Copyleft Hardware News 2011-06-01
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Mimi and Eunice by Nina Paley
- We decided to market Milkymist One as a video synthesizer, not interactive VJ station as planned before. Almost everybody on the project felt that video synthesizer would get more people to understand quicker what the product does, and lead them in the right direction with their second question, whereas interactive VJ station would send them in all sorts of different directions.
- Yi Zhang took a series of Milkymist One product shots at the Mayray photo studio in Shanghai.
- Sebastien and Xiangfu released several Milkymist One software updates. (Sebastien April 6 - v0.3, Xiangfu May 9 - snapshot, Sebastien May 23 - v0.4)
- Milkymist One was demoed and used in many places around the world, by Kristian Paul at labSurlab in Medellín/Colombia, Jon Phillips at the 6th Libre Graphics Meeting in Montreal/Canada, guyzmo at a Lua workshop in Paris, Sebastien at PiXXXeL in Amsterdam, Vision-R festival in Paris and the Toulouse Hacker Space Factory.
- Xiangfu Liu added a screenshot feature to Milkymist One, here's a collection of screenshots.
- Real-time video synthesis is an exciting feature of Milkymist One. There are still few recordings of performances, because nobody has a VGA grabber, and real-time encoding and streaming into formats such as Ogg Theora or WebM is possible but will require substantial work. Kristian Paul has recorded a small segment with a second video camera... (another one from Sebastien)
- Xiangfu Liu demonstrated Open Sound Control ("OSC") with his Milkymist One. OSC is another promising way to control Milkymist One, with nice clients on popular smartphones and tablets.
- Andrew Zonenberg, a PhD student from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York is embarking on a series of semiconductor DIY experiments and projects. If you are interested in following his work, start with the 5-page long DIY fabrication of microstructures by projection photolitography. Andrew reports about progress in #milkymist on Freenode (webchat, backlog).
Next up on his agenda is the manufacture of a ring oscillator (pictured below) onto a 35 USD 4' ' wafer. If things go well after that maybe a replica of Intel's venerable 4004 CPU.
Andrew will document his entire process publicly, and release all tools under free licenses.
- Slashdot carried a post about our soon-to-be launched open CPU - Milkymist. 
- Sebastien started writing a nice Wikipedia article about the Milkymist project. 
- Sebastien managed to get a clarification from Google that they are not planning to release open and free sources for their WebM hardware codec. 
- Two threads on the mailing list discussed plans about adding a MMU to the Milkymist SoC. , 
- Hong Kong based Sharism Ltd, manufacturer of the Milkymist One, sold out its batch of Milkymist One RC2 units. A big THANKS! to all supportive buyers who believed in this product at such an early stage. RC3 will be available soon...
- Adam Wang reported on the latest Milkymist One RC3 production status. 
- Werner Almesberger implemented an external VGA display using the 8:10 memory card slot of his Ben NanoNote. Ben + UBB + a few components = VGA. homepage, mailing list posts:  , going high-res, DMA and 1024x768, dual-screen, 640x480 without FIFO jitter, productization, dithering
- Slashdot covered Werner's VGA hardware hack (and hackaday, and Dangerous Prototypes).
- Werner Almesberger wrote dirtpan, a quick and dirty tool to demonstrate IPv4 over 802.15.4 ben-wpan boards. details
- Tuxbrain continued with ben-wpan production, PCBs have been made (see picture), component mounting date (SMT) is scheduled for next week.
- kyak proposed a Russian keyboard layout for the NanoNote, Jane took it one step further and hacked her keyboard into a Colemak layout! 
- viric has been (for a while already) maintaining nanonixos, a Nix package manager based distribution for the Ben NanoNote. 
- Mark Tuson reported running Debian Wheezy on his NanoNote. 
- David Kuehling added hardware acceleration to the MPlayer video player, which can now play most files in Ogg Theora and WebM formats up to 320x240 and 30fps, and most audio except for surround-sound. Smaller video files are automatically played back full-screen by using the CPU's hardware-scaler.