The slides from Industry 4.0 meeting in Stuttgart are online

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Open Source / Free Software for Effective Industry 4.0 Meetup  organized by Nexedi GmbH  and hosted by Fraunhofer IAO was held on 12th of November in Stuttgart.

There were quite interesting talks mostly focused on Open Source Technologies and their possible use in Industry 4.0.

My slides are now uploaded at Slideshare.

This is FOSDEM 2018

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Last weekend in ULB (University Libre of Bruxelles) took place the biggest Open Source event in Europe – FOSDEM.

With 678 talks, split in 55 devrooms this is something every open source enthusiast waits whole year.

It’s amazing how the organizers make such event possible, between 8 and 10 000 people all around the world come together at one place. If you want to meet some open source project, Linux kernel or Linux distribution maintainer there is great chance to meet him/her there.

FOSDEM usually is made in the weekend Saturday and Sunday, but traditionally starts with Friday evening welcome beer party at Delirium cafe. Do not be fooled by the name nobody go there to drink coffee.

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Delirium usually can’t hold all people so the streets around it looks like this:

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Every year this event become bigger and bigger. I was always wondering how they manage to keep their WiFi infrastructure in order with so many people attending. This year for the very first time the WiFi was impossible to connect to, so I guess we reach the infrastructure capacity 🙂

In Saturday the talks started, needless to say for me most interesting was the CAD and Open Hardware devroom.

One of the most anticipated talk there was about KiCad 5 new features.

Wayne Stambaugh the project manager started his talk with red T-shirt from Digikey and announced that Digikey made the single most significant donation to KiCad team just few days before the conference. So he said them “thank you” by presenting his talk wearing their red T-shirt.

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It was very interesting to hear that Wayne got feedback from popular PCB prototype providers, that about half of PCB projects now they receive for prototyping production are made with KiCad! It’s amazing to see the progress KiCad made for the last 4 years!

I personally like more the T-shirt Wayne was wearing when he closed his talk 😉 KiCad team really like the complex boards we design with their product and this was very kind gesture.

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Another interesting talk was Introduction to LibrePCB . This is the first time I hear about this project and it looks itneresting. The author is obviously capable young man and thinkered a lot about how to make component libraries more easy to use, but while I was watching the talk I was wondering (as many others) why the author just do not join KiCad, which is already well established project and leading as features and completeness. We all know that KiCad team is very small and more people joining the project will make much more sense than to re-inventing the hot water, because you do not like some feature in this popular project. Well this is the open source 🙂 and everyone is free to scratch his own itch, but I would love to see Urban Bruhin helping KiCad to become better instead to duplicate the work creating similar product alone.

Jesús Arroyo Torrens presented Icestudio – graphical way to program FPGAs. I would say this is quite entertaining and easy start for beginners with no previous knowledge about electronics.

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Juan Gonzalez-Gomez (Obijuan) upgraded this talk with very entertaining presentation about what he did with Icestudio and small funny blocks he created. He is using his daughter as beta tester. I recommend you to watch this talk when the video is available.

Juan and Jesus are part of Spanish community working with FPGAs. You can see more about what they do on this site FPGAwars.

Staf Verhaegen shared his findings about is it possible today to implement ASIC design with open source tools. Very interesting topic, let’s hope the time Makers and small companies will be able to make their own chips with Open source tools is approaching.

My talk was about current TERES laptop status and the experience we got during the development with KiCad. Using FOSS tool like KiCad is great to make OSHW, but if you want to use latest features and the daily builds, they are available only via ppa repository for Ubuntu. This means if you use other distribution you have to build from sources every day. Windows daily builds are not available at all. This confuses many beginners who can’t manage to open our files when they want to study them as they use old builds (official Ubintu repository KiCad version is probably one year old, same for Windows version). My slides are now uploaded at Slideshare.

Other devroom talks I found interesting:

Exploiting modern microarchitectures Meltdown, Spectre, and other hardware attacks 

Programming UEFI for dummies 

Improving Linux Laptop Battery Life

Kodi and Embedded Linux

Linux as an SPI Slave

How to keep your embedded Linux up and running

Drive your NAND within Linux

Image capture on embedded linux systems 

New GPIO interface for linux user space 

It was nice to see three four other talks at FOSDEM by Bulgarian speakers!

Automating Your Lights with Open Source 
Turning On the Lights with Home Assistant and MQTT
Testing Red Hat Enterprise Linux the Microsoft way 

Current meta of video compression and probable futures

Overall FOSDEM is must see event for anyone who is interested in FOSS/OSHW.

Bruxelles is excellent location and offers lot to see, both Wizzair and Ryanair offer low cost flights to this destination and I don’t know where else you can drink beer from half meter glass (not half litter but half meter!) so looking forward to see you next year there!

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Use Raspberry PI as Iceprog programmer for iCE40HX1K-EVB or iCE40HX8K-EVB

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Andreas Seltenreich sent us message how he is using Raspberry PI to program his iCE40HX1K-EVB and we add to the wiki section.

TERES I assembly workshop this Saturday!

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This Saturday 21st of October we will have TERES I assembly workshop!

Customers from Bulgaria who placed orders for TERES I DIY Open Source laptop will have their laptop kits ready and are invited to come and we assembly them together!

The assembly workshop will be in OLIMEX Training Building and will start at 14.00 o’clock.

No need to have Laptop kit to participate, everyone is welcome to join us.

A20-OLinuXino-MICRO works hard inside Open Source Rover Octanis project in freezing Antarctica!

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One year ago we got request for sponsoring 5 pcs A20-OLinuXino-MICRO for Octanis project from group of students at EPFL, who are making an open source rover (http://octanis.org/rover) that will go to Antarctica.

Their goal was to use A20-OlinuXino-MICRO as a communications base station with LoRaWAN and to use it for onboard image processing of their stereoscopic camera images.

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Needless to say the magic words “open source rover project” closed the deal 🙂 We shipped the boards in December 2015 and yesterday got e-mail that the rover operates since February 2016, but he was moved to Antarctica in November and will stay there till February 2017.

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You can track the rover position right now at http://octanis.org/constellation/

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On GitHub you can see their 3D parts CAD files and all firmware running on the rover. You can reproduce this project with 3D printer.

 

 

 

TuxCon 2016 highlights – two days fun with open source hardware and software

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TuxCon free and open source software and hardware conference was last weekend in Plovdiv.

This is local, small conference which once per year gather enthusiasts and people who love open technologies at one place.

The event started on July 9th at 11 o’clock with Trayan who spoke about Java Robotics or how do you program Lego Mindstorm in Java:

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then Yassen spoke about the future of Jitsi Meet

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Damyan followed with serious topic explaining how different Linux distributions deal with security updates in a quite a funny way involving such a famous Bulgarian folk singer like Mr. Milko Kalaydjiev in Linux Matter (the video will worth watching).

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Roland who come from Cambridge, UK specially for TuxCon presented us his ideas about the future of the education:

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Then we had lunch break with sandwitches and the famous TuxCon cookies:

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After the lunch was one of the most anticipated talk this year: about the Retro Computer Puldin.

Puldin is local Plovdiv pride, the only computer designed from scratch in Bulgaria both hardware and software. On TuxCon 2015 we invited people who designed the hardware to talk, this year we invited the software developer teams. Mr. Nedialko Todorov who was director for this project talk about how the idea to make Puldin come and how it was realized.

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Puldin design started in 1988 at that time already IBM-PC was on the market with 8088 processor from Intel working at the lighting speed 4.77Mhz. The developers decided to make the new computer software compatible with IBM-PC, so files from IBM-PC disk can be read/written and cross-compiled. At that time all electronic developments should have used Bulgarian electronic components so they choose CM601 which was copy of Motorola 6800 – 8-bit processor.

They made their own BIOS, DOS, Pascal compiler, BASIC, text editor same as famous PE2 (all this written in assembler!).

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Orlin Shopov who leaded the software development team at that time shared that they had to fit everything in 16KB of ROM memory and at the end they had no single byte free!

The result was that the BASIC code on Puldin (with 6800 @1Mhz) was running faster than same code written on IBM-PC (8088 @4.77Mhz).

The BASIC interpreter of Puldin was written by Todor Todorov more famous with the Eddie viruses he wrote later (a.k.a. Dark Avenger).

For this talk four members of the team come together:

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From Left to Right: Dimitar Georgiev, Ivo Nenov, Nedialko Todorov, Orlin Shopov

Puldin computers were at TuxCon also:

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people could see what is inside:

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or take autograph from the developers on the old user manuals 🙂

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The next talk was no less interesting. Edmund come from Vienna to talk about FOSS tools used in FPGAs:

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He explained why we also need open source IPs. The FPGA vendors offer IP blobs which are “free” to use, but they are huge and you actually pay them in the price of the bigger FPGAs you buy to use them. Good example was for HDMI IP which FPGA vendor give away for free but use many different modes and resolutions which you may not need but have to use. Open Source HDMI design tailored to your needs may fit in 10 times less resources.

In next lecture Lubomir talked how he is attempting to create 3D model based on 2D pictures taken with his phone, quite interesting topic and interesting results:

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Then Dimitar show us how to build custom Android images:

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Delian has announced to talk for OpenSCAD but instead of this he talked about his dream to move the manufacturing from China back to Bulgaria 🙂 and to do manufacture on demand with new technologies like 3D printers, DIY assembly machines.

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In the next talk George was talking for creating web sites with open source technology, he dedicated his talk to Ian Murdock

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Stoyan shared in the next talk his experience with setting up corporate servers. He wanted to bet that in 90% of the public administration running Microsoft server solutions are set to default configuration with no cache enabled etc etc which effectively kills more than half of the performance potential hardware has. Anyone want to contest his statement?

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The first day closed with Lighting talks and interesting Quiz.

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Day 2 continued in Olimex training building. We have just 50 seats there but around 70 people come 🙂

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Fortunately Dimitar Gamishev has bring 10 meter radio antenna with some Radio sniffer, so some people were there and enjoying listen to space stations communication and local police which obviously do not care to encrypt their channels 🙂

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meantime Trayan made practical workshop how Lego robot is programming

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Peter present our attempt to make Robotic arm programmable with JavaScript

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Then we learn how to program FPGAs with our new ICE40 boards:

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and we finished with the status of our DIY laptop:

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laptop

Special thanks to TuxCon organizers, sponsors and all people who come and were part of this wonderful event!

Bulgarian Government will require in future open source for software they pay for development

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via Bozhidar Bozhanov blog

Something positive is happening in Bulgaria! E-Government act was amended on July 1st, you can see full text here.

Art.58a. (New — SG. 50 of 2016, effective 01.07.2016) Upon preparation of technical and functional assignments for public procurement to develop, upgrade or implementation of information systems and e-services, administrative authorities must include the following requirements:

1. when the subject of the contract includes the development of computer programs:

a) computer programs must meet the criteria for open source software;

b) all copyright and related rights on the relevant computer programs, their source code, the design of interfaces and databases which are subject to the order should arise for the principal in full, without limitations in the use, modification and distribution;

c) development should be done in the repository maintained by the Agency in accordance with Art. 7c pt. 18;

What does this mean? For people who know how Bulgarian administration worked so far it hopefully clean the mess which is now.

Every administration was doing their own closed source IS non-maintainable and non compatible with other administrations. Tax administration has his own, customs has their own, etc etc not connected with each other.

Wanna silly examples?

#1 Border police and customs IS were made separately so people who cross the borders went to one desk give their passports, someone there scan them then give them USB Flash drive(!!!) which they carry with themon the next desk where another IS read the files 😀

#2 Electronic customs where you can fill the import and export declarations. When I first hear about this I said – good news we catch on Estonia where everything is online! Then I faced the sad reality with the  implementation. I went to customs web page and I couldn’t enter it … as my browser was not Internet Explorer with obsolete version which was not used for several years, but obviously the IS developers decided that they do not need to test their IS with other browsers so you have to install this version or not using the “electronic” customs. I found Windows computer and installed the obsolete IE browser with massive list of security holes, then made my first export declaration online and happy decided to send it for processing … I was too optimistic, to do this I had to have Acrobat reader 6 as the electronic customs IS couldn’t accept other version signed document !!!

At this point I gave up and send my docs to customs agency who took care for the export as I had no whole day to loose. This was several years ago when the system was introduced, it may be improved now but I’m not in mood to waste more time to check.

Bulgarian government has spent millions on non-senses like this, some IS were made several times by different companies, every time starting from scratch as the code was closed. Sites with broken security were not patched for months as the contract has expired and sources were closed, so it’s good to see that they finally look in the right direction!

You can read the original article here

 

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