Uwe Hermann's blog

Google Tech Talks: coreboot (aka LinuxBIOS): The Free/Open-Source x86 Firmware

coreboot Google Tech Talk 2

Here's a nice opportunity for everyone to learn more about coreboot, a Free Software / Open Source firmware/BIOS for x86 PCs.

Ron Minnich, founder of the LinuxBIOS (now called coreboot) project, Peter Stuge of Stuge Konsult, and Stefan Reinauer of coresystems GmbH have given a presentation for the Google Tech Talks series recently. The topic was (of course) coreboot, its history, goals, features and technical details, surrounding tools and libraries such as flashrom and libpayload, as well as an automated test system for running a hardware test-suite upon every checkin in the coreboot repository.

coreboot Google Tech Talk 1

A video of the talk, aptly named coreboot (aka LinuxBIOS): The Free/Open-Source x86 Firmware (134 MB), is available from Youtube, get it for instance via:

  $ apt-get install youtube-dl
  $ youtube-dl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X72LgcMpM9k

The talk includes various demos of coreboot and various payloads you can use with coreboot. One nice example is the TINT payload, a Tetris-like game for Linux (apt-get install tint for the curious), which has been reworked to be usable as a coreboot payload.

coreboot Google Tech Talk 3

So, yes, you can now put Tetris in your BIOS ROM chip and play it from there (no hard drive required).

Other demos included some cluster nodes with coreboot, and a "normal" x86 desktop board booting coreboot + Linux in a very few seconds (much room left for optimizing there though, if you really want to get into fast booting).

Check out the full talk for more infos, and if you're willing to give it a try (see the list of currently supported boards), contact us on the mailing list or join the #coreboot IRC channel on Freenode.

Indicta - Nappal

Indicta album art

Nice instrumental, folkish piece from the Hungarian group Indicta, enjoy!

Song: Indicta - Nappal (2:46 min, 2.6 MB)
License: CC-by-nc-nd 2.5 HU (see here)
Source: opsound.org
Purchase from: ?

Claire Fitch - Celocity

Claire Fitch album art

Up next: Ambient cello music from Claire Fitch. Enjoy!

Song: Claire Fitch - Celocity (7:17 min, 3.9 MB)
License: CC-by-nc-sa 1.0
Source: magnatune.com
Purchase from: Magnatune

Falling on your back for fun and profit -- human airbag device

Fun stuff I just stumbled over: a personal/human airbag from Japan, supposedly meant for elderly people who might fall and injure themselves.

Watch a video of the airbag in action on Youtube (no need for crappy Flash player, you can use youtube-dl for instance). Such a device could be a lot of fun I imagine; make it cheap enough and lots of people will buy it just for fun falling-on-your-back experiments :-)

Homeless Bones - Golden Grain

Here's a great country-folk-rock style tune for your enjoyment...

Song: Homeless Bones - Golden Grain (2:30 min, 2.3 MB)
License: CC-by-nc-sa 2.5
Source: archive.org
Purchase from: ?

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