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Gadgets

Slimbook Executive: Lightweight Linux Ultrabook with Top-Tier Screen

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Linux
Gadgets

It’s time for appointment with the Slimbook Executive.

Now, as names go the ‘Slimbook Executive’ makes me think of the 1980s — beige PCs, shoulder pads, leatherette diary organisers, and a veritable Ozone of hairspray.

But the Executive‘s specs are anything but dated — though they will be a touch familiar if you read our article on the TUXEDO InfinityBook last month.

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Purism shows off new features coming to PureOS for the Librem 5 smartphone (camera software, wireless toggles, screen rotation and more)

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Gadgets

The next major release of the PureOS operating system that ships with the Librem 5 smartphone will bring a number of new features and improvements.

Code-named Byzantium, the new version of PureOS will bring a handful of new applications plus user interface tweaks that let you do things like enable automatic screen rotation, toggle WiFi, Bluetooth, or cellular functionality, or change keyboard styles.

And while some of those features are likely tied to the hardware of Purism’s $799 smartphone, it’s likely that some may eventually find their way to other Linux distributions for other phones, because Purism is the lead developer of the Phosh user interface that’s also available for other mobile Linux distributions including postmarketOS, Manjaro, Mobian, Arch, openSUSE, and Fedora.

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Crowdfunding for the JingPad A1 Linux tablet begins

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Linux
Gadgets

The JingPad A1 is an 11 inch tablet with an AMOLED display, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and support for pen and touch input as well as an optional keyboard. But the main thing that sets the JingPad A1 apart from most tablets on the market is that it runs a custom Linux-based operating system called JingOS.

Chinese startup Jingling has been promoting the upcoming tablet for a few months, and now the company has launched a JingPad A1 crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo.

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The PinePhone keyboard case will support hardware add-ons for wireless charging, LoRa, and more

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Linux
Gadgets

The upcoming PinePhone keyboard accessory will let you turn Pine64’s Linux smartphone into a tiny Linux laptop. But thanks to a recent change to the design it’ll let you do more than that.

In order to connect the keyboard to a PinePhone, you’ll remove the back cover of the phone and replace it with the keyboard case which is designed to connect to the pogo pin connectors. Some folks were hoping to be able to extend the functionality by adding more hardware. So Pine64’s Lukasz Erecinski says the latest version of the keyboard includes a breakout header that makes that possible… although not necessarily easy.

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News roundup: Hacking the PinePhone keyboard accessory, Phoc updates, and a new convergent web browser

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Gadgets

Pine64 is making a keyboard accessory for the PinePhone. When it goes on sale later this year, it will let you basically turn a PinePhone into a tiny Linux laptop. But first, developers need to create software that lets the two devices talk to one another.

The company has started sending prototypes to developers, and last month Martijn Braam posted a short video that shows that the phone can detect input from the keyboard… but when you try to type, the wrong letters and symbols appear on the screen.

Now developer Megi has a prototype in-house, and after a bit of hardware hacking, Megi has found a way to flash custom firmware to the keyboard, and now it looks like basic keyboard input using open source software is possible.

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The $149 Smartphone That Could Bring The Linux Mobile Ecosystem to Life

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Gadgets

It sounds strange, but it’s something Pine64’s entry into the smartphone space, the Linux-driven PinePhone, is built for.

Would you want to use it? I spent a few weeks with one recently, and here’s what I learned.

[...]

Now, to be clear, there’s a difference between workable and cutting-edge. Unlike the Pinebook Pro, which offered relatively up-to-date hardware (such as the ability to add an NVMe drive) even if the chip itself was a bit pokey compared to, say, an M1, the PinePhone effectively is knowingly running outdated hardware out of the gate.

Its CPU, an Allwinner A64 with a Mali 400 MP2 GPU, first came out six years ago and is the same chip the original Pine64 single-board computer used. (It’s also older than the NXP i.MX 8M System-On-Module that the other primary Linux phone on the market, the Purism Librem 5, comes with—though to be fair, this phone sells for $149, less than a fifth of the price of the $800 Librem 5.)

Despite 802.11ac being in wide use for more than half a decade, the Wi-Fi tops out at 802.11n on the PinePhone—a bit frustrating, given that a lot of folks are probably not going to be throwing a SIM card into this and are going to be futzing around with it on Wi-Fi alone.

Is this the perfect phone for cheapskates? Well, to offer a point of comparison: The Teracube 2e, a sustainable low-end Android device that I reviewed a few months ago whose sub-$200 price point is very similar to that of the PinePhone, runs circles around this thing (and isn’t that far off from the Librem 5) on a pure spec level, with better cameras, a somewhat better screen, and a fingerprint sensor for a roughly similar price point (and a four-year warranty, compared to the single month you get from Pine64). If you’re looking for a cheap phone rather than an adventure, stay away.

And the PinePhone can be fairly temperamental in my experience, chewing through battery life when idle and reporting inconsistent charge levels when in use, no matter what OS is loaded.

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Also: Compact Elkhart Lake module has 2.5GbE and triple 4K

Huawei's HarmonyOS already has 134,000 apps, over 4 million developers have signed on

I'm back in the boat

Filed under
Software
Gadgets

In mid-2014 I first heard about Jolla and Sailfish OS and immediately bought a Jolla 1; wrote apps; participated in the IGG campaign for Jolla Tablet; bought the TOHKBD2; applied for (and got) Jolla C.

Sounds like the beginning of a good story doesn’t it?

Well, by the beginning of 2017 I had sold everything (except the tablet, we all know what happened to that one).

So what happened?? I was a happy Sailfish user, but Jolla’s false promises disappointed me.

Yet, despite all that, I still think about Sailfish OS to this day. I think it’s because, despite some proprietary components, the ecosystem around Sailfish OS is ultimately open source. And that’s what interests me. It also got a fresh update which solves some of the problems that where there 5 years ago.

Nowadays, thanks to the community, Sailfish OS can be installed on many devices, even if with some less components, but I’m looking for that complete experience and so I asked on the forum if there was someone willing to sell his Xperia device with or without the license… and I got one for free. Better still, in exchange for some apps!

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Making a Platform Adaptive for Everyone

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Gadgets

When we announced the Librem 5, we knew we would have to invest in and build a mobile operating system and applications to run on it — by “mobile” understand “for smartphones”. To avoid reinventing the wheel, we decided to base that system on an existing environment. Librem laptops ship with our operating system PureOS, which provides GNOME as its graphical user environment as it is a modern environment and a very active project with which we share many goals, design principles and values.

Touchscreens bring a new set of possibilities and constraints to user interface designs. For many years, GNOME’s main target is laptops, and it acknowledges in its design that they can have touchscreens. All of these factors made GNOME a serious candidate for Purism to turn into a mobile platform, and using it on both the Librem laptops and the Librem 5 brings some very valuable consistency to our broader software ecosystem and user experience.

To feed that system we need mobile applications, but rather than creating mobile duplicates of existing GNOME applications, we decided to take an approach the web has been doing for years: making existing GNOME applications adaptive. Making an application adaptive not only makes it work on smartphones just as well as on laptops, but it allows it to work well on anything in between, e.g. when its window is small or tiled. Adaptive applications also means same app code for multiple device sizes.

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Test 15 different PinePhone operating systems with Megi’s latest multi-distro demo image

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Gadgets

Trying out different operating systems on the PinePhone is as simple as flashing a bootable disk image to a microSD card, inserting it in the phone, and powering it on and the instructions for installing an OS to built-in storage are almost as simple.

Not sure which operating system you want to install though? That’s where a tool like Megi’s multi-distro demo image can come in handy. Instead of flashing a single operating system to a microSD card, this image lets you flash a whole bunch and then choose which one you want to run when you boot your phone.

The latest version was released a few days ago, and it contains 15 different operating systems including Arch, Fedora, Mobian, Sailfish, Ubuntu Touch and several different versions of postmareketOS and Manjaro with different user interfaces.

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Volla Phone X will be a rugged smartphone that will likely support Android and Linux

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Gadgets

The Volla Phone is a smartphone that’s designed to run either Android or Linux-based operating systems like Ubuntu. Made by a German startup called Volla, the phone was introduced through a crowdfunding campaign, and now sells for € 359 at the Volla Shop.

Now it looks like Volla may be preparing to launch a second phone.

The Volla Phone X is a rugged phone with a sturdy body and a big battery, and while details are pretty light at the moment, it will likely be available with a choice of operating systems when it goes on sale.

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Programming Leftovers

  • QuickLicenseRT Linux 3.0 - Protect and License Desktop Software

    QuickLicenseRT Linux 3.0 implements the QuickLicense 9.1 runtime system to protect and license a Linux desktop applications. Apply licensing to a 32 or 64-bit executable with a few programming commands. Use LinuxWrap to license a compiled executable without programming.

  • Turing Award winner Barbara Liskov on CLU and why programming is still cool • The Register

    It has been 12 years since Barbara Liskov won a Turing Award for her contributions to practical and theoretical foundations of programming language and system design, and these days the creator of the CLU programming language continues to work on some interesting problems. We spoke about innovation, abstraction and encapsulation in the 1970s and today in a recent chat. Liskov, now in her 80s, leads the Programming Methodology Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Recently, she has been working on parallel computing and, with a student, developed Byzantine Fault Tolerance* [PDF] in the 1990s, "which turns out to be very significant for the blockchain world," she says.

  • GitLab all set to go public as revenues – and losses – rise

    DevOps darling GitLab has finally filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) as revenues continue to grow and losses widen. The IPO had been expected in 2020 but the company put things off due to the pandemic until late last week, when the paperwork was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company, founded in 2014, has remained tight-lipped over the sums involved, although the filed S-1 form recorded that the proposed maximum aggregate offering price is estimated at $100m. [...] In the IPO document, Gitlabs said it was on course to grow revenues to $233m in its current financial year ending in 2022. This compares to the $152.2m reported in fiscal 2021 and the $81.2m in the year before that. However, losses also widened over those years. The net loss in fiscal 2020 was $130.7m – but it was $192.2m in fiscal 2021. Net loss reached $69m for the six months ended 31 July 2021, up from $43.5m for the same time last year.

  • The 10 Core Differences Between C and C++

    C and C++ are two different well-recognized programming languages with the function of assembly language. Though both C and C ++ sound similar with an extra "++" on the latter, their features and usage are distinctive. C is a procedural programming language with a static system, whereas C++ is an enhanced version of the C programming language with object-oriented programming support.

Proprietary Software Leftovers

today's howtos

  • How to analyze Linux system boot time with Systemd - Linux Shout

    Systemd is a system and session manager that is responsible for managing all services running on the system over the entire operating time of the computer, from the start-up process to shutdown. Processes are always started in parallel (as far as possible) in order to keep the boot process as short as possible. But how to know which process took how much time while booting your system, well for that we can use the Systemd as well.

  • How To Install Figma on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Figma on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Figma is a popular tool amongst graphic designers and UI, UX designers. It can be used to create wireframes, high-fidelity interface designs, prototyping, etc. One of the most loved features of Figma is its ability to run inside a browser, which makes it platform-independent. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Figma on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

  • How To Create and Manage Groups in Linux - ByteXD

    A group is a collection of users in Linux that shares some commonalities for the purpose of security, privilege, etc. Linux allows its administrators to create different user groups very easily. This is convenient because you can create a user group and manage all of the user’s permissions at once, instead of individually assigning permissions to each user. If you are not familiar with Linux permissions and how to manage them, take a look at this article. In this tutorial, we will cover how to create groups in Linux and briefly explain how to manage them.

  • What's the differences between a Docker image vs a container? - Coffee Talk: Java, News, Stories and Opinions

    A container is a collection of one or more processes, organized under a single name and identifying ID that is isolated from the other processes running within a computing environment. That computing environment can be a physical computer or a virtual machine. A container image is a template that defines how an image will be realized at runtime. While containers started out as a Linux technology, you can create containers within the Windows operating system too. The important thing to understand about Docker technology is that it has two main components: the client CLI tool and the container runtime. The CLI tool is used to execute instructions to the Docker runtime at the command line. The job of the Docker runtime is to create containers and run them on the operating system.

  • How To Install Yarn on Debian 11 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Yarn on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Yarn is a package manager for JavaScript that runs on Node.js, allowing developers to manage their application dependencies. It was created to solve a set of problems with npm, such as speeding up the packages installation process by parallelizing operations and reducing errors related to network connectivity. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Yarn on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

  • How to Install LaTeX Editor TeXstudio 4.0.0 in Ubuntu 20.04 / 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

    The open-source LaTeX editor TeXstudio 4.0.0 was released! Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu via PPA repository. TeXstudio 4.0.0 offers Qt6 support which should improve HiDPI handling. And the official packages for Windows and macOS are now based on Qt6, while Linux build sticks to Qt5. The final release is out after 8 alpha, 3 beta and 2 release candidate tests, though it’s announced only with following changes...

  • How to Setup Passwordless SSH Login in Linux with Keys

    Hello Linux geeks, it is always a good practice that Linux systems should be ssh with keys rather than the password. SSH (Secure Shell) keys gives us a secure way to login to Linux and UNIX like servers. When we access Linux systems with SSH keys then it is also known as passwordless ssh authentication. In this post, we will learn how to setup passwordless SSH authentication with keys in Linux.

  • How to prevent a Supply Chain Attack in a Linux Environment

    This is a type of cyberattack that seeks to damage an organization by attacking weaker elements in the supply chain. A supply chain attack can happen across any industry. Software supply chain attacks occur when attackers insert malicious code in a poorly secured part of the software supply chain. This causes a ripple effect, in which a lot of consumers of the software are impacted by the attack.

  • Setup Load Balancing with HAProxy, Nginx and Keepalived in Linux

    In the conventional method of hosting a server or website, the server is hosted through a single HTTP server. When the clients hit on the server, they are allowed on the server. But, what happens when multiple users, even more; thousands of clients, hit the site at a time for some query? What will happen if the server crashes? How will the single server balance the load? To answer all these questions, we can use the term ‘Load balancing’. If you’re looking for authentic tools for managing traffic of your server, you can definitely setup the HAProxy, Nginx, and Keepalived on Linux for load balancing.

  • This Will Make You a Command-Line Ninja | by Erik van Baaren | Python Land | Sep, 2021 | Medium

    A well-crafted bash command or script can save hours of manual labor. This tutorial will show you exactly how easy it is to become a command-line ninja and automate those tedious tasks. If you need to polish your basics, head over to Shell Commands Every Developer Must Know.

  • What Is the Linux Command Line and How Do You Use It?

    The interface you use to view and interact with an operating system, whether text-based or graphical, is known as a shell. The first shells were text-based. This is because the earliest electronic computers were not household devices. Instead, they were giant mainframes that occupied entire rooms. Back then, computing power was pretty low and network connections were slow. You can store very many files, and many users can sign into a system simultaneously over a very slow connection when you’re only working with text. In 1969, Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson at Bell Labs developed the Unix operating system, one of the first mainframe operating systems to gain widespread adoption. Unix operated on mainframes as a shared system, with people interacting with the computer from individual terminals consisting of only a keyboard and a screen. Users did everything from creating and navigating files to transmitting data by typing commands using a shell, which the mainframe then interpreted. If anything went wrong, a system administrator could check via a console, a dedicated text-entry, and display device used for system-related messages such as those concerning the BIOS, bootloader, or kernel. Linux is a Unix-like system that replicates much of the functionalities of Unix, but as free software available to all. The Thompson shell (written by Ken Thompson) was the initial shell for Unix, but a replacement came from Stephen Bourne in 1979 known as the Bourne shell. In 1989, Brian Fox create the Bourne Again shell (bash for short) as a free software replacement of the Bourne shell as part of the GNU Project. This is the default shell for most Linux operating systems. Thus we have several of the names that are still commonly used for the command line today: command line, shell, terminal, console, and bash.

Games: Assets, GOG, and Steam

  • Derivation: Episode 1 Motion Comic by Itizso on itch.io - David Revoy

    Game developer Itizso on itch.io made a motion comic derivation with the first webcomic episode of Pepper&Carrot. It's an interesting way to give life to this episode.

  • Trouble is brewing over on GOG due to the HITMAN release needing online for some features | GamingOnLinux

    GOG.com, the store that provides itself on offering "DRM FREE" builds of games has recently released Hitman - Game of The Year Edition from IO Interactive and GOG fans are not happy. To set the scene a little, this is a single-player stealth game about running around assassinating various targets across a bunch of different missions. It's actually a pretty good game and it has a Linux build available on Steam ported by Feral Interactive, which is not up on GOG. Here's the problem: many features in HITMAN require you to have an internet connection. This is different to a game that has online modes which would of course need the internet. This is a game you play by yourself. Story missions and bonus mission can be played offline but you have to be online for most of the progression for item unlocks, new start location unlocks, special contracts, featured contracts, escalation missions and more.

  • Steam Deck: Official Anti-Cheat Support Incoming in 2021

    If you have been following news closely (including with our recent Podcast with James Ramey) it should come as no surprise to see official support for EAC ahead of the Steam Deck launch. As discussed during our interview, this will probably require signed Proton builds in order to have EAC running in the games that require it (one of the requirements of Anti-cheat technology is to have reproducible environments). In practical terms this probably means that custom Proton builds made by third parties (like Proton GE) may not be able to include such support. We will have to see when more details surface. [...] With these two announcements, it looks like there should be a nice jump in compatibility for anything running under Proton in the very near future (maybe even ahead of the Steam Deck launch). Will that be enough to reach 100% compatibility as announced by Valve? Probably not, but my guess is that the fact that they are shipping a truckload of devkits of the Steam Deck early to developers is going to help for the remaining gaps.