Khadas Captain / Edge SBC Review – Part 2: Ubuntu 18.04

Khadas Edge Ubuntu 18.04

I received Khadas Edge Developer Package with Khadas Edge RK3399 module, Khadas Captain carrier board, and several accessories a few weeks ago, and after checking the hardware in the first part of the review, I’ve now taken the time to review software support, specially Ubuntu 18.04 on the board. Khadas Edge / Captain Firmware There are currently four main choices of firmware for Khadas Edge / Khadas Captain: Ubuntu 18.04 OS with LXDE desktop environment @ https://dl.khadas.com/Firmware/Edge/Ubuntu/ Android ROM @ https://dl.khadas.com/Firmware/Edge/Android/ with Android Nougat being a proper release, Android Oreo (available now) a temporary version that will not be supported, and Android P that will be released and supported by Rockchip later on in 2019 Armbian RK3399 for Khadas Edge that looks to be work-in-progress right now LibreELEC for playing videos on the platform I decided to focus on Ubuntu 18.04 for this review, and Karl who has he own sample will review the stable Android Nougat firmware that has …

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$6 C-SKY Linux Board Reviewed, Benchmarked

C-SKY Board

The price of single board computers and development boards has really gone down in recent years, and it’s easy to find a low cost Arm based board for most project. But C-SKY Linux development board is quite different since it’s based on the little known C-SKY architecture, and the price in China ($6) is really competitive for a media capable board. If you live outside of China, the board is now sold for about $18 including shipping, and MickMake decided to buy one to have a closer look and review the board. As we covered during the announced the board is powered by NationalChip GX66058 C-SKY 32-bit processor clocked at up to 574 MHz and integrating  64MB DDR2 on-chip. Getting the board on-hand allowed Mick to get more details about the other chips included in the board namely: STMicro STM32F103 to handle all the JTAG control through a micro USB port (JTAG) CH340G USB to serial bridge to access the …

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Geeetech A20M Review – A Dual Extruder, Color Mixing 3D Printer

Geeetech A20M 3D Printer Samples

Hey Karl here with a 3D printer review. I know it has been a while for a printer review and grateful for Gearbest sending the review unit. They shipped me the Geeetech A20M a single nozzle, mixing, dual extruder 3D printer. Man that was a mouth full. It is a follow up to the A10M which is similar but a smaller build volume. The A20M clocks in with a 255x255x255mm build volume. My last foray with a multi material printer was a Tevo Tarantula and it was mildly successful. I didn’t realize that this was a mixing extruder and the implications. I have done some very cool looking prints due to the fact that it’s a mixing extruder. QC Issues I always come to expect some QC issues with these low cost printers. But I have to say that this printer has had the most. Let me list with fixes Z stepper motor bent…..replace z stepper motor Fan for part …

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Amazon EC2 A1 Arm Instances Deliver up to 45% Cost Savings over x86 Instances

SmugMug-Costs Savings Arm EC2 Instance

Just a couple of days ago, Amazon introduced EC2 A1 Arm instances based on custom-designed AWS Graviton processors featuring up to 32 Arm Neoverse cores. Commenters started a discussion about price and the real usefulness of Arm cores compared to x86 cores since the latter are likely to be better optimized, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) pricing for EC2 A1 instances did not seem that attractive to some. The question whether it makes sense will obviously depend on the workload, and metrics like performance per dollar, and performance per watt. AWS re:Invent 2018 is taking place now, and we are starting to get some answers with Amazon claiming up to 45% reduction in costs. It sounds good, except there’s not much information about the type of workload here. So it would be good if there was an example of company leveraging this type of savings with their actual products or services. It turns SmugMug photo sharing website has migrated to …

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An Attempt to Benchmark Entry-level x86 Boards against RK3399 & Exynos Arm Boards

Arm vs Intel C-Ray

Some Arm boards have become quite powerful, while hardware based on low power Intel processor has generally become cheaper with both architectures somewhat converging in terms of performance and price. Piotr Maliński got interested and purchased some low cost (<$150) Intel hardware to compare to mid-range Arm boards, throwing a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ into the mix as well for comparison. Those are the Intel test boards / computers: Qotom motherboard with Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB flash – $74 + shipping on Aliexpress Piesia nano ITX board with Intel Celeron N2806 Bay Trail processor, DDR3 SO-DIMM socket, SATA / mSATA interfaces – Piotr found it for around $85 on Aliexpress, but the price now jumped to over $150 plus shipping, which does not make it very attractive Generic thin mini ITX motherboard based on Celeron N3160 “Braswell” processor, DDR3 SO-DIMM socket, SATA / mSATA interfaces. $62.68 shipped on Aliexpress. MSI E350DM-E33 motherboard with “old” AMD E-350 …

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Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Review – Part 1: Unboxing

Particle Argon WiFi Bluetooth Kit

Back in February of this year, Particle introduced three low cost IoT development boards based on Nordic Semi nRF52840 wireless chip supporting “Particle Mesh” networking based on the 802.15.4 radio in the chip and OpenThread implementation of Thread IoT communication protocol. The company recently announced they were now shipping the kits pre-ordered earlier this year, and released two IoT development tools based on Node-RED and Visual Studio Code. Particle contacted me as well as to find out whether I was interested in reviewing their latest WiFi / Bluetooth / Mesh kit, and I’ve just received the bundle, which comes with a bunch of items, so I decided to write an unboxing post first to have a first look at the hardware, before playing with it in one or two weeks. Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Bundle Unboxing That’s what I got from UPS… From top left to bottom right: The Argon kit (ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth + Mesh) A Grove …

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TopJoy Falcon Review – A Windows 10 Mini Laptop (Prototype)

The Topjoy Falcon is a mini laptop reminiscent of netbooks and similar to the recent GPD Pocket 2 or One Mix Yoga devices. Marketed as an 8 inch (203mm) pocket-sized computer with the following specification: Intel Pentium Silver N5000 CPU 8G RAM 256G SSD disk 1920*1200 FHD IPS touch screen 6000 mAh battery for up to 8 hours working time 1 x USB A 3.0, 1 x USB Type-C 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack 1 x Mini HDMI port Active cooling 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 Backlit keyboard Windows 10 Home Weight 550g (1lb 3oz) Fits easily in your pocket Although you would need a large pocket as whilst It is physically small consisting of an approximately 8″ by 5.2” and about 0.7” thick (203mm x 132mm x 18mm) when closed it is in reality too big for the average pocket. It will soon be available on Kickstarter with an early bird price of $399 and an expected retail price of $699. I’ve received an early prototype which I’ll review below. …

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Beelink X55 Review – An Intel Gemini Lake mini PC Tested with Windows 10 and Linux

Beelink X55 board

The Beelink X55 is very similar in style to Intel’s NUC7PJYH NUC reviewed earlier except that it is not a kit but a fully functional Windows mini PC. It is physically small consisting of an approximately 4.5″ by 4” case about 1¾” tall with a front panel that includes the power button and a couple of USB ports and a headphone jack with the rest of the ports including two HDMI (2.0) ones at the rear: The specifications include: The key highlights are that the Beelink X55 comes a 128GB mSATA SSD with pre-installed Windows 10 Home together with 8GB DDR4 RAM (soldered and is non-expandable) and space plus a connector for an SSD. Starting with a quick look at the hardware information shows it is mostly aligned to the specification but see the note below about the memory: As usual I ran my standard set of benchmarking tools to look at performance under Windows: At this point I normally …

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