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Gadgets

Debian based PinePhone Mobian Edition Review. Spec, Price, and More.

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Linux
Debian
Gadgets

We take a detailed look at the PinePhone Mobian Edition and give you a perspective on the features, prices and comparisions.
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Devices: Xtra-PC, Arduino and Inventor Coding Kit

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Gadgets

  • Xtra-PC Reviews – Best Linux USB-Stick? - Product Review by Rick Finn

    The Xtra-PC Linux USB-Stick might be your solution if you have problems with your old and slow PC. It's a small flash drive stick and it's using Linux OS to boost you PC's operations. Check out now.

  • Arduino Blog » Old keyboard turned into a new children’s learning toy

    Peter Turczak’s toddler son loves “technical stuff,” especially things like keyboards and computers that adults use. After discussing this with other likeminded technical parents, the idea of giving new life to an old (PS/2 or AT) keyboard as a teaching tool was hatched.

  • SiFive Helping To Teach Kids Programming With RISC-V HiFive Inventor Coding Kit

    SiFive in cooperation with Tynker and BBC Learning have launched a Doctor Who themed HiFive Inventor Coding Kit. This Initial HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is intended to help kids as young as seven years of age get involved with computer programming through a variety of fun exercises and challenges involving the RISC-V powered mini computer and related peripherals like LED lighting and speaker control.

    [...]

    So for those looking to get their kids involved with computer programming and looking for an IoT-type device with some fun sensors and various themed exercises to get them experimenting, the HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is worth looking into further. More details on the programming platform can be found via Tynker.com and on the hardware at HiFiveInventor.com. The HiFive Inventor Kit is available from Amazon.com and other Internet retailers for $75 USD.

Rotary Un-Smartphone is a rotary dial phone based on Arduino, 4G LTE module

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Gadgets

If you feel nostalgic and misses the days of the rotary dial phone, Sky’s Edge “Rotary Un-Smartphone” is an open-source hardware rotary dial phone controlled by an Arduino board and equipped with a multi-mode 4G/3G/2G module.

It’s a bit more advanced that you old rotary phone with recent cellular technology, ePaper & OLED displays, quick dialing buttons, and the rotary dial can both be used to dial full phone number or quickly access your contact list.

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Also: 42Gears SureMDM Simplifies Setting up Kiosk Mode on Linux Devices

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 - Windows and Linux experience a week later

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Gadgets

Here we are. My initial satisfaction with the laptop's default offering has gone down some. I am quite disappointed with how Microsoft chooses to promote Windows 10. Yes, it rules the desktop market, so it can do pretty much what it pleases, but this is a long game. And in the long game, they are not winning themselves any loyalty. If Linux ever achieves functionality parity, off I go. The same goes for Lenovo. I don't mind a vendor offering its tools and solutions. That's fine. But if I choose to have those tools removed, then there are no two ways about it. I'm most likely not going to buy any Lenovo machine again, because I don't appreciate being treated like a potato.

In this regard, Linux does a much friendlier job - to be let down by random erraticism. I'm talking about the sound config I had to handle, plus the VLC quirk. And let's not forget Secure Boot - even though it does not affect my two installed distros at the moment. Hardware wise, the keyboard quirks are quite annoying, and the screen can do only so much. Other than that, the laptop is robust and neat, fast, and the CPU fans don't rev too much. The battery life is pretty good, but I need more data to verify if the original numbers hold true.

Well, there you go. This is my satisfaction report a week into the laptop's usage. I am certain there will be more lovely surprises, twists and turns along the way, but then, part of the experience is figuring out issues early. This way, if and when I deploy software in my production setup, I will have all the right workarounds in place, and my seven-digit IQ will not be affected. Stay tuned for more good stuff. See ya.

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Crowdfunding Astro Slide 5G smartphone ships in June, has a physical keyboard, and promises Linux support

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Gadgets

The Astro Slide is a 5G smartphone with a 6.5 inch display and a physical keyboard that slides out from behind the screen, allowing you to use the phone like a tiny laptop computer. It will ship with Android, but the plan is to also make GNU/Linux distributions including Debian and Ubuntu Touch available for download.

First announced by Planet Computers in March, 2020, the phone went up for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $1.6 million in hopes of shipping the Astro Slide to customers by March, 2021.

Now the makers of the phone are providing an update – because of pandemic-related delays it will likely ship in June instead. And the specs have changed (the phone has more RAM than initially planned, but a less powerful processor and smaller battery).

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Open Hardware: Librem 5 Update and SQFMI

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Hardware
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Update: Shipping Estimates and CPU Supply Chain

    It’s been a busy holiday and New Year’s season at Purism as we continue to ship out Librem 5s to backers each week. We know for those who haven’t received their Librem 5 yet, what they most want to know is when their Librem 5 will arrive. In summary, we will be providing shipping estimates within the next week to the backers within the original crowdfunding campaign (orders through October 2017), but not all backers yet, based on our confidence in the estimates. The rest of this post will explain what is going into our shipping estimates, and why we can’t yet provide shipping estimates to every backer.

  • Purism and Linux 5.9 and Linux 5.10

    Following up on our report for Linux 5.8 this summarizes the progress on mainline support for the Librem 5 phone and its development kit during the 5.9 and 5.10 development cycles.

    Librem 5 updates

    One of the most notable additions is a first devicetree description for the phone. This is important to have upstream since it describes how the hardware is wired up. Without that, it’s impossible to boot a mainline kernel. We added descriptions for the various phone revisions themselves (up to the Dogwood board) and also for the MIPI DSI controller of the imx8mq SoC. From this point on, we’ll incrementally add the missing pieces, for example from the display stack, just like we’ve done for the devkit back in Linux 5.2.

  • Hack together your own e-paper smartwatch with this $50 open-source kit

    The battery life SQFMI estimates depends on your use case — it says if you’re just keeping time you should get five to seven days, but if you’re fetching data frequently you may only see two to three. Its open-source nature, however, means that you could always fit a larger battery into it, or try and make some software optimizations if there are features you’re willing to cut.

The Pyra Handheld Linux PC is Shipping

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Gaming
Gadgets

The Dragonbox Pyra is finally shipping! This small handheld Linux PC (that can be used for just about anything, including gaming) has been in the works for 7 years or more. It was designed to be the successor of the Open Pandora (an excellent device that predates smartphones) which led to numerous innovations in the ARM space (the creator of Box86, for example, comes from the Open Pandora community).

The DragonBox Pyra has had a difficult development process, with numerous hardware (and mold) related issues during its design. It was kind of supposed to be ready to come out a few years ago, but every time you’d think “hey, it’s just 2 months away now!” it would be delayed again and again – for yet completely valid reasons. Why do I say valid reasons? Well, EvilDragon (Michael Mozrek) who leads the project, is a very transparent kind of guy and details every issue and every potential solution along the way with the community. It’s probably one of the most open projects in that sense – nothing was ever hidden from the public.

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Can a Linux phone replace my iPhone or Android device?

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

At the same time, there a growing number of Linux distributions designed to run on smartphones. There are currently at least 17 different software releases available for the PinePhone, for example. Some of these operating systems are designed for a specific device (like the PinePhone), while others, like Ubuntu Touch or postmarketOS can also replace Android on many existing smartphones from Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, Xiaomi, FairPhone, and others.

But as of mid-January, 2021 most Linux distributions for smartphones are very much a work in progress. Some features may not work. You may not be able to run the apps you’re used to using with other operating systems. And some of the best phones designed to run Linux are very much aimed at open source enthusiasts rather than the general public.

The rapid progress of Linux smartphone software development has been fascinating to watch, and Linux phones can be a lot of fun to tinker with, which is why I started this website to focus on this new and exciting space in the smartphone market.

But should you buy a Linux phone to replace your iPhone or Android phone? Maybe. But for most people, the answer is probably not. Or at least not yet.

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There’s a new Manjaro ARM Lomiri dev build for the PinePhone

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Gadgets

Manjaro is one of the most popular desktop Linux operating systems, and it’s increasingly becoming one of the most versatile GNU/Linux distributions for smartphones as well.

The PinePhone Manjaro Community Edition smartphone that shipped a few months ago came with Manjaro ARM software featuring the phosh user interface pre-installed. The PinePhone KDE Community Edition phone that will begin shipping this month comes with Manjaro featuring the KDE Plasma Mobile UI.

And the Manjaro ARM team is also developing a branch of the operating system featuring the Lomiri user interface borrowed from the UBPorts/Ubuntu Touch team. Now there’s a new developer build of Manjaro ARM with Lomiri available for testing.

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Open Hardware/Modding Leftovers

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets

  • App Spotlight: Sound Recorder

    With the brunt of the setup automatically handled by PureOS, you can set up the basics from within the app menu.

  • Over:Board carrier board brings Raspberry Pi 4 to Mini-ITX form factor (Crowdfunding)

    While the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC is popular for its small form factor, affordable hardware, and good software support, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 offers more flexibility and allows makers and companies to design their own hardware matching their requirements, while still leveraging the existing software support.

  • Industrial-grade 3D Vision Camera features Rockchip RK3399 SoC, Intel RealSense Technology

    The fanless camera also comes with a thread for tripod mounting. For some reason, the camera is said to be running the older Ubuntu 16.04 OS, and clients can view the video stream/access from Windows 10 or Ubuntu 16.04. But after asking a representative from Vecow, we were told “Everything can be done through the web browser”. So I suppose most desktop web browsers should work, and since the camera also supports RealSense SDK 2.0, it will be possible to design any custom applications for the target use case. The company also says the camera support edge computing, so that means on-camera AI inference, but since there’s no AI accelerator, that would be done by the Rockchip SoC’s CPU and/or GPU.

  • Maypole MicroSD card reader comes with ESP32 for WiFi, smart storage (Crowdfunding)

    Several years ago, we covered Zsun WiFi card reader a tiny USB card reader with WiFi and a battery that allowed users to access files via USB or WiFi from any device. People managed to hack the device and run OpenWrt on the little MicroSD card reader, but this required either to open the hardware and do some soldering, or use another method that could potentially brick the hardware, so not an ideal solution.

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More in Tux Machines

Launching Endless OS Foundation

On the 1st of April 2020, our for-profit Endless Mobile officially became a nonprofit as the Endless OS Foundation. Our launch as a nonprofit just as the global pandemic took hold was, predictably, hardly noticed, but for us the timing was incredible: as the world collectively asked “What can we do to help others in need?”, we framed our mission statement and launched our .org with the same very important question in mind. Endless always had a social impact mission at its heart, and the challenges related to students, families, and communities falling further into the digital divide during COVID-19 brought new urgency and purpose to our team’s decision to officially step in the social welfare space. Read more

today's howtos

  • Learn IP Command to Manage Networking on Linux

    IP (Internet Protocol) command is used to manage, view network configuration on a Linux system. The command ‘IP’ and its uses are same in all the Linux family – Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu,Red Hat, CentOS and Arch Linux etc. It is the command-line utility that is part of iproute2 package installed in kernel.

  • How to Install Kubernetes with Minikube on Ubuntu 20.04

    Minikube is an open-source tool that helps you to set up a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your local machine. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Minikube on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

  • How to Remove Files with Specific Extension in Linux

    To remove files with a specific extension, we use the ‘rm‘ (Remove) command, which is a basic command-line utility for removing system files, directories, symbolic links, device nodes, pipes, and sockets in Linux.

  • How to install Flatpak applications from Flathub - PragmaticLinux

    Ever wanted to install a desktop application on your Linux PC, but your distribution’s package manager didn’t offer it? With a bit of luck you can find the desktop application on Flathub. Flathub offers an ever growing catalog of Linux desktop applications in the Flatpak format. This article teaches you all the ins-and-outs you need to know, to install desktop applications as a Flatpak from the Flathub online repository. [...] You can think of a Flatpak as a modern packaging and deployment method for Linux desktop applications. An application installed as a Flatpak runs in a sandbox environment, isolated from the rest of the Linux system. Flathub is an online repository that hosts Flatpak applications.

  • How to browse Google search on Linux command terminal - Linux Shout

    Although it is very uncommon that nowadays when people have smartphones in their hands, they would like to surf the internet using the text-based browser on a Linux terminal. However, in case you are on a CLI server or SSH and don’t have mobile access, then using the Command terminal to browser the internet or Google search engine will be a good idea. Well, Text attributes, images, and animations are simply not displayed in text browsers.

  • Configure a Linux workspace remotely from the command line | Opensource.com

    One of the things I appreciate about Linux versus proprietary operating systems is that almost everything can be managed and configured from the command line. That means that nearly everything can be configured locally or even remotely via an SSH login connection. Sometimes it takes a bit of time spent on Internet searches, but if you can think of a task, it can probably be done from the command line.

  • Five ways to use redirect operators in bash | Enable Sysadmin

    Redirect operators are a basic but essential part of working at the bash command line. See how to safely redirect input and output to make your Linux sysadmin life easier.

  • Convert your filesystem to Btrfs - Fedora Magazine

    The purpose of this article is to give you an overview about why, and how to migrate your current partitions to a Btrfs filesystem. To read a step-by-step walk through of how this is accomplished – follow along, if you’re curious about doing this yourself. Starting with Fedora 33, the default filesystem is now Btrfs for new installations. I’m pretty sure that most users have heard about its advantages by now: copy-on-write, built-in checksums, flexible compression options, easy snapshotting and rollback methods. It’s really a modern filesystem that brings new features to desktop storage. Updating to Fedora 33, I wanted to take advantage of Btrfs, but personally didn’t want to reinstall the whole system for ‘just a filesystem change’. I found [there was] little guidance on how exactly to do it, so decided to share my detailed experience here. [...] I really hope that you have found this guide to be useful, and was able to make a careful and educated decision about whether or not to convert to Btrfs on your system. I wish you a successful conversion process!

  • Gitlab runners with nspawn

    This is a first post in a series about trying to setup a gitlab runner based on systemd-nspawn.

  • Polishing nspawn-runner

    gitlab-runner supports adding extra arguments to the custom scripts, and I can take advantage of that to pack all the various scripts that I prototyped so far into an all-in-one nspawn-runner command...

  • Assembling the custom runner
  • Exploring nspawn for CIs

    Here I try to figure out possible ways of invoking nspawn for the prepare, run, and cleanup steps of gitlab custom runners. The results might be useful invocations beyond Gitlab's scope of application.

  • How to Install Signal Desktop on Linux

    Signal is published by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. These two not-for-profit organizations—based in Mountain View, California—were founded by Matthew Rosenfeld (aka ‘Moxie Marlinspike’) and Brian Acton. Together they continue the work started at Open Whisper Systems, one of Rosenfeld’s earlier start-ups. The Signal application is free and open source. Anyone can review the source code. The source code for the Signal Messenging Protocol (SMP) was reviewed by a joint team from the German CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, the Swiss ETH Zurich University, Cisco, and the Canadian University of Waterloo. They declared the code clean, the motives pure, and the encryption rock-solid. Signal is definitely secure.

  • How To Find Hostname In Linux - OSTechNix

    A Hostname is an unique alphanumeric label assigned to a Linux system in order to identify it on the network. It can also contain a few special characters such as hyphen (-), period (.), and underscore (_). A typical hostname consists of up to 253 characters. Generally, the hostname is stored in /etc/hostname file in most Linux distributions. In this brief guide, we will learn about various commands to find hostname in Linux operating systems.

  • How to Setup Nginx with Let's Encrypt on Ubuntu 20.04

    To enable secure communication (i.e. HTTPS) on your NGINX web server, you need to obtain an SSL/TLS certificate from a trusted certificate authority. Let's Encrypt is a not-for-profit certificate authority that offers free SSL/TLS certificates. This tutorial describes how to setup a free SSL/TLS certificate issued by Let's Encrypt on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Server running Nginx.

  • How to merge snapshots in VirtualBox & save disk space

    One of the cool things about VirtualBox is that it lets you create snapshots of your virtual machines. You work, you save a state, you make changes, and then you conveniently revert back to the saved state. You can branch any way you like, create snapshots with the virtual machines running or stopped, and the functionality provides you with a lot of flexibility - and determinism - as you can consistently re-test known system states over and over. The uncool thing about snapshots is that they take quite a bit of space. I noticed that one of my virtual machines, with an expected footprint of only about 11 GB was actually taking 46 GB of disk space. And as you can imagine, there were snapshots - a total of seven different saved machine states. This ain't bad, but what if you no longer need the snapshots and want to compact them, i.e. flatten them, i.e. merge everything down and trim down on disk usage? Let's explore this further.

  • How To Install qBittorrent on Linux Mint 20 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install qBittorrent on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, qBittorrent is an open-source BitTorrent client that aims to be able to provide a free application alternative to μTorrent, designed for Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and FreeBSD. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of qBittorrent open-source BitTorrent client on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

  • How to Install Kubernetes with Minikube on Ubuntu 20.04

    Minikube is an open-source tool that helps you to set up a single-node Kubernetes cluster on your local machine. It makes it easy to run a single node Kubernetes cluster on your personal computer for daily development work. It is cross-platform and can be installed on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

  • How to make a star with LibreOffice - LibreOffice Design Team

    Some time ago we asked the people how they use LibreOffice Draw. And while the expectation was that this module receives only low appreciation the opposite is true. LibreOffice Draw is used to create block diagrams for BPMN processes, mindmaps or technical drawings, to build complex vector drawing for network topology, electrical circuits, floor plans or UI mockups, as a desktop publishing tool to design posters, flyers, business cards, and as a tools to load PDFs for editing. Learn more in part 1 and part 2 of the results.

  • Install KeePassXC 2.6.3 In Ubuntu / Linux Mint | Tips On UNIX

    This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install KeePassXC 2.6.3 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 18.04, and Linux Mint 20.1. KeePassXC is an application with extremely high demands on secure personal data management. It is a lightweight application and cross-platform also.

IPFire is Open Source software, and it going to be Open Source for forever

I feel that this is a pledge that needs repeating since many projects have recently turned their backs at Open Source software. Here is a quick ready why this is very dangerous to the future of the internet. I am seriously concerned about the future of the Open Source eco system. Times are tough. The world is battling a pandemic and many companies are in trouble. Some have already shut down, others are close to that and that is a very bad thing in its own right. Low confidence in business causes that people might be more likely to be made redundant and obviously having a little bit of money on the side would help you sleeping better in the night. But if that money would come from software that you have been developing as a hobby or slightly more than that, I can only tell you: Do not be greedy. Read more

GNOME, VLC, Zypper update in Tumbleweed

Five openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released this week. The snapshots updated the GNOME desktop, GStreamer, VLC and a couple text editors. An update of bash 5.1.4 arrived in the latest snapshot 20210120. A few patches were added to the bash version, which is the latest release candidate. The 2.83 version of dnsmasq took care of five Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures; one of the fixes handles multiple identical near simultaneous DNS queries better and another CVE replaced the slightly lesser SHA-1 hash with the SHA-256 hash function, which verifies the DNS answers received are for the questions originally asked. GStreamer 1.18.3 fixed a memory leak and added support for the Apple M1, which made news yesterday as being able to run Linux. Several other GStreamer plugins were updated. Video player VLC updated for version 3.0.12 and added new Reliable Internet Stream Transport access output module compliant with a simple profile. About a dozen more packages were updated in the snapshot including ncurses , openldap2 2.4.57, and perl-Mojolicious 8.71. Read more