Opening words

Another month another post? I wish… This time, I got sucked into an almost-month long black hole of a trip and when I was spewed back into regular Warsaw reality it turned out I needed to dedicate 200% of my time to my day job. Scraping some free time I had (it’s Corpus Christi holiday in Poland as I am writing this) - I hence publish this blogpost where you can find some key discoveries of mine from Embedded Open Source Summit 2024, the Linux Foundation’s ONE Summit 2024 and a meetup talk of mine from Digital Futures 2024 happening here in Warsaw. All this is sprinkled with pictures from the beautiful Washington State which I started discovering during my week-long roadtrip!

Buckle up, here we go!

Mt Rainier in the distance and me!

Embedded Open Source Summit 2024

This was my second EOSS and also the second one where I had the pleasure of being a speaker. You probably already guessed the topic! 😁 I was delighted to see quite the audience of makers/hackers and tinkering enthusiasts, and discussing all kind of tangents to the project after the presentation. Hopefully, the presentation and the project will serve as a good source of tips/ways of work when coming up with a great project idea and reduce the struggles in realizing it.

As for the rest of the conference - I mostly attended Zephyr/Embedded Linux topics although one could get lost in the myriad halls of co-located Open Source Summit and other smaller Summits. Prevailing topics were focused around supply chain safety and healthy contributor ecosystem (looking at you XZ backdoor), some other notable highlights include:

  • the widespread adoption of SPDX as the de-facto SBOM tool which was not the case a few years ago
  • we have a lot of Linux in Space - 80 running copies more every time a SpaceX’s Starlink is commissioned to work!
  • Zephyr is becoming even more mature and widely adopted - the long awaited HTTP server support has been added recently forcing me to rewrite parts of ZLED Frame 🀦

ZLED Frame - how to Illuminate your artwork

In case you have not been following my project (yet! πŸ‘€) or missed my talk (it was streamed online 😁) - here is the video! After long chats with my audience after the talk I got some words of wisdom and encouragement (that I oh so need sometimes πŸ˜„). What I really enjoyed was to see that people always stumble upon similar issues, like measurements errors, messing the cabling up and other blunders - but that is something worth appreciating or even loving about making/hacking and computer science in general! I also got some helpful tips regarding a nasty bug where LEDs would not be lighted to a proper color/configuration - apparently there is a driver that is very picky about proper timing and whenever something disrupts it (interrupt request?) - utter rubbish will be displayed on the strip.

Link to the repository and project page

WA travelling

I won’t bore you with very succinct descriptions of my trip around the Washington State (although maybe I should) - rather, grab some best-of pictures from the trip, along descriptions of locations and marvel at them 😁

After leaving Seattle, I headed for Mt. Rainier, but since winter was still abound (apparently so), I ended in Packwood and explored nearby trails (with nobody but game and bears around yikes). From left to right: Lake Glacier, Vista of Mt. St. Adams and marvelous Lake Wallupt!

Glacier lake. Mt. St. Adams Brussels station.

Afterwards I had to travel a couple of hours to Wenatchee to see some more praire’ish vistas. Lake Packwood, A great vista of Mt. Rainier (which I will visit one day) and the rocky way to Wenatchee.

Lake Packwood. Mt. Rainier vista Way to Wenatchee

In Wenatchee and then Chelan, I went hiking and marvelling at the landscapes of great-nothing until the horizon. First picture - Saddle Rock, then two more of the Chelan Lake Trail.

Saddle Rock Chelan Lake Trail 1. Chelan Lake Trail 2.

The next leg was a fairly long and beautiful loop through the Cascadia Mountains which took me just over 3 hours to cross! The weather ranged from full sun, through rain and snow to finally end with a misty and gloomy view on the Western side of the mountains. You can see the stark difference in the pictures below.

Snowy Cascadia Misty Cascadia

Right after crossing Cascadia, I headed for Anacortes where I took some strolls around the coastline and caught a ferry to the south-western part of WA - ending my voyage in Port Angeles.

Anacortes views Anacortes views 2.

If you are not already astonished by the sheer variety of weather conditions this state had to offer at this time of the yer, here comes the big punch! During the same day I waded through knee-deep snow and at the same time was under Olympic Rainforest’s torrential rain (kudos to me for buying the raincoat a couple of days before). Below - views from the melting Olympic Mountains.

Olympic Mountains Olympic Mountains 2. Olympic Mountains 3.

It was really soaking wet there!

Me driving through the rainforest Olympic Rainforest

Glad I managed to hike a long way to see the Deer Lake where I met some folks who were so nice to offer me something warm to drink! Fishing, cooking and living their life, waist-deep in the snow but warm and cozy in their tent!

Olympic Rainforest 2. Deer Lake

LF ONE Summit

Visiting the venue of this year’s NVIDIA GTC (which I unfortunately missed) left me in awe at how big these conference centres can be (and most of the time just a fraction of them is filled with people). This was a slightly more niche Summit, mostly focused around Core Network and futureproofing it against the 6G with widespread adoption of Network APIs, through even wider usage of Open Source to clever and safe usage of AI to achieve tasks. To my disappointment - not much revolved around Baseband there - so I can share with you only two projects that I have been keeping tabs on: SRSRAN Project an open source L1/2/3 implementation on commodity Hardware, and the project EvenStar which was initially conceived by Meta to allow anyone to rollout their own Open Source and Hardware Radio Unit (currently stewarded by the Open Compute Project).

Digital Futures 2024

This edition of the Digital Futures Meetup was happening in Warsaw so this time all I had to do was spend a short time commuting πŸ˜„ Compare that with 20/24+ hours of flight when travelling for overseas conferences and you will see why I am mentioning it!

Topics covered included LLMs, their usage, limitations and implications for other jobs, such as data processing and collection; this was paired with my (longer-than-intended) talk on Telecommunications and the role Open Source plays in shaping its future. Krzysztof and Tomasz delved deep into the various roles LLMs have inside Tietoevry and why they are only a complement to other more traditional ways of data collection and processing. This resonates heavily with my take on them - yet another (fast, amazing, powerful) tool in my engineering toolbelt.

Me speaking at Digital Futures.

My talk

In my presentation I tried merging what I talked about in KoΕ‘ice about FlexRAN and it’s importance in bringing the OpenRAN revolution to the Baseband side of 5G/LTE(FOSDEM 2024 talk), while showcasing how Open Source developments in the Core Network and Baseband helped bring the long-awaited shift in productivity and quality of code to these areas. Time proved to be my enemy and I had to skip a big part of what I wanted to present, but the avid discussion and genuine curiosity of the audience after the talk proved that I managed to sneak just the content that would provoke such discussions 😁 The big question is: What do the telecom vendors have to gain from Open Sourcing their Baseband parts of code? - My answer to that is clear: open just the most crucial parts and innovate in terms of hardware/algorithms or unique value propositions and take a look at how creating projects like ONAP or CNTi helped make the Core Network a more unified and resilient part of the 5G/LTE system.


As always, thank for staying with me until now - I hope you learned something and we that might see each other on upcoming events/travels 😁 Like I promised - the ZLED Frame updates are on their way and since there were some exciting updates to the Zephyr project - I will be busy rewriting the project to adhere to them! See you next time!

P.S. I plan to be writing some recommendations regarding what I have been (quite intensively) recently reading. Also, a small fastfoody reward (In-N-Out Animal Style!) for you who stayed for so long here πŸ˜„

In-N-Out burger set - Animal Style!