Weekly wrap-up: A Raspberry Pi competitor, how Linux rules supercomputing, and more | Opensource.com

Weekly wrap-up: A Raspberry Pi competitor, how Linux rules supercomputing, and more

Posted 02 Aug 2013 by 

Ginny Skalski (Red Hat)
(6 votes)
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Open source news this week: July 29 - August 2, 2013

What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.


  • Linux’s ride to the top. To mark the 20th anniversary of the Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers, the Linux Foundation released an analysis paper that details how Linux has managed to rule supercomputing. The report breaks out the annual sum of RMax, the yardstick used to rank computing power on the Top500, to show "a meteoric rise of Linux as a percent of total computing power, starting in the mid 2000s." Download the paper for more details. Hat tip to Opensource.com reader Robin Muilwijk for sending us the link to this paper.
  • Come fly with me. A group of pilots and engineers are developing an open source plane that could be built at home. The designers of Maker Plane have developed plans for crafting a two-seat aircraft that savvy makers could put together at home if you have a CNC machine and 3D printer. Donors to the Maker Plane Indiegogo project can get the free plans, build instructions, and electronic files for the plane. Though Engadget speculates the project will have troubles getting off the ground.
  • Let’s go for a dive. If an open source plane isn’t on your must-have list, perhaps an open source submarine is. This week OpenROV crushed its Kickstarter goals. The "open source, underwater robot for exploration and education" will be shipped in the form of kits for the DIY community. The New York Times explores OpenROV’s capabilities and potential saying it "could change the future of ocean exploration."
  • MinnowBoard swimming into RaspPi waters? Intel shipped its first open source PC this week: The MinnowBoard. Designed for software developers building x86 apps and hobbyists who want to build their own computer, the bare-bones x86 PC is drawing Raspberry Pi comparisons. But many Rapsberry Pi fans have been quick to point out that the MinnowBoard is not a RasPi competitor, in part because of its $199 pricetag. What do you think?
  • What’s in store for Raspberry Pi? Eben Upton admits he’s a neophyte in the Raspberry Pi community, but in this interview with Linux.com, the Raspberry Pi Foundation executive director sure doesn’t seem like it. Upton talks about everything from the Pi Foundation's involvement in open source projects to efforts to support the Wayland display manager. Read the complete Q&A for more details on the future of Raspberry Pi or just wait for his keynote at LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America. The interview took place before the MinnowBoard announcement, so if you’re looking for Eben’s thoughts on Intel’s latest product, you’ll have to look elsewhere

Want more news?

Check out the headlines from last week's roundup.

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Open Source Sensei

The Raspberry Pi has been so successful that any attempt to produce a low-cost, open source bare bones board will have some folks screaming "Pi competitor!"—regardless of major differences in critical specs like on-board memory or even chip architecture (and, sure, price). The MinnowBoard is not a Pi competitor—and that's okay!

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Chris Beaver

It's not a competitor. The $199 price tag is closer to a Netbook than it is to the Raspberry Pi.

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The MinnowBoard definitely occupies a similar role as the Raspberry Pi in that they're both embedded platforms mostly aimed at the DIY market, but I would agree that they are not competitors as they seek to occupy different spaces within that market. The Raspberry Pi seeks to provide an extremely low barrier to entry in terms of cost and development, where the MinnowBoard seeks to provide a more high performance platform.

Personally, I'm very excited about the new MinnowBoard and the new features it's bringing to the embedded hardware space, such as hardware virtualization support. Build your own mini cloud for $200? Yes, please!

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Ginny Skalski is a blogger and social media strategist. A former municipal and state government reporter, Ginny is passionate about local politics, journalism, and learning more about ways the open source movement can change the world.

Tinkering with the Raspberry Pi A+