Oval Elephant Android / Linaro mini PC HDMI Stick

Since Rikomagic MK802 and Zero Device Z802 mini PCs have gone viral and started the Android mini PC craze, this type of device has been popping a bit everywhere… The latest interesting device I found is Oval Elephant Mini PC based on AllWinner A10 processor with 1 GB RAM and selling for 71.49 USD. They have appears to have a whooping 11 in stocks now to be shipped on the 3rd of July, but they are also taking pre-orders and if there is enough demand (over 1,000 pieces), the price would go down to 68 USD. The device pictured above is just a prototype, and they have decided to replace the HDMI mini male output by a proper HDMI output (probably male). As I said before I prefer this form factor, especially since you can just connect mini BlueTooth dongles (no sure that one works with Android / Linux though) to add BT connectivity and use your BT wireless keyboard and […]

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Migrating a WordPress Blog from Apache2 to Nginx

This blog is hosted on a Linode VPS with 512 MB RAM and running Ubuntu 11.10. Up until today, Apache2 was the web server, and it worked fine except sometimes, it reached connection and memory limits, and the blog would go offline for a short period of time, especially right after a new blog post. So this week-end, I decided to switch to nginx (pronounced engine-x) web server which is said to use less memory than Apache2. Let me know if something suddenly stopped working… nginx is a relatively recent web server, and the documentation on the web seems to become outdated pretty fast, so I’ve decided to document what I’ve done. The first thing I would recommend is to try it in your own local server first,  and make sure most things are working including plugins. Testing your WordPress blog with nginx in a local server I run Ubuntu 12.04 in VirtualBox, and since we are going to run […]

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Ubuntu 12.04 Server ARMHF Image for Mele A1000/A2000

I’ve seen quite a few people who want to use the Mele A1000 – or its brother the Mele A2000 – media player as a server (Sacrilege!). Since recent ARM servers are running Ubuntu 12.04, and Tom Gall has (conveniently) posted the live-build config necessary to generate Ubuntu 12.04 Server image this week, I thought I’d give it a try on Mele A1000. The image generated is a headless system running Apache 2 and sshd (openssh_server). I’ll detail the steps I followed to generate this image first, so if you just want to try the SD card image, scroll down at the end of the post. The first step is to generate Ubuntu Linaro Server rootfs, by following the Live-Build instructions on Linaro website together with Tom’s live build config. I’ve followed those steps in a machine running Ubuntu 12.04. Let’s install the required packages:

Configure the build and start the build:

After a while, you’ll get the […]

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VIA Announces ARM Cortex A9 Based Digital Signage System

VIA has unveiled its ARM Digital Signage (DS) system for cost sensitive high volume digital signage deployments. The system is based on an unnamed Cortex A9 processor (possibly Wondermedia WM8850?) with up to 2 GB RAM and 64 GB Flash. The company expects the device to be used in a wide range of applications such as kiosks, POS systems, video walls, menu boards to TVOIP, cloud streaming, and Out of Home Advertising. Here are the specs of this digital signage player: All in one system-ready to load software Designed for Android operating system Industry standard ARM Cortex A9 SoC Hardware acceleration of the most demanding video formats for resolutions up to 1080p DVI-D display port (HDMI Optional) 4x USB 2.0 ports 10/100 Ethernet port Audio-out/ Mic-in Up to 64GB NAND Flash Up to 2GB DDR3 SDRAM Dimension – 18 cm x 12 cm x 2.5 cm The VIA ARM DS system is said to be compatible with the latest “Digital […]

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Phoronix Designed a Solar Powered ARM Cluster with 48 Pandaboards

Michael Larabel of Phoronix did a “little” week-end project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), building an ARM cluster with 48 Pandaboards mostly with standard Pandaboards (OMAP 4430), although some Pandaboard ES (OMAP 4460) were also thrown in the mix. The 96-core cluster consumes just over 200 Watts under load and can be powered by a solar panel. The boards are stacked up vertically in an industrial trashcan, and are powered via USB instead of AC adapters. Michael’s PandaBoard ES testing indicates about a 3 Watt idle per board, 5 Watt under load, or 6 Watts under extreme load. The cluster idle power consumption is just under 170 Watts while idle, and goes slightly over 200 Watts under load. Each Pandaboard runs Ubuntu 12.04 ARM OMAP4 installed on SD cards. MIT did some testing and provided Phoronix with benchmark results such as tests following Green500 benchmarking procedure, but they are not ready to share those yet, at least until everything […]

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Group Buy – Get CX-01 Android 4.0 mini PC for 39.99 USD

togetho.ru is a an online community that organizes group buys for interesting gadgets, and one reader informed me they already did successful group buying for mobile devices such as Hyundai A7HD, SmartQ Ten3, and Freelander PD10 tablets and ThL V9 smartphone. They now opened group-buying subscription for CX-01 Android 4.0 mini PC powered by a dual core Cortex A5 processor (Telechips TCC8923) and plan to offer the device for $39.99 including international shipping via China Mail. It’s also possible to upgrade to Hong Kong Post or other shipping methods. You do not actually buy via togetho.ru, but you just need to register an email address, and if there is enough demand, they will be able to send a coupon to your email so that you can use it in Pandawill. The CX-01 HDMI stick should have performance similar to MK802 based on Antutu benchmarks for devices built around TCC8923, especially for tasks that can make use of multi cores. At […]

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Tizen Launches Development Unit Program for Developers

The Tizen development team  showcased and gave away Tizen development hardware at the Tizen Conference in May, which are similar to the Samsung Galaxy S2. If you were not present, do not despair as Tizen has just announced the launch of a Development unit program in order to make it easier for qualified developers to find available development hardware running Tizen. The 30 units currently available  are only useful for Tizen developers, since they do not contain all of the features that you would expect to see in a consumer device and are only intended to developers who are building applications for Tizen. If you are a developer willing to working on Tizen Apps, you can apply for this batch until June 29 at 11:59 pm PST by filling the application form (After logging-in which appears to be impossible right now). To be eligible, you can’t work for the handset manufacturer which provides the development unit, you must provide an […]

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Freescale Announces Availability of Kinetis L Series Cortex M0+ MCU and Freedom Devkit

ARM unveiled its ultra-low power Cortex-M0+ core back in March, and Freescale and NXP also announced their plans to use this new core in some of their micro-controllers destined to power the internet of things. Yesterday at Freescale Technology Forum (FTF), Freescale announced the availability of alpha samples of its Kinetis L series. This new low power MCU family will allow existing 8-bit and 16-bit architecture to be replaced by 32-bit architecture without increasing power consumption, cost or size, and the company expects them to be used in devices such as small appliances, gaming accessories, portable medical systems, audio systems, smart meters, lighting and power control. The ARM Cortex-M0+ processor is said to consume about a third of the energy of any 8- or 16-bit processor, while delivering between two to 40 times more performance. Kinetis L series MCU  can consume as low as 50 uA/MHz in very-low-power run (VLPR) mode and can rapidly wake from a reduced power state, […]

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