Add an SSD, WiFi, and RTC to Your Raspberry Pi 2 Board with a $49 CSB502SSD Add-on Board (Crowdfunding)

If you wish your Raspberry Pi 2 could be a little more responsive, including WiFi connectivity and keep the time even when network is not available, and a few extra goodies then Pi 2 Design‘s CSB502SSD add-ons board (Raspberry Pi HAT) could be worth a look. CSB502SSD technical specifications: Storage – mSATA socket for up to 1TB on-board storage via PL2571 USB to SATA bridge controller USB – 2x extra USB 2.0 ports Connectivity – GWF-3M08 WiFi 802.11 b/g/n module (Ralink RT5370) with IPEX connector and up to 150 Mbps connection. Real Time Clock – DS1339 with 16mm coin cell battery backup and programmable alarm. Sensors – 1-Wire DS18B20 temperature sensor to monitor the health of SSD drive. 64-bit ID to identify the shield Power Supply – 8V-24V DC input (Up to 27.5W) for peripherals and Raspberry Pi 2. Dimensions – Full size Raspberry Pi 2 I/O Shield Since the […]

Add an SSD to Your Laptop with a $5 Optical Drive Caddy Adapter

Performance of computers are often limited by their hard drive performance, and if you’ve ever upgraded from a mechanical hard drive to a SSD, you’ll be fully aware of the massive boost achieved by that upgrade. Many laptops come with a hard drive and a DVD drive, and if you’re not using the DVD drive that much or at all, you could purchase an ultra cheap optical drive caddy adapter to install an SSD into your laptop, or just another 2.5″ hard drive if you need extra storage. You’ll need to insert the SSD into the caddy, and replace the CD/DVD drive by the caddy. I’ve been informed of this trick via a link on eBay taht’s for an optical caddy adapter specifically for Lenovo IdeaPad Z50-70 B50-30, but if you search for “hdd optical caddy” you’ll find several “universal” optical caddy adapter for HDD and SSD with 12.7mm or […]

Review of Voyo V2 Intel Atom Z3735F mini PC with Battery and SSD

Voyo V2 is another Intel Atom Z3735F mini PC pre-installed with Windows 10 Home, but it has some interesting features such as a 64GB SSD connected via a USB to SATA bridge on top of the regular 32GB eMMC, and a 5,000 mAh battery acting as a UPS. Since I have already received several of such platforms including MeLE PCG01, Wintel W8, and MeLE PCG03 and that there are usually few differences in regular benchmarks, I’ll focus on what varies between platforms: Windows activation status, storage and network performance, as well as power consumption. System Info and Windows Activation One of the shortcoming of this mini PC is that it only comes with a full sized USB port, and a micro USB port. So if you plan to use it as a PC with USB keyboard and mouse, you’ll need to use a USB hub, or at least a USB […]

Voyo V2 mini PC Unboxing and Teardown

Voyo V2 would be yet another Intel Atom Z3735F based mini PC if it did not have a battery, and 96GB internal storage with 32GB eMMC flash, and a 64GB SSD. Most Atom mini PCs only comes with 32GB, and based on my experience, internal storage fills pretty quickly with Windows 10 or 8.1, especially if you intend to use the device as a desktop PC, and that even may be an issue with Linux distributions, albeit to a lesser extend. However, a lot of questions were asked about that “64GB SSD”, with even some readers suggesting it might be an internal SD card instead of SSD :). Today, we’re going to find out the truth as GearBest kindly sent me a sample for review. Voyo V2 Unboxing The mini PC package has a sticker in Chinese showing the brand (VOYO), model (MiniPC-Box_V2), and listing memory ans storage as “2GB+32GB […]

Intel Announces Optane Brand for 3D XPoint SSD and DIMM Modules

Last month, Intel and Micron unveiled 3D XPoint technology – pronounced 3D Crosspoint – promising over 1,000 times the performance and durability of NAND flash, and 10 times the density of DRAM for non-volatile memory. Intel has now showcased some of the first products to use that technology with an Optane SSD. At IDF 2015, Intel compared the performance of their high-end P3700 SSD delivering 10,600 IOPS against an early 3D Xpoint “Optane” SSD prototype that could deliver 76,600 IOPS or 7.23 times more I/O per seconds, while according to Anandtech some other tests still ran 5 times faster on 3D Xpoint compared the NAND based SSD. Intel plans to release 3D XPoint SSD in 2016, as well as 3D Xpoint DIMM modules for the datacenters. These are exciting developments, but it will probably take a few more years before it comes affordable for consumer devices, as a 400GB P3700 […]

CubieTruck Metal Case Kit Getting Started Guide and Review

I’ve received CubieTruck Metal Case kit just over a month ago, but just like for Ubuntu on ODROID-XU3 Lite, the board could not get HDMI EDID info from my Panasonic TV, which led to a crash at boot time. CubieTech has now fixed the issue, so I’ve finally been able to complete the review with Cubieez (Cubie Easy) distribution, pre-installed on the board, and based on Debian 7.6. You can get the full hardware specs on my previous post, but the kits is comprised of four parts: CubieTruck development based on Allwinner A20 dual core processor, a rugged metallic enclosure, a 128GB SSD, and a 5,300 mAh battery acting as a UPS. I’ll start by showing how to setup the board, test SATA and Gigabit Ethernet performance,  check if the battery acts as expected, try to use the board as a desktop replacement with LibreOffice, Chromium, and so on, and […]

CubieTruck Metal Case Unboxing and Disassembly

CubieTruck Metal Case is a kit comprised of CubieTruck (aka CubieBoard 3), a 128GB SSD, a 5,300 mAh battery, a power adapter, and various cables. In case you are not familiar with CubieTruck, it’s a development board by CubieTech, based on Allwinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex A7 processor with 2GB RAM, 8GB NAND flash, a SATA connector, HDMI & VGA outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB host ports, and a mini USB OTG port. CubieTech decided to sent me a kit, as it was featured on CNX Software, and today, I’ll show what’s exactly is inside the kit since the product description is not 100% clear. I’ve been told it’s pre-installed with Lubuntu, so in a separate post next week, I’ll try Linux, report on the SSD performance, and check the battery UPS function, and possibly life on a charge. CubieTruck Metal Case Unboxing I’ve received the kit in a […]

Linux Kernel 3.13 Release

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.13 yesterday: The release got delayed by a week due to travels, but I suspect that’s just as well. We had a few fixes come in, and while it wasn’t a lot, I think we’re better off for it. At least I hope so – I’ll be very disappointed if any of them cause more problems than they fix.. Anyway, the patch from rc8 is fairly small, with mainly some small arch updates (arm, mips, powerpc, s390, sparc, x86 all had some minor changes, some of them due to a networking fix for the bpf jit). And drivers (mainly gpu and networking). And some generic networking fixes. The appended shortlog gives more details. Anyway, with this, the merge window for 3.14 is obviously open. Kernel 3.12 brought new features to BTRFS and XFS file systems, PC’s GPU drivers improvements, better memory handling, […]