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Hardware

Jetson TX2, Gemini Lake, and Kaby Lake based mini-PCs run Linux

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Hardware

Cirrus7 unveiled an “AI-Box TX2” mini-PC with a Jetson TX2 module and -20 to 70°C support. The company also offers four, similarly Linux-friendly Kaby Lake-based mini-PCs and a new Gemini Lake model.

Cirrus7 is a German manufacturer of Intel Core based mini-PCs that are available barebone or with pre-installed Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Windows. Now the company has stepped into the Arm world with a mini-PC based on Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 module.

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Kickstarting the Makerphone: an open-source hardware phone kit, programmable with python and Scratch

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Hardware
OSS

Circuitmess's fully funded Makerphone kickstarter is raising money to produce open source hardware smartphone kits to teach kids (and grownups) everything from soldering to programming.

The Makerphone is a pretty sweet-looking gadget, and it comes ready to be programmed with Scratch and python, providing a good progression from a fully graphic programming environment to a command-line language that's still beginner-friendly.

$94 gets you a kit and the tools to assemble it; $99 gets you an assembled phone. The project's runners have previously delivered on kickstarted open source hardware kits, which bodes well for getting something for your money.

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Hacker friendly LapPi laptop kit runs on Raspberry Pi 3B+

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

SB Components is Kickstartering a Raspberry Pi based “LapPi” laptop kit with 7- or 5-inch screens, keyboard, camera, speakers, and 3800mAh battery, starting at $220 with an RPi 3B+ or $178 without.

SB Components has successfully funded its DIY LapPi kit on Kickstarter, and packages are available through Nov. 10 with December delivery. The company is known for its PiTalk smartphone and other Raspberry Pi add-on kits, which are available as options.

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Linux Devices: ARM/Linux in Servers and Embedded, Chromecast

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Linux
Hardware

Linux-driven embedded PCs target autonomous cars

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Linux
Hardware

Kontron announced two Ubuntu-driven computers for autonomous vehicles. The S2000 is a lab dev platform with a Xeon 8160T and the EvoTRAC S1901 offers a choice of Kontron modules including a new Atom C3000 based, Type 7 COMe-bDV7R.

Kontron has launched a Kontron’s S2000 Development Platform for developing autonomous in-vehicle computers and is prepping an EvoTRAC S1901 in-vehicle PC for use in advanced automotive applications, including autonomous vehicles. Both systems ship with Intel processors running a pre-installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Linux stack. The systems follow earlier Kontron automotive computers such as the EvoTrac G102 in-vehicle cellular gateway.

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Single-board computer guide updated: Free software is winning on ARM!

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

In many geeky circles, single-board computers are popular machines. SBCs come in small form factors and generally run GNU/Linux, but unfortunately, many boards like the popular Raspberry Pi are dependent on proprietary software to use. The Free Software Foundation maintains a list of system-on-chip families, sorted by their freedom status.

Unfortunately, this list had not been updated in several years. While it was accurate when it was published, free software is constantly improving. Today, more and more boards are usable with free software. On the graphical side, the Etnaviv project has reached maturity, and the Panfrost project, with which I have been personally involved, has sprung up. The video processing unit on Allwinner chips has been reverse-engineered and liberated by the linux-sunxi community in tandem with Bootlin. Rockchip boards have become viable competitors to their better known counterparts. Even the Raspberry Pi has had a proof-of-concept free firmware replacement developed. Free software is winning on ARM.

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Raspbian Linux distribution updated, but with one unexpected omission

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Those last two are the ones that really produced some excitement in the Raspberry Pi community. Just look at that next to last one... so innocent looking... but then go and look at the discussion in the Pi Forums about it.

For those who might not be familiar with it, Mathematica (and the Wolfram language) is a technical computing system that is very widely used in both education and industry. It has been included on the Raspberry Pi since the beginning, and when you consider that a normal "desktop" license costs €160 for a "student", or €345 for "home and hobby", it's an exceptionally good deal to get it for free with a $35 Raspberry Pi. That makes it a bit easier to understand why some users would be upset about it being removed.

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Open-source hardware could defend against the next generation of hacking

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Hardware
OSS
Security

Imagine you had a secret document you had to store away from prying eyes. And you have a choice: You could buy a safe made by a company that kept the workings of its locks secret. Or you could buy a safe whose manufacturer openly published the designs, letting everyone – including thieves – see how they’re made. Which would you choose?

It might seem unexpected, but as an engineering professor, I’d pick the second option. The first one might be safe – but I simply don’t know. I’d have to take the company’s word for it. Maybe it’s a reputable company with a longstanding pedigree of quality, but I’d be betting my information’s security on the company upholding its traditions. By contrast, I can judge the security of the second safe for myself – or ask an expert to evaluate it. I’ll be better informed about how secure my safe is, and therefore more confident that my document is safe inside it. That’s the value of open-source technology.

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Linux Devices: ARM and La Frite

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Linux
Hardware
  • Arm brings Intel, Arduino, myDevices into the Pelion IoT platform ecosystem

    Arm on Monday is announcing a series of new partnerships that will enhance Pelion, its Internet of Things platform, making it easier for customers to deploy and manage a wider range of IoT devices on the platform.

    First, the Peltion Platform can now be used to manage Intel Architecture (x86) platforms, in addition to Arm-based IoT devices and gateways. Next, Arm is partnering with myDevices to make it easier to quickly onboard a wider array of devices. Additionally, Arduino is partnering with Pelion Connectivity Management to enable developers to quickly create and scale cellular IoT designs.

  • ARM expands Pelion IoT platform to Intel, Linux ecosystems

    In addition, the company announced Mbed Linux OS, which builds on its Mbed OS for IoT devices based on Cortex-A. Mbed Linux OS is integrated with the Pelion IoT Platform and is designed to open up new classes of IoT devices with complex applications, such as those processing video or edge gateways. Developers can sign-up now for early access to the new software.

  • Raspberry Pi A+-sized $10 La Frite Linux board has better specs at half the price

    The La Frite board is a follow up to Libre Computing's $25 Le Potato board and is "loosely based" on the design of the Raspberry Pi A+ -- a smaller and cheaper Pi than the $35 Raspberry Pi B+ -- due to the 40-pin GPIO header setup.

    It's currently available to backers on the device's Kickstarter page and will be generally available in November.

Linux in La Frite and Airtame

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Linux
Hardware
  • La Frite mini PC by Libre Computer Project from $10

    La Frite is a new open source development board created by the Libre Computer Project which has this week launched via Kickstarter and offers a miniaturised version of the popular Le Potato SBC supported by mainline Linux and Android 8 operating system.

    La Frite is a modern low power mini PC with four 64-bit cores, and can be equipped with up to a gigabyte of DDR4 RAM, supported by ARM Mali GPU powering high definition HDMI. It is loosely based on the Raspberry Pi Model A+ and maintains similar GPIO header arrangement. Connections on the mini PC include 2 x USB ports and Ethernet.

  • Libre Computer’s La Frite is a $20 single board computer ($5 and up during crowdfunding)

    Libre Computer’s latest Linux-friendly single-board computer features a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, ARM Mali-450 graphics, and a target price of $20 when the Le Frite goes on sale at Amazon later this year.

    But folks who pre-order one through the company’s Kickstarter campaign might be able to score one for as little as $5.

  • Libre sets La Frite mini computer board free

    China's Libre Computer has hit Kickstarter for an alternative to the Raspberry Pi Zero called La Frite. Essentially a smaller version of the company's Le Potato computer board, which also launched on Kickstarter last year, the 2.5 x 2.2 inch (6.4 x 5.5 cm) development board is aimed squarely at makers on a tight budget.

  • A $10 Raspberry Pi alternative? La Frite packs Pi-like specs into low-cost Linux board

    The $10 La Frite comes close to matching some key specs of the $35 Pi 3 B+, using the same underlying Arm-based CPU and even offering faster DDR4 memory.

    On paper, the La Frite also promises comparable video playback performance to the Pi 3 B+, can output to 1080p displays via HDMI 1.4, and offers two USB 2.0 ports.

    As you'd expect for the price there are various cutbacks. The board is missing the Pi 3 B+'s Wi-Fi support, and offers a slightly slower wired Ethernet connection than the Pi 3 B+. While the underlying CPU is the same, a quad-core Arm Cortex A53-based processor, the La Frite's CPU runs slightly slower than the Pi's, 1.2GHz compared to 1.4GHz.

  • Airtame raises $1.26 million in crowdfunding for its wireless HDMI dongle. What is it, and what’s next?

    Danish startup Airtame couldn’t have had a better beginning of the year.

    A relatively obscure company that was started in Copenhagen a mere seven months ago, Airtame kicked off a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo at the end of last year to raise a modest $160,000 to help turn its wireless HDMI dongle into a real product.

    What they got is a lot of attention from media and potential customers, the coveted ‘Best Startup of CES 2014’ award from Engadget, and a lot more capital to work with than they had initially anticipated.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: Vala Scripting and GNOME Foundation Hackfest 2018

  • Daniel Espinosa: Vala Scripting?
    I’m working with a library called GNOME Vala Language Server (GVls), as a proof of concept for a server that will serve autocompletion, syntax highlighting and that kind of stuff, but found something interesting by accident. I’ve added an interface called Client, may is not it final name, but it allows to locale a symbol in a already parsed file, along with some goodness from other interfaces and implementations, I’ll talk about in another article.
  • GNOME Foundation Hackfest 2018
    This week, the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors met at the Collabora office in Cambridge, UK, for the second annual Foundation Hackfest. We were also joined by the Executive Director, Neil McGovern, and Director of Operations, Rosanna Yuen. This event was started by last year’s board and is a great opportunity for the newly-elected board to set out goals for the coming year and get some uninterrupted hacking done on policies, documents, etc. While it’s fresh in our mind, we wanted to tell you about some of the things we have been working on this week and what the community can hope to see in the coming months.

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