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Gadgets

Librem 5 Updates and Interviews

Filed under
Interviews
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 December 2019 Software Update

    Although we’re well into 2020, the changelog-style software progress reports for the turn of the year have yet to be published. Let’s fix that by giving a brief update of what happened in December.

    Some of the activities below were already mentioned in their own articles in Purism’s news archive; others will be covered in more depth in future articles. This is just a taste of all the work that goes into making the Librem 5 software stack. You can follow development more closely at source.puri.sm.

  • An Interview with fphemeral: Community Member & Librem 5 Early Adopter

    I recently had the pleasure of chatting with fphemeral, a longtime Purism community member, Librem 13 user and Librem 5 early-adopter. What stood out about fphemeral’s story was how big of role community and the the flexibility of our products played on his journey to improved privacy. Like many of our passionate community members, fphemeral is also developing a range of useful apps for his Librem 5 and sharing them with the community. Here’s the full conversation we recently had on Librem Chat.

'Open-source' Rotary Cellphone

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets

  • You can now own a mobile phone with a rotary dial — if that’s really something you want

    While some would be quite literally lost without theirs, smartphones that give us access to a world of information in our pocket but constantly ask to be pulled out of there and stared at have become so complicated many people now find them annoying.
    This has triggered the rise of “dumbphones”, which look like the mobile phones of the past while still having some modern technologies.
    These devices range from the quite cheap to the weirdly expensive.
    Some customers opt for these phones to disconnect from the always online world – while others merely want to be seen to be doing so.
    But if you’re looking for the ultimate disconnected phone, one tinkerer has the perfect device.
    Justine Haupt is an associate scientist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.
    She’s also the creator of the open source Rotary Cellphone, a mobile phone with a tactile spinning dial like the kind that was common on house phones until around the 1980s.

  • Rotary Cellphone
  • Open-source rotary cellphone

    Justine Haupt made this handsome and completely functional rotary cellphone. Her design is open-source and you can even buy a case kit from her company, Sky's Edge Robotics. You have to find and carefully modify your own rotary dial, though -- they're apparently no longer made -- as well as a few other components.

Librem 5: Full Screen, Power and New Recruit

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

  • Better Fullscreen App Support on the Librem 5

    The phone’s shell is responsible for how apps are displayed. Even the smallest improvement to how apps render can have a positive impact on all Librem 5 applications – enabling more of the rich application ecosystem in PureOS to work better on mobile.

    [...]

    The UI is still accessible whenever it’s needed, but it’s now smart enough to know when to get out of the way.

    For non-convergent desktop apps you can employ UI scaling, which will allow you to run most FOSS apps on the Librem 5 in non-docked mode.

  • Librem 5 Power Management Improvements up to Jan 2020

    Power-management improvements continue to find their way into PureOS. We still have a ways to go before the battery can make it through a day, but progress is steady. Let’s go over a few of the latest changes.

  • Julian Sparber: Joining Purism

    This announcement is long overdue, but better late than never Smile

    About 6 months ago I joined Purism, where I’m working on the Librem 5 phone. I’m in good company, since there are already a number of other fellow GNOME friends on the Librem 5 team, including Adrien Plazas, Tobias Bernard, and Mohammed Sadiq.

Devices: Librem 5, USB, SB Servo, and Raspberry Pi/OSMC

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Gyro and Ambient Light Sensor Progress

    The software stack around sensors is coming together piece by piece. It will take longer for features like auto-rotate to start working, but the raw data is there and ready to be used by PureOS and software developers.

  • USB armory Mk II: A secure computer on a USB stick featuring open source hardware design

    The hardware security professionals at F-Secure have created a new version of the USB armory – a computer on a USB stick built from the ground up to be secure.

  • SB Servo is a powerful open source digital serial servo motor

    SB Servo motors have been created to offer affordable, powerful and open-source digital servo motors with Torque, Speed, Position Feedback and full 360-degree rotation mode. Early bird pricing starts from £10 and deliveries are expected to start next month during March 2020.

  • OSMC Skin update

    While we usually release a single monthly update, we've made a number of improvements to the OSMC skin and would like to get these changes out as promptly as possible for feedback.

    [...]

    To get the latest and greatest version of OSMC, simply head to My OSMC -> Updater and check for updates manually on your exising OSMC set up. Of course — if you have updates scheduled automatically you should receive an update notification shortly.

    If you enjoy OSMC, please follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and consider making a donation if you would like to support further development.

    You may also wish to check out our Store, which offers a wide variety of high quality products which will help you get the best of OSMC.

Why the $150 PinePhone is not ready to replace my Android device

Filed under
Gadgets

The PinePhone--mention that device to any Linux and open source enthusiast, and you'll see their face light up with possibility. Mention that same device to anyone outside that realm, and you'd be lucky to get a shrug.

For those who don't know, PINE64 has been working on an open source smartphone that can run nearly any flavor of Linux. But this isn't just vaporware or a pipe dream--units have begun to ship. The units are called the BraveHeart edition, and they are something special.

But special isn't always a good thing.

Let me explain.

[...]

In order for the PinePhone to succeed, it'll have to chip away at a very challenging market, which includes the Android OS with nearly 90% global market share. That's a daunting task and to attempt that by selling devices without an operating system is a mistake.

Why? The platform is the thing.

Hardware is nothing without a platform. Android devices would be worthless to the community at large without Android. Apple phones wouldn't be nothing but chips and screens without iOS. The PinePhone is nothing but a pet project without Linux.

I realize what PINE64 is trying to do--or at least I think I do. The company is releasing the hardware with the hopes that all distributions will pick them up and start developing for them, such that every Linux distribution will offer a flashable image for the device. Why? So, in the end, it can sell devices to consumers that most Linux distributions will work on.

Read more

Here’s Ubuntu Touch Running on the PinePhone

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

UBports’ Marius Gripsgård has shared today on YouTube a more in depth overview of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the PinePhone Linux phone.

The PinePine is already shipping to customers who pre-ordered the BraveHeart edition, but the new Linux phone doesn’t ship with an operating system pre-installed. Several options are available though, including Ubuntu Touch and Plasma Mobile.

Its makers, PINE64, are currently waiting for a Linux mobile OS vendor to port their operating system to the PinePhone before shipping the second edition in spring 2020, and I really hope that Ubuntu Touch will be the first option they choose.

Read more

Setting the Record Straight: PinePhone Misconceptions

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The misconception concerns the openness of the PinePhone. On numerous occasions I’ve seen the PinePhone being refereed to as closed-source on one level or another. I don’t know the origin of this misconception nor do I understand the reason why it has become propagated throughout the internet. What I do know, however, is that it has been repeatedly quoted in online articles covering the PinePhone or other Linux devices for over a year now.

So let’s set the record straight: the PinePhone is not ‘full of closed-source firmware’ and, moreover, is one of the most open devices out there.

Read more

Also: announcing arduino-copilot

Easy Librem 5 App Development: Flashlight

Filed under
Development
Gadgets
HowTos

In my first post on easy application development on the Librem 5 I discussed how to turn a simple shell script that takes a screenshot into a full graphical app with only a few extra lines of code. In this post I will follow up with an even simpler application that took about twenty minutes to write with much of that time involved in reading documentation.

My Bright Idea

The interesting thing about smart phones is how many other devices they have replaced beyond a regular phone. For instance, there used to be a market for small, pocket-sized digital cameras, but now many people just use the cameras on their smart phones. While some people still do keep a pocket flashlight with them, many people just use the light on their smart phone.

I realized that a flashlight app would be another great way to showcase just how easy it is to develop applications for the Librem 5. As applications go the requirements are pretty simple: you need a button to turn on the light, a button to turn off the light, and a button to close the app.

Read more

MIG and Astra Linux start selling new, secure tablet with Russian operating system

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Gadgets

Russian companies Mobile Inform Group (MIG) and Astra Linux have started selling the new MIG T10 x86 tablet powered by the Astra Linux OS, an operating system of domestic origin, reports Cnews.ru. The device is resistant to a wide range of temperatures.

The device corresponds to all the security standards of the Russian security services and the military. It is powered by the tetra-core Intel Appololake N3450 2.2 GHz processor and has a 11,700 mAh battery. The price of the tablet with the pre-installed Astra Linux OS starts from RUB 105,118.

Read more

Syncthing: Open Source P2P File Syncing Tool

Filed under
Software
Gadgets

Syncthing is an open-source peer-to-peer file synchronization tool that you can use for syncing files between multiple devices (including an Android phone).

Usually, we have a cloud sync solution like MEGA or Dropbox to have a backup of our files on the cloud while making it easier to share it.

But, what do you do if you want to sync your files across multiple devices without storing them on the cloud?

That is where Syncthing comes to the rescue.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Qt 5.15 Beta1 Released

I am happy to announce to you Qt 5.15 is moved to Beta phase and we have released Qt 5.15 Beta1 today. As earlier our plan is to publish new Beta N releases regularly until Qt 5.15 is ready for RC. Current estimate for Qt 5.15 RC is ~ end of April, see details from Qt 5.15 releasing wiki. Please take a tour now & test Beta1 packages. As usual you can get Qt 5.15 Beta1 by using Qt online installer (for new installations) or by using maintenance tool from your existing Qt online installation. Separate Beta1 source packages are also available in qt account and in download.qt.io Read more

Fedora’s gaggle of desktops

There are 38 different desktops or window managers in Fedora 31. You could try a different one every day for a month, and still have some left over. Some have very few features. Some have so many features they are called a desktop environment. This article can’t go into detail on each, but it’s interesting to see the whole list in one place. To be on this list, the desktop must show up on the desktop manager’s selection list. If the desktop has more than one entry in the desktop manager list, they are counted just as that one desktop. An example is “GNOME”, “GNOME Classic” and “GNOME (Wayland).” These all show up on the desktop manager list, but they are still just GNOME. Read more

Programming: 'DevOps', Caddyfile, GCC 8.4 RC and Forth

  • A beginner's guide to everything DevOps

    While there is no single definition, I consider DevOps to be a process framework that ensures collaboration between development and operations teams to deploy code to production environments faster in a repeatable and automated way. We will spend the rest of this article unpacking that statement. The word "DevOps" is an amalgamation of the words "development" and "operations." DevOps helps increase the speed of delivering applications and services. It allows organizations to serve their customers efficiently and become more competitive in the market. In simple terms, DevOps is an alignment between development and IT operations with better communication and collaboration. DevOps assumes a culture where collaboration among the development, operations, and business teams is considered a critical aspect of the journey. It's not solely about the tools, as DevOps in an organization creates continuous value for customers. Tools are one of its pillars, alongside people and processes. DevOps increases organizations' capability to deliver high-quality solutions at a swift pace. It automates all processes, from build to deployment, of an application or a product.

  • How to solve the DevOps vs. ITSM culture clash

    Since its advent, DevOps has been pitted against IT service management (ITSM) and its ITIL framework. Some say "ITIL is under siege," some ask you to choose sides, while others frame them as complementary. What is true is that both DevOps and ITSM have fans and detractors, and each method can influence software delivery and overall corporate culture.

  • JFrog Launches JFrog Multi-Cloud Universal DevOps Platform

    DevOps technology company JFrog has announced its new hybrid, multi-cloud, universal DevOps platform called the JFrog Platform that drives continuous software releases from any source to any destination. By delivering tools in an all-in-one solution, the JFrog Platform aims to empower organizations, developers and DevOps engineers to meet increased delivery requirements. For the uninitiated, JFrog is the creator of Artifactory, the heart of the Universal DevOps platform for automating, managing, securing, distributing, and monitoring all types of technologies.

  • New Caddyfile and more

    The new Caddyfile enables experimental HTTP3 support. Also I’ve added a few redirects to my new domain. All www prefix requests get redirected to their version without www prefix. My old domain nullday.de redirects now to my new domain shibumi.dev. Also I had to add connect-src 'self' to my CSP, because Google Lighthouse seems to have problems with defalt-src 'none'. If just default-src 'none' is being set, Google Lighthouse can’t access your robot.txt. This seems to be an issue in the Google Lighthouse implementation, the Google Search Bot is not affected.

  • Content Addressed Vocabulary

    How can systems communicate and share meaning? Communication within systems is preceded by a form of meta-communication; we must have a sense that we mean the same things by the terms we use before we can even use them. This is challenging enough for humans who must share meaning, but we can resolve ambiguities with context clues from a surrounding narrative. Machines, in general, need a context more explicitly laid out for them, with as little ambiguity as possible. Standards authors of open-world systems have long struggled with such systems and have come up with some reasonable systems; unfortunately these also suffer from several pitfalls. With minimal (or sometimes none at all) adjustment to our tooling, I propose a change in how we manage ontologies.

  • GCC 8.4 Release Candidate available from gcc.gnu.org
    The first release candidate for GCC 8.4 is available from
    
     https://gcc.gnu.org/pub/gcc/snapshots/8.4.0-RC-20200226/
     ftp://gcc.gnu.org/pub/gcc/snapshots/8.4.0-RC-20200226/
    
    and shortly its mirrors.  It has been generated from git commit
    r8-10091-gf80c40f93f9e8781b14f1a8301467f117fd24051.
    
    I have so far bootstrapped and tested the release candidate on
    x86_64-linux and i686-linux.  Please test it and report any issues to
    bugzilla.
    
    If all goes well, I'd like to release 8.4 on Wednesday, March 4th.
    
  • GCC 8.4 RC Compiler Released For Testing

    GCC 8.4 will hopefully be released next week but for now a release candidate is available for testing the latest bug fixes in the mature GCC8 series. GCC 8.4 is aiming for release next week as potentially the last of the GCC8 series while GCC 9.3 is also coming soon. GCC 8.4 represents all of the relevant bug fixes over the past year for back-porting to users still on GCC 8. GCC 10 (in the form of version GCC 10.1) meanwhile as the next feature release should be out in the next month or two.

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Forth

    Forth is an imperative stack-based programming language, and a member of the class of extensible interactive languages. It was created by Charles Moore in 1970 to control telescopes in observatories using small computers. Because of its roots, Forth stresses efficiency, compactness, flexible and efficient hardware/software interaction. Forth has a number of properties that contrast it from many other programming languages. In particular, Forth has no inherent keywords and is extensible. It is both a low level and high level language. It has the interesting property of being able to compile itself into a new compiler, debug itself and to experiment in real time as the system is built. Forth is an extremely flexible language, with high portability, compact source and object code, and a language that is easy to learn, program and debug. It has an incremental compiler, an interpreter and a very fast edit-compile-test cycle. Forth uses a stack to pass data between words, and it uses the raw memory for more permanent storage. It also lets coders write their own control structures. Forth has often being deployed in embedded systems due to the compactness of object code. Forth is also used in boot loaders such as Open Firmware (developed by Sun Microsystems) as well as scientific fields such as astronomy, mathematics, oceanography and electrical engineering.

Python Programming

  • Adding Metadata to PDFs

    For both Django Crash Course and the forthcoming Two Scoops of Django 3.x, we're using a new process to render the PDFs. Unfortunately, until just a few days ago that process didn't include the cover. Instead, covers were inserted manually using Adobe Acrobat. [...] The lesson I learned writing this little utility is that as useful as Google and Stack Overflow might be, sometimes you need to explore reference manuals. Which, if you ask me, is a lot of fun. :-)

  • A Week At A Time - Building SaaS #46

    In this episode, we worked on a weekly view for the Django app. We made navigation that would let users click from one week to the next, then fixed up the view to pull time from that particular week. The first thing that I did was focus on the UI required to navigate to a new weekly view in the app. We mocked out the UI and talked briefly about the flexbox layout that is available to modern browsers. From the UI mock up, I changed the view code to include a previous_week_date and next_week_date in the view context so we could change the links to show real dates. From there, we needed a destination URL. I create a new path in the URLconf that connected the weekly URL to the existing app view that shows the week data. After wiring things together, I was able to extract the week date from the URL and make the view pull from the specified day and show that in the UI. Finally, we chatted about the tricky offset calculation that needs to happen to pull the right course tasks, but I ended the stream at that stage because the logic changes for that problem are tedious and very specific to my particular app.

  • Python 3.6.9 : Google give a new tool for python users.

    Today I discovered a real surprise gift made by the team from Google for the evolution of programmers. I say this because not everyone can afford hardware resources.

  • Learn Python Dictionary Data Structure – Part 3

    In this Part 3 of Python Data Structure series, we will be discussing what is a dictionary, how it differs from other data structure in python, how to create, delete dictionary objects and methods of dictionary objects.