Where is Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite Dev Kit?

I signed up to buy a Qualcomm Snapdragon X Dev Kit the second I found out about it. It's supposed to be the Mac mini killer for Windows.

Snapdragon X Elite Dev Kit Transparent

They even promoted it with this amazing-looking transparent shell, and I and hundreds of other devs were ready to pony up the $899 Qualcomm was asking.

Their pre-order form said it would be out June 18. Almost exactly one month later, I got an email saying it was available. Great!

So I went to the purchase page on Arrow... and it showed as out of stock. That was about 15 minutes after receiving the email.

There were three possibilities:

NUMA Emulation speeds up Pi 5 (and other improvements)

Recently an Igalia engineer posted a NUMA Emulation patch for the Pi 5 to the Linux Kernel mailing list. He said it could improve performance of Geekbench 6 scores up to 6% for single-core, and 18% for multicore.

My testing didn't quite match those numbers, but I did see a significant and consistent performance increase across both Geekbench 6:

Raspberry Pi 5 Geekbench 6 Score comparison with NUMA Emulation enabled

And High Performance Linpack:

Raspberry Pi 5 HPL Gigaflops and efficiency comparison with NUMA Emulation enabled

If AI chatbots are the future, I hate it

AT&T Fiber Internet - speedtest graph

About a week ago, my home Internet (AT&T Fiber) went from the ~1 Gbps I pay for down to about 100 Mbps (see how I monitor my home Internet with a Pi). It wasn't too inconvenient, and I considered waiting it out to see if the speed recovered at some point, because latency was fine.

But as you can see around 7/7 on that graph, the 100 Mbps went down to about eight, and that's the point where my wife starts noticing how slow the Internet is. Action level.

So I fired up AT&T's support chat. I'm a programmer, I can usually find ways around the wily ways of chatbots.

Except AT&T's AI-powered chatbot seems to have a fiendish tendency to equate 'WiFi' with 'Internet', no doubt due to so many people thinking they are one and the same.

Installing Ansible on a RISC-V computer

Ansible runs on Python, and Python runs on... well pretty much everything. Including newer RISC-V machines.

But Ansible has a lot of dependencies, and some of these dependencies have caused frustration from time to time on x86 and Arm (so having issues with a dependency is just a way of life when you enter dependency hell)... but in this case, for the past few months, I've never had luck installing Ansible from PyPI (Python's Package Index) on any RISC-V system, using pip install ansible.

I prefer installing this way (rather than compiling from source or from system packages) because it generally gets the latest version of Ansible, with an easy upgrade/downgrade path. It's also easy to add ansible to a Python requirements.txt file and install it alongside other package dependencies.

Regardless, the cryptography library, which requires a Rust compiler to build if the package is not already built for a particular system, has made it difficult to install Ansible from pip:

Testing new Raspberry Pi 5 Cases - $7 to $79

Since the Pi 5's launch, a number of Pi case redesigns have launched, and there are a few new entrants with something to offer. Like Fractal's 'Baby North'... which, unfortunately, is only a prototype designed for their displays at Computex, and is not being planned for sale. At least not for now! I'll write more about this case later in this post.

Fractal Baby North - Raspberry Pi 5 Case

The Pi 5's thermals are close enough to the Pi 4 that old cooling solutions work okay, but the port layout and inclusion of a power button means at least minimal redesigns are necessary.

Here are a few of the Pi 5 cases I've been testing (most for over a month, in various places), and my thoughts on each.

Raspberry Pi 5 Case (official)

The official case for the Raspberry Pi 5 is like a saltine cracker.

Remote shell to a Raspberry Pi at 39,000 ft

For a few weeks I've been beta testing remote shell, the latest addition to Raspberry Pi Connect. Just a couple hours ago I was on a flight home from the new Micro Center in Charlotte.

Pi Connect Remote Shell in airplane on laptop

One huge problem with VNC or remote desktop is how flaky it is if you have limited bandwidth or an unstable connection, like on an airplane.

It takes forever to start a screen sharing session, and the airplane's flaky WiFi usually causes the session to lock up, meaning you can't do much at all.

Remote terminal access, just relaying text commands, is the best solution for that problem. And sure, I have a VPN I could use with SSH to get to my Pi, but Raspberry Pi Connect just added support for remote shell access.