Category Archives: Geek stuff

Purism Librem 5 – It’s Coming!

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Some may already be aware of it, since September 2016 I am member of the Purism Advisory Board and consulting Purism in matters of mobile devices. As development continues I have been asked beginning of 2017 if I could imagine to lead a mobile device development. After some further discussion about possibilities I started to lead a mobile device development… Read more »

Intel ME – When the sh*t hits the fan :)

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You know, there is a lot of cruel stuff going on these days. Freedom is cut away in many places which in many cases is done by taking away power and control. Having full control over something means to have power and to have the freedom to use this power or not. The Intel ME is a technological implementation of… Read more »

Building root filesystems

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One of the most common issues in embedded device engineering is how to create a development toolchain and following this how to create a root filesystem to run on the target. These are sometimes also called development and runtime systems. There are several solutions to do this but let us look at some of the challenges first. Challenges Reproducibility There… Read more »

Purism Librem 15 – First impressions

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Yesterday I finally received a Purism Librem 15 laptop for review. A few months before I also got a Librem 13 v1 which was already pretty nice but showed some details that I did not fully like for a device at that price point. The new Librem 15 v2 in contrast is a really nice device. First of all all,… Read more »

Kirkwood, Orion: Mainline Linux 4.12 for TK71

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A client asked for more recent Linux kernel support for a Marvell Kirkwood/Orion 88F6281 based board made by KaRo, the TK71. This is a Q7 form factor CPU module running @ 1.2GHz with two GBit Ethernet ports, two SATA ports, USB2.0 and PCIe support. The TK71 usually comes with 256MB of RAM, a 512MB version is available upon request. The… Read more »

Etnaviv on i.MX6, free OpenGL GPU driver

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For a project I am currently evaluating embedded CPUs, so called system on chip (SOC), mostly ARM architecture. One major requirement of the project is to use free and open source software only, without any binary firmware blobs. Introduction You may have heard about the big issues found lately about e.g. the Intel Management Engine (ME) which is part of… Read more »

Debian unstable ARMHF rootfs

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I have created a current Debian unstable (post „Stretch“ 9) rootfs archive for ARMHF (ARM hard float) devices, download here: http://www.dpin.de/downloads/debian-armhf-unstable-rootfs.tar.bz2 this is about 90MB. It can be put on a SD card to boot ARM HF devices and to install more stuff from there. I use this on an i.MX6 dual core board so there is an extra entry… Read more »

Pinebook, after first week

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Well, I was aware that the Pinebook is not meant as a day to day laptop replacement. It is rather an experiment, targeted at enthusiasts and developers. Heck, I am both 🙂 So I like it! Despite software glitches and some (minor) hardware issues. But first start with what we get. The Pinebook comes with a 11.6″ or 14″ screen,… Read more »

Pinebook arrived!

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Yippie! My brand new Pinebook 11,6″ arrived today! Very nice device. I am pretty impressed by the quality compared to the very low price of just US$89 (plus US$37 shipping plus German VAT and expenses of 36,44€ 🙁 The overall impression is pretty cool. It came with Android 6.1 pre-installed though I ordered it with Linux, i.e. a Linux flavor… Read more »

Intel S0ix, intel_idle, not supported?

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A little time ago I wrote about the S0ix and S0i3 modes for Intel SoC CPUs. I moved a small step forward. It seems indeed that the reason for the pretty high power drain in suspend, which is around 0.4W, has its roots in the system not entering S0i3. In S0i3 the power management controller (PMC) would not only stop… Read more »