Linux Con Europe 2014

LINUX-CON1

I’m just back in office from Linux Con Europe. For these who do wonder why last week there was no Weekend Challenge and Friday Giveaway Quiz – we, 5 people had to fly to Germany.

This year Linux Conference Europe, Embedded Linux Conference Europe, Cloud Open were held together in Duesseldorf Germany.
We at OLIMEX decided that we learned so much from Linux community in the last two years around OLinuXino that we should give back what we can and become Bronze sponsor was our way to say “Thanks” to Linus and Co. about the great work they do!

It’s nice to see your name among other companies which support Linux:

SPONSORS

sure we are still small and barely seen hehe :)

OLIMEX

For these who never have been on Linux Con, its a smaller than FOSDEM for instance. I guess because the entry ticket for the conference is $600 while FOSDEM is free and attracts more students, Linux Con is more Corporate oriented.

What you can see here is Intel, Samsung, Freescale, Texas Instruments, Mediatek, Red Hat and many others of the big companies which support Linux development.

You can make *very* useful contacts there.

For instance these two guys are Rockchip and Mediatek Linux Kernel maintainers:

rockmedia

We finally met there a developer who is working on Texas Instruments Sitara SDK, which we desperately trying to approach with our AM3352 board Linux problems, so we may finally solve all remaining issues ( I will blog more for this later!).

Also we got contacts with Qualcomm/Artheros and Mediatek Home Entertainment unit … soooo maybe in near future we will have 64 bit OSHW ARM development board for mortals, crossing fingers this to be sooner :))

As being sponsors we got table to present our OSHW Linux computer boards:

table-3

Around our table most of the time there was crowd starting from 8.00

table-1

even during the lunch time:

table-2

here we got visitors from Google interested in OLinuXino for their University Program:

google

Sure Linux Con had tons of interesting talks, thanks to Linux-Sunxi community now Allwinner chips are well recognized, there were several lectures about what Linux-Sunxi did in the past year:

allwinner

Overall Linux Con is great event worth visiting, where else you can see Linus Torvald passing by you few meters away and even taking picture next to him ;)

linus

(sure this is fake, I guess all of the thousands Linux Con attendees want picture with Linus, so the organizers solved this very elegant – there was photo corner where they take picture of you then mix with Linus on background :) so he even doesn’t know how many people took picture with him – do not tell anyone!)

At the end of the Linux Con there were contest with prizes:

games

Three A10-OLinuXino-LIME were given away as prizes :)

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Open Source Hardware Summit 2014 Roma, Italy

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I’ve always wanted to go to OSHW Summit but it was held only in USA and this rises some difficulties for me like having entry visa to visit the country of the unlimited opportunities, so I skipped.

When I learned that this year it will be here in Europe I put it in my calendar for “must visit” events.

I always though this is big event with thousands of people to participate like FOSDEM where around 8-10000 Open Source Software enthusiasts come together, but I was surprised to see it’s a rather small only around 100-200 people were there. For comparison OpenFest the local Open Source Technology Event in Sofia last year had about 3200 unique IPs logged to the wifi routers, so we guess at least about 3000 people from small Bulgaria (population less than NY) attended this local event.

Open Source Hardware is still not so popular like Open Source Software, but do not get me wrong, this is not underestimation of this event, where else you can see on the same place and talk to Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Jason Krinder and Adrian Bowyer?

The weather in Rome was sunny and nice, food is great, so the organizers picked up the right place :)

What I found really odd is that the organizers has locked the access to the WIFi at the OSHW Summit with some strange long registration procedure involving you to call with your phone some other phone in Italy in order to “verify” you, well I couldn’t complete this procedure no matter how many times I called this phone, so this really suck. I’m still puzzled why do you close your WiFi access when you make Open Source event and you are in the middle of nowhere (the event was held in big complex of Museo del Musica Auditorium) i.e. in 100-150 meters around you there is no one who could eventually use your WIFI access from outside.

The most remarkable lecture was the one from Mr. Adrian Bowyer – the father of RepRap and 3D printing. This man is real visionary and thinks out of the box. It was pleasure to follow his thoughts of mapping RepRap to Living organism which could reproduce itself. “Bees pollinate plants and help them to reproduce because they have benefit -> Bees get nectar from the plants – we made RepRap which can re-produce itself, but people wouldn’t re-produce it if there was no benefit for them -> they can print objects which is equal of the nectar for the Bees”

One other odd thing is that the lectures were very short and with no time for discussions and interactions on the lecture topics. Some of the lectures were totally out of Open Source Hardware topic (for instance the lecture of two Israeli architects which share how they put on public discussion some of their project which may be related to “open” but not to electronics hardware) and could be skipped to leave more time for discussions to the lectures which were really interesting and could provoke discussions.

In the second summit day there were interesting discussions like: choosing Open vs Closed, which Licensee to choose, Documentation, Education, all of them interesting topics, too bad people were separated in groups so you can’t attend more than one group at the same time while these are all interesting topics to discuss. I will try to post my opinion on these in few blog posts to follow.

So to summarize the Open Source Hardware Summit is very interesting event with great potential. What OSHW does to popularize the Open Source Hardware ideas is great and should keep going.

What I would like to see is such event every year held here in Europe, as traveling at 5000 km and spending EUR 1000 for plane tickets is not within the budged for the many small startups and students I’ve seen this year in Rome coming from Greece, France, Germany etc and who make their first steps in OSHW. I believe the same apply for the US and Asia, so why there is no yearly OSHW Summits to be held in US,EU and Asia?

Open Source Hardware Summit 2014 starts tomorrow in Roma, Italy

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Open Source Hardware Summit this year is in Roma, Italy.

There will be lot of interesting lectures on the first day 30th of September, here is the list of the speakers.

The second say will be workshops day.

See you there!

ESP8266 WIFI chips and modules arrived

ESP

Recently we blogged about the new ultra low cost UART to WIFI modules based on ESP8266 ICs. Today the WIFI modules and sample chips arrived so we can finally test them.

The low cost $5 modules focused the interest of many people. We already have translated datasheet, forum and some people even started write code for Arduino without having these modules at all :)

One problem I see is that there are no official schematic with components with values nor reference design. We are going to change this as we already got 3 different modules and the components around ESP8266 are not so many, so we will capture the schematic and make reference PCB layout in the next few days.

Hackaday.io 

ATcommands

Tutorial

Forum

Build your own laptop with A10-OLinuXino-LIME

laptop_1

We got this note via Twitter: Reinis Veips made his own Open Source Hardware laptop using broken laptop as base for LCD and keyboard and connected them to A10-OLinuXino-LIME  + SATA drive :) You can read about his project here.

OLinuXino Open Source Hardware Linux Computer project will be presented at Elevate festival in Graz Austria – October 25th

ELEVATE

The Elevate Festival annually presents a unique combination of critical political discourse, technology, art and contemporary music.

2014 will be the 10th edition of Elevate and there is an event specially on CLEAN IT, Fair IT (http://www.clean-it.at/) and Open Source Hardware and Software and the interconnections of these topics.

We are invited to present OLinuXino project on Octiber 25th.

A80-OLinuXino OSHW 8-core Linux computer development begins

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Allwinner is about to release soon (end of this month hopefully) datasheet and info about their new 8-core monster processor with 4x Cortex-A15 + 4x Cortex-A7 and here we go and start preparing what to include in the new A80-OLinuXino.

We would love to hear your feedback and recommendation what do you think is important as value and “to have” on board, here are the major features (taken from Allwinner site) :

  • DDR3  standard 2GB, optional 4GB
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • optional NAND Flash 4GB
  • SD cards x4 possible
  • USB-OTG 3.0
  • USB hosts x2 2.0
  • MIPI camera interface
  • real ADCs x2
  • PWM
  • UART x7
  • I2C x7
  • SPI x4
  • I2S
  • LCD

Unfortunately A80 have no audio on chip so external codec is necessary if you want to have Audio connector how important is this if we already have audio on the HDMI connector?

If we go in to LIME form factor route we have to look just for the bare minimum of connectors due to the space limitation, if we go in max features direction the board will become big and expensive.

Let’s the wishes begin :)

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