Pi GPIO on USB – It’s neat….


Just popped in a pre-order for RyanTech’s latest. It’s a board with a 40 pin Pi header, USB connector and software for Pixel, Linux, OSX and other operating systems which lets you drive it like a Pi’s GPIO header. There’s just so many neat things you can do with this card. It’ll let you hang that neat Pi Hat off your PC simply. It’ll let you double up your Pi’s GPIO capability.

It’s up for pre-order on Indiegogo after a successful kickstarter campaign and is looking well progressed towards getting to market. At £10 a board, it’s an easy pick – Me, I ordered five.

(And Happy New Year to all… lets see if I can keep this up 😁)

QEMU, Retro, Crypto, Debian 6 and Hello to Bundy – Snippets

QEMU 2.0.0: The QEMU emulator and virtualiser has reached version 2.0.0 with its latest release. QEMU provides the emulation of one machine on another or, when provide that more authentic environment in a virtual machine There’s lots new, like the first support for KVM on AArch64 (but plenty still to implement) and support for the 64-bit ARMV8 instructions (and other 32-bit ARM enhancements) – things likely to become important as the desktop class 64-bit ARM chippery makes a play for the server and desktop space. The rest of the many details are laid out in the changelog and it can be downloaded from the usual place.

Retro PCs and Terminals: Love the old stylee but need the new power? Check out this 70s terminal PC which evokes that ethos. The instructable for how to build one is in development. While pondering that, check out the story of the Meyrin font which recreates the CERN Terminal font for your pleasure.

Cryptic: Do the manipulations of ciphers make you put the cry into cryptography? You may want to do a course on the subject so why not check out this Coursera course and learn about symmetric key crypto and more.

Debian 6 goes on: LWN reports that Debian 6 is getting another two years (nearly) of support – Squeeze-LTS is for i386 and AMD64 and won’t cover all packages in the latter part of the five year lifespan.

Bind 10 becomes Bundy: It seems that ISC have wrapped up development on Bind 10 with version 1.2 and will be heading back to marketing and developing Bind 9. Bind 10 is being renamed to Bundy and so we shall follow @bundydns on Twitter and see what the first release of Bundy brings.

Facebook’s Conceal, Callback hell and a listening Pi – Snippets


Facebook’s Conceal revealed: Facebook have open sourced Conceal, a library for encrypting files on Android devices. The company uses the library for encrypting data that its apps store on SD cards. It uses pre-selected OpenSSL algorithms, picked for efficient memory management and speed, and gets the library down to 85KB by not trying to be a general purpose crypto kit. An interesting bit of pragmatism which means Facebook’s apps can happily encrypt on low-end Android devices, Conceal is available under a BSD licence with its source on GitHub.

Callback hell: Callbacks in Node.js can get pretty gnarly if you do everything with inline anonymous functions. This blog posting from Strongloop is a handy summary of some of the ways, from nesting, modularisation, async, promises and (soon to come to Node) ES6 generators. So callback, much techniques.

A Pi that listens: Meanwhile, a nice little Instructable covers converting an old bakelite Televox intercom into a voice controlled personal assistant by popping a Raspberry Pi inside.. and a sound board… and some software of course… It’ll probably be quite hard to find another fine bakelite intercom, but the rest of the projects a good starting point for assembling your own style of smart box…