Zero-overhead Destructors in C

CNXSoft: This is another guest by Blu, this time about C programming, and specifically destructors in C programming language If you asked seasoned C++ developers what their favorite features in the C++ language might be, chances are that destructors would be on everybody’s shortlist. As many other C++ developers, I too tend to do my occasional share of C, and if there’s one feature I dearly miss in C that is destructors ‒ precisely in their capacity of automating the release of resources at the right moment. But first a disclaimer is in order: many people call simple application of destructors ‘RAII’ ‒ ‘Resource Acquisition Is Initialization’; I find this acronym unnecessarily awkward and obfuscating an otherwise straightforward concept, so you won’t see this acronym through the end of this text. Instead, I’ll be using ‘end-of-scope’ action. Traditionally, in the language of C end-of-scope (more often end-of-function) actions are achieved via deliberate arrangement of the control flow, often via goto’s …

LAKE I Home Cloud TV Box with HDMI Input Goes for $54 (Promo)

We’ve previously covered LAKE I Home Cloud as one of the cheapest TV boxes based on Realtek RTD1295 processor, and featuring HDMI input for video recording and/or streaming video from an external source up to 1080p60, as well as an SATA bay for 2.5″ drives. A reader has just informed me the device was now available for an even cheaper price, as it is offered for just $53.99 + shipping on GearBest. The specifications are pretty standard for an RTD1295 media center: SoC – Realtek RTD1295 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR4 Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash + SD card slot up to 128 GB + SATA hard disk bay for 2.5″ drives with 9.5mm / 7.5mm thickness Video I/O – HDMI 2.0a output, and HDMI input (recording and streaming up to 1080p @ 60 Hz) Audio I/O – HDMI in and out, 1x S/PDIF output Video Playback – HDR, …

Beelink X45 Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04/18.04

Beelink X45 Board

The Beelink X45 mini PC is now available, and Lightinthebox.com have provided a unit for review. It is very similar in style to Intel’s latest NUC Windows mini PC, the NUC7CJYSAL reviewed earlier. However it contains an Intel Celeron Processor J4105 SoC which is a quad core processor bursting up to 2.50 GHz together with the Intel UHD Graphics 600 processor that is capable of 4K support at 60Hz. 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: A key point to note is the Beelink X45 comes with 64GB eMMC with pre-installed Windows 10 Home together with 4GB DDR4 RAM (soldered and is non-expandable) with space and connectors for both an mSATA and SSD. Starting with a …

ZIDOO Z9S / Z10 RTD1296 Android + OpenWrt Media Boxes Coming in October

Zidoo Z10

Zidoo introduced their first Realtek RTD1296 media players earlier this year with Zidoo X20 / X20 Pro models, but with prices starting at almost $500 those are not for everyone. The company will soon  launch cheaper and more compact models with ZIDOO Z9S and Z10, which are updated of RTD1295 models Zidoo X9S and X10 launched in previous years. Zidoo Z9S / Z10 specifications: SoC – Realtek RTD1296DD quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot up to 32GB Zidoo Z9S only – 2x SATA 3.0 external interfaces Zidoo Z10 only – 1x SATA 3.0 bay for 3.5″ drives Video I/O HDMI 2.0a output up to 4K @ 60 Hz, HDR10 support HDMI 2.0 input with HDCP 2.2 input (recording and streaming up to 1080p @ 60 Hz) Zidoo Z9S only – 3.5mm AV output Zidoo Z10 only – 1x RCA CVBS Audio I/O HDMI …

Raspberry Pi PoE HAT Launches, But Refunds Offered due to Power Issues

Raspberry Pi 3+ with PoE HAT

The Raspberry Pi foundation has launched a good number of boards and  accessories, and although some people will question some of the design choices, their boards were fairly bug-free hardware-wise at launch, except for minor issues like the board rebooting while taking a photo with a Xenon flash. Recently they also had performance issues with Gigabit Ethernet in the  Raspberry Pi 3 B+ board, but that looks like more of a software issue. The Raspberry Pi PoE HAT announced with Raspberry Pi 3B+, but launched at the end of August for $20,  however suffers from a more serious issue as it somehow limits USB current to 200mA instead of the usual 500mA, meaning that’s fine with USB keyboard and mouse, but as soon as you connect more power hungry peripherals like a USB hard drive, all hell breaks loose. Let’s check out the specifications first: 802.3af PoE Fully isolated switched-mode power supply 37–57V DC, Class 2 device 5V/2.5A DC output …

Howchip ExSOM-8895 Exynos 8895 Board is Designed for Android Development

Exynos 8895 Board

Howchip has just launched a new Samsung based Android development kit -ExSOM-8895 DVK – powered by an Exynos 8895 system-on-module with 4GB DDR4, and UFS 2.1 storage. as well as featuring a carrier board exposing other interfaces such as mini DP, MIPI display and camera interfaces, Gigabit Ethernet, a UFS card reader, and so on. Having a Samsung Exynos 8895 board means we get a fairly powerful development platform, as the processor is found in Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone released last year. ExSOM-8895 DVK specifications: SOC – Samsung Exynos 8895 octa-core processor with four custom ARMv8 “Mongoose M2+” cores, four Cortex-A53 cores (max freq: 2.1GHz), and an Arm Mali-G71 GPU System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4x 1866MHz (POP) Storage – UFS2.1 device (default), micro SD card (SD 3.0) slot, and UFS2.1 card slot, Video Output / Display I/F Mini Display Port 1.2 output 4-lane x 2-ch MIPI DSI connector for WQUXGA (3840×2400) displays Camera – MIPI CSI 2-channel connector Audio – …

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Mini PC Review – Part 2: Windows 10 Pro

MINIX NEO J50C-4 Wireless Keyboard Mouse

Intel Gemini Lake processors and associated have been products  available for several months, and although I’ve published several Gemini Lake reviews, those were courtesy of Linuxium, which means MINIX NEO J50C-4 is my very first Gemini Lake mini PC. We’ve already looked at the hardware and accessories in MINIX NEO J50C-4 Pentium J5005 Mini PC Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Windows Remote, M.2 SSD, and Teardown, and focused on MINIX NEO W2 remote control in a separate review post.  So in the second part of the review, I’ll focus on my experience with Windows 10 Pro, before likely publishing a third part about Ubuntu / Linux in a few weeks. Initial Setup, BIOS, and Booting MINIX NEO J50C-4 from the M.2 SSD The review will be a little different than usual since I’m on the road, and as a result I did not take all my accessories with me to travel light. I also had to find a room with …

MINIX NEO W2 PC Remote Control Review in Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04

MINIX NEO W2 Backlight Keyboard

MINIX NEO W2 is sold as a Windows 10 remote control with one side acting as an actual remote with shortcuts to useful Windows functions and programs, another side as a keyboard, as well as a motion sensors to use it as an air mouse. I received it with MINIX NEO J50C-4 Windows 10 Pro mini PC, so I tested it today both with Windows 10, and Ubuntu 18.04. Batteries and Backlight I’ve already looked at the package and remote hardware in the NEO post linked above, so let’s get to it by first installing two AAA battery on either side of the keyboard side. A cool feature you’ll immediately noticed is that both sides of the remote control are actually backlight, with Fn and CapsLock key also changing color to red when they are enabled. The backlight is automatically turn off after 4 seconds, but as you can see below the Caplocks and Fn keys status remains visible in …