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Hardware

Devices and Open Hardware: Chomebox, MNT Reform, Arduino and More

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Hardware

  • ASUS Chromebox 4 features Intel Comet Lake processor, WiFi 6, up to 16GB RAM

    Chrome OS devices, be it Chromebook laptops, Chomebox mini PCs, or Chromebit PC sticks, used to be relatively low-cost devices designed to run the Chrome browser. But over the years. the versatility of the platform has increased with more powerful, yet still with low-power consumption, hardware, and improved software with support for Android apps, the Google Play Store, and even Linux programs.

    [...]

    I could not quite remember what BC 1.2 meant, and it stands for “Battery Charging 1.2” technology meant you’ll be able to charge your smartphone or other battery-powered devices faster through compatible ports.

  • How to choose a wireless protocol for home automation

    In the second article in this series, I talked about local control vs. cloud connectivity and some things to consider for your home automation setup.

    In this third article, I will discuss the underlying technology for connecting devices to Home Assistant, including the dominant protocols that smart devices use to communicate and some things to think about before purchasing smart devices.

  • MNT Reform Production Update November 2020 — MNT Research

    Shortly after the conclusion of the Crowd Supply campaign, we shipped 8 hand-built beta devices and collected some last minute feedback. Based on the feedback and our own learnings during this last test assembly phase, we further refined some aspects of the MNT Reform design.

  • uSVC Arduino VGA board – a portable and programmable retro-gaming console (crowdfunding)

    Itaca Innovation previously launched uChip, an Arduino-compatible board that has a Cortex M0+ MCU that features 0.3” spacing between rows. Now, next-hack joined Itaca Innovation to come up with an expansion board for uChip. The uChip Simple VGA Console (uSVC) Arduino based retro-gaming console is open hardware and is a programmable console. It will allow creating and playing retro “9-bit” games with standard USB controllers and keyboards.

  • Arduino Blog » Controlling a gas convection heater with a custom thermostat

    Redditor “Higgs8” had a gas convection heater that is (or was) controlled manually, but they wanted something a bit more. To accomplish this, they came up with a small Arduino-based thermostat.

    This allows you to set the desired temperature using a potentiometer, and it senses the current temperature value via a DS18B20 thermometer unit. It then adjusts the formerly manual knob with a stepper motor and custom gear reduction in response, maintaining the desired comfort level.

Raspberry Pi alternative seeed Odyssey: Assembly is challenging, but it's worth it

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Hardware

I was recently sent a combination of the seeed Odyssey single board computer and the seeed re_computer case for review. I've always found these types of computers to be an incredibly valuable part of the IT landscape because they are so versatile. Use them as a desktop or a kiosk. IoT? Sure, why not? Cluster them together for a small container deployment? Of course. Anywhere you need a tiny form factor computer, you've got a solution.

The Raspberry Pi is the gold standard of single board computers. When seeed reached out to me, my first inclination was, "You're not Raspberry Pi." Then again, I've always been a champion of the underdog, so why not give it a go?

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Devices/Embedded: Turing Pi, Raspberry Pi, MagPi

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Hardware

  • Turing Pi: A Plug-and-Play Raspberry Pi Cluster - IoT Tech Trends

    The Raspberry Pi is a versatile and relatively inexpensive single-board computer that you can use in a range of projects. However, if you really want to take your Raspberry Pi projects to the next level, you may want to build a Raspberry Pi cluster. This is where the Turing Pi v1 can come in handy. It allows you to easily connect multiple Raspberry Pis together to form a cluster.

  • Lidl (Silvercrest and Livarno Lux) branded Zigbee products for Open Source users

    The LED strip worked immediately with my Domoticz setup using a Zigate stick and Raspberry Pi. Notice that the diagram is wrong, the arrow on the controller must align with the VCC label on the LED strip.

    I opened up one of the gateways to see what it is and whether it can be adapted to run free, open source software. Inside, it is the Tuyo TYGWZ-01 white label gateway. On the board, there is a Realtek RTL8196E router chip, radio module with label 330010257 and part no. 2.22.46.00001 and an EM6AA160TSE-5G DRAM chip.

  • The MagPi #100: celebrate 100 amazing moments from Raspberry Pi history

TUXEDO Computers Enables Full Linux Support on the Intel-TongFang QC7 Gaming Laptop

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Hardware

At the request of numerous users, TUXEDO Computers is now providing the necessary drivers and software needed to enable full Linux support on the Intel-TongFang QC7 reference gaming laptop, which is the base of several laptops available for purchase in stores across Europe and the US.

Some well known brands include the Aftershock / LEVEL51 Vapor 15 Pro, Eluktronics MAG-15, MAINGEAR ELEMENT, and XMG FUSION 15, the latter being now offered by TUXEDO Computers on their online store fully configurable and pre-installed with the company's in-house built, Ubuntu-based TUXEDO_OS.

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Devices/Embedded and Open Hardware Leftovers

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

  • Embedded Linux for Teams | Ubuntu

    Developer-friendly embedded Linux should just deliver apps to devices. Satellite companies don’t build their own rockets. They focus on building satellites and lease a rocket to deliver it as a payload. Many developer teams also have to “build the rocket” to deliver embedded applications.

    Developers would be more successful, if Linux vendors made it their job to provide and maintain the scaffold that teams need to deliver embedded apps. In such a world, teams would focus on creating apps.

    The resulting app-centric development cycle could boil down to booting, building and deploying. Building on top of vendor-provided scaffolds, developers would create a bootable image for their target boards. Teams would then develop apps. After testing, they will build a system image that delivers all these apps. Then burn, deploy, done.

  • Personal Raspberry Pi music streamer
  • Run Pi-hole as a container with Podman on openSUSE - SUSE Communities

    There is arguably no better way to protect devices on your local network from unwanted content than Pi-hole. Add a machine running Pi-hole to your network, and it will quietly scrub all incoming traffic from pesky stuff like ads and trackers in the background. As the name suggests, Pi-hole was initially designed to run on a Raspberry Pi. But if you already have a machine running openSUSE on your network, you can deploy a Pi-hole container on it instead. And to make things a bit more interesting, you can use Podman instead of Docker for that.

    Installing Podman on openSUSE 15.2 is a matter of running the sudo zypper install podman command. A Pi-hole container needs the 80 and 53 ports, so make sure that these ports are available on your machine.

  • MorphESP 240 ESP32-S2 board integrates a 1.3-inch color display (Crowdfunding)

    We’ve already seen ESP32 platforms with a color display such as M5Stack, but MorphESP 240 is kind of cute with a 1.3-inch color display, features the more recent ESP32-S2 WiFi processor, and supports battery power & charging.

  • Rockchip RK3588 specifications revealed – 8K video, 6 TOPS NPU, PCIe 3.0, up to 32GB RAM

    Rockchip RK3588 is one of the most anticipated processors for the year on this side of the Internet with the octa-core processor features four Cortex-A76 cores, four Cortex-A55 cores, an NPU, and 8K video decoding support.

    The roadmap shows an expected launch date in Q3/Q4 2020, but sadly the release date will be pushed back in the future. Having said that, the Rockchip Developer Conference (RKDC) is now taking place, and the company has put up a poster that reveals a bit more about the processor.

  • Arduino Blog » Arduino psychic ‘magically’ guesses random numbers

    Standard Arduino Nanos can be used for many purposes, but they do not feature wireless capabilities. Somehow, though, Hari Wiguna’s Arduino psychic system is apparently able to pass data between two of them. No external communication hardware is implemented, yet one Nano is able to recognize when a random number chosen on the other Nano setup is input via an attached keypad.

    As noted by Wiguna, it’s easier shown than explained, and you can see this techno-magic trick in action in the first clip. How things work is revealed in the second video, but can you guess how it’s done?

Devices: Allwinner, Yocto, Arduino

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

  • Allwinner H6 SBC offers dual Ethernet, four display outputs, M.2 expansion

    While the processor was introduced in 2017, there are only a few Allwinner H6 SBC’s on the market with, for instance, Orange Pi 3 or Pine H64 boards, and it never became as popular as solutions based Allwinner H3 processor.

    But Boardcon has now launched its own Allwinner H6 SBC targeting professionals with Boardcon EMH6 board combining a carrier board and a computer-on-module that can be integrated into products.

  • Automotive Grade Linux Releases UCB 10 Software Platform with Yocto Long Term Support

    Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), an open source project developing a shared software platform for in-vehicle technology, today announced the latest code release of the AGL platform, UCB 10, also known under the codename "Jumping Jellyfish."

    Developed through a joint effort by dozens of member companies, the AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) is an open source software platform that can serve as the de facto industry standard for infotainment, telematics and instrument cluster applications.

  • Arduino Blog » These cornhole boards react to your bean bag tosses

    The lawn game of cornhole has seen a surge in popularity over the last couple of decades. But if you’ve ever thought about raising its cool factor, then YouTuber Hardware Unknown has just what you’ve been waiting for: light and audio effects that react to your throws.

    Hardware Unknown’s foldable boards each feature an Arduino Nano for control. A vibration sensor is used to tell when a bean bag hits the board, and an IR break-beam setup senses when one goes into the hole.

Raspberry Pi CM3+ gets its own keyboard computer

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Hardware

Clockwork is pre-selling an $219 to $249, open-spec “DevTerm” retro AiO PC kit with a Raspberry Pi CM3+, a keyboard with gamepad, a 6.8-inch IPS screen, a thermal printer, and a battery holder. Future options will include RK3399 and Allwinner H6 models.

Clockwork’s open source DevTerm Kit runs Linux on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ Lite (CM3+ Lite) housed inside a keyboard chassis. Unlike the Raspberry Pi 4-like, keyboard form-factor Raspberry Pi 400, the fully hackable, retro-game oriented DevTerm boasts an integrated display and even a thermal printer.

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Open Hardware: Librem/PureOS and Arduino

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Hardware
  • Technology as it Should Be

    In Imagine a world without apps Shira Ovide asks “a wild question: What if we played games, shopped, watched Netflix and read news on our smartphones — without using apps? Our smartphones, like our computers, would instead mostly be gateways to go online through a web browser.”

    This question can be extrapolated into a larger question: “What do we want from our technology?”

    The power of control by Big-Tech in the app store is but a small example of exploitation of our digital lives. If you don’t control the software, the companies who wrote that software control you. You become a digital prisoner.

    [...]

    The ability to encrypt your personal data with your own keys on your own device ensures that you fully control your digital life. With this as the starting point, you can then choose (aka opt-in) to share what you want with the people you want. This right is rooted in personal property rights, and is one of the most egregious abuses by Big Tech and those that have influence over them. If manufacturers, operating system developers, and software developers took a Hippocratic-like oath, one area society would agree on is the right that your personal data is your personal property and something you must retain control over and consent to share before it leaves your possession.

    Without regulatory assistance to protect personal data, society is left to fend for itself against the pressure from a multi-trillion dollar industry to exploit that personal data. There is no way to resist that pressure without the market creating convenient alternatives that honor that right while completely avoiding Big Tech. Purism creates products that are increasing in convenience daily, that fully protect you, and these products are the market answer to the worst abuses of Big Tech companies.

  • Arduino Blog » Control a wheelchair using an EEG headset and Arduino

    In an effort to help provide paralyzed patients with an easier way to operate their wheelchairs, these makers have developed a system that uses an OpenBCI brainwave cap to collect electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) signals, literally from a user’s head. Data is then sent to a PC running OpenBCI software and passed along to an Arduino Uno via Bluetooth for control.

  • Arduino Blog » A military-looking cyberdeck with a built-in Geiger counter

    Looking inside the rugged case reveals a Raspberry Pi 3 that provides computing power along with an Arduino Leonardo for a custom joystick input device.

Open Hardware: Raspberry Pi, Arduino and RISC-V

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Hardware
  • Raspberry Pi 400 kit ships with 7-inch or 13.3-inch touchscreen display

    The Raspberry Pi Foundation has recently launched the Raspberry Pi 4 keyboard computer with impressive performance thanks to a well-designed cooling solution, and I think it’s a great tool for kids (and adults) who may want to carry a Raspberry Pi around. 

  • Shutdown button with Raspberry PI and Python - peppe8o

    Because of their low price, mini button switches are useful for many purposes. We have already analyzed how they work (ref. Using mini Switch Button with Raspberry PI and Python) and a funny use case (ref. Reaction Game (v2) with Raspberry PI and Mini Button Switch).

  • Arduino Blog » This remote-controlled storytelling apparatus is made up of Arduino-driven toy animatronics

    As an exhibit at the Phaneo Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany, Niklas Roy and Felix Figus created a remotely-operated storytelling apparatus dubbed “Smart Fairy Tale.”

    When initiated, a little red ball rolls down the installation’s transparent tubing, triggering different interactions based on the interruption of light sensors along its path. 25 Arduino Nanos are used to control each individual animatronic part of the “story,” making the code manageable and allowing the overall machine to still work if there’s a malfunction in one section.

  • Pine64's PINECIL RISC-V soldering iron launched for $25

    We’ve previously mentioned PINECIL RISC-V soldering iron during Pine64’s release of PineCube open-source IP camera development kit, and the good news is the soldering iron is now available for $24.99 on Pine64 store together with optional sets of gross or fine soldering tips compatible with the one used with TS100 model The soldering iron is powered by GigaDevice GD32VF103TB 32-bit RISC-V general-purpose microcontroller and features a small display and two buttons for user interaction, as well as changeable tips.

Open Hardware: Raspberry Pi 4 and Arduino

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Hardware

  • Vulkan for the Raspberry Pi 4 with V3DV is now conformant and official | GamingOnLinux

    Great news for the Vulkan API and for fans of the Raspberry Pi 4, as the upcoming V3DV that will be part of the next Mesa release is now an official conforming driver.

    Sharing the news on the official RPi blog, guest poster Iago Toral from Igalia announced that nearly a year after being first announced, the V3DV Vulkan driver for the Raspberry Pi 4 now passes The Khronos Group's Vulkan 1.0 conformance tests and is now officially listed.

  • The smart video doorbells letting hackers into your home

                     

                       

    We tested 11 different doorbells found on eBay and Amazon, many of which had scores of 5-star reviews, were recommended as ‘Amazon’s Choice’, or on the bestseller list. One was labelled as the number one bestseller in ‘door viewers’. We found vulnerabilities with every single one.

  • Make your own virtual reality 3D Shooter

             

  • Homemade recycling rig turns plastic waste into new products

    While that plastic cup, bag, dish, or other item may have served its purpose, more than likely it could be formed into something new. With this in mind, the SOTOP-Recycling team of Manuel Maeder, Benjamin Krause, and Nadina Maeder developed an automated injection molding machine that can be built at home and is small enough to allow you to run your own recycling operation!

    [...]

    Everything is controlled by an Arduino Mega.

  • Delock MQTT-enabled power socket switches

    The included leaflet is sufficient to get started. Plugging the device into mains has it create a WiFi access point I connect to, and I can then configure it to connect to my home network. The Tasmota firmware spoke German to me all the time, and the only reason I can think of, as my browsers are all set to English, is that it was built that way for delivery here. Ronald confirms that and explains I can flash the device with an en firmware from here (I pasted the link to tasmota.bin into the firmware update page).

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Android Leftovers

IBM/Red Hat Leftovers

  • Ken Hess (Red Hat): Cyber Week 2020: 13 ideas for what to buy the sysadmin in your life | Enable Sysadmin

    It's that special time of year when you can get great discounts on tech for your favorite sysadmin.

  • [IBM Emeritus] Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Are There Limits to the Predictability of Elections?

    The elegant mathematical models of classical mechanics depict a world in which objects exhibit deterministic behaviors. These models make perfect predictions within the accuracy of their human-scale measurements. But, once you start dealing with atoms, molecules and exotic subatomic particles, you find yourself in a very different world, one with somewhat counter-intuitive behaviors governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. The orderly, predictable models of classical physics have now given way to wave functions, uncertainty principles, quantum tunneling and wave-particle dualities. But, the world of the very small is not the only one with non-deterministic behaviors. So are highly complex systems, especially those systems whose components and interrelationships are themselves quite complex. This is the case with social systems, which are based on individuals, groups, and institutions. It’s quite a challenge to make accurate predictions in such systems due to the the dynamic nature of human behaviors. Terms, like emergence, long tails, and butterfly effects - every bit as fanciful as quarks, charm and strangeness, - are part of the social systems lexicon. Which brings us to the 2020 US election. “The polls were wrong again, and much of America wants to know why,” wrote NY Times journalist David Leonhardt in a recent article. “This is a disaster for the polling industry and for media outlets and analysts that package and interpret the polls for public consumption, such as FiveThirtyEight, The New York Times’ Upshot, and The Economist’s election unit,” said David Graham in The Atlantic.

  • [Red Hat] Why failure should be normalized and how to do it | Opensource.com

    All of your heroes have failures under their belts—from minor mistakes to major disasters. Nobody knows how to do everything automatically, and the process of learning is usually a messy one. So why is the perception that everyone but you knows what they’re doing so common? Why do we externalize our successes but internalize our failures? How does it make you feel when you struggle to learn something new, then see another person take their Jira card away and return at the end of the sprint with something fully fleshed out and working, gushing about it at the demo? Sure, you closed your card too, but it was really hard! There was a new algorithm, a new programming language, a new system all to be learned. How did she make it look so effortless? The truth is, she might have struggled with the same issues you did and wondered how you made it look so effortless! [...] It could be very easy to title this section "my mistakes" and then rattle off all the times I’ve made mistakes, but that doesn’t quite illustrate the point. I recognize these mistakes, but they’re also events that expanded the understanding of my craft. While I didn’t set out to intentionally do any of these things, I certainly learned from them. I have accidentally dropped (deleted) a customer’s database. It was lucky for everyone that it was a beta-phase database and no further harm was done. I learned a valuable lesson that day: be very watchful of what code is doing, and be careful about what environment you are working in. One day, while performing routine maintenance with an odd DNS setup, I accidentally broke the ability for customers to provide credit card information to the secure site. We had two "payments" DNS records that served to override a wildcard DNS record, and I assumed that the second "payments" record was still present. It wasn’t. And then the wildcard record took over, and the DNS started behaving like "payments" wasn’t special at all anymore. Of course, I had no idea this was happening at all—it wasn’t until my maintenance was over that I learned of the folly. Customers weren’t able to provide payment information for almost two hours! I learned my lesson, though: when there is something special about a particular configuration, be sure to make sure it stays special throughout its lifetime. When DNS gets involved, all kinds of things can break.

today's howtos

  • What option to use for ping constantly until you stop it? - Linux Shout

    The Ping program is a widely used tool to check the accessibility of a computer network. All operating systems available till now have the ability to run the Ping command with various options to even continuously check the network resource or connection availability. However, if a firewall suppresses ping packets on the way from your computer to the host, it can falsely appear to be unreachable. To do this, it sends echo request packets to the host via ICMP. Using the time difference between this and the response (echo reply), it calculates the runtime. Ping was defined in RFC 1574.

  • How to Cast Media from Ubuntu to Chromecast | FOSS Linux

    In this Ubuntu tutorial, we shall see ways to cast media from a Linux PC to a Chromecast device. We shall see command-line and GUI ways of casting the content.

  • How do I view Nginx logs? – Linux Hint

    Logs are very important in a system to monitor the activities of an application as they provide you with useful debugging information and enable you to analyze all aspects of a web server. Like the other software applications, Nginx also maintains events like your web site visitors, encountered problems, and more to log files. The useful recorded information is used to take preemptive measures in order to deal with major serious discrepancies in the log events. In this article, we will elaborate on how to configure and view Nginx Logs in Ubuntu 20.04 system to monitor the application activities. There are two types of logs where recorded events in Nginx one is the access log, and the other is the error log. If you have already enabled these logs in the Nginx core configuration file then, you can find both types of logs in /var/log/nginx in all Linux distributions.

  • How To Install PowerShell on CentOS 8 [Ed: Microsoft is just trying to turn GNU/Linux into its own thing, intended to serve Microsoft's bottom line and lock-in]
  • OSINT Tools and Techniques – Linux Hint

    OSINT, or Open Source Intelligence, is the act of gathering data from distributed and freely accessible sources. OSINT tools are used to gather and correspond data from the Web. Data is accessible in different structures, including text design, documents, images, etc. The analysis and collection of information from the Internet or other publicly available sources is known as OSINT or Open Source Intelligence. This is a technique used by intelligence and security companies to gather information. This article provides a look at some of the most useful OSINT tools and techniques.

  • How to Record Your Gnome Desktop in Ubuntu with built-in screen recorder – Linux Hint

    In the present era, the lives of the people have undergone a huge change from what it used to be a couple of years back. In the educational sector, books have fallen down the pecking order, and people now prefer watching videos explaining the concepts of their syllabus. A great example of this is YouTube, where videos on things like programming languages, economics, political science, and even geography are getting many viewers. The business sector has also gone through some innovation as now people can easily keep a record of important voice calls and conferences that might be needed for looking at the main highlights of the meeting. Even recording presentations and then sharing them with your clients or bosses have become the norm as this allows information to be passed from one to another in a much more efficient manner. All of these are just a few examples of why screen recorders are one of the most useful tools out there. Screen recorders can even be used for recording content that many people may find enjoyable, such as recording a game that might be on the rise in popularity or put up videos to explain any issues or problems that you might come across in your life, like checking to see how one can remove and adjust tires from a car. Hence, our discussion topic in this article is to look at how one can record their screens in Ubuntu using its default built-in screen recorder.

  • Blender Animation Nodes – Linux Hint

    Blender animation nodes is a visual scripting system made for motion graphics in Blender. Animation nodes are an addon that is available for macOS, Linux, and Windows. There are a lot of things which you just can imagine to animate by hand because it is a very difficult task. Animation Nodes allows us to make complex animation in a less complex and tedious way. Animation Nodes add-ons can save you a lot of time and has several advantages over traditional keyframing technique. For instance, you can avoid managing many keyframes, and each node tree can be used for any objects; you don’t have to keyframe them every time.

  • Blender Animation Loops – Linux Hint

    Blender is a powerful 3D creation tool. Blender holds all the attributes that a 3D artist needs. Sometimes a short movie tells a lot than an image. Making 3D scenes in Blender is great, but animating it is another level of mastering this program. So, it is essential to know about adding motion to 3D objects. Animation is an excellent way to connect and communicate with people; that’s why it is vital in the business world. Conveying a message through animation is considerably more appealing than images. Whether it is education or businesses, the film industry, or gaming, animation is being used everywhere.

Best Photo Editors for Linux

This article will cover a list of free and open-source image editors available for Linux. These applications feature basic tools for simple editing needs as well as advanced utilities for professional artists. GIMP If you are a regular Linux user, chances are that you must have heard about GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) or used it to edit images. It is considered to be one of the most comprehensive, free, and open source image editing software available not only on Linux, but also on other operating systems like Windows and macOS. While some users may prefer proprietary tools like Photoshop over it, GIMP itself is packed with tons of features and can do almost everything that Photoshop is capable of. You can see all major features of GIMP available at here and here. GIMP can be extended using plugins, some of them come with the official installation while others can be downloaded from third party websites. [...] RawTherapee RawTherapee is an open source image editing software specially designed for processing and handling “raw” images. You can also import and edit image files having other formats. RawTherapee features various utilities for processing raw images including color enhancement tools, compositing and masking utilities, pixel correction tools and HDR utilities. Read more