Trying out Edge Impulse machine learning platform on XIAO BLE Sense board

double-sided sticky tape boards

I had seen the Edge Impulse development platform for machine learning on edge devices being used by several boards, but I hadn’t had an opportunity to try it out so far. So when Seeed Studio asked me whether I’d be interested to test the nRF52840-powered XIAO BLE Sense board, I thought it might be a good idea to review it with Edge Impulse as I had seen a motion/gesture recognition demo on the board. It was quite a challenge as it took me four months to complete the review from the time Seeed Studio first contacted me, mostly due to poor communications from DHL causing the first boards to go to customs’ heaven, then wasting time with some of the worse instructions I had seen in a long time (now fixed), and other reviews getting in the way. But I finally managed to get it working (sort of), so let’s […]

QEMU 7.0 released with support for RISC-V KVM, Intel AMX, and more

QEMU (Quick EMUlator) is an open-source emulator used to run OS or programs on various architectures such as Arm, RISC-V, and many others when you don’t own specific hardware, or for quick testing. The developers have released QEMU 7.0 a few days ago with over 2500 commits from 225 developers. New features include support for RISC-V KVM and vector extensions, Intel AMX (Advanced Matrix Extension), improved flexibility for fleecing backups, various new features for Arm, and many more. QEMU 7.0 highlights listed by the developers: ACPI: support for logging guest events via ACPI ERST interface virtiofs: improved security label support block: improved flexibility for fleecing backups, including support for non-qcow2 images ARM: ‘virt’ board support for virtio-mem-pci, specifying guest CPU topology, and enabling PAuth when using KVM/hvf ARM: ‘xlnx-versal-virt’ board support for PMC SLCR and emulating the OSPI flash memory controller ARM: ‘xlnx-zynqmp’ now models the CRF and APU control […]

Getting started with Maker Nano RP2040 using CircuitPython: Blinky, RGB LED, and Piezo Buzzer

CNXSoft: This getting started guide was initially posted in Thai language by Suthinee Kerdkaew, and I’ve just translated her work into English with some minor edits. As discussed in an earlier article, Maker Nano RP2040 is a board following the Arduino Nano form factor, but with a more powerful Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller. The board also comes with plenty of LEDs, as well as two RGB LEDs, and a piezo buzzer for audio output. Mr. Jean-Luc Aufranc has just given me a Maker Nano RP2040 board received from Cytron for review. I’ve never used a board before, so it’s my first experience, and in this article, I’ll try to program Maker Nano RP2040 with CircuitPython with three demos: a blinky sample, changing the color of the RGB LEDs, and playing a melody through the piezo buzzer. Let’s see if I can do it. Let’s get started. I first downloaded the […]

Raspberry Pi OS removes default “Pi” username, adds experimental support for Wayland

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just released a new version of Raspberry Pi OS that removes the default username (pi) for security reasons, adds experimental support for Wayland, and lets people configure their Raspberry Pi with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Default username no more The most significant change in the new Raspberry Pi OS is the removal of the default “pi” user as several countries have legislation against default credentials for security reasons. That includes the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill (PSTI) in the UK, and California’s SB-327 IoT devices security law. Those laws mostly target default passwords, but removing a default username can be useful too to prevent force brute attacks. One consequence of removing the default username is that you won’t be able to skip the wizard in both the Desktop and Lite versions of Raspberry Pi OS since a new user needs to be created first. […]

How to get your domain suspended in five easy steps!

Regular readers may have noticed CNX Software was inaccessible for several days, and the reason was that my domain was suspended. I’m a bit late for April Fools’ day, but I’ll show how you can get your domain suspended too in five easy steps! I’ll also provide some background to what happened, and several errors of judgment made along the way What happened? On March 28, as I woke up I noticed I could not access the website and I had also received several emails and mentions on social networks that the website was down. I first tried to restart the LEMP stack of the server nginx, mysql, php, but it did not help. I quickly figured out there was a problem with DNS, so I went to the Cloudflare dashboard which is where I manage the DNS records, but I did not see any problems there. Eventually, I saw […]

Fixing performance issues with Realtek RTL8156B 2.5GbE USB dongle in Ubuntu

A few days ago, I reviewed a USB 3.0 to 2.5 Gbps Ethernet adapter based on Realtek RTL8156B chip in Ubuntu 20.04, and let’s say the reliability and performance were underwhelming. I got some recommendations like changing cables, the MTU size, etc… Playing around with cables did no help, but one comment mentioned the cdc_ncm driver could be the issue, followed by another saying that updating to Linux kernel 5.14 should install the correct r8152 driver… So I just did that:

This upgraded Linux 5.13 (shipped with Ubuntu 20.04 + HWE) to Linux 5.14, but still no luck as the system kept using the cdc_ncm driver with a half-duplex link:

But then I thought I may have to use udev rules to prevent loading the cdc_ncm driver, and there’s indeed 50-usb-realtek-net.rules in r8152 driver to do just that. So I copied the file in /etc/udev/rules.d/ folder. Since I […]

Beelink GTR5 Review – An AMD Ryzen 9 mini PC tested with Windows 11, Ubuntu 20.04

Beelink’s GTR5 is their most powerful mini PC to date and has been released as part of their ‘GT’ series of slightly larger mini PCs that are notable for expandable storage configurations together with multiple ports and characterized by the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner. Featuring an AMD Ryzen 9 mobile processor with Radeon Graphics, Beelink kindly sent one for review and I’ve looked at performance running both Windows and Ubuntu. Hardware Overview The Beelink GTR5 physically consists of a 168 x 120 x 39mm (6.61 x 4.72 x 1.54 inches) rectangular metal case. As an actively cooled mini PC, it uses AMD’s ‘Zen 3’ Ryzen 9 5900HX processor which is an eight-core 16-thread 3.3 GHz mobile processor boosting up to 4.6 GHz together with Radeon Graphics. The front panel has an illuminated power button, a ‘CLR CMOS’ button, a USB 3.1 port, a Type-C USB 3.1 port, and a […]

IoT device monitoring as a product reliability improvement tool

CNXSoft: This is a guest post by Renato Kiss, Product Manager – Software at Toradex, explaining how IoT device monitoring can be used with open-source software tools like Fluent Bit to improve product reliability, using temperature monitoring as an example. It is impossible to dissociate connected devices from modern life. They are present in homes, offices, industries – basically, in every business, connected devices play vital roles. In a market estimated at 24.1 billion devices and with a revenue of more than USD 1.5 trillion by 2030, IoT will grow based on both consumer and business applications. Hardware will account for about one-third of this value with the majority being distributed in services, including the connectivity for the system. As part of this growth, more services will be added to IoT business and some specialists estimate the economic potential, including IoT products and services, can unlock at least USD 5.5 […]