Running Ubuntu 16.04 on MeLE PCG03 Apo Mini PC

July 27th, 2017 8 comments

I completed my review of MeLE PCG03 Apo mini PC with Windows 10 about two weeks ago, and at the time when I tried Ubuntu, all I got was a black screen. MeLE said they would release an Ubuntu image for the board soon, so I did not investigate further. The company has now released Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop ISO via a link on Twitter together with (partial) instructions, and the company told me another company had worked on the image. I sent the link to Linuxium, as in the past MeLE or that other company used his work without asking. I turns out the ISO was identical to Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop ISO released in April last year.

Anyway, I still got the black screen issue using that image, and that’s because I first failed to find the option in the BIOS to change boot to Linux. When the mini PC starts, press the Esc key to enter Aptio Setup…

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Meizu Pro 7 is a Dual Camera Dual Display Android Smartphone

July 27th, 2017 No comments

Smartphones with dual rear cameras are becoming more common, and we’ve see some smartphones in the past with an extra rear display such as Yotaphone 2. Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus smartphones combines both features, but instead of using an E-Ink or other e-Paper display for the secondary display, Meizu used an 1.9″ AMOLED display that automatically turns on when you flip the phone, and can be used to check the time or notifications while the main display is still off. Meizu Pro 7 / Pro 7 Plus partial specifications: SoC – Mediatek Helio X30 deca-core processor with 2x cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.6 GHz, 4x cortex A53 cores @ up to 2.2 GHz, and 4x cortex A35 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz, as well as Imagination PowerVR 7XT GPU System Memory Pro 7 – 4GB LPDDR4x Pro 7 Plus – 6GB LPDDR4x Storage Pro 7 – 64 eMMC 5.1 flash storage Pro 7 Plus…

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Beelink S1 Mini PC Comes with Up to 8GB RAM, Supports M.2 SSD & SATA Storage, and Cortana via a Built-in Microphone

July 26th, 2017 9 comments

While many Apollo Lake mini PCs are sold by Chinese manufacturers, few of come with up to 8GB RAM, and include an internal 2.5″ SATA bay. But Beelink S1 mini PC does, and it also include an M.2 SSD slot, so you can have fast storage for the operating system using an SSD, and cheap and larger storage for your data with the SATA bay. If you are a fan of voice commands, a built-in microphone working with Cortana is also included. Beelink S1 mini PC specifications: SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core Apollo Lake processor @ 1.10 GHz / 2.20 GHz (Burst frequency) with 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200/700 MHz  (6W TDP) System Memory – 4 or 8 GB DDR3 Storage – 64 GB eMMC flash, internal SATA bay, M.2 SSD slot up to 512 GB, micro SD card slot up to 128GB Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K @ 30 Hz, VGA…

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Hologram LTE Software-Defined Global Network for Cellular IoT Projects Starts at $0.40 per Month per Device

July 26th, 2017 15 comments

Cellular connectivity can be rather expensive, and in the IoT realms, new LTE standards are still evolving and you may want to manage your own mini cellular network, so ideally we would need a provider that offers both low cost and flexibility. Hologram LTE network does both as it’s a software-defined network, and pricing starts at $5 for the SIM card and $0.40 per month per device. The company also just announced that their network was available for global deployment with the service available in more than 170 countries via partnerships through over 200 cellular carriers. The SIM card supports automatic roaming and carrier switching, and spacebridge inbound tunnel access allows for secure remote programming and device management. The SIM card specifications are as follows: 2G/GPRS, 3G HSPDA, 4G LTE Read/Write Cycles: Min. 500,000 Operating Temperature: -25°C ~ 85°C Data Retention: Min. 25 years at 25°C Triple-cut for Mini, Micro, and Nano SIM formats Mini: 15 x 25mm Micro: 12…

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Intel Curie Module, Arduino 101 Board Are Being Discontinued (Too)

July 26th, 2017 No comments

Intel seems to have completely given up on its efforts to bring products specific to the Internet of Things. After discontinuing Intel Edison, Galileo and Joule boards & modules last month, forcing companies to look for alternatives, the company has now issued product discontinuance / end-of-life notices for Intel Curie Module and Arduino 101 board, itself based on the Curie module. The two product change notification notice can be found below for: Select Intel Curie Module Products – PDF Select Intel Arduino 101 Products – PDF The use of the word “Select” would normally mean some versions of the module and board won’t be affected, but I fail to see which ones here, as AFAIK there’s only one Arduino 101 board, and two variants of Curie modules, all three to be discontinued. Arduino 101 will be phased out faster with the following milestones: July 17, 2017 – Product Discontinuance Program Support Begins September 17, 2017 – Last Product Discontinuance Order…

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HiMedia Q30 TV Box Review – Part 2: Android 7.0 Nougat Firmware

July 25th, 2017 4 comments

HiMedia Q30 is an Android Nougat TV box powered by Hisilicon Hi3798MV200 processor, a cost-down version of Hi3798C V200 processor with the same CPU, a lower-end Mali-450MP GPU, about the same media capabilities, and less I/Os. I’ve taken pictures of the device and board if the first part of the review entitled “HiMedia Q30 (Hisilicon Hi3798MV200) Android TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing and Teardown“, so today, I’ll report about my experience with the device while running Android 7.0. First Boot, Setup, and First Impressions I’ve connected a USB 3.0 hard drive to the single USB 3.0 port, and filled the two other USB 2.0 ports with a USB keyboard, and a USB hub with two RF dongles for an air mouse and a gamepad. I added Ethernet, HDMI, and power cable to start the device. A typical boot takes around 25 seconds to the Android launcher below. That’s your typical TV launcher with date and connection status on…

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Cubieboard7 Board Powered by Actions Semi S700 Processor Becomes a Full-Featured Devkit with DVK522 Expansion Board

July 25th, 2017 10 comments

Cubieboard6 was announced earlier this year with the same form factor as Cubieboard2 – which was popular a few years ago – by replacing Allwinner A20 with Actions Semi S500 quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor. CubieTech is about to launch Cubieboard7 based on the same design, except for the processor upgrade to the pin-to-pin compatible Actions Semi S700 quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor. I’ve also found out Cubieboard2/6/7 can be connected to DVK522 expansion board to provide easier access more I/Os like LVDS, RGB LCD, VGA, and so on. Let’s start with the Cubieboard7 (CB7) preliminary specifications: SoC – Actions Semi S700 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor with Mali-450MP4 GPU System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 Storage 8GB eMMC flash SATA 3.0 port for 2.5″ HDD/SSD implemented via USB 3.0 switch and JMicron JMS578 USB 3.0 to SATA controller. micro SD card slot up to 32GB Video Output  – HDMI 1.4b up to 1080p60 according to specs, but datasheet…

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Rockchip RK3328 based MXR PRO TV Box Boasts 4GB RAM, 32GB Flash

July 24th, 2017 10 comments

Most users of TV boxes will do just fine with 2 GB RAM, especially with lower end ARM Cortex A53 systems, but if you have somewhat low processing needs, but high memory requirements, MXR Pro TV box powered by Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor, and running Android 7.1 comes with 4GB RAM, and 32GB storage. MXR PRO 4K TV box specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 4GB DDR3 Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash + SD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support, 3.5mm AV port (composite) Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264. 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8 Audio – Via HDMI, AV port (stereo audio), and 3.5mm coaxial S/PDIF jack Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, single band 802.11 b/g/n WiFi USB – 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port Misc – IR…

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