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Hardware

AMD With Linux: AMDGPU, AMDGPU-PRO, and RadeonSI

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

Linux Laptop: Buying New vs. Used Laptop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

There are few things in a Linux enthusiast's life more fun than buying a new Linux laptop. One could even argue that the mere act of "spec'ing out" a new unit is more exciting than the actual use of the laptop itself.

In this article, I'm going to walk you through the decision making progress of buying a new Linux laptop vs. procuring a good second hand one instead. I'll share the advantages and disadvantages to each option.

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Also: The PC business: Decline continues in Q2

OpenMoko: 10 Years After (Mickey’s Story)

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
Gadgets

For the 10th anniversary since the legendary OpenMoko announcement at the „Open Source in Mobile“ (7th of November 2006 in Amsterdam), I’ve been meaning to write an anthology or – as Paul Fertser suggested on #openmoko-cdevel – an obituary. I’ve been thinking about objectively describing the motivation, the momentum, how it all began and – sadly – ended. I did even plan to include interviews with Sean, Harald, Werner, and some of the other veterans. But as with oh so many projects of (too) wide scope this would probably never be completed.

As November 2016 passed without any progress, I decided to do something different instead. Something way more limited in scope, but something I can actually finish. My subjective view of the project, my participation, and what I think is left behind: My story, as OpenMoko employee #2. On top of that you will see a bunch of previously unreleased photos (bear with me, I’m not a good photographer and the camera sucked as well).

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Hardware: HealthyPi and 3-D Printing

Filed under
Hardware

Devices: Purism Phone, Sailfish OS, and SparkFun

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Is Purism About to Announce a Linux Phone?

    Hardware company Purism is best known for being the driving force behind the goal of creating a truly free software laptop — but are they about to launch a Linux phone? Fuelling speculation that, yes, they are, the company accidentally published a blog post earlier today titled: “Phone Campaign Temporary Page“.

  • Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia X single SIM, model F5121

    Interview on the collaboration between Jolla and Sony Open Devices program

    The official version is on its way, targeting to support for example MS Exchange Active Sync, Android apps and 20 MPx resolution for the camera. But an unofficial Sailfish OS for Xperia X might become available even sooner via the porters community.

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  • A hands-on look at SparkFun's new Spectacle kit

    Spectacle is based entirely around the idea that artists shouldn't need to spend years studying electronics in order to use them in their art. To aid me in my review, I enlisted the help of Sophia, one of the coolest pre-teens I know. Sophia is a young artist who makes her own costumes and works in a wide variety of other physical mediums.

GNU/Linux Hardware: Purism Phone, Raptor Engineering Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • It Looks Like Purism Might Be Soon Launching Their Libre Linux Phone

    Purism, the company that started out with the Librem laptops that are Linux-friendly and now pre-loaded with Coreboot, has long had ambitions for expanding into tablets, smartphones, and other devices. It looks like the first Purism Phone might soon be announced.

    Slipping (presumably, mistakenly) on their RSS feed a few minutes ago was "Protected: Phone Campaign Temporary Page" and linked here. Albeit it's a password-protected page and thus no information besides the title.

  • Raptor Is Going To Launch A New POWER9 Linux System

    Raptor Engineering who does Coreboot development work and is known for their previous Talos Secure Workstation system to provide a fast and fully libre workstation is going to be launching a new POWER-based workstation.

    Meet the Talos II. Raptor Engineering is teasing the Talos II workstation, which they say will not rely upon crowdfunding unlike the earlier effort and will also cost "far less" than the original Talos. Pre-orders are to open next month while they say this POWER9 system should be shipping in Q4. Details shared so far are dual IBM POWER9 CPUs, five PCI-E slots, fully owner controllable, and workstation performance at competitive pricing.

Devices: Portwell, Palo Alto Innovation, and Tizen

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Linux-ready COM supports up to 16-core Xeon-D

    Portwell’s “PCOM-B700G” is a COM Express Type 7 Basic module with Intel’s 5th Gen Xeon or Pentium CPUs, plus dual 10GbE ports and up to 32x PCIe links.

  • Alexa-ready digital alarm clock radio runs Linux on hackable Chip Pro

    PAI’s “Sandman Doppler” is an Alexa-enabled smart alarm clock and music streamer that runs Linux on the Chip Pro COM, and offers 6x USB charging ports.

    Palo Alto Innovation (PAI) had a troubled first-time Kickstarter launch with its original Sandman Clock, but the company fulfilled all its orders and moved on to a next generation model, the Sandman Doppler. This larger, more capable digital alarm clock and smart speaker adds Amazon Alexa voice controls, dual speakers, and two more USB charging ports, among other features. The Linux-driven device is built on the Next Thing’s open spec Chip Pro module, and lets you hack the COM via its micro-USB port (see farther below).

  • All Free Movies App Added to Tizen Store

Android signage computer taps new quad Cortex-A17 SoC

Filed under
Android
Hardware

The “VIA ALTA DS 4K” signage computer runs Android 5.1.1 on a Zhaoxin ZX-2000 SoC, and offers dual Ethernet ports and support for simultaneous 4K and HD.

VIA Technologies has been active in the Android digital signage market for years, with products such as its VAB-630 SBC. While that product tapped a homegrown dual-core, Cortex-A9 SoC, the new VIA ALTA DS 4K signage computer instead runs a customized Android 5.1.1 image on a quad-core, 1.4GHz Cortex-A17 ZX-2000 (translated) from Zhaoxin.

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Also: Ataribox retro mini-console plays current and classic games

Ubuntu Linux and Husarion's CORE2-ROS Make Robot Development Easy and Fun

Filed under
Hardware
Ubuntu

Building robots is a challenging task, even for Husarion, a robotic company known for creating a rapid development platform for robots called CORE2-ROS, which, in combination with the popular Ubuntu OS, makes robot development easy and fun.

Husarion's Dominik Nowak explains in a recent blog article how CORE2, the company's second generation robotics controller, and their cloud platform that helps them manage all CORE2-based robots assists those interested in creating robots, using only an SBC (single-board computer) like Raspberry Pi with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed and a real-time microcontroller board.

"Building robots is a challenging task that the Husarion team is trying to make easier," said Dominik Nowak, CEO at Husarion. "CORE2 combines a real-time microcontroller board and a single board computer running Ubuntu. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution not only for desktops but also for embedded hardware in IoT & robotics applications."

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Also Linux/Ubuntu-based: Review: Flying the super-small, super-fun DJI Spark

Devices: Habey’s iWave’s Boards, OctaPi, Tizen and ASUS ZenWatch 3

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware
  • Fanless Kaby Lake computer offers SATA, M.2, and dual GbE ports

    Habey’s Linux-friendly “BIS-6862” embedded PC offers 7th Gen Core U-series CPUs, a SATA 3.0 bay, -20 to 60°C support, dual GbE ports, and M.2 and SIM slots.

  • SMARC module runs Android or Linux on the Snapdragon 820

    iWave’s SMARC 2.0 “Snapdragon 820 SOM” features 3GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, WiFi, and Bluetooth, plus I/O including GbE, HDMI 2.0, MIPI-CSI, USB 3.0, and PCIe.

    Earlier this year, iWave launched a rugged, 56 x 50mm iW-RainboW-G25S SBC with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 (APQ8096) SoC. Now it’s back with a SMARC 2.0 short form factor Snapdragon 820 SOM.

  • OctaPi: cluster computing and cryptography

    When I was a teacher, a question I was constantly asked by curious students was, “Can you teach us how to hack?” Turning this idea on its head, and teaching the techniques behind some of our most important national cyber security measures, is an excellent way of motivating students to do good. This is why the Raspberry Pi Foundation and GCHQ have been working together to bring you exciting new resources!

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  • Blokstok Street Fight Madness – A street fighting game with a lot of character details

    Popular fighting games that we grew up playing such as Mortal Kombat, Tekken or Street Fighter are probably a far cry from landing on the Tizen store any time soon. The popularity of these games however has inspired a lot of game developers to bring out titles in this genre. One such game that has made its way on to the Tizen store is the Blokstok Street Fight Madness (SFM). The game is developed by Delhi-based Darksun Technologies and is currently in beta with just a single stage available for download. Further stages and more characters can be expected soon over an update along with the release of the game in more platforms such as Steam, Android and iOS.

  • Game Snaky Snake now available on the Tizen Store, #MadeWithUnity
  • ES File Explorer File Manager app released for Tizen mobiles
  • Android Wear 2.0 Rolls Out to ASUS ZenWatch 3, Users Report Longer Battery Life

    ASUS said that Google's latest Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch operating system is coming to ASUS ZenWatch 3 around the date of July 11, and now it looks like it's finally rolling out.

    If you've been waiting to install Android Wear 2.0 on your shiny ASUS ZenWatch 3 Android smartwatch, you should drop whatever you're doing and update your device. Some users are already reporting on reddit that they received the massive Android Wear 2.0 update on their devices.

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Linux and Graphics: AMD, Linux 4.14 LTS, Etnaviv Gallium3D

  • Linux 4.14 Ensures The "Core Performance Boost" Bit Gets Set For AMD Ryzen CPUs
    Recently making waves in our forums was talk of a kernel patch to address a case where the AMD CPB (Core Performance Boost) isn't being exposed by Ryzen processors. Here's more details on that and some benchmarks. Being talked about recently is f7f3dc0: "CPUID Fn8000_0007_EDX[CPB] is wrongly 0 on models up to B1. But they do support CPB (AMD's Core Performance Boosting cpufreq CPU feature), so fix that."
  • Linus Torvalds Is Confident That Linux Kernel 4.14 LTS Will Arrive on November 5
    Development of Linux 4.14, the next LTS (Long Term Support) kernel series, continues with the fifth RC (Release Candidate) milestone, which was announced by Linus Torvalds himself this past weekend. According to Linus Torvalds, things have finally starting to calm down for the development of the Linux 4.14 LTS kernel, and it looks like the RC5 snapshot is smaller than he would have expected, at least smaller than last week's RC4, which is a good thing, meaning that there won't be need for eight RCs during this cycle.
  • Etnaviv Gallium3D Is Almost To OpenGL 2.0 Compliance
    The Etnaviv Gallium3D driver that provides reverse-engineered, open-source graphics support for Vivante graphics hardware is almost to exposing OpenGL 2.0. Etnaviv contributor Christian Gmeiner today posted a set of patches for adding occlusion queries support to the driver. The code at just over one thousand lines of code is the last major feature needed for exposing desktop OpenGL 2.0 capabilities with this community-driven driver.
  • AMD Developers Begin Making Open-Source FreeSync/AdaptiveSync Plans
    While the AMDGPU DC code is expected to land for Linux 4.15 with goodies like Vega display support, HDMI/DP audio, and atomic mode-setting, one of the sought after display features won't be initially supported: FreeSync or the VESA-backed AdaptiveSync. As we've known for a while, while AMDGPU DC fills out the requirements for being able to support FreeSync, the last bits of the implementation are not present as the interfaces are basically yet to be decided among the open-source driver developers. While AMD can post their existing FreeSync code as found in AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver, they are trying to come up with a more standardized interface that will satisfy the other upstream Linux driver developers too that might want to support AdaptiveSync.

Servers and Red Hat: Cloud Foundry, Docker, CRI-O 1.0, Alibaba and Elasticsearch

  • How to deploy multi-cloud serverless and Cloud Foundry APIs at scale
    Ken Parmelee, who leads the API gateway for IBM and Big Blue’s open source projects, has a few ideas about open-source methods for “attacking” the API and how to create micro-services and make them scale. “Micro-services and APIs are products and we need to be thinking about them that way,” Parmelee says. “As you start to put them up people rely on them as part of their business. That’s a key aspect of what you’re doing in this space.”
  • Docker Opens Up to Support Kubernetes Container Orchestration
    There's been a lot of adoption of Kubernetes in the last few years, and as of Oct. 17 the open-source container orchestration technology has one more supporter. Docker Inc. announced at its DockerCon EU conference here that it is expanding its Docker platform to support Kubernetes. Docker had been directly competing against Kubernetes with its Swarm container orchestration system since 2015. The plan now is to provide a seamless platform that supports a heterogenous deployment that can include both Swarm and Kubernetes clusters. "Docker adapts to you because it's open," Docker founder Solomon Hykes said during his keynote address at DockerCon.
  • Introducing CRI-O 1.0
    Last year, the Kubernetes project introduced its Container Runtime Interface (CRI) -- a plugin interface that gives kubelet (a cluster node agent used to create pods and start containers) the ability to use different OCI-compliant container runtimes, without needing to recompile Kubernetes. Building on that work, the CRI-O project (originally known as OCID) is ready to provide a lightweight runtime for Kubernetes.
  • Red Hat brings its open source solutions to Alibaba Cloud
    Alibaba Cloud has joined the Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider program, with Red Hat solutions to become directly available to Alibaba Cloud customers in the coming months.
  • Elasticsearch now on Alibaba Cloud, eyes China market
    The Amsterdam-based company behind Elasticsearch and Elastic Stack said the new offering would be available to Alibaba Cloud customers as an add-on, giving them access to real-time search, logging, and data analytics capabilities.

Software: VirtualBox 5.1.30, Cockpit 153, GNOME Mutter 3.27.1, KDE Neon

  • Oracle Releases VirtualBox 5.1.30 to Patch Glibc 2.26 Compile Bug on Linux Hosts
    Oracle released VirtualBox 5.1.30, a minor maintenance update to the open-source and cross-platform virtualization software that addresses a few important issues reported by users from previous versions. Coming one month after the VirtualBox 5.1.28 release, which probably most of you out there use right now on your personal computers, VirtualBox 5.1.30 contains a fix for a Glibc 2.26 compilation bug for Linux hosts and a 3D-related crash for Windows guest that use the Windows Additions package.
  • Cockpit 153
    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 153.
  • GNOME Mutter 3.27.1 Brings Hybrid GPU Support
    Mutter 3.27.1 has just been released as the first development release for the GNOME 3.28 cycle of this compositor / window manager. The change most interesting to us about Mutter 3.27.1 is support for hybrid GPU systems. The context for the hybrid GPU system support is explained via this bug report, "supporting systems with multiple GPUs connected to their own connectors. A common configuration is laptops with an integrated Intel GPU connected to the panel, and a dedicated Nvidia/AMD GPU connected to the HDMI ports."
  • #KDE #KDENEON Release bonanaza! Frameworks, Plasma, KmyMoney and Digikam

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