Hardware News Archives
With open-source solutions like Amarok, Rhythmbox, and mplayer, RealNetwork's RealPlayer (or its open-source Helix base) aren't the most popular media-playback solution on Linux. However, RealNetworks has announced the release of both Helix Player 11 and RealPlayer 11 for Linux. RealPlayer 11 now supports playing back Windows Media content (on Linux), an integrated play-list editor, and support for Perfect Play (Superbuffer). In addition, ALSA and surround sound playback are finally supported by this media player. The announcement and download links can be found from the Helix Community Website.
17 April 2008 - Support For Windows Meda On Linux
Back in October we introduced the world to DeviceVM's SplashTop, with Phoronix delivering the first full in-depth review of this technology that can be embedded into motherboards (and soon enough, desktops and notebooks) for allowing an instant-on desktop environment. Within seconds of turning on the PC you can be in this lightweight Linux desktop environment that comes with web applications such as Skype and Firefox. As we shared during CES 2008, they also have Pidgin, a DVD player (LinDVD), music player (with MP3 support), and a photo viewer on forthcoming versions. SplashTop is so great that we named it one of the greatest Linux innovations of 2007.
21 March 2008 - Browse The Web While The PC Boots
Earlier this month at CeBIT, OCZ Technology had announced its Neural Impulse Actuator (NIA) entered mass production (press release). OCZ's Neural Impulse Actuator is the first Brain Computer Interface (BCI) designed for gamers on the consumer market. The NIA band is worn around the head and is able to convert electroencephalograph signals into keystrokes/mouse clicks and connects via USB 2.0. The Neural Impulse Actuator was first covered on Phoronix during Computex Taipei 2007. While the NIA is solely marketed for gamers, it's been reported that with some training this "neural-controlled mouse" can be used for basic desktop usage as well.
17 March 2008 - No Brain-Controlled Linux Gaming, Yet - 3 Comments
Back during CES 2008, Shuttle, the PC maker known for their SFF (Small Form Factor) PCs announced a $199 (USD) Linux PC known as the KPC. The Shuttle KPC was just one of the Linux PCs announced in January, and like the gOS-backed Everex budget PCs, is really designed for web surfing and basic desktop tasks. The hardware on the Shuttle KPC consists of a Celeron processor, Intel integrated graphics, and up to an 80GB hard drive. What was announced yesterday, however, was their Linux distribution of choice for the KPC. Shuttle will not be shipping Ubuntu, gOS, Xandros, or any of the other desktop distributions that other vendors are using, but they are going with Foresight Linux.
5 March 2008 - A Vendor Not Doing Ubuntu...
This year already Dell has made several Ubuntu Linux announcements, such as shipping Ubuntu 7.10 on the Dell XPS M1330 and Inspiron 1525, but today another announcement comes off the Direct2 Dell blog. Dell is now offering Ubuntu 7.10 Linux (with DVD playback support) on its Inspiron 530 PC in China. China joins the half-dozen other countries where Dell PCs with Ubuntu pre-loaded are available and Canonical providing the technical support. Will Dellbuntu start to strike away at some of the 80%+ market-share that Red Flag Linux has in China? Two years ago Dell (and HP) were shipping Red Flag Linux Desktop in China.
3 March 2008 - Dell Offers Ubuntu To Chinese - 1 Comment
Last month Dell announced it would ship Ubuntu 7.10 on the XPS M1330 laptop and now Dell is furthering their Dellbuntu product selection with the Inspiron 1525. This Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop will ship with Ubuntu 7.10 and the recently added DVD playback support. In addition to shipping in the United States, Linux on the Inspiron 1525 will also be available in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain. More information can be found on the Direct2Dell blog.
18 February 2008 - Another Dellbuntu Model!
It's official, Creative Labs is joining the open specification/code bandwagon for the X-Fi series. Earlier this week we shared that through the Open Sound System there is now open-source support for the Sound Blaster X-Fi. The OSS sbxfi driver had contained three files that were copyrighted by Creative Labs and were labeled confidential. Inside of these files were code for the X-Fi PCI registers as well as functions for initializing these sound cards and other hardware-related tasks. We now know that 4Front Technologies hadn't acquired this X-Fi code illegally or through some back-room maneuvering, but that Creative Labs is interacting with both the OSS and ALSA projects.
7 February 2008 - They're Working With OSS & ALSA - 10 Comments
In what equated to being a shorter development cycle than normal and with only two release candidates under its belt, ALSA 1.0.16 final has been released. ALSA 1.0.16-rc1 was released just two weeks ago followed by ALSA 1.0.16-rc2 last week and now this week is the final build. Since this last RC build has been a few minor changes to the CMI8788 Oxygen driver, just under a changes to HDA Codec (mostly adding in new product support), and miscellaneous changes to the other audio drivers. The change-log is available (along with download links) from the ALSA Project Wiki. Hopefully in the ALSA 1.0.17 release we'll find Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi support.
6 February 2008 - A Short Development Cycle...
LM_Sensors 3.0.1 has been released this week as a minor update against LM_Sensors 3.0.0, which was released this past November. The main change coming with LM_Sensors 3.0.1 is that libsensors no longer depends libsysfs, which according to the LM_Sensors team has greatly sped up the library initialization time. New ASICs detected in this release include the SMSC SCH5514D-NS, Fintek F71858DG, Fintek F81216D, and Intel 82801AA (ICH). The complete list of changes for LM_Sensors 3.0.1 is available from the SVN viewer while download links and other information can be found on the project homepage.
30 January 2008 - A Minor Sensors Update
One week after the first ALSA 1.0.16 RC, the second release candidate for v1.0.16 of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture is now available. ALSA 1.0.16-rc2 has a few sound core fixes, a dozen changes to the C-Media CMI8788 Oxygen driver, quite a few HDA codec changes, and various work on alsa-lib and alsa-python. The changes between -rc1 and -rc2 are available from the ALSA Project Wiki.
29 January 2008 - ALSA 1.0.16 Development Continues
It was just last month that Dell announced it would ship Ubuntu 7.10 on their Linux-loaded notebooks and laptops, and in addition they would be shipping LinDVD to provide legal DVD playback support. The newest announcement coming out of Dell now is that they will be shipping Ubuntu on a Dell XPS notebook and that they have extended their "Dellbuntu" models to Spain. This newest Ubuntu-loaded notebook is the XPS M1330, which is much beefier than the Inspiron 6400 notebook currently deployed with Gutsy Gibbon. The XPS M1330 has an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 13.3" WXGA display, 1GB to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, up to a 320GB SATA hard drive or 64GB solid state disk, and an option of Intel GMA X3100 graphics or having a NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS 128MB graphics processor. This new Ubuntu 7.10 notebook is already available in Europe and will begin shipping in the United States next week. The announcement came from the Direct2Dell blog.
24 January 2008 - Dellbuntu Now Available In Spain - 2 Comments
In the first development release for the new year and the ALSA 1.0.16 branch, version 1.0.16-rc1 of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) is now available. This is the first new ALSA release in over three months, but it arrives with a lengthy change-log for this Linux kernel sound component. Among the many changes that had interested us with ALSA 1.0.16-rc1 were build fixes for the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, two dozen changes to the ALSA core, the rewritten C-Media CMI8788 Oxygen driver, emu10k1 clean-up, and just under 80 changes to the HDA Codec (and more changes to the HDA drivers). Of course, there are also many changes to other ALSA drivers, ALSA library, and other sound components.
22 January 2008 - ALSA 1.0.16 Gets Underway!
DeviceVM and ASUS are today announcing that they have expanded their selection of motherboards that ship with SplashTop (a.k.a. "Express Gate") technology. We've been enthralled by SplashTop, an embedded instant-on Linux desktop environment, since we had first looked at this technology on the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe motherboard. DeviceVM's SplashTop is so interesting that it had even earned the title of being one of the greatest Linux innovations of 2007.
3 January 2008 - M3N-HT Deluxe/Mempipe, Deluxe - 1 Comment
Yesterday afternoon on the Direct2Dell blog it was announced that Dell is now shipping Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" on their pre-installed notebook/desktop Linux systems. Ubuntu 7.10 is available on the "Dellbuntu" notebooks and desktops today, while parts of Europe will see Gutsy Gibbon on the Inspiron 530 later this week. In addition, these Dell Ubuntu PCs have gained DVD playback support out of the box through the use of LinDVD (along with all of the other features found in Ubuntu 7.10).
19 December 2007 - Dell Ubuntu PC Holiday Refresh
Dave Jones of Red Hat has pushed out an update to the x86info utility, which for the uninformed is used for identifying various bits of information on x86 processors. This new release, x86info v1.21, contains support for updated CPUs, various clean-ups, and support for new operating systems. The added OS support is for FreeBSD and Solaris/OpenSolaris. An AMD engineer has also spent some time improving the AMD CPU functionality in this open-source CPU utility. There is also added identification support for new Intel Core 2 and Xeon processors. The last x86info release (v1.20) was over a year ago, but Dave Jones hopes to provide more timely releases. The new x86info release can be downloaded from its project web-page.
26 November 2007 - Solaris & FreeBSD Now Supported
LM_Sensors, the package used to facilitate hardware monitoring within Linux for a variety of different ASICs, has finally reached version 3.0. LM_Sensors 3.0.0 represents the next-generation, chip-independent hardware monitoring tools package. We shared a number of details when previously reporting on LM_Sensors 3.0, but some of the important changes include LM_Sensors turning to a user-space-only package with no more kernel modules and the i2c software has been moved to i2c-tools. The libsensors package has been completely rewritten, and at version 4.0.0 it has a brand new API. More information is available in the LM_Sensors mailing list announcement.
25 November 2007 - Next-Generation Linux Monitoring - 1 Comment
Dell started off shipping Ubuntu on their notebooks and desktops earlier this year (Dell Loves Ubuntu, It's Official) and now they have found a new mate for their PowerEdge servers. Dell will be making Solaris 10 and Solaris support services available on these select servers. Of course, this all comes after IBM announced this past August that they would be offering Sun's Solaris on some of their x86 servers. Read more in the Sun press release.
14 November 2007 - First Ubuntu, Now Solaris - 1 Comment
Back in September we were finally able to test the Razer Barracuda AC-1 under Linux. This sound card, which employs the C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 audio processor, took quite a while to be supported by ALSA but the CMI8788 driver found in ALSA 1.0.15 was very problematic. This is the same APU found on other high-end sound cards such as the Auzentech X-Meridian, Bluegears B-inspirer, and ASUS Xonar, but with this driver it had worked worse than most cheaper alternatives.
13 November 2007 - Barracuda, X-Meridian, et al - 1 Comment
After talking about NVIDIA's ESA standard yesterday and whether it would appear for Linux users, we noticed that the LM_Sensors team is making very good progress towards LM_Sensors 3.0. The first LM_Sensors 3 release candidate came out towards the end of September. Distinguishing LM_Sensors 3 from the current stable LM_Sensors 2.10 series it is now only a user-space-only package with no kernel components needed. The i2c components for LM_sensors have also been split into i2c-tools. The sensor library, libsensors, also received a brand new API for LM_Sensors 3. Released in early October was then LM_Sensors 3.0.0-rc2, which contained a number of fixes. Most recently, however, last week marked the release of LM_Sensors 3.0.0-rc3. This most recent testing release introduced better handling of the default configuration file path.
7 November 2007 - Linux Hardware Monitoring
The developers behind ALSA (the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), are out this morning with the v1.0.15 release. This new ALSA release includes updated ALSA drivers, libraries, plug-ins, and utilities. In total there are 98 drivers with changes, and this release does even include support for C-Media's Oxygen HD CMI8788. The CMI8788 APU is used on such sound cards as the Razer Barracuda AC-1, which up to this point was only supported by the Open Sound System. ALSA 1.0.15 has a number of changes especially for the CMIPCI, HDA, and USB audio drivers. The complete list of changes between ALSA 1.0.14 and 1.0.15 can be found on the ALSA Project Wiki.
16 October 2007 - New Linux Sound Card Support
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