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Hardware

Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs

Filed under
GNU
Hardware

To what extent do the ideas of free software extend to hardware? Is it a moral obligation to make our hardware designs free, just as it is to make our software free? Does maintaining our freedom require rejecting hardware made from nonfree designs?

Free software is a matter of freedom, not price; broadly speaking, it means that users are free to use the software and to copy and redistribute the software, with or without changes. More precisely, the definition is formulated in terms of the four essential freedoms.

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Raspberry Pi 2 review

Filed under
Hardware
Reviews

The new Raspberry Pi 2 proclaims that it is 6x faster than the original Pi, taking the original machine to a new level. The big leaps focus on the processor and memory, with the machine now replacing a single core CPU with a quad core Broadcom BCM2836 CPU. The RAM has jumped to a very respectable 1GB.

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Using a Samsung Xpress C460FW with Gentoo Linux and Android KitKat for printing and scanning

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware

A work colleague has just received a Samsung Xpress C460FW MFP (laser printer, scanner, copier and fax machine) for small print jobs. It is possible to connect to it via USB, Direct USB, wired network, wireless network, Wi-Fi Direct and NFC; that’s impressive for a MFP that can be purchased for GBP 270 in the UK.

Toshiba Laptops To Have Improved Support In Linux 3.20

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The platform-drivers-x86 pull request has been filed for the Linux 3.20 kernel and it includes some prominent additions.

First up, the Toshiba ACPI driver (toshiba_acpi) is closer to feature-parity with its Windows counterpart. The Linux Toshiba ACPI driver now supports USB Sleep & Charge functions, USB Sleep functions under battery, USB Rapid Charge, USB Sleep & Music, support for keyboard functions mode, support for Panel Power On, support to enable/disable USB 3, etc. There's also driver clean-ups and other improvements for this ACPI laptop driver specifically for Toshiba hardware.

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Intel now No. 1 sponsor of Linux contributions

Filed under
Development
Linux
Hardware

Intel, one of the world's largest computer hardware companies, is now also among the biggest contributors to open-source software.

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Raspberry Pi 2 vs Creator 120

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

The Creator 120 and the Raspberry Pi 2 are single-board computers designed for developers and hobbyists.

The Creator C120 was announced in late 2014, but started shipping at about the same time that the Raspberry Pi 2 was announced/starting shipping, which was just last week.

I haven’t purchased a Raspberry Pi 2 yet, but I received a Creator 2 from the manufacturer this week. It was a prize I won in December and the first prize I ever won on the Internet. I’ve been playing with it all day and find it to be a very capable single-board computer. Out of the box, it’s mostly a plug-and-play device.

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Review: 2015 Dell XPS 13 (9343) Running Linux

Filed under
Hardware
Reviews

When and if Eric reads this he’s just going to shake his head. For two years in a row now I’ve been lured by the wonders of new laptops announced at CES, and in both years I’ve been disappointed. He tells me I’m stupid for ordering the “new shiny” and expecting it to work, but I refuse to give up my dream.

Luckily this isn’t a huge issue for me since my main machines are desktops, but my second generation Dell XPS 13 “sputnik” is getting a little old. I am really looking forward to a slightly larger screen. The pixel density isn’t great on my laptop, especially compared to what is out now, and I am finding myself a little cramped for screen real estate.

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Also: Linux support for the Dell XPS 13 9343 (2015 model)

Attention Linux gamers: Valve, Khronos to reveal next-gen OpenGL successor at GDC

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Gaming

It's a great time to be alive if you're a fanatic about the particulars of various performance-boosting graphics APIs. AMD's Mantle is here, Microsoft's DirectX 12 is coming with Windows 10, and at GDC in early March we'll hear the first news about a successor to the open-source, cross-platform OpenGL API.

That's not necessarily huge news if you're using a Windows machine—unless this OpenGL successor is really special, most games will probably stick with DirectX 12 in a perpetual love/hate relationship. If you're a Mac or Linux gamer, however, the next-generation OpenGL is potentially a huge deal.

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Hands-On: RaspberryPi NOOBS 1.3.12

Filed under
Hardware
Reviews

There's plenty of excitement in the Raspberry Pi world this week: the big news is the announcement of the Raspberry Pi 2 hardware - the long-awaited and much-anticipated successor to the immensely popular original unit, which will now be known as the Raspberry Pi 1.

But that's not the only news: there is also a new release of the Raspbian operating system and the NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software) package. I am just back from a week in Amsterdam, and will be leaving in a few days for a short trip to Iceland, so I just have time to download and install the new software on my two Raspberry Pi 1 units (Model B and B+), and I have ordered a RPi 2 so I hope that will be waiting for me when I return. At least, the Swiss Pi-Shop says that it will be available on 3 February so I am keeping my fingers crossed - because almost all of the excitement is about the Raspberry Pi 2.

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CuBox-i4Pro Review

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware

A bundled microSD card arrives preinserted into the rear of the CuBox-i, and it’s loaded with a version of Google’s Android operating system. Interestingly, SolidRun has gone to the effort of seeking the certifications required to load the Google Apps suite onto the card, meaning users receive Google Mail, YouTube, Google Maps and full access to Google Play straight out of the box. An even newer build, based on the latest Android 4.4 KitKat branch, can be downloaded from SolidRun’s website and provides an entirely useable desktop Android experience.

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Snappy Ubuntu Core takes off in a quadcopter

Erle Robotics has launched an Ubuntu Core “Snappy” version of its open source Linux and ROS-based Erle-Copter quadcopter, with Erle-Copter app store access. The “Erle-Copter Ubuntu Core Special Edition” is functionally almost identical to the Erle-Copter quadrotor drone announced by Erle Robotics in December, but instead of the usual Debian Linux distribution, it offers one of the first implementations of the lightweight new Snappy version of Ubuntu Core. Read more

There's No Plans for Ubuntu Phones Based on Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf), Says Canonical

Now that Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) is open for development, and the Ubuntu Online Summit for Ubuntu 15.10 takes place these days between May 5-7 on the UbuntuOnAir channel, the Ubuntu Phone team announced plans for the next Ubuntu Touch development cycle. Read more

Linux-ready COM mates an i.MX6 SoC with an FPGA

Armadeus has launched a Linux-equipped module that integrates a Freescale i.MX6 SoC with a Cyclone V GX FPGA, and offers SATA, CSI, DSI, and optional WiFi. French technology firm Armadeus Systems has been selling Freescale i.MX based modules for years, including the circa-2009, i.MX27 based APF27. For the new “APF6_SP” computer-on-module, Amadeus has turned to Freescale’s Cortex-A9 i.MX6 SoC, which it had previous adopted for its APF6 COM. The feature set on the APF6_SP is very similar, with one major exception: the addition of an Altera Cyclone V GX FPGA. Read more

Samsung Officially Launches their Tizen Curved SUHD 4K TVs in the Philippines

The new line of Tizen 4K Samsung SUHD TVs has now officially been launched in the Philippines at an event held a few days ago. The new line-up of TVs includes the JS9500, JS9000 and JS8500 models, supporting screen sizes ranging from 55 to 88 inches. Samsung boasts that their TV technology, which uses nano-crystal semiconductors, leads in color and brightness compared to its competitors. Read more