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GNU/Linux Web Site of the Year: LinuxGizmos (Formerly LinuxDevices)

Posted in GNU/Linux at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The Web site which has, under one name or another, covered GNU/Linux for a decade and a half deserves special credit for refusing to go idle or altogether die

BACK in the old days of Linux and GNU (without GNU programs like GCC there may be no Linux) there was a site called LinuxDevices, founded by a technologist whom I later came to know personally (some time in the middle of the last decade). LinuxDevices produced very high quality articles, ushering Linux (and often GNU) as it quietly grew inside devices and embedded systems. After a series of takeovers the site went dark and I spent a lot of time/efforts trying to bring it back online one way or another (I was even, at one point, planning to scrape it all from the Web Archive and rehost it). Thankfully, some people at QuinStreet (new owner of LinuxDevices) realised that rather than keep a huge number of high quality articles offline they could let the authors host them all (at their own expense) while basically licensing everything (as there are copyrights) and then linking back to QuinStreet. This makes perfect business sense and everyone is happy (QuinStreet, the authors, and of course all visitors, except Linux and GNU foes). The people at QuinStreet who helped make this happen deserve huge gratitude because they did help bring LinuxDevices — unlike some other sites (e.g. the Microsoft boosting site “Microsoft Watch”) — back to the Web almost under the full control of the original writers (not to be confused with publishers). This shows the common aspiration of many writers and demonstrates the importance of writing for oneself under one’s own control (no self-censorship) — a subject for another day for sure.

The LinuxDevices founder got a massive gift for the holidays, having spent the past couple of weeks working on CMS conversions, then announcing the good news in LinuxGizmos and later in Slashdot (which also covered the news about the site going dark). What a lot of people don’t know is how much effort — lasting months — it took to get to this point. Techrights played a role.

The staff of LinuxDevices has not gone away; in fact, some time ago the new site/domain, called LinuxGizmos, was created to keep alive the tradition of the then-defunct LinuxDevices (the founder of LinuxDevices had also created Device Guru for a personal venture that achieves something similar). In recent weeks Device Guru published some interesting articles about AirPlay and Safeplug, two Linux-powered devices [2,3]

A lot of people never truly appreciated all those sites that show a steady and straight trajectory from “underdog” status to what we now consider “world domination” (Android and other UNIX/Linux platforms). For that, many people are unknowingly indebted to the above people; they are the ones interviewing, helping, and covering the news about industrial friends of Linux. Without them, history would have possibly been written differently. This is why LinuxGizmos, now more officially a successor of LinuxDevices (containing all its articles), is our site of the year. In recent weeks, LinuxGizmos wrote many articles about Linux devices [4-17], covering many new examples like crowdfunded Linux devices, Roku, a networking server, BeagleBone, Haswell Mini-ITX boards, and SkyJack. Two former writers of LinuxDevices (and one who still writes in LinuxGizmos) contribute to Linux.com (Linux Foundation), which also covered some Linux devices quite recently [18-21]. There’s more from Linux BSD OS [22-23], Linux Journal [24-25] (focusing on Raspberry Pi these days), and various other publications [26-36]. Rather than individually cover every example (LinuxGizmos covers almost every important new example in this area) we shall point readers to LinuxGizmos, which deserves the title “GNU/Linux Web Site of the Year” for 2013. In over 15,000 articles/pages LinuxGizmos now has what could be named the “chronicles of GNU and Linux in physical machines”.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. LinuxDevices content returns to the Web

    One of most widely respected repositories of embedded and mobile Linux news and information has returned to the web as an archive hosted here at LinuxGizmos.com.

    QuinStreet acquired LinuxDevices.com in Feb. 2012 through its purchase of a group of websites from publisher Ziff Davis Enterprise. After the acquisition, LinuxDevices remained frozen in time for about a year before vanishing in May, shortly after I launched LinuxGizmos.com. Following a constructive discussion about possibilities for bringing the LinuxDevices content back online, QuinStreet generously offered to license LinuxGizmos to host the LinuxDevices Archive on our site, as a “holiday present to the Linux community.”

  2. AirPlay alternative mirrors and streams to TVs and PCs

    AirTame is developing an AirPlay-like protocol for PC-to-PC content streaming and screen mirroring, plus a Linux-based dongle for AirTame rendering on TVs.

  3. Linux-based Tor gadget protects IP identity

    Pogoplug announced a $49, Linux-based security device called the Safeplug that taps into the Tor network to hide your IP information when using the web.

  4. Taking stock of 2013′s crowdfunded Linux devices

    What’s the latest status on all those cool embedded Linux and Android Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects of 2013? Most are moving forward, but delays are a common problem.

  5. Roku gains YouTube
  6. RJ45-sized Linux networking server goes IPv6
  7. Linux-ready module features quad-core AMD SoC
  8. Linux-ready 3.5-inch SBC rides on AMD SoC
  9. Mini-PCs support analog and IP video surveillance

    CompuLab unveiled two Linux-friendly, x86 based surveillance oriented mini-PCs: the Fit-CCTV supports 16 analog cameras, and the Fit-PoE supports four PoE-fueled IP cameras.

  10. BeagleBone Black gains 720p camera cape

    RadiumBoards announced a $50 “HD Camera Cape” for the BeagleBone Black with a 1.3-megapixel Aptina sensor that provides 720p, 30fps video and Linux and Android support.

  11. Haswell Mini-ITX boards get expansive
  12. Linux-based TOR gadget protects IP identity

    Pogoplug announced a $49, Linux-based security device called the Safeplug that taps into the Tor network to hide your IP information when using the web.

  13. Industrial computer runs Linux on quad-core i.MX6
  14. Embedded Linux dev tools speed up

    Mentor Graphics has updated its Mentor Embedded Sourcery CodeBench and Analyzer embedded development tools with faster performance and improved debugging.

  15. Linux drone hijacks other drones in mid flight

    After Amazon tipped plans to build delivery drones, hacker Samy Kamkar unveiled a SkyJack drone designed to hijack them with an AR.Drone and a Raspberry Pi.

  16. COM runs Linux on 2GHz quad-core AMD SoC

    MSC Embedded announced a Linux-ready COM Express Type 6 computer-on-module built around AMD’s Embedded G-Series system-on-chip, ranging from a quad-core 2GHz SoC to a dual-core 1GHz processor that runs on only 9 Watts. MSC’s C6C-GX COM measures 95 x 95 mm, and features I/O including dual display interfaces at up to 4096 x 2160 pixels, dual SATA, eight USB ports, and PCI Express expansion.

  17. Rugged COM Express Mini module runs Linux on Bay Trail

    Kontron announced a tiny, COM Express Mini Type 10 computer-on-module fitted with a choice of five Intel Atom and Celeron Bay Trail SoCs. The 84 x 55mm COMe-mBT10 module offers up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM and up to 64GB flash, supports I/O interfaces including gigabit Ethernet, dual SATA, USB 3.0 and up to eight USB 2.0, plus dual DisplayPort and LVDS displays, and is available in a model rated for -40 to 85°C operation.

  18. Inforce IFC6410: Quad-Core Snapdragon SBC for $150
  19. Linux Likely to Run Google Robots and Amazon Drones
  20. 10 Linux-Based Robots by Air, Land and Sea
  21. Slideshow: 10 Linux-Based Robots by Land, Air, And Sea
  22. New MCUs from TI bring Haptics to the fingertips of Joe Developer

    Texas Instruments has announced the release of a new MSP430TCH5E haptics-enabled microcontrollers.

  23. SkyJack software can hijack any drone, Prime Air drones included
  24. A Plexible Pi

    RasPlex is a custom Linux distribution based on the popular (and awesome) OpenELEC Raspberry Pi port. Rather than installing XBMC on an RPi, however, RasPlex installs the Plex Home Theater application. Granted, the Raspberry Pi does struggle with menu speed in Plex until the cache of thumbnails is built, but with a developer focusing strictly on making Plex work for the RPi, those caching issues will be solved soon!

  25. Two Pi R
  26. Linux navigating photon laser disturbance in Google self-driving cars

    Linux is making impressive inroads (sorry) in the field of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), the automobile technology we use to group navigation, entertainment, location-based services, external connectivity to social media and even radio usage.

  27. OpenBCI develops an open source brain-computer interface for the masses

    A new low-cost, high-quality, and programmable EEG platform has been announced by OpenBCI, a team made up of two creative technologists in Brooklyn NY, Joel Murphy and Conor Russomanno. They have also launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of their affordable and above all open source BCI product.

  28. Raima Adds National Instruments Linux Real-Time Capabilities to Embedded Database Technology
  29. Silex Wins Editor’s Choice Award for Linux Software Development Kit

    The editors selected the SX-580-2700DM-SDK, a Software Development Kit (SDK) used to develop software programs in Linux for embedded devices.

  30. Airtame wants to mirror (almost) any screen to any other screen

    The Airtame dongle itself is running a modified version of Raspbian…

  31. Raspberry Pi powered interceptor can hijack Amazon Drone
  32. Cluster update

    I am delighted to say that the Raspberry Pi cluster project is now fully funded to the first target of £2,500, this means that the Indiegogo fees will be 4% of the total rather than the 9% which applies to partly funded flexible campaigns. The money received by Paypal has already partially cleared, so we have been out spending some of it, here is a collection of Raspberry Pi units doing some load testing.

  33. Linutop 5 is a fanless, Linux mini-desktop (without outdated specs)
  34. Linutop 5 Fanless Linux Mini Desktop Launches For €390
  35. Arduino Yun integrates open-source Arduino architecture with Linux
  36. Eben Upton comments on open source Pi concerns

    The primary mission of the Raspberry Pi has always been to teach kids how to code the same way the BBC Micro did. In this issue we have another ten fantastic projects you can use it with, but for the Raspberry Pi foundation this is just a happy side-effect of the way they’ve created it. It also doesn’t hurt that these kind of practical applications can get children interested in technology as well.

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 26, 2013 at 8:10 am


    This is a good capstone for the year. The effort and persistence you and Rick put in certainly paid off and as a result everyone came out ahead, even Quinstreet.

    There are other sites that would be valuable to retrieve, like DesktopLinux. And there are still others where it would be valuable to plan for the future, if that is even possible these days. However, it take at least a few years to see whether a site is worth preserving and by then backup practices are more or less set in stone. Some sites are lost, irretrievably except for what was in Archive.org.

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