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Devices: Adding Linux to A PDP-11, Adding GNU/Linux Software to Chrome OS, and Adding Ubuntu to Android

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Android
Linux
Google
  • Adding Linux To A PDP-11

    The UNIBUS architecture for DEC’s PDPs and Vaxxen was a stroke of genius. If you wanted more memory in your minicomputer, just add another card. Need a drive? Plug it into the backplane. Of course, with all those weird cards, these old UNIBUS PDPs are hard to keep running. The UniBone is the solution to this problem. It puts Linux on a UNIBUS bridge, allowing this card to serve as a memory emulator, a test console, a disk emulator, or any other hardware you can think of.

    The key to this build is the BeagleBone, everyone’s second-favorite single board computer that has one feature the other one doesn’t: PRUs, or a programmable real-time unit, that allows you to blink a lot of pins very, very fast. We’ve seen the BeagleBone be used as Linux in a terminal, as the rest of the computer for an old PDP-10 front panel and as the front end for a PDP-11/03.

  • Chrome OS Linux apps will soon be able to access your entire Downloads folder and Google Drive

    Google is working hard to turn Chrome OS into more than just a browser, but a real, functional operating system for consumers of all kinds. Most recently, they’ve invited developers to the platform with Linux app support that enables all of their tools, including Android Studio, to work as expected. Soon, your Chrome OS and Google Drive files will be even more accessible to your Linux apps.

    [...]

    According to a new commit on the Chromium Gerrit, that’s all about to change. The commit primarily pertains to a new dialog that will be shown when sharing ‘root’ folders like My Drive or Downloads with your Chrome OS Linux apps (internally known as Crostini) container. The dialog is intended to forewarn you that sharing a root folder is a bit more serious than just sharing a sub-folder, and to be sure you know what you’re doing.

  • Samsung Note 9 and Tab S4 owners can run a full Ubuntu Desktop – Linux on Dex

    We have come a long way as an industry and if this is not one of the biggest milestones in personal computing, I don’t know what else qualifies. Over the past decade of smartphones being around, we have seen an exponential increase in the power that our smartphones pack. I mean, flagships from the past few years spot more RAM and processing power than most laptops out there, but the small form factor has always been a hindrance to the utilization of this power. I mean you can only do so much on a 5.5-inch display.

    Samsung has launched its “Linux on Dex” app in beta and is inviting geeks and tinkerers to register and help test and develop it. The app lets owners of specific Samsung devices “run” a full Ubuntu desktop on their device alongside Android.

Mark Zuckerberg ordered all Facebook executives to use Android phones

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Android

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ordered his management team to only use Android phones, given that the operating system has more total users worldwide. According to The New York Times, the decision reportedly occurred after Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized Facebook in an MSNBC interview for being a service that traffics “in your personal life.”

In those comments made back in March, Cook dismissed a question asking him what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg’s shoes dealing with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal by saying, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.” Zuckerberg soon after retorted in an interview with Recode that he found Cook’s comments to be “extremely glib,” and that “I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me.”

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Variscite unveils its first i.MX8X module

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Android
Linux

Variscite’s “VAR-SOM-MX8X” COM runs Linux or Android on NXP’s up to quad -A35 core i.MX8X SoC with up to 4GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC, plus WiFi/BT, dual GbE controllers, and -40 to 85°C support.

Variscite has launched its first i.MX8X-based computer-on-module. The 67.6 x 51.6mm VAR-SOM-MX8X runs Yocto Project based Linux or Android on NXP’s dual- or quad-core Cortex-A35 based, 1.2GHz i.MX8X. The up to -40 to 85°C tolerant module is aimed at industrial automation and control, defense, medical, telematics, building control, failover displays/HMI, and robotics applications. The only other i.MX8X module we’ve seen is Phytec’s Linux-compatible, 55 x 40mm phyCORE-i.MX 8X module.

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