Python 3.4 lands, Bootstrap flattened, USB2go-on-a-phone and Doge2048 – Snippets

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Python 3.4 is here: After many months of development, no changes to the language but lots of enhancements in the CPython implentation and standard library improvements, Python 3.4 has arrived. Before you dash off to the Python 3.4 download page, reflect for a moment that now Python now has pip as its bundled installer and should always be available or that there’s an OO API to filesystems (pathlib), a new async I/O API, support for enumeration types, fresh pickle and more and then go to the What’s new in Python 3.4 page to deeply meditate on all these and all the other changes. So far, it looks like a good solid update.

Bootflat: Like Bootstrap but wish the UI was flatter? Check out Bootflat and its flat UI reworking of Bootstrap 3.1. It’s on my list for making the UI stand out (or not, what with it being flat…)

USB2Go: Want to make Arduino-like gadgets that plug into your Android phone directly? USB2Go’s Kickkstarter may be of interest. A tiny Cortex-M3 ARM based board is at the heart of this project which hopes to deliver both the boards, Arduino shield adapters and more in October.

Doge vs 2048: Number matching games that slide are in since the appearance of Threes, then Fives, then came 2048 or let an AI play 2048 for you and finally… as memes do, it collides with another meme and we get Doge2048.

Arduino’s x86 and TI/ARM treats

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Arduino Tre – Bristling with connections

Arduino has been working with both Intel and TI to create two new boards, both of which are quite interesting departures from their previous designs. Both run Linux, in different ways but while one tries to replace the AVR microcontroller of the classic Arduino, the other hugs the classic Arduino deep into its design.

The first board announced was the Arduino Galileo which is powered by Intel’s Quark SoC X1000 running at 400Mhz and in due to be available in November and, according to some reports, will be “less than $80”. The processor is a 32-bit “Pentium-class” chip and the datasheet(pdf) details how the board has a set of 3.3V (or jumper settable 5V) connectors which are Arduino Uno R3 pin compatible. There’s also 10/100 Ethernet, a PCI Express mini card slot, micro-SD slot and USB client and USB host connectors on the board. This is very much an Intel rendering of what an Arduino would be with Intel’s Quark at its core; note, for example, that for a board of its spec, there’s no video out of any form, despite being closer to the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black in pricing and that from the higher side. It’s an interesting iteration which gets Intel into the emerging market of small embeddable devices, but will it play with the makers – it doesn’t look easy to go from a Galileo to a production device.

The other board may be more exciting for makers, even if it is not available till next Spring and being shown now only as a sneak peek. Designed as part of a collaboration between Arduino and the BeagleBoard.org foundation, the Arduino Tre is a double processor sandwich with a 1GHz TI Sitara AM335x processor running Linux wrapped around a Atmega32u4 based Arduino – yes, the BeagleBone Black and Arduino have had a love-child and the Tre is the result; an ARM based Linux running processor to do the heavy compute lifting and networking and a classic Arduino to do the interfacing. The Tre is covered in connectors to wire up to, with the Arduino shield pins in the centre and the BeagleBone style cape connectors still on the board but separated by a whole Arduino now.

How this’ll work in practice, who knows, but it opens up a range of opportunities, especially as the Tre, unlike the Galileo, has HDMI video out too. Again no official pricing and this is down for a Spring landing so a bit of a wait. Till then, if you haven’t got one, get yourself a BeagleBone Black and interface it to your Arduino to simulate at least some of the experience.

Which reminds me… (he said getting his BeagleBone Black out)…

OpenStack costs, Boot2Gecko on APC, Python debugging and a storage warning – Snippets

Snippets

  • OpenStack Hardware Calculator: Mirantis have an interesting OpenStack calculator which lets you how many and how big you want your average virtual machine, pick hardware and networking vendor and whether you want high availability or not. It comes back to you with a couple of configurations based on those requirements and $ pricing of the cloud’s hardware.
  • Boot2Gecko on Rock and Paper: Via has announced a preview of Boot2Gecko for it’s APC single board ARM-based PCs “Rock” and “Paper”. Boot2Gecko is the name of Firefox OS when its on unblessed devices as Liliputing pointed out, although the GitHub repository is still labelled APC-Firefox-OS. There’s plenty of known issues, but Via are offering free APCs to anyone who fixes them and sends a pull request. Wondering what to fix? There’s a list of bugs and enhancements awaiting work.
  • Python Debugging: Over on Hacker News, people are recommending pudb, the Python Urwid Debugger, which works in the console as a full terminal application. Older hands will get the “Turbo Pascal” vibe from it as it appears to have take some inspiration from there. So, Unix based Python programmers may want to check it out.
  • A warning about storage: A useful reminder from Christopher Deutsch’s blog about making sure that when you release an open source project you aren’t including any URLs which will cost you money. In Deutsch’s case it was a test file on Amazon S3 which was used by HiSRC to check bandwidth… and has just cost him $20 on his monthly Amazon bill.