Team XBMC has officially launched XBMC 12.0, codenamed "Frodo". If you want your CuBox to become a fully-fledged media center, look no further - XBMC consistently performs beautifully, and with this new update, has become even better.
After feeling more than a little ignored, Java developers now have something to smile about, with Oracle releasing a brand new version of the Java Development Kit on Linux for ARM processors. That means - you guessed it! Java on your CuBox!
Vily Lupo is the newest member of the SolidRun team, brought in to help manage the rowdy bunch of us working on CuBox. He will be managing the operation side of things at SolidRun HQ, helping to streamline just about everything behind the scenes, and letting other people get back to the development side of things (hello, Rabeeh!).
This means everything should run smoother, and that means fewer delays in getting your CuBox (or your CuBox Pro) sent out to you!
To celebrate the arrival of our new colleague, we stuck him under the microscope and asked him a few questions.
ISRAEL - January 3, 2013: SolidRun Ltd has officially announced a new model CuBox. The popular, open source miniature computer platform now packs twice the memory into a sleek, slim package. Still just a mere 2 inches cubed and weighing 91 grams (3.2oz), the new CuBox Pro boasts a full 2GB of DDR3 RAM, wrapped in a re-designed body.
This upgrade means the CuBox Pro is the first - and so far only - ARM-based open source development platform that supports 2GB of DDR3 memory.
Looking to buy a CuBox? You now have more options open to you, as SolidRun announces a new UK distributor, NewIT!
The Norfolk-based business has already established itself as a busy retailer of all sorts of miniature computers and accessories including SDHC cards and readers, USB devices, and an assortment of cables and switches.
As you also may know, an American court has found that hard drive control chips made by Marvell Semiconductors infringe on two patents owned by Carnegie Mellon University. The federal court trial saw a nine-person jury uphold that Marvell should pay US$1.169 billion in damages.
In response to consumer concern, SolidRun founder and CEO Kossay Omary has released the following statement:
We await update from Marvell about how this will affect their business.
We do not believe this will impact Marvell's ability to supply their devices to us and to support us on technical issues - we do not think this lawsuit has any connection with the Armada510 or the other Marvell devices we purchase from them.
We will keep you updated as the situation progresses. In the meantime, enjoy your CuBox!
Getting anything sent to Australia always seems like really hard work, sometimes it feels like packages are swimming their way across the ocean to arrive at the land Down Under.
Luckily for Aussie developers (and Kiwi developers across the Tasman), SolidRun has partnered with Spinifex Computing, meaning you can buy your CuBox and accessories directly from a local, Victoria-based company, drastically cutting down on the time your device will spend in transit. (It's a long way from SolidRun HQ in Haifa to Spinifex in Melbourne - roughly 13760 km!)
In the news recently, we've spotted some interesting benchmarks comparing some of the big names in the micro PC market - CuBox being one of them! Our little computer that can fared relatively well, coming out top of the class when it comes to packing a lot of performance into one tiny package.
Gareth Halfacree is a UK-based tech journalist, currently writing for Linux User & Developer Magazine. He has a particular interest in the recent wave of miniature computers, and knows just which bits and pieces he should be comparing.
Specifically, Halfacree looked at performance per price, per power and per size, comparing a CuBox, a Raspberry Pi, a VIA APC, an A13-OLinuXino and the AMD A10-5800K out of his desktop machine. The results, once normalised out, might surprise you.
The CuBox is a great little device, but for some people, it can be a bit too small! A customer recently let us know that he'd had quite the conversation with a local Customs officer who simply did not believe that this tiny package could contain an entire computer!
He got the device in the end, but it's true - the miniature two-inch cube contains more computing grunt than most desktop PCs we were using just ten years ago! (...and it consumes far less power to do so!)
Perhaps the problem is that, with a sleek, sophisticated form factor like the CuBox, people just don't notice these tiny computers. They live tucked away in entertainment units, behind-the-scenes and hidden in other out-of-the-way places, where they happily run media centres, games machines and even security solutions for people around the world.
Even the most seasoned IT professionals, who have worked in this industry for decades, are amazed when they see a CuBox for the first time - and again when they see one in action. "All of that comes from this?"
Many people discount Linux gaming without a second thought, thinking that it must be a long, complicated process involving lots of terminal commands, text-only interfaces, terrible graphics and a comprehensive knowledge of electronics. However, with a CuBox, this is far from the truth.
We might focus on a few key applications for the device, but it's useful for all sorts of other things, and if you're looking for something quick and easy to do over the weekend, why not load up a few games! You could even turn it into a family affair and get the kids involved - plus they'll have something fun to play with afterwards.
All you need is a CuBox (with keyboard, mouse and monitor), a Linux install (we used the very stable Ubuntu 10.04), and an internet connection to start off with. Once you've installed your games of choice, unplug the ethernet cable and play to your heart's content!