I was fortunate enough to get a present for surviving another year of life, a shiny new AR.Drone2.0. This was something that I had desired sometime ago but then dismissed as an expensive toy with little expansion. That desire returned recently after being enlightened to the hacking opportunities, not just hacking the device directly but more around the hacking of applications to use with it. Yet again it was Laurent Eschenauer to blame with his excellent ardrone-webflight.
I just published a blog post on ARM’s corporate blog with an overview of the recent openSUSE ARM Hackathon. We didn’t quite manage all the tasks that we had hoped for, but we did get the big ones done. For me it was great to meet so many old friends, and some new ones. I’d like to say a few thanks to some of the people involved, they all did so much and this is just some of the things that they did:
Get openSUSE 12.3 Now that openSUSE 12.3 is out, the openSUSE ARM Team want to step up a gear. As the cycle was shorter than normal, there are a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out and also a whole heap of new things that can be added. After some discussion at FOSDEM, it was decided to hold a Hackathon to address these items. The Hackathon will take place on 08 to 12 April, both at the SUSE offices in Nuremberg as well as online for those that can’t attend in person.
I have blogged about how to get Linux on the Chromebook in the past; and whilst the process works, it isn’t the easiest or most friendly way. Thanks to the tireless work of the openSUSE ARM Team (especially Alex Graf and Marcus Schäfer) we now have a simpler way to get openSUSE on the Chromebook. We now have an installable image that can be dd’ed directly to either an SD card or USB drive (I’ve not tried the internal eMMC) just like any other ARM device.
After my post yesterday on getting openSUSE on the new ARM Chromebook, a lot of interest was generated with discussions on various forms of media – heck I even got Slashdotted (thanks :-) ). I read some but not all of them and even the comments. One thing popped out to me, and I feel I need to clarify some things. Whilst I do indeed work for ARM, my device was a private purchase and not provided to me by my employer.
I was lucky enough to get into work today to have a lovely package waiting for me, a shiny new ARM powered Chromebook! o/ I ordered it specifically to have a good mobile ARM development platform. So after having used the bundled ChromeOS for the first half of the day I decided it was time to get this machine’s Geeko on. Thankfully one of the Google employed developers , Olof Johansson, was kind enough to post his steps to get Linux on the machine.
Earlier this week, some of the fine chaps over at Geeko Central managed to get the delightful little CuBox working with openSUSE. This was helped by the fine folks at SolidRun sponsoring a couple of devices for the work, thanks SolidRun! It isn’t 100% feature complete, but it is good enough for use as a server. The missing components are Audio and Video, so it is pretty much a headless style configuration at the moment like the Snowball.
I’m somewhat surprised at how many people are getting upset about the RaspberryPi. They are grumbling about how it is a weak, underpowered device with the only plus point being the exceptionally low price. People, this device was devised and built for a specific task – getting children coding and learning about computers in general!! The price point is crucial, one could give it to a 4yr old (or 40yr old) and not worry too much if it accidentally gets juice poured on it or covered in chocolate spread.
I’m here in the belly of the Geeko at SUSE’s offices in Nuremberg, due to the fact that the new openSUSE Board had their Face to Face meeting yesterday (whole different topic needing its own post ;-) ). As I was coming here I thought it would be prudent to try and get the various people dealing with and interested in the ARM port around a table at some point to discus the status of things.
It’s been almost a month since the last ARM porting update so here’s a little christmas present to you all. Dirk Müller sent out a status update to the mailing list, but I thought it would be a good idea post here for you scoundrels that aren’t subscribed :-) Thanks to some great work by loads of people including (but not limited to) Alex Graf, Adrian Schröter, Dirk Müller, Marcus Schäfer, Joop Boonen openSUSE’s ARM port has come along nicely.
The big update is that a couple of kind companies have stepped up and sponsored some hardware for the effort to get openSUSE on ARM. Huge thank you to: They have kindly sponsored and shipped several EfikaMX devices. Thanks to Peter Czanik for organising this on our behalf. Ti in association with the PandaBoard community have kindly sponsored and are shipping several PandaBoards. Thank you, this is a huge help.
As I mentioned before, we have an initial target platform identified for testing the work of all those involved in the openSUSE ARM port. The problem is we need to obtain the hardware. I am in discussions trying to get some corporate sponsorship of hardware, but we can not rely soley on those kind companies that would like to see us succeed. We as a community need to help ourselves succeed, as such I’ve set up a campaign on Pledgie to enable us the community to contribute to the effort for obtaining hardware.
I just sent this into the -arm mailing list. This is a hot topic, and one that seems to generate the most noise. I’ve had a discussion with several people about target hardware, and I’ve also looked at what our peers are doing and saying. At the same time I’ve been trying to see what options we have for getting some sponsorship for hardware. There were three devices in the running, all are classed as development boards – so no case or external prettyness (beauty comes from within anyway):