "tech," which is a broad term itself these days as it's all around us, touching almost everyone's life in a myriad of ways.

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Track your family calendar with a Raspberry Pi and a low-power display

Sunday 7th of March 2021 08:00:00 AM

Some families have a complex schedule: the kids have school and afterschool activities, you have important events you want to remember, everyone has multiple appointments, and so forth. While you can keep track of everything using your cellphone and an app, wouldn't it be better to have a large, low-power display at home to show your family's calendar? Meet the E Ink calendar!

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Manage containers on Raspberry Pi with this open source tool

Saturday 6th of March 2021 08:00:00 AM

Containers became widely popular because of Docker on Linux, but there are much earlier implementations, including the jail system on FreeBSD. A container is called a "jail" in FreeBSD terminology. The jail system was first released in FreeBSD 4.0 way back in 2000, and it has continuously improved since. While 20 years ago it was used mostly on large servers, now you can run it on your Raspberry Pi.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

  • Hans de Goede: Changing hidden/locked BIOS settings under Linux

    This all started with a Mele PCG09 before testing Linux on this I took a quick look under Windows and the device-manager there showed an exclamation mark next to a Realtek 8723BS bluetooth device, so BT did not work. Under Linux I quickly found out why, the device actually uses a Broadcom Wifi/BT chipset attached over SDIO/an UART for the Wifi resp. BT parts. The UART connected BT part was described in the ACPI tables with a HID (Hardware-ID) of "OBDA8723", not good. Now I could have easily fixed this with an extra initrd with DSDT-overrride but that did not feel right. There was an option in the BIOS which actually controls what HID gets advertised for the Wifi/BT named "WIFI" which was set to "RTL8723" which obviously is wrong, but that option was grayed out. So instead of going for the DSDT-override I really want to be able to change that BIOS option and set it to the right value. Some duckduckgo-ing found this blogpost on changing locked BIOS settings.

  • Test Day:2021-05-09 Kernel 5.12.2 on Fedora 34

    All logs report PASSED for each test done and uploaded as prompted at instruction page.

  • James Hunt: Can you handle an argument?

    This post explores some of the darker corners of command-line parsing that some may be unaware of. [...] No, I’m not questioning your debating skills, I’m referring to parsing command-lines! Parsing command-line option is something most programmers need to deal with at some point. Every language of note provides some sort of facility for handling command-line options. All a programmer needs to do is skim read the docs or grab the sample code, tweak to taste, et voila! But is it that simple? Do you really understand what is going on? I would suggest that most programmers really don’t think that much about it. Handling the parsing of command-line options is just something you bolt on to your codebase. And then you move onto the more interesting stuff. Yes, it really does tend to be that easy and everything just works… most of the time. Most? I hit an interesting issue recently which expanded in scope somewhat. It might raise an eyebrow for some or be a minor bomb-shell for others.

  • 10 Very Stupid Linux Commands [ Some Of Them Deadly ]

    If you are reading this page then you are like all of us a Linux fan, also you are using the command line every day and absolutely love Linux. But even in love and marriage there are things that make you just a little bit annoyed. Here in this article we are going to show you some of the most stupid Linux commands that a person can find.

China Is Launching A New Alternative To Google Summer of Code, Outreachy

The Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS) in cooperation with the Chinese openEuler Linux distribution have been working on their own project akin to Google Summer of Code and Outreachy for paying university-aged students to become involved in open-source software development. "Summer 2021" as the initiative is simply called or "Summer 2021 of Open Source Promotion Plan" is providing university-aged students around the world funding by the Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences to work on community open-source projects. It's just like Google Summer of Code but with offering different funding levels based upon the complexity of the project -- funding options are 12000 RMB, 9000 RMB, or 6000 RMB. That's roughly $932 to $1,865 USD for students to devote their summer to working on open-source. There are not any gender/nationality restrictions with this initative but students must be at least eighteen years old. Read more

Kernel: Linux 5.10 and Linux 5.13

  • Linux 5.10 LTS Will Be Maintained Through End Of Year 2026 - Phoronix

    Linux 5.10 as the latest Long Term Support release when announced was only going to be maintained until the end of 2022 but following enough companies stepping up to help with testing, Linux 5.10 LTS will now be maintained until the end of year 2026. Linux 5.10 LTS was originally just going to be maintained until the end of next year while prior kernels like Linux 5.4 LTS are being maintained until 2024 or even Linux 4.19 LTS and 4.14 LTS going into 2024. Linux 5.10 LTS was short to begin with due to the limited number of developers/organizations helping to test new point release candidates and/or committing resources to using this kernel LTS series. But now there are enough participants committing to it that Greg Kroah-Hartman confirmed he along with Sasha Levin will maintain the kernel through December 2026.

  • Oracle Continues Working On The Maple Tree For The Linux Kernel

    Oracle engineers have continued working on the "Maple Tree" data structure for the Linux kernel as an RCU-safe, range-based B-tree designed to make efficient use of modern processor caches. Sent out last year was the RFC patch series of Maple Tree for the Linux kernel to introduce this new data structure and make initial use of it. Sent out last week was the latest 94 patches in a post-RFC state for introducing this data structure.

  • Linux 5.13 Brings Simplified Retpolines Handling - Phoronix

    In addition to work like Linux 5.13 addressing some network overhead caused by Retpolines, this next kernel's return trampoline implementation itself is seeing a simplification. Merged as part of x86/core last week for the Linux 5.13 kernel were enabling PPIN support for Xeon Sapphire Rapids, KProbes improvements, and other minor changes plus simplifying the Retpolines implementation used by some CPUs as part of the Spectre V2 mitigations. The x86/core pull request for Linux 5.13 also re-sorts and better documents Intel's increasingly long list of different CPU cores/models.

  • Linux 5.13 Adds Support For SPI NOR One-Time Programmable Memory Regions - Phoronix

    The Linux 5.13 kernel has initial support for dealing with SPI one-time programmable (OTP) flash memory regions. Linux 5.13 adds the new MTD OTP functions for accessing SPI one-time programmable data. The OTP are memory regions intended to be programmed once and can be used for permanent secure identification, immutable properties, and similar purposes. In addition to adding the core infrastructure support for OTP to the MTD SPI-NOR code in Linux 5.13, the functionality is wired up for Winbond and similar flash memory chips. The MTD subsystem has already supported OTP areas but not for SPI-NOR flash memory.

Why I Think Flutter Doesn’t Deserve a Place on the Linux Desktop

When Google announced that they were bringing their Flutter UI Toolkit to Linux, there were a lot of mixed reactions. Some thought this would revolutionize desktop Linux, others thought it would increase reliance on Google. But with the amount of fragmentation between different Linux projects (especially when it comes to the UI), do we really want or need another UI Toolkit? Read more