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Linux Hardware

Meet VoCore2 Lite, a $4 Coin-Sized, Open Source Linux Computer (zdnet.com) 106

An anonymous reader shares a report on ZDNet:Four bucks buys a lot of hardware these days, and nothing highlights this more than a project like the VoCore2 Lite. VoCore2 is an open source Linux computer and a fully-functional wireless router that is smaller than a coin. It can also act as a VPN gateway for a network, an AirPlay station to play lossless music, a private cloud to store your photos, video, and code, and much more. The Lite version of the VoCore2 features a 580MHz MT7688AN MediaTek system on chip (SoC), 64MB of DDR2 RAM, 8MB of NOR storage, and a single antenna slot for Wi-Fi that supports 150Mbps. Spend $12 and go for the full VoCore2 option and you get the same SoC, but you get 128MB of DDR2 RAM, 16MB of NOR storage, two antenna slots supporting 300Mbps, an on-board antenna, and PCIe 1.1 support.
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Meet VoCore2 Lite, a $4 Coin-Sized, Open Source Linux Computer

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  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @12:47PM (#53213447)

    just wondering...

  • Finally... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @12:47PM (#53213449)

    Finally, the year of the Linux Cointop computers

  • "Private cloud"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @01:06PM (#53213593) Journal
    Why the hell do people insist on calling an on-prem NAS a "private cloud"?

    "Can I have a glass of water, please?" "Sure, would you like to see our menu of premium bottled rain, or is water from our private indoor river okay?"
    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      because cloud good, every one says so, so when your XXX asks for are we utilizing cloud you can say yes. and then they can go to the penis measuring contests of CXX's and say we are cool we use cloud for our 1930's designed software.

    • My boss (IT boss) explained why ppl are doing this. If you go to non Geek person and talk about NAS, PaS, IaS, Redundancy, Virtualization, that person will not know what you are talking about and will louse interest on the conversation. If talk about having a cloud, implementing a cloud or using a cloud, that person will remember dropbox and others and will start daydreaming about false images of what it can be. But you wont louse the interest of that person. This is a good advantage when talking to the pe
    • 'Cause if you think you're gonna use this piece of junk for local storage then you've been smokin' something and there is likely a large cloud in the room.
    • Because marketing. You're facetious but if someone sold a premium product called rain and other started doing it as well you'll very soon see exactly that happening.

      I have another question for you? Why call it a NAS? For those people who don't have Network Attached Storage (which network? the internet? a local one?) spelt out for them all it is is another word that has no meaning. Cloud people hear a lot about, so private cloud they can relate to.

      How does it work? You connect your private cloud to your home

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @01:07PM (#53213597) Homepage
    please, end this. I come from a dark future to warn you of dire consequences. In my time, we have invented the tiniest VoCore the size of an eyelash to compete with the tiniest Raspberry Pi the size of a pepper flake. A beagleboard exists thats no larger than a cheerio. The last conference I attended ended in disaster when the presenter accidentally inhaled her RPi cluster and choked to death on a router the size of a matchbook. Things are very grim indeed.

    Except for windows 15 users who operate tablets the size of billboards and Mac users who appear to be operating $800 dinner plates full of USB D ports and no screen this year...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      please, end this. I come from a dark future to warn you of dire consequences. In my time, we have invented the tiniest VoCore the size of an eyelash to compete with the tiniest Raspberry Pi the size of a pepper flake. A beagleboard exists thats no larger than a cheerio. The last conference I attended ended in disaster when the presenter accidentally inhaled her RPi cluster and choked to death on a router the size of a matchbook. Things are very grim indeed.

      As long as they all have hard-coded root passwords I'm fine with this. I have a hungry IoT botnet to feed.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      i for one applaud the courage of future ms and apple

  • There are no $4 coins!

  • by AnAlchemist ( 1703640 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @01:08PM (#53213611)

    There's so much hardware out there... you got Arduino's, lots of clones, Raspberry Pi's, C.H.I.P, etc.

    What they don't tell you is how the software is. Is it up to date, or does it still run Linux 3.x? What Linux distros does it run? Can you run stock Ubuntu, or do you need some guy's custom build that's two years old and you can't apt-get upgrade?

    My specific beef: It looks like the VoCore2 rans OpenWrt. Which version? Custom build that's updated every six months?

    And, thanks to Indiegogo, you can't post a comment (to ask a question) without contributing. What a bunch of bull.

    • Piss-poor. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2016 @01:27PM (#53213823)

      The original VoCore has been out for 2-3 years now, and other than maybe like 5 projects that various people have come up with in those intervening 2-3 years, the community surrounding it is dead as a door-nail, and it's going to be just as dead for the VoCore II.

      The VoCore and VoCore II are made by some shitty Chinese company just trying to make a buck off the cheap embedded board market. Just look at the poor excuse for "documentation" that comes with the VoCore, rife with Chinglish and light on details. Their "How to develop for the VoCore on Windows" guide is what I'm assuming is the Chinese equivalent of a joke, with the first two steps being "Install VMware" and "Install Ubuntu as a VM via VMware", which is not exactly what I call "developing for the VoCore on Windows".

      Just like these fly-by-night hacks did last time, they're shopping their advertisements around to just about every geek website that's out there, and just like they did last time, the moment the campaign is over they'll release their hardware, release a ridiculous excuse for "documentation", and then pretty much disappear into the night.

      Moving beyond the company making it, the lack of a community, and lack of documentation, the hardware itself is also fragile as glass. On a whim I bought two VoCores some months ago, and managed to brick one within an hour. How? By having the temerity to try to set it up so that it used the wired ethernet interface on the dock board, rather than using its default, useless, functionality of a wireless bridge. I somehow managed to fuck up configuring it thanks to the scant documentation on exactly how to configure the damn thing, and now it doesn't so much as pull an IP from my router, so I can't actually shell into it to see what's wrong. The kicker? Despite having a micro-USB port on the dock, they didn't bother including a USB-TTL bridge chip on the dock, so I can't even try to unbrick the fucking thing that way without investing in a USB serial cable. Fuck that.

      Fuck the VoCore, and fuck the VoCore II.

    • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie.hotmail@com> on Friday November 04, 2016 @01:29PM (#53213835) Homepage

      What they don't tell you is how the software is. Is it up to date, or does it still run Linux 3.x? What Linux distros does it run? Can you run stock Ubuntu, or do you need some guy's custom build that's two years old and you can't apt-get upgrade?

      I echo your sentiment. I love the idea of ARM SBCs and all, but the software-stack generally ranges from awful to I-wanna-gouge-my-eyes-out-in-frustration. I am personally aware of only the Raspberry Pis and C.H.I.P. running a modern, 4.4-series kernel. The H3-based Orange Pis are getting better, I can actually boot a mainline 4.9-series kernel on my OPi PC, but there's still a whole lot of work for the devs to do and no Mali-support is forthcoming.

      My specific beef: It looks like the VoCore2 rans OpenWrt. Which version? Custom build that's updated every six months?

      It runs a custom-version of Chaos Calmer. I have zero idea if they're planning to try and introduce their code upstream, though.

      • It runs a custom-version of Chaos Calmer. I have zero idea if they're planning to try and introduce their code upstream, though.

        This is literally the most important thing to know if you're hoping to have any kind of long-term support...

    • Should be mainline. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is the same SoC as the M1 3g/4g wifi router (a similiarly cool 6-12 dollar device that is a full fledged router the size of a bic lighter.)

      In contrast the M1 only has 32 megs of ram and 4 megs of spi flash, but has the USB and ethernet stock, and a microusb connector for power.

      This sound like a pretty cool device, but I haven't seen any actual mention of the PCIe 1.1 support: Does it have a desktop/laptop PCIe x1 connector board available? Can it handle REAL PCIe x1 devices? Can it be used with the usb

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The specs are pretty tiny. It needs outside storage, antenna (on the $4 one), and power supply. This is hardly equivalent to raspberry. It is more like slapping a media chip on a board, adding a crystal, and connecting the chip to some castellated pins. OK, that is exactly what they did. It is a great way to test that chip to make new boards using it. Hardly a Linux computer.

  • by psergiu ( 67614 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @01:26PM (#53213815)

    Not available for sale yet
    http://vocore.io/#store [vocore.io]
    And the $12 VoCore2 from the article will be available in 2 weeks for $14.99.
    I'll take my chances with a RPi zero at MicroCenter

  • storage? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Friday November 04, 2016 @01:29PM (#53213839)

    a private cloud to store your photos, video, and code

    Who is going to waste a coin-sized computer by tethering it to a storage device and power brick?

    There's definitely applications for tiny devices like this and I think the design is nifty, but using it in situations where its size (and price) is going to be dwarfed by its peripherals is a bit of a waste.

  • Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these in Natalie Portman's pants!

    Hmm... Front or back pocket?

  • "Again?! Did you check the couch cushions?"
  • An anonymous source indeed... This reads just like the advertisement...

  • With the claim of suitability as a private cloud to store your photos, video, and code all in a maximum of 16 MB of flash storage, the compression tools they provide must be impressive, indeed.

  • Where can I find one of these elusive $4 coin?

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      > a $4 Coin-Sized, Open Source Linux Computer

      They probably didn't make many because they must be very impractical, being the size of a whole computer.

  • There is no such thing like a $4 coin.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

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