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That Was The Week That Was (TWTWTW): Edition 3

This is the third edition of TWTWTW, a weekly blog observing the latest developments in the open source world. TWTWTW aims to give a summary of the most important open source news of the week. For this edition, we present a succinct catchup covering hardware, software, and book roundups.

Hardware Releases

The groundbreaking news this week cannot be anything other than the release of the $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W, the latest tiny computer from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. This computer is now equipped with wireless LAN and Bluetooth making it ideal for embedded Internet of Things projects. The Pi Zero W has sufficient processing power for many projects. A full computer for just ten bucks — awesome value for a computer that has bags of potential.

Raspberry Pi Zero W

Specifications:

  • CPU: 1GHz, single-core
  • SoC: Broadcom BCM2835
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Wireless: On-board Wireless LAN – 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n (BCM43438)
  • Bluetooth: On-board Bluetooth 4.1 + HS Low-energy (BLE) (BCM43438)
  • Storage: micro-SD card
  • Video & Audio: Mini HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports
  • micro-B USB for data and power
  • Camera Serial Interface (CSI) camera connector
  • GPIO: HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers
  • Compatible with existing pHAT/HAT add-ons
  • Power: 5V, supplied via micro-B USB connector
  • Dimensions: 65mm x 30mm x 5mm – about the same size as an M.2 SSD

Another competitor to the Raspberry Pi comes to town. The NanoPi M1 Plus is an interesting bit of kit which has Debian, Ubuntu-MATE, Ubuntu-Core, and Android images. It uses the Allwinner H3 Soc, and integrates ethernet, IR receive, video/audio output, WiFi, and Bluetooth. With 1GB of RAM, 8GB emmC for storage, and a very small size, the NanoPi M1 Plus has potential for industrial applications. It retails for $29.99.

If you are in the market for an inexpensive laptop, the Litebook looks very intriguing. The laptop runs elementary OS, which follows a security first philosophy, and shares its codebase with the majority of web servers and many other mission critical applications. For a reasonable $249, the laptop has a full HD 14.1″ display, 4GB of RAM, 512GB storage, with a battery life of 9 hours.

AxiomIn other news, LinuxGizmos.com reports a rugged transport PC that runs Linux or Windows 10 on Intel’s latest, 7th Generation “Kaby Lake” Core and Celeron processors from the dual-core U-Series.

More information is available at Axiomtek’s website.


Software Releases

The Wine development release 2.3 is now available. Wine (originally an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, macOS, & BSD.

Lennart Poettering has announced the release of systemd 233. This is a suite of basic building blocks for a Linux system. It bootstraps the user space and manages all processes subsequently.

There’s a new release of exGENT, a Linux distribution based on Gentoo. This 64-bit distro adds Xfce 4.12.1 and kernel 4.10.1, as well as replacing the boot loader Grub Legacy with Grub2. Linux Lite saw a new beta release. And Q4OS published a third maintenance update to the Q4OS 1.8 Orion.

Adam Jackson announced the release of X.Org Server 1.19 display server stable series for Linux distributions. This release provides stability fixes across glamor, Xwayland, input, and Prime support. There is also a security fix for CVE-2017-2624, a timing attack which can brute-force MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE authentication.

For the security minded, there is a new release of netstr. This security tool offers host port scanning, tcp dump, arp traffic sniffing and passive scan capabilities while maintaining a relatively small code base.


Book Roundups

Python Books

JavaScript Books

We published the fourth and fifth in our series of open source programming books. This time Python and JavaScript are under the spotlight. The articles can be viewed at: Python, JavaScript. With 27 excellent Python and 18 first-rate JavaScript books available to read without charge and published under open source licenses, the collections are a veritable treat for programmers.


TWTWTW Needs You

Spread the word by liking this article on social media. It will really help. If you have a news tip for the next edition of TWTWTW, please complete the contact form below. The weekly deadline submission is Saturday 14:00 EST. Or if you want to see a review of new open source software, or hardware that supports open source operating systems, please let us know.

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