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Hardware

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

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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

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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

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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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AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

Back in September AMD announced new FX CPUs that included the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX-8320E. Back then we reviewed the FX-8370/FX-8370E CPUs under Linux but at the time didn't have our hands on the more affordable FX-8320E processor. In December AMD sent over the FX-8320E and so for the past few weeks I've been happily using this new Vishera CPU.

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Build Your Own Open-Source SmartWatch

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Hardware
OSS
HowTos

If you’re not up for spending your money on one of the less advanced smart watch models, you may want to check out maker Jonathan Cook’s DIY Open-Source SmartWatch, part of which is 3D printed, something the prognosticators of future tech surely didn’t forecast. Cook shared instructions for making his SmartWatch on the webzine “Make:” and also on his own website, DoNothingBox. You can download the STL files on the DNB site, too. For around $125 or less you can make your own smart phone and you can customize it, something that you wouldn’t be able to do with a store-bought version.

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Open Source Haptics Kit Aims to Democratize Force Feedback

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Hardware
OSS

quick terminology dive: a spacial haptic device is a physical manipulator that enables exploration of a virtual space through force feedback. A user grips the “manipulandum” (the handle) and moves it within the work area defined by the physical design of the device. Spacial Haptic Devices have been around for years and serve as excellent tools for telling their users (surgeons) what something (tumor) “feels like.”

In our case, this haptic device is a two-link, two-joint system grounded on a base station and providing force feedback with servo motors and tensioned wire ropes. The manipulator itself supports 3-degree-of-freedom movement of the end-effector (translations, but no rotations) which is tracked with encoders placed on all joints. To enable feedback, joints are engaged with cable-drive transmissions.

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BeagleBone SBC beefs up Lego Mindstorms EV3

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Linux
Hardware

An “EVB” Kickstarter project replaces the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot’s ARM9 brick with a BeagleBone Black, adding performance, expandability, and sensors.

When Lego added a Linux-based “Brick” computer to its modular, open source Lego Mindstorms robot platform, we were psyched, but were also somewhat disappointed it was only a modest ARM9-based device. Now, a startup called Fatcatlab has found Kickstarter success with an EVB computer you can use in place of the Brick that is designed to plug in a BeagleBone Black for a much faster 1GHz Cortex-A8 experience.

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5 favorite Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
OSS

It has never been a better time to understand the components that fit together to make the hardware we use work. To do that, lets look at my five favorite open hardware projects.

First, what do I mean by open hardware? I mean that the components that make up a device are available for the user to see. No secret formulas. The ingredients are completely transparent, and if you chose, you can source the raw parts and assemble them yourself. You can also learn from the process of assembly and with a team spirit share any problems encountered, then improving the formula of the device. For example, you could suggest better parts or improve the code to make it run faster.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.6.5

I'm announcing the release of the 4.6.5 kernel. All users of the 4.6 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.6.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.6.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... thanks, greg k-h Read more Also: Linux 4.4.16 Linux 3.14.74

today's leftovers

Leftovers: Software

  • The Linux Deepin File Manager Is a Thing of Beauty
    China-based Linux distro Deepin has shown off its all-new desktop file manager. And to say it's pretty is an understatement.
  • GRadio Lets You Find, Listen to Radio Stations from the Ubuntu Desktop
    Love to listen to the radio? My ol’ pal Lolly did. But let’s say you want to listen to the radio on Ubuntu. How do you do it? Well, the Ubuntu Software centre should always be the first dial you try, but you’ll need to sift through a load of static to find a decent app.
  • Reprotest 0.2 released, with virtualization support
    reprotest 0.2 is available in PyPi and should hit Debian soon. I have tested null (no container, build on the host system), schroot, and qemu, but it's likely that chroot, Linux containers (lxc/lxd), and quite possibly ssh are also working. I haven't tested the autopkgtest code on a non-Debian system, but again, it probably works. At this point, reprotest is not quite a replacement for the prebuilder script because I haven't implemented all the variations yet, but it offers better virtualization because it supports qemu, and it can build non-Debian software because it doesn't rely on pbuilder.
  • Calibre 2.63.0 eBook Converter and Viewer Adds Unicode 9.0 Support, Bugfixes
    Kovid Goyal has released yet another maintenance update for his popular, open-source, free, and cross-platform Calibre ebook library management software, version 2.63.0. Calibre 2.63.0 arrives two weeks after the release of the previous maintenance update, Calibre 2.62.0, which introduced support for the new Kindle Oasis ebook reader from Amazon, as well as reading and writing of EPUB 3 metadata. Unfortunately, there aren't many interesting features added in the Calibre 2.63.0 release, except for the implementation of Unicode 9.0 support in the regex engine of the Edit Book feature that lets users edit books that contain characters encoded with the recently released Unicode 9.0 standard.
  • Mozilla Delivers Improved User Experience in Firefox for iOS
    When we rolled out Firefox for iOS late last year, we got a tremendous response and millions of downloads. Lots of Firefox users were ecstatic they could use the browser they love on the iPhone or iPad they had chosen. Today, we’re thrilled to release some big improvements to Firefox for iOS. These improvements will give users more speed, flexibility and choice, three things we care deeply about.
  • LibreOffice 5.2 Is Being Released Next Wednesday
    One week from today will mark the release of LibreOffice 5.2 as the open-source office suite's latest major update. LibreOffice 5.2 features a new (optional) single toolbar mode, bookmark improvements. new Calc spreadsheet functions (including forecasting functions), support for signature descriptions, support for OOXML signature import/export, and a wealth of other updates. There are also GTK3 user-interface improvements, OpenGL rendering improvements, multi-threaded 3D rendering, faster rendering, and more.
  • Blackmagic Design Finally Introduces Fusion 8 For Linux
  • Why Microsoft’s revival of Skype for Linux is a big deal [Ed: This article is nonsense right from the headline. Web client is not Linux support. And it's spyware (centralised too).]

today's howtos