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Hardware

Devices: RISC-V and Raspberry Pi

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • The State Of Debian & Fedora On The RISC-V Architecture

    RISC-V remains of a lot of interest to open-source/Linux users for being a royalty-free and completely open CPU architecture. In part due to the lack of affordable RISC-V hardware limiting developers from working more on this architecture, the state of RISC-V support by Linux distributions varies but at least has improved a lot in recent years.

    At this past weekend's FOSDEM 2019 conference was a RISC-V track with several interesting talks about this open processor ISA and various software efforts around it.

  • Best Raspberry Pi cases: Great options to dress up your mini-PC

    You don't have to buy a case for a Raspberry Pi, but doing so makes the experience that much nicer. That's particularly so if, for example, you plan to use a Pi 3 B+ as a home-theater PC or even a secondary desktop.

    A whole sea of options exist out there, though, ranging from simple acrylic cases to elaborately carved wood shells. So we dug into the mix to find the best of the bunch at different prices—and came up with a selection that should make minimalists, HTPC fans, gamers, hardware hackers, and even hot-rod enthusiasts happy.

Open Hardware/Modding: Overheating Sony Cameras, Linaro, LIDAR, Arduino and RISC-V Based Systems

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • This guy created an open source 3D printable solution to A7III overheating issues

    We thought with the Sony A6500 that the overheating issue days with Sony would be over, but apparently not.

  • Someone Made an Open-Source Body Cooler for Overheating Sony Cameras

    Sony’s mirrorless cameras have been known to have overheating issues, prompting Sony to release firmware fixes and photographers to come up with novel solutions such as mounted sunshades. Now one guy has created an open-source design for a Sony camera body cooler.

    Brian Windle of Wilmington, Delaware, has shared a design for a Sony a7 III body cooler over on Thingiverse, where you can download all the files needed to 3D print and assemble your own.

  • Industry leaders to present Open Source on Arm insights at Linaro Connect Bangkok 2019

    Linaro Ltd, the open source collaborative engineering organization developing software for the Arm® ecosystem, announced today the keynote speakers for Linaro Connect Bangkok 2019. Joining the hundreds of engineers at the Centara Grand in Bangkok, Thailand 1-4 April 2019, will be industry leaders invited to share their insights into different segments and topics relating to the Arm ecosystem.

  • Open Source LIDAR Lets You Get Down To The Nitty Gritty

    If you’re unfamiliar with LIDAR, you might have noticed it sounds a bit like radar. That’s no accident – LIDAR is a backronym standing for “light detection and ranging”, the word having initially been created as a combination of “light” and “radar”. The average person is most likely to have come into contact with LIDAR at the business end of a police speed trap, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Unruly is the open source LIDAR project you’ve been waiting for all along.

    Unlike a lot of starter projects, LIDAR isn’t something you get into with a couple of salvaged LEDs and an Arduino Uno. We’re talking about measuring the time it takes light to travel relatively short distances, so plenty of specialised components are required. There’s a pulsed laser diode, and a special hypersensitive avalanche photodiode that operates at up to 130 V. These are combined with precision lenses and filters to ensure operation at the maximum range possible. Given that light can travel 300,000 km in a second, to get any usable resolution, a microcontroller alone simply isn’t fast enough to cut it here. A specialized time-to-digital converter (TDC) is used to time how long it takes the light pulse to return from a distant object. Unruly’s current usable resolution is somewhere in the ballpark of 10 mm – an impressive feat.

  • DIY Arduino weather station is open source, tweets and more

    Hackster.io member Jonty has published a new project providing details on how to build your very own DIY Arduino weather station. Aptly named TWIST the open source environmental monitoring system is capable of sending tweets and collecting meteorological data thanks to its include gas, rain, light, temperature and humidity sensors. The weather station takes approximately two hours to build and has been classed at an intermediate skill level project.

    Powered by the Intel Edison Board the Internet of Things weather station can be modified further and is compatible with a variety of sensors. All code, design files, schematics and PCB layouts are open source enabling those interested to share their modifications and new sensor support with others.

    “Ever wanted to monitor your city’s Current Weather Conditions, Carbon Footprint, Noise and Pollution levels? Do you want be a Climate Change Crusader or set-up your own Tweeting Weather Station and share your local weather conditions with the world?”

  • Internet, meet things: This starter kit is perfect for makers

    Spend any time at all around creative-minded techies, and you'll likely hear about Arduino. Whether you're making a simple motion sensor or a fully internet-controlled robot, Arduino is the platform of choice. If you're just diving in, we can't think of a better entry point than the Arduino Uno Ultimate Starter Kit & Course Bundle.

  • Arduino Enters the Cloud

    Love it or hate it, for many people embedded systems means Arduino. Now Arduino is leveraging its more powerful MKR boards and introducing a cloud service, the Arduino IoT Cloud. The goal is to make it simple for Arduino programs to record data and control actions from the cloud.

    The program is in beta and features a variety of both human and machine interaction styles. At the simple end, you can assemble a dashboard of controls and have the IoT Cloud generate your code and download it to your Arduino itself with no user programming required. More advanced users can use HTTP REST, MQTT, Javascript, Websockets, or a suite of command line tools.

    The system relies on “things” like temperature sensors, LEDs, and servos. With all the focus on security now, it isn’t surprising that the system supports X.509 authentication and TLS security for traffic in both directions.

  • SmartDV Supports RISC-V Movement with TileLink Verification IP for RISC-V Based Systems

Raspberry Pi-like RK3328 and Snapdragon 410 SBCs lead Novasom SBC onslaught

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Novasom has launched two Linux-powered, RPi-like SBCs — the Rockchip RK3328 based SBC-M7FT and Snapdragon 410C driven SBC-M8FT — plus an ESP32-based SBC-U1 board. Upcoming boards include Apollo Lake and RK3399 models.

Bucharest, Romania based Novasom Industries has a wide range of Linux-powered SBCs, most of which were launched in 2018. Over the last month, Novasom has launched two new tuxified SBCs – the SBC-M7FT and SBC-M8FT – as well as an SBC-U1 board that runs FreeRTOS on an ESP32 SoC. The company has a US office and its products are distributed by Arrow, Texim, and others.

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Slimbook & Kubuntu - Combat Report 5

Filed under
KDE
Hardware

Anyway, I am still quite happy with Slimbook + Kubuntu. There are some annoying things - the Wireless connection glitch on first login, the icons in the task manager, the session save bug. But then, the system is stable, fast, ever so slightly but consistently improving, the game repertoire is pleasantly nice and growing, and overall, the desktop feel rich, fun and polished. You notice how advanced Plasma is when you switch over to other systems and try other environments. Me liking, but I wants even more good stuff! Well, to be continued some more.

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Pine64 to Launch Open Source Phone, Laptop, Tablet, and Camera

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

At FOSDEM last weekend, California-based Linux hacker board vendor Pine64 previewed an extensive lineup of open source hardware it intends to release in 2019. Surprisingly, only two of the products are single board computers.

The Linux-driven products will include a PinePhone development kit based on the Allwinner A64. There will be second, more consumer focused Pinebook laptop -- a Rockchip RK3399 based, 14-inch Pinebook Pro -- and an Allwinner A64-based, 10.1-inch PineTab tablet. Pine64 also plans to release an Allwinner S3L-driven IP camera system called the CUBE and a Roshambo Retro-Gaming case that supports Pine64’s Rock64 and RockPro64, as well as the Raspberry Pi.

The SBC entries are a Pine H64 Model B that will be replace the larger, but similarly Allwinner H6 based, Model A version and will add WiFi/Bluetooth. There will also be a third rev of the popular, RK3399 based Rock64 board that adds Power-over-Ethernet support.

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Also: Raspberry Pi 3 Debian Buster *unofficial preview* image update

ARM Mali 400/500 DRM Driver Volleyed Out Again, Trying To Get Into The Mainline Kernel

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The open-source ARM Mali space certainly seems to be heating up this year... The Panfrost Gallium3D driver was just merged to mainline Mesa days ago as developers work on bringing up an open-source 3D stack for the Mali Midgard and Bifrost graphics processors. For those with older Mali 400/500 series hardware, the separate Lima-revived effort has sent out their latest patch series for trying to get their DRM driver into the kernel.

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Devices: Debian and Purism

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • It is complete!

    After last week’s DebConf Video Team sprint (thanks again to Jasper @ Linux Belgium for hosting us), the missing components for the stage box turned up right as I was driving back to Paris, and I could take the time to assemble them tonight.

  • Purism Wants to Teach You How to Create Games for Its Librem 5 Linux Smartphone

    Purism, the computer manufacturer known for its high-quality, privacy-focused laptops powered by a Linux-based operating system, announced an upcoming partnership with GDquest.

    GDQuest, an indie game designing company, will be partnering with Purism in an attempt to teach you how to create games that would be playable on Purism's upcoming Librem 5 Linux smartphone. GDquest's founder Nathan Lovato will be producing several video tutorial for Purism to demonstrate how to create a mobile game for GNU/Linux systems and publish it on the PureOS Store.

  • How to Avoid the Frightful 5 Big Tech Corporations

    You’re starting to question the moral values of Big Tech. You and your friends probably have a growing feeling of creepiness about the tech giants who have — like a poorly-acted villain — told you one thing, and given you another.

    Society – all of us – was told by these rising tech giants that “Everybody’s doing it, it’s easy: just do it,” and even though the masses – again, all of us – were skeptical, also generally thought, “Okay, I may be the product… but I am in control.” Until, of course, you weren’t in control.

    Big Tech have two business models: one is to exploit your private life for profit, the other to lock you into their products and services. Some even have both. Consequently, nearly everyone wants to leave Facebook – it’s just that nobody wants to leave it for Facebook 2.0. And that highlights the larger, deeper, and more menacing issue in digital society: that your digital civil rights are under constant, relentless attacks from Big-Tech.

Devices: Raspberry Pi Birthday and Zotac's New Introduction

Filed under
Hardware
  • Celebrate our seventh birthday at a Raspberry Jam near you! - Raspberry Pi

    Seven years ago, the Raspberry Pi was launched, and that kickstarted everything the Foundation has done. We always celebrate this “birthday” with community-focused events, and this year on the first March weekend, we are again coordinating local Jams all over the world so you can join the party!

  • Zotac unveils ZBOX Pro line of mini PCs commercial and industrial applications

    Zotac has been making small form-factor PCs for years, with the company’s ZBOX line of mini PCs pre-dating Intel’s NUC line of tiny desktop computers. But for the most part Zotac has focused on the consumer or business space, with mini PCs that you could use as small, quiet desktop computers, gaming systems, video players, or digital signage systems.

    Now Zotac is launching a new line of mini computers aimed squarely at the industrial and consumer spaces. The Zotac ZBOX Pro line of embedded computers are designed to power things like medical equipment, industrial robots, casino game systems, IoT gateways, and ATMs.

Open Hardware/Modding: 3D-Printed Stuff, Leap Motion's Project North Star, ESP32 Webcam and More

Filed under
Hardware
  • How To Make Your Own Springs for Extruded Rail T-Nuts

    Open-Source Extruded Profile systems are a mature breed these days. With Openbuilds, Makerslide, and Openbeam, we’ve got plenty of systems to choose from; and Amazon and Alibaba are coming in strong with lots of generic interchangeable parts. These open-source framing systems have borrowed tricks from some decades-old industry players like Rexroth and 80/20. But from all they’ve gleaned, there’s still one trick they haven’t snagged yet: affordable springloaded T-nuts.

  • Blender 3D Printing Tutorial – 16 Easy Steps for Beginners

    One of the most appealing parts of 3D printing is the ability to create and produce your own ideas. While there are many good sources of downloadable 3D models, there’s growing interest in being able to design your own.

    Enter Blender, a wonderfully accessible program that allows you to design your own 3D models and export them to be 3D printed. It’s free and open source, so anybody can use it!

  • 3D Printed Speaker – 6 Projects That Rock the Most

    From designs inspired by Star wars to complex structures taking advantage of physics phenomena, we take a look at some of the coolest 3D printed speakers.

  • A Science Lab In Your Pocket?

    For the price, it isn’t a bad deal. But it really isn’t a proper replacement for nearly any of the included virtual instruments. On the other hand, for under $70 it might be worth a shot. There’s a Linux app, so that’s a plus. We like that it is all open source so you could fix anything you don’t like.

  • Cthulhu Shield Arduino open source sensory shield

    Developers, makers and electronic enthusiasts may be interested in a new open source sensory substitution and sensory augmentation development kit called the Cthulhu Shield. Created by engineer Joel Moritz Jr the Cthulhu Shield has been launched via Kickstarter this week and is now available to back from $75 with worldwide shipping expected to take place during July 2019. For more information on the new Arduino shield watch the demonstration video below

  • Leap Motion's Project North Star Gets Hardware

    It’s been more than a year since we first heard about Leap Motion’s new, Open Source augmented reality headset. The first time around, we were surprised: the headset featured dual 1600×1440 LCDs, 120 Hz refresh rate, 100 degree FOV, and the entire thing would cost under $100 (in volume), with everything, from firmware to mechanical design released under Open licenses. Needless to say, that’s easier said than done. Now it seems Leap Motion is releasing files for various components and a full-scale release might be coming sooner than we think.

  • Leap Motion's Project North Star AR Headset Went Open Source and Lost its Tether

    Leap Motion has provided developers with a do-it-yourself solution to build an augmented reality headset with its Project North Star. However, a self-proclaimed “AR wonk” is using the blueprints to go even further with the development of an untethered type.

    NOA Labs research and development project manager Noah Zerkin recently unveiled a picture on Twitter that shows a mobile computer, which uses a Windows 10 motherboard and includes a battery pack in a cardboard enclosure affixed to a shoulder strap.

  • SuperB open source Bee-compatible ESP32 module

    Makers, hobbyists, developers and electronic enthusiasts searching for a way to easily add wireless and Bluetooth connectivity to the next project may be interested in the open source SuperB module. Once the demonstration video below to learn more about the Bee-compatible ESP32 module designed and created by Macchina.

  • Cheap ESP32 Webcam

    Looking for a cheap way to keep an eye on something? [Kevin Hester] pointed us to a way to make a WiFi webcam for under $10. This uses one of the many cheap ESP32 dev boards available, along with the Internet of Things platform PlatformIO and a bit of code that creates an RTSP server. This can be accessed by any software that supports this streaming protocol, and a bit of smart routing could put it on the interwebs. [Kevin] claims that the ESP32 camera dev boards he uses can be found for less than $10, but we found that most of them cost about $15. Either way, that’s cheaper than most commercial streaming cameras.

  • Build Retro Games with Script-8

    A whole generation of programmers learned to program by writing — or at least typing in — game programs for relatively simple computers like a TRS-80, a Commodore 64, or any of a handful of similar machines. These days, games are way more complicated and so are computers. Sure, it is more fun to play Skyrim than Snake, but for learning, you are probably going to get more out of starting with a simple game. If you want to learn programming today — or maybe start someone else on that same journey, you should check out Script-8, a project by [Gabriel Florit]. You can get a taste of how it looks in the video below, or just surf over to the site and play or modify a game (hint: press “a” to launch the ball).

  • Open Source Biological Gear For the Masses

    At the risk of putting too fine a point on it, Hackaday exists because people are out there building and documenting open source gadgets. If the person who built a particular gizmo is willing to show the world how they did it, consider us interested. Since you’re reading this, we’ll assume you are as well. Over the years, this mentality has been spreading out from the relatively niche hacker community into the greater engineering world, and we couldn’t be happier.

  • K40 Gets A Leg Up With Open Source Z Table

    If you’ve done even the most cursory research into buying a laser cutter, you’ve certainly heard of the K40. Usually selling for around $400 USD online, the K40 is not so much a single machine as a class of very similar 40 watt CO2 lasers from various Chinese manufacturers. As you might expect, it takes considerable corner cutting to drive the cost down that low, but the K40 is still arguably the most cost-effective way to get a “real” laser cutter into your shop. If you’re willing to do some modifications on the thing, even better.

  • The RISC-V Foundation Announces a Search for a Chief Executive Officer

    The RISC-V Foundation, a non-profit corporation controlled by its members to drive a new era of processor innovation via the adoption and implementation of the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), today announced the RISC-V Foundation Board of Directors has launched a search for a Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. This newly established role is part of the Board of Directors’ 2020 evolution plan for the expansive RISC-V community, and underscored by the overwhelming growth and momentum the RISC-V Foundation has witnessed since its inception in 2015.

What’s wrong with the Raspberry Pi

Filed under
Hardware

The Raspberry Pi is an incredibly popular device that has a well deserved fame for its affordability, versatility, possibilities and vibrant community. It is easy to find fan projects and publications praising it, but most people are not aware of its weak points until they suffer them and come across the information on the forums.

I will try to explain some of the personal problems that I have with the Pi, as well as some of the issues people have all the time, most often without realizing it, and finally why I do not recommend it for some applications, specifically NAS kind of services such as NextCloudPi and Open Media Vault. Hopefully this will save me time in order to avoid repeating myself all over the forums.

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Graphics: AMDGPU and X.Org Elections

  • amdgpu drm-next-5.2
  • AMDGPU Has Another Round Of Updates Ahead Of Linux 5.2
    Feature work on DRM-Next for the Linux 5.2 kernel cycle is winding down while today AMD has sent in what could be their last round of AMDGPU feature updates for this next kernel release. Building off their earlier Linux 5.2 feature work are more updates. That earlier round brought new SMU11 enablement code for Vega 20, various other Vega 20 features, HMM preparations, and other code changes.
  • 2019 Election Round 2 voting OPEN
    To all X.Org Foundation Members: The round 2 of X.Org Foundation's annual election is now open and will remain open until 23:59 UTC on 2 May 2019. Four of the eight director seats are open during this election, with the four nominees receiving the highest vote totals serving as directors for two year terms. There were six candidates nominated. For a complete list of the candidates and their personal statements, please visit the 2019 X.Org Elections page at https://www.x.org/wiki/BoardOfDirectors/Elections/2019/ The new bylaw changes were approved in the first round of voting. Here are some instructions on how to cast your vote: Login to the membership system at: https://members.x.org/ If you do not remember your password, you can click on the "lost password" button and enter your user name. An e-mail will be sent to you with your password. If you have problems with the membership system, please e-mail membership at x.org. When you login you will see an "Active Ballots" section with the "X.Org 2019 Elections Round 2" ballot. When you click on that you will be presented with a page describing the ballot. At the bottom you will find a number of dropdowns that let you rank your candidates by order of preference. For the election: There is a pull-down selection box for 1st choice, 2nd, choice, and so on. Pick your candidates top to bottom in order of preference, avoiding duplicates. After you have completed your ballot, click the "Cast vote" button. Note that once you click this button, your votes will be cast and you will not be able to make further changes, so please make sure you are satisfied with your votes before clicking the "Cast vote" button. After you click the "Vote" button, the system will verify that you have completed a valid ballot. If your ballot is invalid (e.g., you duplicated a selection or did not answer the By-laws approval question), it will return you to the previous voting page. If your ballot is valid, your votes will be recorded and the system will show you a notice that your votes were cast. Note that the election will close at 23:59 UTC on 2 May 2019. At that time, the election committee will count the votes and present the results to the current board for validation. After the current board validates the results, the election committee will present the results to the Members. Harry, on behalf of the X.Org elections committee
  • It's Time To Re-Vote Following The Botched 2019 X.Org Elections
    While there were the recent X.Org Foundation board elections, a do-over was needed as their new custom-written voting software wasn't properly recording votes... So here's now your reminder to re-vote in these X.Org elections. At least with the initial round of voting they reached a super majority and the ballot question of whether the X.Org Foundation should formally fold FreeDesktop.org into its umbrella worked and that X.Org + FreeDesktop.org hook-up passed so all is well on that front. But for the Board of Directors elections, that's where re-voting is needed with the voting software that now correctly records the votes.

today's howtos

Games: Lutris and More

  • Epic Games Store Now On Linux Thanks To Lutris
    While the Epic Games Store itself is not officially supported by the open source Linux operating system, a third-party gaming client has now made sure that you can access the store and launcher on your own distro. The Epic Games Store is now accessible on Linux via the Lutris Gaming client. The client is available to all Linux users, who in the past has provided the same users a way to play PC games without the need to have Windows installed in their machines. Although Linux is not necessarily the go-to platform when it comes to PC gaming, there is a very niche audience dedicated to making the platform work in favor of open-source and to counteract what could be perceived as a heavily Windows-biased PC gaming community. Linux gaming is somewhat tedious to the relatively casual or normal user, although there are some within the Linux community that advertise and try to foster its growth in terms of gaming, as there are some games that can run better on the operating system. That is to say, if you have a lot of patience to try and make it work.
  • You Died but a Necromancer revived you is good fun in a small package
    Sometimes, simplicity is what makes a game and in the case of You Died BaNRY that's very true. The game has little depth to it but makes up for that in just how frantic and fun it can be. The entire gameplay is just you (or you and friends) attempting to cross a small level filled with platforms, spikes and all sorts of crazy traps. It's ridiculously easy to get into as well, since the controls are so basic all you need to worry about is your movement.
  • Forager is a weirdly addictive casual grinding game that has mined into my heart
    I'm not usually one for games that have you endlessly wander around, collect resources, build a little and repeat but Forager is so ridiculously charming it's lovely.
  • DragonRuby Game Toolkit, a cross-platform way to make games with Ruby
    Now for something a little different! Ryan "Icculus" Gordon, a name known for many Linux ports and SDL2 teamed up with indie developer Amir Rajan to create a new cross-platform toolkit. Why was it created? Well, in a nutshell they both "hate the complexity of today's engines" and this toolkit was actually made to help ship A Dark Room for the Nintendo Switch, which shows how versatile it is.

10+ Open Source Software Writing Tools That Every Writer Should Know

Being a professional writer requires two key things to help ensure success: commitment and support. The former comes from the writer, and the latter comes from the tools he (or she) uses to get the job done. Below is a list of 11 great and lesser-known writing tools or apps, many of which are free and open-source, that can help improve the quality of your writing and make you a more productive and successful writer. Read more