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Elecrow CrowPi 2 electronics learning laptop hands-on: Raspberry Pi 4 laptop for students

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Since Raspbian is based on Debian Linux, it's a fairly robust and capable OS. If it runs on ARM Linux, it runs on the CrowPi 2. This includes mainstays like GIMP for image editing, LibreOffice for office work, Chromium and Firefox for web browsing, and (of course) Minecraft Pi Edition for gaming. There are also a handful of Python games, but these are good for only a few minutes of fun and are truly intended to teach Python coding.

Thankfully, the larger 11.6-inch 1920x1080 screen makes retro gaming viable. Elecrow includes instructions for installing RetroPie to a microSD card and booting it on the CrowPi 2. The company also includes two USB controllers styled after the SNES gamepads for gaming. This is how my kids prefer to use the CrowPi 2, and it makes for a good portable retro gaming machine.

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Also: Repair, Repurpose, Upgrade With the Raspberry Pi Or Pico

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Programming Leftovers

  • How C++ Modify Arrays in Function

    Arrays have been widely known among programmers and developers. We have been using arrays in almost every structural language to object-oriented language. As we know, arrays store more than one value in their indexes, and we also modify the arrays. So, in today’s article, we will be deliberating how to modify the arrays in functions of C++. Start by logging in from the Linux system and launching the terminal with the “Ctrl+Alt+T” shortcut.

  • Digging into Julia's package system []

    We recently looked at some of the changes and new features arriving with the upcoming version 1.7 release of the Julia programming language. The package system provided by the language makes it easier to explore new language versions, while still preserving multiple versions of various parts of the ecosystem. This flexible system takes care of dependency management, both for writing exploratory code in the REPL and for developing projects or libraries. [...] For a while I've thought that the Plots package needed a particular feature. This morning I cloned the project to my computer, added the feature, made a pull request on GitHub, made a change suggested by one of the maintainers, and got it approved. The entire elapsed time for this process was about five hours. In this section I'll describe two more package system commands that make it easier to hack on public packages. In the REPL, I entered package mode, then executed develop Plots. This command, which can be shortened to dev, clones the named package's Git repository to the user's machine in the directory .julia/dev/. Since Plots is a big package with many source files, this took about two minutes. This command also alters the environment so that using Plots imports from the version under development, rather than the official version. The command free Plots returns to using the official version. One can switch back and forth between these two incarnations of the package freely, as subsequent dev commands won't download anything, but simply switch back to the development version. I entered the development directory and created a branch for my feature with the git checkout ‑b command. The package manager doesn't require this; it's happy to let you mangle the master branch. But I had plans to ask that my feature be merged into master, and needed to create a branch for it. Packages under develop are loaded from the file tree, not from the Git repository. Then I wanted to edit the function to add my feature. But where is it? Plots has 37 files in its src tree. Because of multiple dispatch, each function can have dozens of methods associated with it, all with the same name. This makes finding a particular method in the source difficult to accomplish with simple grep commands.

  • A QEMU case study in grappling with software complexity []

    There are many barriers to producing software that is reliable and maintainable over the long term. One of those is software complexity. At the recently concluded 2021 KVM Forum, Paolo Bonzini explored this topic, using QEMU, the open source emulator and virtualizer, as a case study. Drawing on his experience as a maintainer of several QEMU subsystems, he made some concrete suggestions on how to defend against undesirable complexity. Bonzini used QEMU as a running example throughout the talk, hoping to make it easier for future contributors to modify QEMU. However, the lessons he shared are equally applicable to many other projects. Why is software complexity even a problem? For one, unsurprisingly, it leads to bugs of all kinds, including security flaws. Code review becomes harder for complex software; it also makes contributing to and maintaining the project more painful. Obviously, none of these are desirable. The question that Bonzini aimed to answer is "to what extent can we eliminate complexity?"; to do that he started by distinguishing between "essential" and "accidental" complexity. The notion of these two types of complexity originates from the classic 1987 Fred Brooks paper, "No Silver Bullet". Brooks himself is looking back to Aristotle's notion of essence and accident. Essential complexity, as Bonzini put it, is "a property of the problem that a software program is trying to solve". Accidental complexity, instead, is "a property of the program that is solving the problem at hand" (i.e. the difficulties are not inherent to the problem being solved). To explain the concepts further, he identified the problems that QEMU is solving, which constitute the essential complexity of QEMU.

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  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 413
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