ESP8266 RGB LED Strip Control with ANAVI Light Controller, Arduino, MQTT, and HTML5

Anavi-Light-Controller-Starter-Kit-Assembly

A few months ago I reviewed ANAVI Light pHat for Raspberry Pi which allows you to control an LED RGB strip from the popular development board. However, if all you need is to switch the RGB LED light on and off, or change the color, the hardware is clearly overpowered for the tasks. So Leon ANAVI designed another board based on ESP8266 – ANAVI Light Controller – which does the same thing with lower cost and more power efficient hardware. Leon sent me a sample for review, so let’s see what we’ve got. ANAVI Light Controller Start Kit Unboxing I received a package for the Starter kit that’s offered for $39 on CrowdSupply. We’ve got the main board, a USB debugging, an acrylic enclosure with screws and spacers, a one meter RGB LED strip, and some stickers inside the package. If we have a close look at the board we have from right to left: a 12V power jack, SW1 …

IOTA Tangle is a Blockless Distributed Ledger for the Internet of Things – Running a IOTA Full Node on Rock64 Board

IOTA-Wallet-Light-Node-vs-Full-Node

A lot of efforts is going into distributed ledger technologies like the blockchain, and while I keep hearing blockchain is the future, there’s a lot of hype, and so far I have not seen that many practical use cases. But recently I saw Open Source Foundries – a new company announced at Linaro Connect US 2017 – participated in the IOTA blockchain BoF at the OpenIoT Summit 2018 showing a demo publishing sensor data to the IOTA Tangle. So maybe we have a practical application here… Sadly, there’s no video recording of the IOTA blockchain BoF, so instead let’s go to the IOTA website to find out more. What is IOTA? That’s the short description of the solution: An Open-Source Distributed Ledger The first open-source distributed ledger that is being built to power the future of the Internet of Things with feeless microtransactions and data integrity for machines. The key technology behind IOTA (Internet of Things Applications) is called the Tangle: …

Running out of RAM in Ubuntu? Enable ZRAM

htop-zram

Whenever I ran out of RAM on a Linux system, I used to enable swap memory using the storage device to provide an extra bit of memory.  The main advantage is that it’s does not require extra hardware, but come at the cost of much slower access, and potential issues or wear and tear, unless you only use it temporary. This week-end, I compiled Arm Compute Library on ODROID-XU4Q board, and the first time it crashed because the system ran out of memory, so I enable swap on the eMMC flash module to restart and complete the build successfully. However, I was told it would have been better to enable ZRAM instead. So what is ZRAM? Wikipedia explains: zram, formerly called compcache, is a Linux kernel module for creating a compressed block device in RAM, i.e. a RAM disk, but with on-the-fly “disk” compression. So it’s similar to swap, expect it operates in RAM and compresses memory. It’s also possible …

How to Run Chrome OS in Android Emulator

Chrome-OS-Emulator

While it’s possible to run the open source Chromium OS in your computer or a virtual machine, AFAIK there was only was way to test Chrome OS: purchasing an actual Chromebook, or other device running the operating system. But this week-end, I read the news that Chrome OS was now available in Android Studio, and you can run in Android Emulator while emulating a Pixelbook, so I gave it a try by following the instructions on Android Developer website. If you haven’t done so already, we first need to install Android Studio. I’m running Ubuntu 16.04 in my computer, but this will also work in Windows and Mac OS X. After download the IDE zip file, we can extract it… and then open a console, go into “{installation home}/bin” and run the program:

After a few seconds, we got into Android Studio 3.1.2 welcome screen. We can now click on Configure, and select SDK Manager… … and SDK Update …

How to Get Started with OpenCL on ODROID-XU4 Board (with Arm Mali-T628MP6 GPU)

ODROID-XU4-OpenCL-Convolution

Last week, I reviewed Ubuntu 18.04 on ODROID-XU4 board testing most of the advertised features. However I skipped on the features listed in the Changelog: GPU hardware acceleration via OpenGL ES 3.1 and OpenCL 1.2 drivers for Mali T628MP6 GPU While I tested OpenGL ES with tools like glmark2-es2 and es2gears, as well as WebGL demos in Chromium, I did not test OpenCL, since I’m not that familiar with it, except it’s used for GPGPU (General Purpose GPU) to accelerate tasks like image/audio processing. That was a good excuse to learn a bit more, try it out on the board, and write a short guide to get started with OpenGL on hardware with Arm Mali GPU. The purpose of this tutorial is to show how to run an OpenCL sample, and OpenCL utility, and I won’t go into the nitty gritty of OpenCL code. If you want to learn more about OpenCL coding on Arm, one way would be to …

CrowPi is a Portable Learning Kit for Raspberry Pi 3 B+ / Zero Boards (Crowdfunding)

Raspberry-Pi-Learning-Kit

We have an embarrassment of choices for Raspberry Pi accessories from touchscreen displays, HAT add-ons boards, sensors, breadboard, and so on, as well as good software and support from Raspberry Pi forums. This is all good, but it can be messy with all those jumper cables, and not really portable. Elecrow has a neat solution with the CrowPi learning kit for Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi Zero that come with a 7″ display, several sensors, buttons, a breadboard, and more all packed in a small suitcase. Main parts of the kit: 7″ touchscreen display Breadboard with GPIOs status LEDs Input modules – Light sensor, IR receiver, PIR motion sensor, sound sensor, temperature & humidity sensor, touch sensor, ultrasonic sensor, NFC reader, and tilt sensor Output modules – 8×8 LED matrix, 4-digit LED display, I2C LCD1602 display, buzzer, vibration motor, relay module, 9G servo, and stepper motor. Control modules – 4×4 array keypad and direction keys (D-Pad) A battery is …

How to Install and Use Ace Stream Easily in Ubuntu / Mint Linux

Ace Stream enabling the streaming of videos using P2P (peer-to-peer) technology – specifically BitTorrent protocol – and is especially useful for live streams, but also works for Audio and Video on Demand, and IOTT (Interactive-Over-The-Top). Ace Stream is implemented in a fork of VLC (Ace Player HD) working in Windows, Linux and Android, and I’ve found Full HD quality to be higher than services like YouTube, and with less buffering provided enough users watches the stream. It’s easy to use in Windows, and there used to be an Android app installable from the Play Store but it’s been removed, possibly because of the association of the solution with piracy. But just like Kodi, it’s up to do what you want to use it for. Using Ace Player was easy in Ubuntu up to version 14.04 thanks to a ppa, but with Ubuntu 16.04 it become a little more complicated as you had to installed the engine (that’s manage P2P connectivity) from …

Cloudflare Introduces 1.1.1.1 Privacy-focused DNS Service with DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS Support

The web is becoming more secure as more and more websites leverage HTTPS, which also improves privacy since the only nodes that know which exact page you are accessing should be your computer/device and the server running the website. If you’re using a search engine, they will also know and potentially get track of your history depending on your favorite search engine. One thing that’s still often unencrypted are DNS requests which convert a website name into an IP address. The servers are also often provided by your ISP, so they may not know which exact page you’ve accessed, but they can still keep track of the websites you’ve visited. Depending where you live, your government may also block DNS servers in your country during “periods of unstability”, so third-party DNS services can be useful. For example, using 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.8.4 from Google, and now 1.1.1.1 or 1.0.0.1 from Cloudflare, which – beside improved privacy – has the advantage of …