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Hardware

Catalog of 122 open-spec Linux hacker boards

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Linux
Hardware

Welcome to the 2019 New Year’s edition catalog of hacker-friendly, open-spec SBCs that run Linux or Android. Here, we provide recently updated descriptions, specs, pricing, and links to details for all 122 SBCs.

Our New Year’s 2019 edition round-up of hacker-friendly, Linux or Android ready single board computers introduced six new entries since our June roundup for a total of 122 boards. This was even after we retired several older models like the 86Duino and PCDuino8 boards, which joined other boards that retired on their own, such as the Chip.

Newcomers range from amazingly affordable Rockchip RK3399 boards like the NanoPi Neo4 to the world’s first Intel Gemini Lake hacker board (Odroid-H2). There’s also an updated Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ that gives you most of the features of the RPi 3 Model B+ in a smaller package.

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C-SKY CPU Architecture Port Updated For Linux 4.21

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Linux
Hardware

Back during the Linux 4.20 kernel cycle, support for the C-SKY CPU architecture was introduced while now for Linux 4.21 it has seen its first round of improvements.

C-SKY is a 32-bit CPU architecture out of China intended for embedded devices from DVRs to printers to media boxes and other low-power consumer electronics. C-SKY Microsystems has joined the RISC-V Foundation, but this architecture added to Linux 4.21 is not RISC-V based but their own home-grown design with support for 16/32-bit variable length instructions, 70+ core instructions, and is a two-stage pipeline processor.

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Devices: Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Driver and Picovoice

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Linux
Hardware
  • Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Driver Finally Being Mainlined With Linux 4.21 Kernel

    Finally with the in-development Linux 4.21 kernel will be the input driver for supporting the Raspberry Pi 7-inch touchscreen. 

    Raspberry Pi has long offered an official 7-inch touchscreen monitor with 800x480 display that interfaces with the Raspberry Pi ARM SBCs via power from the GPIO and display via the DSI port. The touchscreen support 10-finger touch and other basic features but until now hasn't seen mainline kernel support.

  • Picovoice Puts Smarts Offline in 512K of Memory

    We live in the future. You can ask your personal assistant to turn on the lights, plan your commute, or set your thermostat. If they ever give Alexa sudo, she might be able to make a sandwich. However, you almost always see these devices sending data to some remote server in the sky to do the analysis and processing. There are some advantages to that, but it isn’t great for privacy as several recent news stories have pointed out. It also doesn’t work well when the network or those remote servers crash — another recent news story. But what’s the alternative? If Picovoice has its way, you’ll just do all the speech recognition offline.

Linux Adds AMD Rome and Zen 2 Support

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Linux
Hardware

Back in November, AMD debuted their new Zen 2 architecture. The new chips will offer a massive boost in performance, building on Zen and Zen+. To achieve the performance numbers, AMD has made a number of major changes to the underlying designs. Ahead of launch next year, OS support to starting to roll out. This week, we have the new Linux 4.21 kernel set to add some support.

The new kernel integrates new AMD Platform QoS support that is geared towards the 7nm EPYC and Zen 2 chips. Due in part to the shift to the chiplet design, resource allocation is quite different. The updates aim to provide monitoring of the resources as well as place limits on them. Initially, this will be for L3 cache monitoring, limiting, prioritisation and memory bandwidth. Due to the chiplet design, the L3 cache is shared on a core die, with challenges to latency and sharing.

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Linux and Open Hardware

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Linux
Hardware
  • Improving Router-Based Dev Boards With The Onion Omega2 Pro

    Before we had Raspberry Pis and Beaglebones, the art of putting a Linux system in a small, portable project was limited to router hacking. The venerable WRT54G controlled Internet-connected robots with a careful application of a Unix-ey firmware. Now, things are different but there’s still a need for a cheap, portable Linux system that’s just good enough to get the job done. Now, there’s an upgrade to the board that follows in the footsteps of that router hacking The Onion Omega2 Pro is up on Crowd Supply, and it’s got more buttons, more switches, and it’s still smaller than a breadboard.

  • 2018: As The Hardware World Turns

    2018 is almost over, and we have another year in the dataset: an improbable number of celebrities died in 2016. The stock market is down, and everyone thinks a crash is coming. Journalists are being killed around the world. Fidget spinners aren’t cool anymore. Fortnite. Trade wars.

    But not everything is terrible: Makerbot released a new printer and oddly no one complained. It was just accepted that it was an overpriced pile of suck. Elon Musk is having a great year, press and Joe Rogan notwithstanding, by launching a record number of rockets and shipping a record number of cars, and he built a subway that we’re not calling a subway. FPGA development is getting easier with new platforms and new boards. There is a vast untapped resource in 18650 cells just sitting on sidewalks in the form of scooters, and I’m going to keep mentioning this until someone actually builds a power wall out of scooters.

Fomu Is An Open Source FPGA Board That Fits Inside A USB Port

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Hardware
OSS

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) are integrated circuits that can be programmed as per desired application after their manufacturing. Due to their flexibility, they can be used in different areas to achieve the desired purpose.

Fomu is one such tiny FPGA that can fit inside a USB port. It is a fully open-source device that ships with 4 buttons and an RGB LED. Fomu comes in its own plastic enclosure that fits perfectly in a USB Type-A port.

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Open Hardware/Modding: SeeedStudio BeagleBone Green, PlayStation Classic and Leap Motion

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Hardware
OSS
  • Open-source hardware simplifies sensor connection

    SeeedStudio BeagleBone Green (BBG) is a joint effort by BeagleBoard.org and Seeed Studio. It is based on the open-source hardware design of BeagleBone Black and developed into this differentiated version. The BBG has included two Grove connectors, making it easier to connect to the large family of Grove sensors. The on-board HDMI is removed to make room for these Grove connectors. Software Compatibility includes: Debian; Android; Ubuntu; Cloud9 IDE on Node.js w/; BoneScript library; plus much more.

  • Everything you need to know about modding the PlayStation Classic

    When the PlayStation Classic was first released, within hours, we had a hidden menu to play with. Unfortunately, it required you to use a mechanical keyboard by Corsair or Logitech, both of which cost a lot of cash. I tried many different keyboards in the hopes of getting this to work but it just wouldn't. Rejoice, however, the same people who make the game hack above have got the secret menu working on the controller.

  • Lenses For DIY Augmented Reality Will Get a Bit Less Unobtainable

    When Leap Motion first announced their open-source AR headset, we examined the intruiguing specifications and the design has since been published to GitHub. At the time, we did note that the only option for the special lenses seemed to be to CNC them and then spring for a custom reflective coating.

Latest HummingBoard SBC adds CAN and serial ports

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Linux
Hardware

SolidRun has launched a variation on the HummingBoard Edge SBC called the HummingBoard CBi that swaps the HDMI port with CAN and serial ports and similarly runs Linux on an i.MX6 MicroSOM.

SolidRun has introduced a HummingBoard CBi spin-off of its earlier HummingBoard Edge SBC that adds CAN and serial ports. The sandwich-style board, which ships with a standard enclosure, has the same 102 x 69mm footprint of the Edge and the HummingBoard-Gate and ships with open schematics.

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Automatic Soap Dispenser Hides Arduino Board

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Linux
Hardware

If you’ve been hanging out here at Hackaday for awhile, you’ve certainly seen projects that were based around the concept of putting a miniature computer inside the carcass of some other piece of electronics. In fact at this point it’s something of a running joke, certainly we must have seen an Arduino or Raspberry Pi shoehorned into every type of consumer gadget ever built by this point. But if you thought this would be another example of that common trope by the headline, you might be in for something of a surprise.

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6 years of Raspberry Pi

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

The Raspberry Pi was an instant success when it launched in 2012, with 100,000 of the low-cost computers ordered on the first day and 1 million sold in its first year, says Ben Nuttall, community manager of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The devices and the foundation that backs it have come a long way in just six years, with regular hardware updates, a vibrant community, and an untiring dedication to giving students and teachers inexpensive tools for learning to code.

In his Lightning Talk "6 years of Raspberry Pi" at All Things Open 2018, October 23 in Raleigh, NC, Nuttall described some of the landmark events that contributed to the Pi's success.

Watch Ben's talk to learn where the Raspberry Pi began, where it's been, and where it's heading as the community prepares to celebrate the devices' seventh birthday in March 2019.

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Server: HTTP Clients, IIS DDoS and 'DevOps' Hype From Red Hat

  • What are good command line HTTP clients?
    The whole is greater than the sum of its parts is a very famous quote from Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and scientist. This quote is particularly pertinent to Linux. In my view, one of Linux’s biggest strengths is its synergy. The usefulness of Linux doesn’t derive only from the huge raft of open source (command line) utilities. Instead, it’s the synergy generated by using them together, sometimes in conjunction with larger applications. The Unix philosophy spawned a “software tools” movement which focused on developing concise, basic, clear, modular and extensible code that can be used for other projects. This philosophy remains an important element for many Linux projects. Good open source developers writing utilities seek to make sure the utility does its job as well as possible, and work well with other utilities. The goal is that users have a handful of tools, each of which seeks to excel at one thing. Some utilities work well independently. This article looks at 4 open source command line HTTP clients. These clients let you download files over the internet from the command line. But they can also be used for many more interesting purposes such as testing, debugging and interacting with HTTP servers and web applications. Working with HTTP from the command-line is a worthwhile skill for HTTP architects and API designers. If you need to play around with an API, HTTPie and curl will be invaluable.
  • Microsoft publishes security alert on IIS bug that causes 100% CPU usage spikes
    The Microsoft Security Response Center published yesterday a security advisory about a denial of service (DOS) issue impacting IIS (Internet Information Services), Microsoft's web server technology.
  • 5 things to master to be a DevOps engineer
    There's an increasing global demand for DevOps professionals, IT pros who are skilled in software development and operations. In fact, the Linux Foundation's Open Source Jobs Report ranked DevOps as the most in-demand skill, and DevOps career opportunities are thriving worldwide. The main focus of DevOps is bridging the gap between development and operations teams by reducing painful handoffs and increasing collaboration. This is not accomplished by making developers work on operations tasks nor by making system administrators work on development tasks. Instead, both of these roles are replaced by a single role, DevOps, that works on tasks within a cooperative team. As Dave Zwieback wrote in DevOps Hiring, "organizations that have embraced DevOps need people who would naturally resist organization silos."

Purism's Privacy and Security-Focused Librem 5 Linux Phone to Arrive in Q3 2019

Initially planned to ship in early 2019, the revolutionary Librem 5 mobile phone was delayed for April 2019, but now it suffered just one more delay due to the CPU choices the development team had to make to deliver a stable and reliable device that won't heat up or discharge too quickly. Purism had to choose between the i.MX8M Quad or the i.MX8M Mini processors for their Librem 5 Linux-powered smartphone, but after many trials and errors they decided to go with the i.MX8M Quad CPU as manufacturer NXP recently released a new software stack solving all previous power consumption and heating issues. Read more

Qt Creator 4.9 Beta released

We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.9 Beta! There are many improvements and fixes included in Qt Creator 4.9. I’ll just mention some highlights in this blog post. Please refer to our change log for a more thorough overview. Read more

Hack Week - Browsersync integration for Online

Recently my LibreOffice work is mostly focused on the Online. It's nice to see how it is growing with new features and has better UI. But when I was working on improving toolbars (eg. folding menubar or reorganization of items) I noticed one annoying thing from the developer perspective. After every small change, I had to restart the server to provide updated content for the browser. It takes few seconds for switching windows, killing old server then running new one which requires some tests to be passed. Last week during the Hack Week funded by Collabora Productivity I was able to work on my own projects. It was a good opportunity for me to try to improve the process mentioned above. I've heard previously about browsersync so I decided to try it out. It is a tool which can automatically reload used .css and .js files in all browser sessions after change detection. To make it work browsersync can start proxy server watching files on the original server and sending events to the browser clients if needed. Read more