Archive for ‘February, 2009’
Posted on 18:40, February 24th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou
Marvell Semiconductors is now shipping their SheevaPlug linux machines. Little tiny Linux boxes the size of a plugin adapter. The SheevaPlug draws about 5 Watts of power, comes with Linux, and boasts completely open hardware and software designs.
At $100 the platform is available in single quantities, and is priced within reach of students, hobbyists, and tinkerers. This looks like the perfect embeded platform for all sorts of stuff. Think home automation, security monitoring, ultra low powered file servers, ad-hoc mini clusters, not to mention robots and such …..there is no end to it.
Its hardware design is completely open — everything from schematics to Gerber files will be available on a marvell’s website — and ARM ports of several popular Linux distributions are already running, and included. More importantly, Marvell has committed to do everything it can to ensure the best Linux support for SheevaPlug going forward.
The $100 SheevaPlug development platform and Plug Computer designs are built around the Marvell 88F6000, or “Kirkwood” SoC, which was introduced last year. The Plug Computer is based on the high-end 88F6281 version of the Kirkwood, with a Sheeva CPU core clocked to 1.2GHz. The Sheeva core combines elements of Marvell’s earlier Feroceon and XScale architectures, both of which implemented ARM Ltd.’s ARMv5 architecture, similar to ARM Ltd.’s own “ARM9” cores.
The SheevaPlug Plug Computer is further equipped with 512MB of DRAM and 512MB of flash. The tiny embedded PC also includes gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports. One early product based on the design is listed as measuring 4.0 x 2.5 x 2.0 inches. Plugging directly into a standard wall socket, the Plug Computer draws less than five watts under normal operation, compared to 25-100 watts for a PC being used as a home server, claims Marvell.
Early supporters of the SheevaPlug Plug Computer design include the following companies, each with links to their respective websites:
Thanks to Sugar Labs you can now have your Ubuntu 8.10 or Fedora 10 linux distributions with sugar on it…..Shweet :-). Yep you heard right, go here and grab your OLPC XO inspired 1GB USB stick image and boot all those old PC’s into sugar. According to Walter Bender (the creator of Sugar OS) a new version dubbed Sucrose 0.84 is on its way soon. Complete article (including interview with Mr. Bender) is over at XConomy.
Posted on 23:11, February 18th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou
Here is a quick way to gain access to that leopard machine you don’t remember the admin password to. Yes I know this can be used by all the kiddies out there, but lets hope they are smarter than that. To start, reboot the machine into single user mode by holding down command-s before the chime (on the white screen with gray apple logo). Once in single user mode you need to mount the HD in read-write mode using the following commands:
Posted on 22:52, February 18th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou
Yep you heard right….freaking lasers…..yummy. These guys have managed to turn a rear-projection TV into a multitouch surface using IR lasers. Absolutely fantastic as it (using lasers) makes the whole design a lot simpler and gets rid of the the tracking problems associated with regular IR LED based tables and ambient IR light. Although the original laser idea comes from arbi.trario.us gang, stuffing everything inside a 16″ deep tv is a nice touch :-).
Below is a good rundown of the pros and cons of this setup vs. FTIR:
Their blog page outlines everything…..and I mean everything.
FlexScan3D software is offered in 3 different packages: FlexScan3D Single, FlexScan3D Duo, and FlexScan Complete. Cost ranges from $999 to $1499 for the Complete.
Posted on 13:55, February 18th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou
As good as Ubuntu (and linux) are in general, once in a while you just get to a point where you need a reinstall. That’s when the realization kicks in that you’ve got far too many packages installed since the initial Ubuntu install. It’s okay, there is a way out. Make sure you have a USB key.
On Ubuntu Workstation (with graphical interface):
Run Synaptic package manager. Once inside Synaptic, go to File/Save Markings As menu option and choose a filename and location (USB stick). MAKE SURE YOU ALSO CHECK THE BOX “SAVE FULL STATE, NOT ONLY CHANGES”. This will save a text file that contains every single package installed on your system (through apt system and all it’s variants….manual compile/installs are something else). Now you can go ahead and reinstall the machine and configure your repositories. Once the machine is up and running again, load up Synaptic and go to File/Read Markings and point it at the file you saved on the USB stick and press Apply.
This will start a download process that will set the machine up (as far as installed packages are concerned) just like it used to be. Configurations need to be done manually, but atleast you get all your packages back.
This is also super handy if you’re duping identical systems. Remember that you can not do this to upgrade from one version to another. This is strictly for “Restoring” installed software packages from the same version of Ubuntu.
On Ubuntu Server (command line):
First we need to create a list of all the installed APT packages and configurations and save them:
Now reinstall the OS, copy your backed up debconfsel.txt and dpkglist.txt file to your fresh system’s /tmp directory and execute the following:
Posted on 13:48, February 13th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou
MacFUSE project has grown a lot since we last covered it here and here. MacFuse 2.0 is here and it’s looking really nice. MacFUSE is the mac implementation of FUSE (File-system in USEr space) filesystem originally developed for Linux. For those of you who’ve not heard of this gem before, MacFUSE allows you to extend Mac OS X’s native file handling capabilities via 3rd-party file systems. Pretty much anything that has some order to it can be turned (viewed as) into a filesystem (ie: sshfs, youtubefs). As a user, installing the MacFUSE software package will let you use any 3rd-party file system written atop MacFUSE.
Disk for iPhone is a MacFUSE based filesystem that allows you to read and write files on your iPhone. It uses the MobileDevice API (like iTunes) to access the filesystem of the iPhone over USB. You need to install MacFuse base system on your machine first and then grab Disk for iPhone module.
Posted on 12:39, February 13th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou
Well, it didn’t take long for the observant Luke Hutchison to figure it out….It’s all there in the system class files. For all the details check out Luke’s page. Here is the teaser video:
Imagine if you could hide your 16 Core, Quad GPU, Nitro burning gaming PC in the closet in the basement. What if you could build the next University lab where all the highpowered CAD workstations where humming away in the machine room and you could actually “teach” in a quite classroom/lab. Fill in the rest of the scenarios yourself. The next wave in thin client computing is here and it’s name is Teradici. They don’t really make a end user product (they just make the custom compression chipsets), but companies like Leadtek have end user products on the market now.
Integration of Teradici‘s PCoIP remote enterprise desktop technology in Leadtek‘s WinFast VP200 enables delivery of a high-definition graphic and multimedia experience across standard IP networks, unmatched by any thin client on the market today. For $800 per link, $400 on each side of the link, Teradici provides a PC-over-IP host card, to be embedded into the host unit (most likely a workstation), and a desktop portal, a device slightly bigger than a hardcover book, equipped with a Teradici processor chip, 4 USB ports, and an HD audio output, and dual DVI outputs. The desktop portal and the host unit are linked via LAN, WAN, or a wireless network, allowing the user to communicate with the back-end PC.
The WinFast VP 200 system includes a WinFast VP200H host PCI Express card and a WinFast VP200P desktop portal. The Host Card allows you to centralize your computing in a data center as an add-in solution to your existing Workstation, Rack Mount, or Blade Server to secure all data and computers; On the desktop, a stateless device called a Portal connects over a standard enterprise IP network to the Host Card, eliminating heat, noise, and clutter at the end user’s desk for a comfortable working environment.
AND DID WE SAY IT’S COMPLETELY GPU AND OS INDEPENDANT. SO GO GET ONE :-).
Posted on 17:37, February 1st, 2009 by Many Ayromlou
Dutch street theatre troupe, Close-Act, transformed Nathan Phillips Square into a mythical under-water world that floats high above the audience. I had a chance to see the show twice (Friday and Saturday Night) and have to admit…..It was amazing.
Themes of global warming and environmental struggles were evident, but at its heart this is a story of forbidden love that combines theatre, music, fire, dance and incredible props. It will be here for another two shows next weekend, so if you live in Toronto (or are visiting), definitely drop by City Hall and check out the show. It’s about 1 hour and well worth it.