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My last post on LinuxGizmos

Apr 4, 2022 — by Eric Brown 3,766 views

This is my last LinuxGizmos story after nine years as Editor and Chief Writer. But LG lives on.

I started at LinuxGizmos shortly after Rick Lehrbaum launched the site in early 2013. In 2018, he sold LinuxGizmos to KCK Media Corp., which has done an admirable job supporting Rick’s tradition of reporting news on embedded Linux in a straightforward and impartial style. (Sometimes snore-inducing, but that’s all on me.)


Tux

I would like to thank KC Prescott, publisher of KCK Media, and Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief at Circuit Cellar and LinuxGizmos, for keeping the good ship LinuxGizmos cruising over the last four years. (And Rick, too, who has done consulting on the back end.) I appreciate the editorial freedom I was given and the willingness to support the site’s strict separation of editorial and advertising.

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LinuxGizmos will remain in capable hands with the new Editor, Giorgio Mendoza. Giorgio has a bachelor’s degree in Electric Engineering from the University of Florida, as opposed to the previous Editor’s bachelor’s in English. He has worked as an Applications Engineer at Renesas Electronics on battery-powered portable devices and has developed security embedded solutions for ADI. He’s experienced in embedded programming for Linux devices and is an enthusiast for embedded systems, robotics, and open-source software.

As you can read about in the link above, LinuxGizmos is a reboot of LinuxDevices, which Rick launched in Oct. 1999, shortly after he gained the moniker “father of the PC/104” from his early days co-founding Ampro Computers and helping to launch the embedded computing industry. In Lehrbaum’s LinuxDevices retrospective from Dec. 2013 when he announced he had restored the LinuxDevices archive after almost two years of downtime, he wrote of the 1999 launch: “Few people had heard of Linux outside the tech community, and far fewer were aware that it was beginning to be embedded within consumer and industrial devices.”

Lehrbaum hired me at LinuxDevices as a reporter in 2007 shortly before he sold the publication to Ziff Davis Enterprise. For the next two years I worked with Jonathan Angel under the direction of Henry Kingman, who stayed until 2009. Jon and I remained until the site was acquired and was terminated by QuinStreet in Feb. 2012 along with most of ZDE’s publications.


Sergey Brin and Larry Page
at Android launch

In its later years, LinuxDevices tracked the evolution of Linux into mobile devices. I was there in New York City in 2008 when Larry Page and Sergey Brin rollerbladed onto stage to announce the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1), the first phone running the Linux-based Android. In the years that followed I reported on the evolution of Android phones and tablets, along with open source Linux phone contenders such as OpenMoko.

There were also Linux tablets and netbooks running Meego, consumer electronics running Tizen, and the first ChromeOS notebooks, all based on Linux. We also covered compute modules, circuit boards, and industrial computers, much as we do today, along with robots, signage systems, drones, and much more. Back then, many of these systems were limited to Windows or RTOSes. Yet year after year, Linux gained major market share on just about every platform except the desktop.

With the launch of LinuxGizmos in 2013, we increasingly left Android phones and consumer electronics phones behind to focus more on developers. The Raspberry Pi had launched the year before and the BeagleBone in 2014, and our coverage increasingly focused on community-backed, open hardware SBCs. Commercial products were still our bread and butter, as they are today, mostly because there are a lot more of them. However, our readers flocked to the open source boards.


Raspberry Pi
Model B

We began to round up community backed SBCs in our first catalog of maker boards back in 2014 in collaboration with Linux.com, and have kept it up to this day. Our latest catalog of 136 Linux hacker boards posted in January links to every catalog we have published.

We were so enamored of community-backed boards that we briefly changed our name to HackerBoards.com. We changed back when we discovered our readers and advertisers liked the Linux focus. It was also difficult to keep up with all the Arduinos and other non-Linux RTOS boards while also maintaining a solid database of embedded Linux products. The database focus of our publication and the relentless linking to other similar products have been our key differentiators with other sites along with our editorial independence and relative lack of marketing happy talk.


Ingenuity

Whenever I would tire of writing about yet one more ho-hum box computer or COM Express module, there were always plenty of fascinating new technologies to keep me interested. In addition to hacker boards, there were robots and drones, including that amazing, Linux-driven Ingenuity drone on Mars. At times we have covered software defined radio, autonomous subs, and self-driving cars, and we spent a lot of time on the rise of the Internet of Things. More recently, the story has been edge AI and RISC-V, which has brought the magic of open source Linux to the realm of processors.

I will continue to track the world of embedded Linux, although perhaps not at the granular level I do now. It’s time for a change, and I’m starting off with a long vacation. It’s been a fun ride and I wish LinuxGizmos the best moving forward. –- Eric Brown
 

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12 responses to “My last post on LinuxGizmos”

  1. Ada says:

    Thank you for your contributions! I’ve been reading for years, especially the open hardware SBC coverage. You’ll be missed.

  2. Phil Endecott says:

    Many thanks for all your amazing work. You read all those press releases so that we didn’t have to!

  3. Mike Kao says:

    Thank you for all the great articles. I started on Linuxdevices and reading Linuxgizmos is more important than a morning coffee to me. I wish you have a fun career and life and see you somewhere in the Embedded world in the future.

  4. Shyam Daram says:

    Thanks for your contributions, LG is like a daily read for me, i start my day reading LG, it stays on my bookmark bar, it doesnt seem like a magazine, it gives relief from day to day work while giving a glimpse of embedded world with out any bias

    Thanks very much for keeping us engaged

  5. encee says:

    Been grateful for the your and RIck’s work. This site has been a daily check in since the beginning. Thank you for it all! Good luck moving forward, sir.

  6. Irad Stavi says:

    Eric, it has been a great experience to read your articles and an honor whenever you found a product of ours worth writing about. The in-depth reporting, perspective and cross referencing were second to none.
    I wish you success with your next endeavor.

  7. netmassimo says:

    Thank you for everything and best of luck with your next adventures!

  8. John Sizemore says:

    Good Luck on your new adventures. Thank-you for all the info over the years.

  9. Rick says:

    Bon voyage, Eric — you’ve done a super job here at LinuxGizmos, just as you had done at LinuxDevices, and your shoes will surely be hard to fill! Best wishes as well to Giorgio Mendoza, who appears to have a fine preparation for this fun and exciting gig!

  10. Frank says:

    Thanks for the good times!

  11. joezou1 says:

    bon voyage

  12. Giorgio Mendoza says:

    Hi everyone, I’m the new editor Giorgio. As Rick mentioned Eric will be sorely missed since he has been part of LG for a very long time giving us great articles. I’ll do my best to fill his shoes. I’ll keep his format/writing style since most of you are comfortable with it. I’ll also welcome any feedback you might have for me. Thanks.

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