Installing and running /e/ pro-privacy open source Android on Open Source Hardware Laptop TERES-I

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Few days ago customer asked if we can ship our Open Source hardware DIY Hacker friendly laptop TERES-I with /e/ pre-installed.

For these who has not clue what /e/ is: The /e/ ROM is a fork of Android with focus on privacy. It’s open source  pro privacy compatible with most existing Android applications. The /e/ is alternative to the Apple/Google duopoly on the smartphone.

I have seen Mr. Gael Duval tweet about the /e/ support for TERES-I from March this year, but shame on me I wasn’t try it yet, so I though it’s good time to give it a try.

The install instructions here and are very clear. Unfortunately when I followed them there was no result other than displaying this spash screen for Pine64.

e-splash

After waiting some minutes I decided that something is wrong and decided to write the image instead with dd command with balenaEtcher.

The image written with balena had same splash for a while then show /e/ install screen:

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Be prepared to wait few minutes then the setup screen is shown, it’s same as first Android installation even you can choose Bulgarian language:

e-lang

After setting up the date/time, your WiFi connection etc you got the home screen:

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Settings show that TERES-I now run Android 7 (Nougat):

e-settings

If you setup account you can go to app store:

EKYmZK3XYAEMgH-

Overall /e/ is running fine on A64 TERES-I and people who are used to Android environment, but do not want to be spy by Google service.

 

 

A13-SOM-512 Android image for 4.3″ LCD with touchscreen released

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We got request from customer for Android image which supports 4.3″ LCD with touchscreen. He did his development with Beagle Bone, but wanted to optimize the cost for production so A13-SOM512 price was very attractive, but default Allwinner Android image although allow you to define smaller LCD resolutions has no working touchscreen calibration for small LCDs, also default Android screen was not set well and status bar was taking big portion of the screen.

Here is the newly released SD-card image for A13-SOM512 Android with 4.3″ LCD with touchscreen display.

A13-som-android

Now you can develop your embedded Andoid application on low cost board with small LCD.

Android scripts for OLinuXino

Android-bot

The Android images for our OLinuXino boards are not the stock images with the Allwinner SDK, some small things were changed to add support for our WiFi modules etc. We wanted to publish the sources for a very long time, but the files are 6 GB for each board and this is not easy to store and serve.

Now the configs are on GitHub with links to the Allwinner stock SDK sources so if you want to build your own Android image you have these as templates.

Building Android Jelly Bean for A13-OLinuXino-WIFI Step by Step Tutorial

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Akshay Mathur sent us very detailed step by step tutorial how to build Android Jelly Bean for A13-OLinuXino-WIFI.

Android 4.2.2 image for A20-OLinuXino-LIME

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NAND Flash image for Android 4.2.2 with 7″ LCD 800×600 pixels

NAND Flash image for Android 4.2.2 with 10″ LCD 1024×600 pixels

4GB SD-card image for Android 4.2.2 with 7″ LCD 800×600 pixels

Android first Wearable devices tear down

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Anandtech just posted info about what is inside the first Android wearable devices.

Android wearable technology is a bit of dissapointment for me and lost me when I learned that inside they have only 400mAh battery which you have to re-charge every night.

Also they cost almost as new Chrome book $200-250 retail. I bit high price for actually nothing but remote LCD with touchscreen, attached to your Android phone or tablet.

Android Wearable devices can’t operate stand alone nor you can run code on them, you just receive push notifications and look for return actions like tap, slide on the LCD.

So inside they have LCD with touchscreen, small buzzer and Bluetooth Low Energy, all this controlled with x4 core Cortex-A7 device 🙂 same functionality probably could be done with 8 bit PIC? As one friend says the bloat-ness of the software is in reverse relation with the power of the hardware, the powerful hardware you get more bloated become the software running on it.

By wearable technology first I was thinking for cool sensors which are attached to your wrest and measure your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, your motion activity, siting pose in the front of the computer, ekg, eeg, check your breath for alcohol and log all this info so it could be later used to make your health profile and give you recommendation what and how to improve, so far these first wearable devices do not impress me.

A13-SOM Android 4.2.2 NAND Flash image

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We completed Android 4.2.2 NAND Flash image for A13-SOM-512 note that this image will not work on A13-SOM-256 as Android require lot of RAM, also to may use this image you need A13-SOM-WIFI-4GB shield to store the image.

New Product in Stock: A13-SOM-256, A13-SOM-512, A13-SOM-WIFI, A13-SOM-WIFI-4GB

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A13-SOM-256 and A13-SOM-512 the smallest SOM modules for Allwinner A13 Cortex-A8 processors are now in stock.

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A13-SOM-WIFI add internet connectivity, A13-SOM-WIFI-4GB adds also 4GB NAND to run Android.

TuxCon the FOSS Conference for Mobile and Embedded devices is less than 2 weeks away

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TuxCon  is a community-driven event about free and open-source software for mobile and embedded devices. The event is organized by Plovdiv’s hackerspace Hackafe and the entry is free.

Saturday, 28th of June is the day for lectures: the schedule is available at TuxCon web http://tuxcon.mobi/#schedule

During the event there are two lectures where OLinuXino Open Source Hardware Linux computers will be discussed:

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The first lecture is “Physical computing with Linux” in which it will be explained at a non-embedded developers level how to access all hardware resources from the Linux user space for OLinuXino like GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UARTs, the Power management – how to make your code aware of whether it runs on Battery or on Mains power supply, what is the temperature of the processor, is the battery charging or not, etc. It will also be explained how to connect sensors, how to connect steppers and servos, how to control them from Linux, how to setup a web server on OLinuXino, how to make all of the hardware resources, offered by this board, available via web interface as well as how to attach camera and do OpenCV processing, and more.

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The Second lecture is “Linux driver” where it will be explained how a Linux Driver is created and there will be a step-by-step explanation of how a driver for new hardware like MOD-IO board connected to OLinuXino via UEXT is created. MOD-IO boards have relays and ADCs which will be made available for use in Linux user space via the written driver.

Of course there will be other interesting lectures about Android, FirefoxOS, Tizen etc.

Do not forget that on Sunday 29th of June at the Olimex training building we will run Hardware and Software Hackathons.

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There will be a soldering workshop for the well-known FOSDEM Arduino clone board, where you will be trained how to solder alone your first Arduino and then program it and use it.

There will also be two Software tasks for the Hackathon:

 

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To make fancy web interface for controlling an interactive RGB LED table: the RGB table have 8×8 RGB Leds which are addressable individually and four proximity sensors at the four sides which detect if someone sits on this side.

 

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The second task is to do same for the Coctail-Mixing-Machine – it has 6 fluid pumps connected to the relays which could be opened/closed for a certain amount of time; controlling the volume of the drink in the recipe, flow sensors will give feed back if the fluid is flowing through the pipes; RGB addressable LEDs will be put under every bottle and pump which will make a LED animation while preparing the drink or will signal when the bottle is empty.

Both Hardware tasks will be performed with OLinuXino and all hardware resources will be available through User space APIs, so if you want to participate start thinking in advance and surprise us with your solution 🙂

Everyone who participates in the Hardware Hackathon will keep the Arduino board they built for themselves as a prize.

For everyone participating in the Software Hackathon there will be FOSDEM board prizes and the best solutions will win two A20-OLinuXino-MICRO.

 

A20-SOM-4GB NAND Flash Android image

 

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We completed Android NAND Flash image for A20-SOM which features the camera and other features like Gigabit Ethernet, etc.

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