FOSDEM 2018 Blog! New PINE64 Boards, Upcoming Hardware and Much More!
Part 2. FOSDEM Day 1

It has been a great first day at FOSDEM. By 1.00 PM we already gave out all our fliers and had to stick down the last two copies (as well as put up product descriptions on Pinebook screens). At times there were more people at our stall than we could possibly talk to - sorry if we missed you! All in all, I think its fair to say that there huge interest in what we had to show on day 1. This is in part thanks to the contents of our table and partly due to the awesome turnout at FOSDEM this year - the place is literally packed.

[Image: M8L72jh.jpg](Our stall at FOSDEM 2018)

As a side-note - as is always the case at his event getting something to eat is a real pain; the picture below shows a fraction of the coffee queue. Yes, those people are waiting to grab a coffee. 

[Image: hhHsXoP.jpg](Coffee craze!)

But I digress, as you'd expect on our table you could check out the Rock64, Pine H64, the RockPro64 as well as the Clusterboard. But TL also brought along a Black 13,3” Pinebook with a 1080p IPS display and a a clear-case Pinebook. The clear-case Pinebook really got a lot of attention. I’d say it really stole the show. If we we’re selling this unit at FOSDEM I swear we’d have easily sold more that 100 units. One of the users I’ve spoken to said he’d set up a petition online that we make the clear-case a reality; I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t joking. There is no denying that its one cool looking Pinebook (see picture below). TL said he’d consider a one-of production run of the clear case Pinebook; I’m sure you’ll hear about that when - or if - it happens.  

[Image: 7HFRDXZ.jpg](Clear-Case Pinebook)

As for the Pinebook with a 1080p IPS, I must say that the screen is really quite amazing and so is the quality of the case. The screen is bright, vivid and the viewing angles are really quite awesome … as you’d expect from and IPS screen. I also feel that the build quality (especially flex of the plastic on the palm-rest edges) is much better on this prototype than on the current production units. No word if this prototype will turn into a retail unit anytime very soon but I think that its likely that future iterations of the Pinebook will have this shell and screen. Its almost a given.

[Image: 8pyQfMx.jpg](Black Pinebook with IPS 1080p screen)

Onto the boards (I won’t repeat the specs etc., here - read the announcement post if you haven’t already); In the pictures below you can see the RockPro64 in the existing Playbox case with the LCD and a camera module attached (its fully functional - just disconnected in the pictures). You may already have these peripherals if you're a Pine A64/LTS or SOPine user. In the picture you’ll also see a NVMe PCIe SSD card inserted (I’ll try to get a better picture tomorrow) in to the PCIe slot on the RockPro64. Granted the drivers work (they should I am told by reliable sources) then this sort of super high spec storage should be available for this board on day 1. I know Xalius will also be testing 10GbE solutions … can’t wait to hear how that pans out. 

[Image: kJ3cDaL.jpg](RockPro64 in Playbox)
We also showed the Pine H64 which just laucehnched at the end of January with a dual SATA mini PCIe card installed. No word on if this exact board will find its way into the shop at this point - but there will certainly be a dual SATA mPCIe card available at some point for purchase in the store. So if you’re interested in a dual HDD NAS solution delivering solid performance, then it looks like the H6 may end up being a really good option - especially at this price. 

[Image: Kcsf00R.jpg](Pine H64 with dual SATA mPCIe)

As you’d expect the recently released cluster board also to a lot of attention at the stall.  Xalius brought his pre-production unit in a server-rack case, but we also have a fully slotted production unit that people can handle. A lot of people were asking about potential applications and use-case scenarios. To learn more about the clusterboard I suggest you read this thread - I probably can’t make the subject justice. 

There are probably two other things that stand out in the pictures which most of you haven’t seen before; the little rectangle box and the retro-gaming case. Lets start with the prior; its the Transformer which is produced by PINE64’s sister company CloudMedia. To put it bluntly, spec-wise its a Rock64 (with either 2Gb or 4GB RAM / 16GB or 32GB eMMC) in a nice case. Instead of the USB 3.0 port you'd find on the back of a Rock64, you get a USB 3.0 -to -SATA connector inside the case which features the JMS578 chip. One things that the pictures can’t quite convey is how high quality of a case this is - it really feels premium. You can run all available Rock64 OS images on this unit as the hardware is 100% compatible with Rock64. Please click this link to learn more. 

Now onto the Retro-Gaming case, which is modelled after a certain 90’s console some of you may recognise. This is a fully functional case - what I mean by writing this is that all the mechanical aspects of the case work, including the eject, reset and power buttons as well as the LED all perform their job. Its more than a case actually, there are additional PCBs inside that actually expand its functionality. For instance, you’ll be able to place a 2.5” HDD into the cartridge slot. It will be available (much) later this year and is compatible with existing and upcoming PINE64 boards (as well as popular boards from other brands). Its no secret that the RockPro64 is going to be an amazing piece of kit for retro-gaming (as well as Android gaming, for those who are into it) - and so I feel that this case will make a neat companion for this board. I’ll add that this is likely not the last gaming-related peripheral from PINE64 … stay tuned for more info in the coming months.   

[Image: LxYSU3p.jpg]
Lastly, I just came back from an evening with people from SUNXI, LibreELEC, KDE and other projects. Great company all around and fantastic Ribs + beer dinner at Amadeo Brussels. I truly do hope this becomes an annual tradition. 

Tomorrow I will (hopefully) get to walk the floor a bit more - I know that there are other PINE64 devices at FOSDEM which I am just aching to see. Then there are the dozens of other amazing projects which I really want to write a sentence or two about if time permits. Anyways, check in tomorrow for more from us at FOSDEM 2018.
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter

Messages In This Thread
RE: FOSDEM 2018 Blog! New PINE64 Boards, Upcoming Hardware and Much More! - by Luke - 02-02-2018, 02:22 PM

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