NanoPi NEO NAS Kit Review – Assembly, OpenMediaVault Installation & Setup, and Benchmarks

NAS Dock v1.2 for Nano Pi NEO / NEO 2 is, as the name implies, a complete mini NAS kit for 2.5″ drive for NanoPi NEO or NEO 2 board. The NEO 2 board is strongly recommended, since it’s not much more expensive, but should deliver much better results due to its Gigabit Ethernet interface. I’ve received two of those kits together with several other boards & accessories from FriendlyELEC, and today I’ll show how to assemble the kit, configure OpenMediaVault, and run some benchmarks. NAS Kit V1.2 Assembly with NanoPi NEO 2 Board The only extra tool you’ll need is a screwdriver, and potentially a soldering iron as we’ll see further below. The metal box is stuff wih accessories so the first thing is to open one or two sides to take out the content. We have the mainboard, NanoPi NEO back plate, NanoPi NEO 2 back plater, a […]

VLC for Android 2.0 Released with Network Shares, Multi-windows, Better Codec Support, and More

VLC / VideoLAN is a popular desktop video player for Linux and Windows, and it’s the program I go to when I want to watch a local video on my computer. VLC also has an Android version, but last time I checked VLC in an Android TV box, I was disappointed due to the lack of SAMBA support, and video decoding support was pretty poor on Rockchip RK3368 processor at the time. The good news is that the developers have now released VLC for Android 2.0, which brings several improvements including: Support for network browsing including DLNA/UPnP, Windows Shares (SAMBA), FTP(S), SFTP, and NFS Multi-windows/pop-up video with support for Samsung MultiWindow and LG Dual Window extensions New asynchronous hardware decoder, and codecs and formats support updates. Subtitle downloads via OpenSubtitles from VLC interface without having to go to the website inside a web browser Right-To-Left and Complex Text Layout subtitles […]

Mini Review of NextDrive Plug for Private Cloud Storage and Home Security

NextDrive Plug is an ARM based plug computer that’s used to store your photos or music, and/or as a security system using a webcam combined with Pixi motion sensor. They had a successful crowdfunding campaign, and now that they’ve sent rewards to backers, I’ve also received NextDrive Plug and Pixi for evaluation. The courier was not particularly gentle with the packages, but the devices themselves were not damaged. NextDrive Plus package included the box, a US plug, and a user’s manual in English. Pixi comes with two 3M stickers, and a user’s manual. There’s also a plastic film to avoid depleting the battery, that you’ll need to remove before using the sensor. The interfaces on the plug are minimal with a USB port for a USB mass storage device (HDD, flash drive…) and/or a UVC webcam, and the socket for the power plug adapter on the back.You can then plug […]

Linux 4.2 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 4.2 last Sunday: So judging by how little happened this week, it wouldn’t have been a mistake to release 4.2 last week after all, but hey, there’s certainly a few fixes here, and it’s not like delaying 4.2 for a week should have caused any problems either. So here it is, and the merge window for 4.3 is now open. I already have a few pending early pull requests, but as usual I’ll start processing them tomorrow and give the release some time to actually sit. The shortlog from rc8 is tiny, and appended. The patch is pretty tiny too. Go get it, Linus Some notable changes made to Linux 4.2 include: File systems New features for F2FS including per file encryption CIFS support SMB 3.1.1 (experimental) Cryptography – Jitter Entropy Random Number Generator, Chacha20 stream cipher and Poly1305 authentication (RFC7539),New RSA implementation. See lwn.net […]

Review of BFS 4KH Media Player Powered by HiSilicon Hi3798M Processor

Buyforsure (BFS) 4KH is a low cost Android TV box powered by HiSilicon Hi3978M quad core Cortex A7 processor supporting 4K video output and decoding, HEVC/H.265 video decoding, and featuring a USB 3.0 port. I’ve already taken a few pictures of the device and board, so today I’ll reports about my findings after testing features and performance of this media player. First Boot, Settings and First Impressions The remote control included in the package does the job as long as you use the box user interface and play videos with the included player or XBMC, but I also switched to Mele F10 Deluxe air mouse when I need a pointer or to input text. I’ve connected an Ethernet cable, an HDMI cable, a USB 3.0 hard drive to the USB 3.0 port, and a USB hub to the USB 2.0 port including a USB webcam, two RF dongles for the […]

Linux 3.7 Release

Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.7: Whee. After an extra rc release, 3.7 is now out. After a few more trials at fixing things, in the end we ended up reverting the kswapd changes that caused problems. And with the extra rc, I had decided to risk doing the buffer.c cleanups that would otherwise have just been marked for stable during the next merge window, and had enough time to fix a few problems that people found there too. There’s also a fix for a SCSI driver bug that was exposed by the last-minute workqueue fixes in rc8. Other than that, there’s a few networking fixes, and some trivial fixes for sparc and MIPS. Anyway, it’s been a somewhat drawn out release despite the 3.7 merge window having otherwise appeared pretty straightforward, and none of the rc’s were all that big either. But we’re done, and […]

$40 CX-01 mini PC Unboxing and Review

I’ve just received the CX-01 Mini Android PC I ordered 3 weeks ago on Pandawill website using Togetho.ru group buy coupon and paid $41.89 as I selected “Singapore Post” shipping option. Today, I’ll post some unboxing pictures and provide a review of this tiny and cheap device. I received the device in the box below. The device characteristics are listed on the back on the package. Telechips TCC8925 does not support 1 GHz (max 833 MHz), and I’m unable to play some of the video container format listed, but more on that later. You’ll just find the TV Stick and a microUSB to USB cable to power the device in the package. Now let’s connect it to the TV. The device can plug neatly into on the HDMI port of my HDTV (Samsung LA328450), and it’s powered by the TV’s “USB service” port. $40 is a low price to turn a […]

Mele A1000 Android 2.3 STB Unboxing and Review

I’ve finally received the Mele A1000 media player I ordered 3 weeks ago. I mainly plan to use it as a Linux development platform for Allwinner A10 processor, but today I’ll just post some unboxing pictures and provide some feedback about the Android software running on the box. I received the device in the box below. (Sorry about the picture quality, I took pictures with my smartphone). Once you open the box, you’ll get see the set-top box, related accessories, a (not so useful) user guide in English and Chinese and what looks like a warranty card. Once you unpack everything you get the set-top box, 2.5″ hard drive case, composite cable, remote control (infrared) and 5V power supply. You’ll noticed some buttons on the remote control have markings in Chinese, this is where the user manual can be useful. You may already have seen the box itself (with clearer […]

EmbeddedTS embedded systems design