While everyone is crazy about the Raspberry Pi, I'm pretty skeptical about it. Why? Well, because it's a closed source hardware based upon a BGA microprocessor using a 6 layers PCBs.
What does that mean? Well, it means that it's really a pain in the ass to create derivative projects from it.. So, although the Pi it's a really awesome device, it's almost impossible to create a product from it.
With this in mind, I started to look around for alternatives and I found the Olinuxino Maxi, a single board Linux compatible computer based upon the i.MX233 microprocessor, designed by Olimex.
Why this is much more interesting for me? Well, first of all, it's a complete Open Hardware project so the schematics and PCB designs are available released under CC-BY-SA so that we can take them and modify as we like.
Second very important aspect is that it is based upon a QFP packaged microprocessor using a 4 layers PCBs. This means that we are perfectly capable to solder it by hand and getting PCBs for it cheaply (through OSH Park for example).
This can very well support the creation of derivative hardware starting from the original Olinuxino designs..
So, I got one of these boards and in the following video I show it running with ArchlinuxARM.. looking pretty awesome so far.
What do you think? Should we all use Raspberry Closeberry Pis or look for more open and easily hackable alternatives?
If you use the GNU/Linux operating system intensely as development environment or as a server you'll probably find yourself in need of running a determinate command or script every X seconds forever.
This could be useful for example to check that a service you run on your server is working correctly (e.g. your Apache httpd server), to clear some cache your system is using or to periodically check for software updates. Personally I needed this to periodically update the DNS entry of my home server with its current IP (my ISP gives dynamic IP, not static ones).
We have some pretty old (1989!!!) applications to control and configure the robots which used to run under DOS. I tried to run them under dosemu: unfortunately it didn't work. Maybe because the code the applications use is not really good (direct access to the hardware, incorrect driver usage etc..).