ODROID Magazine Retrospective: A Look at the Evolution of the Magazine over The First 5 Years

You are reading something that most brewing board groups wish for: a magazine that you can point to your friends to who show interest in those quizzical circuit boards that you fiddle with.  Inevitably, when you tell them to go to the forum, as great as any forum can be, it is daunting to grasp where to start exploring it. But, as luck would have it, one day the following post was on the forum:

With this forum post on the ODROID forum in November 2013, things started rolling:

A few days later we had a cover to get everyone's interest buzzing and we started working together:

So, that was how it began!  Where have we been all this time; care to recall with us?

2014 - Year One

Our first year started with the launch of the ODROID-U3, which came to replace the ODROID-U2 and existed alongside the ODROID=X2. The first issue was a great feat, where the magazine team got together online and we got to know each other.  For issue number 2, at the height of the Minecraft craze, Hardkernel showed us how to turn the U3 into a Giant tablet, and astonished many users with what was the beginning of our magazine trend of showcasing incredible projects.  For the next issue, we presented the thing that has driven most computer users since the dawn of computing: GAMES. It was our first edition where games got the spotlight, and we never tire of it, as you will see. (In fact, if let unchecked, we would make the magazine a games magazine, but then…)

Picture 1 – 2014 January February and March issues

For the next issue, we had a complete change of pace, and learned how to embed an ODROID into a truck, and yes, at this time we couldn’t get enough Minecraft in our lives.  In May 2014, we showcased the first ODROID-powered robot, and with the release of the ODROID-UPS and the ODROID-SHOW, it never was easier to create new and portable projects. (We also are aware that, since that time, we are being monitored on how we treat our dear robot overlords!) At this point, the readers were asking more from us, so we started covering Operating Systems, and dedicated our June issue to compare a good bunch of prebuilt Ubuntu images for users to look at and decide what was best for their boards. At that time, what rocked our devices' hearts was the venerable Ubuntu 13.04, with 13.10 getting the spotlight, while at the forefront, there were some bleeding edge users running Ubuntu 14.04.

Picture 2 – 2014 April May and June issues

By the next month, we were halfway the year, and for the northern hemisphere summer, Hardkernel surprised the U3 users with a Weather board device, and although the cover does not gave much headline, we were looking at cluster computing, a fan favorite topic. Next, we had the unfortunately short lived ODROID-W, an amazing wearable computer that took all users and let everyone wishing for one.  Although short lived, our hearts will always be with you W.  You were awesome!  In September, we have shown that our users were going deep into projects, and we showcased a ODROID-U3 powered robot inside a WALL-E toy, and users were turning their ODROIDS into laptops, showing how stable using the Linux on ODROIDS were in just nine months of magazine.

Picture 3 – 2014 July August and September issues

For the Fall issue, we get into October 2014, and a new product comes out of Hardkernel: the venerable ODROID-XU3.  It was a powerhouse, with 8 cores and plenty of ports. And while our heads were still spinning around it, alongside it, we got the ODROID SMART POWER to review. For November 2014, we delved into virtualization on the ODROIDS, showing projects that make use of our devices' low power consumption.  Not being a tad more modest that we needed to be, we demonstrated an ODROID cluster with 96 cores!  In December, we finished our first year with the ODROID-C1, bringing native gigabit for the users, and there were liquid cooled ODROIDS everywhere!

Picture 4 – 2014 October November and December issues

2015 - Year Two

At the beginning of our year 2, we were all head in the clouds, literally. We started our year teaching our users how to better integrate their devices with the whistles and bells that the 2015 cloud computing had to offer. And guess what we were looking at too? If you guessed games, you couldn’t be more correct. In February, we were fiddling more with the Weather Board, but coming from cloud computing, we were all raging to run Docker on our beloved ODROIDS, showing that our devices could be a complex environment unto themselves.  Then, after going all tech nerdy, we got back to our project roots and we went airborne by showcasing a Quadcopter all powered by ODROIDs, using Navio+.

Picture 5 – 2015 January February and March issues

April was a great month, as we demonstrated a security focused Linux distribution called Kali, and detailed a DIY light show for your ODROID media center with Ambilight.  If you could guess which topic we never tire to talk about, which would be? If it was GAMES, you would be right, since in May 2015, we talked about our hearts' desire to play even more games, this time with a spiffy Nintendo 64 emulation tutorial.  Our 2015 mid-year issue had an incredible Desktop Case showcasing (no pun intended) that users look around to create cool form factors for their ODROID desktop builds, and a nod to the original ODROID that started it all.

Picture 6 – 2015 April May and June issues

In July, we always like to remember fondly that we used to take our school out time, to do what? If you guessed games, this time you were not entirely wrong (with games you never are wrong).  We did an article on rare gaming, but the spotlight went to watching movies and TV shows using Popcorn Time. In August, the ODROID-XU3 had to step aside as the ODROID-XU4 came to take the crown as the fasted ARM based computing board from Hardkernel, a title that stands up to this day that I am writing this article!  By September we were missing creating new robotic projects and then surprised everyone with a how-to for a Robot Lamp companion.  Hardkernel launched the ODROID Cloudshell, which is a cool NAS solution that our users had the best time with.

Picture 7 – 2015 July August and September issues

For October, we went all back to our web roots and taught how to run the Apache Tomcat to give you, our beloved readers, the means to host your own webpages! Then, after doing everything else, Hardkernel presents us with another cool device:  the HiFI Shield, giving audiophiles an amazing sound system with the ODROID.  And another year goes by, and when you think the community would be done, what do we showcase? A ROBOT GOALKEEPER! If you wouldn’t guess that we would go full humanoid with ODROID robots, you were surprisingly wrong!

Picture 8 – 2015 October November and December issues

2016 - Year Three

Our third year started with what? Someone who read the article this far, would wonder if it would be games. But our January 2016 issue was not only speaking for gamers, but instead is speaking for SERIOUS GAMERS, as Hardkernel presented their Universal Motion Joypad!  In February 2016, we went portable again, with the release of the ODROID-C0. We showcased a new robot kit, and dabbled into the now defunct Cyanogenmod for the X/XU line of boards.  In March 2016, the all new all powerful ODROID-C2 came to market, giving users that really needed a boost on 64-bit processing projects an all new platform to work with.

Picture 9 – 2016 January February and March issues

April 2016 saw the release of the oCAM, a camera designed to work with your ODROID devices, and we begun the augmented reality age on ODROIDS.  We usually are fun spirited but serious, yet May 2016 was a very serious issue, pointing all you needed to learn to start delving on the deep web with your ODROID device, as well as understanding Wireless Code Injection.  We followed with the June edition presenting a complete guide teaching our readers on how to assemble a Touchscreen Table to work with your ODROID-XU4, along with a great tutorial on how to setup your Samba server.

Picture 10 – 2016 April May and June issues

In July 2016, the community came out with a great optimized build for Minecraft, and we couldn’t resist but put it on the cover.  After all, it is a game, and if I haven’t stressed it enough, we really enjoy games and talking about games!  In August, we went for a tour-de-force on the oCAM Global shutter and how you can make the best of this incredible device, starting a trend that we followed for a trimester: talking about the oCAM and security which was as important back then as it is today.  However, suddenly everything changed, and in September 2016, every ODROID user that ran a system compatible with the Android operating system wanted to run only one software: Pokémon GO. Although we didn’t yet have a portable case to take our high end ODROIDs to the streets, we weren’t detained by our own collective intellects, and worked with the GPS spoofing feature on the Android to go Pokémon hunting in the comfort of our houses!

Picture 11 – 2016 July August and September issues

Then came the fall edition, and we did a tutorial on how to do some wonderful high end gaming using the ODROID-C2 and Gamestream, so you could enjoy even the top PC games in your living room if you wished to do so.  On November 2016, we revisited our tutorial for the Ambilight, but now in glorious 4K display, because we can do it!  We really love our ODROIDS and think that they are the coolest, and they usually are, unless they are hot, then guess what? We worked out how to cool our ODROIDS, and in December 2016, we showed how to do it with water cooling.

Picture 12 – 2016 October November and December issues

2017 Year Four

In January 2017, we made a special edition with all our ODROID products as a celebration of our products, and also because it was a brand new year, we did a tutorial on how to use ODROIDs to control a Wine cellar.  February followed with the VU8-C, a mobile case for your C class ODROIDS that is the real deal, with a long-lasting battery, a touchscreen, an amazing display, and on top of that, the release of the ODROID SmartPower 2.  Then, after a whopping dry spell of four issues without talking about games, we remembered that we kinda like talking about them, and then we presented you, our beloved reader, with a tutorial of how to make your very own ODROID arcade station.

Picture 13 – 2017 January February and March issues

In April 2017, for our 40th issue, we presented Walter: a vintage looking robot powered by ODROID. May 2017 came, and with it, we presented a complete walk-through allowing you to re-purpose that Nintendo 64 case that you found on the flea market in order to play your games in style.  Usually the best time of the year for ODROIDians is June, and in 2017 was not different. June 2017 was when the XU4Q was released, coinciding with an excellent article on how to 3D print your own XU4 Case.

Picture 14 – 2017 April May and June issues

For July 2017, we presented an article that didn’t rock the world, but it made sure that if the world was rocking,  you would know for sure!  It was the ODROID Seismograph edition, where we presented how to measure seismic acceleration with the ODROID-C2.  In August 2017, we showed how to get started with the world of artificial intelligence programming, and it was a milestone edition, as it was the last edition that was presented as a pure PDF edition.  From then on, we would have the website play a major role on the magazine, changing the way we work on it and how we share articles.  The PDF is still available, but the new website allowed users to search, comment, and print their own copy at home.  September 2017 saw the introduction of the ODROID-HC1, which enabled you to better create stacks of devices to create your clusters and NAS farms.

Picture 15 – 2017 July August and September issues

October 2017 was all focused on how to build your own Multimedia home server, which is a reader’s favorite topic and one of the most popular home projects.  LineageOS came to the rescue after the demise of Cyanogenmod for the Android users on ODROIDS, and November 2017 was all dedicated to guiding you in how to compile it on the XU series.  To finish 2017, we created a tutorial on operating your ODROID hands-free with the AD2P and the HFP unit on your ODROID-XU4.

Picture 16 – 2017 October November and December issues

2018 Year Five

Five year projects are always a great life strategy, and if you were with us since the beginning, it was time for you to live like a king! We presented the dashboard for ODROID home on January 2018, and in February, the success of the ODROID-HC1 saw seen its successor, the ODROID-HC2, make your clusters even more powerful than before.  March 2018 boasted an incredible mathematics article as we've never seen before, and an impressive article on prime number discovery using the ODROID-C2 graced the pages of our humble magazine.

Picture 17 – 2018 January February and March issues

We always can count on innovative and interesting projects with our devices. April 2018 had an article showing an ODROID-XU4Q being used as a portable sound studio!  May 2018 was time to revisit what your ODROID can bring to your car, and in par with the all new software for Android Auto, you could go farther than ever before with it.  June was the month for gamers. After all, if you think we would ever get tired of games, you are surely wrong, Hardkernel released the GameStation TURBO, a case for your XU4 resembling the Nintendo 64 case!

Picture 18 – 2018 April May and June issues

And while you were still rejoicing on your GameStation, Hardkernel doubled down and releases the amazing ODROID-GO to celebrate 10 years of Hardkernel, a device that can do wonders to (you guessed right) your gaming life! What a July that was!  After all this gaming, in August 2018 we came up with a security-driven issue teaching you to manage all your online passwords with KeePass.  September was a nostalgia fest where we published a tutorial to emulate Commodore games, celebrating a computer that we spent all our teenage years loving.

Picture 19 – 2018 July August and September issues

In October 2018, we made another article on how to use your ODROID with your car as a Driving Infotainment System, with an even more mature Android Auto release for the ODROID-C2.  Then came November 2018 which gave us news of the first X86 ODROID came to be, the ODROID-H2, ushering a new era that we will certainly enjoy.  And finally, December 2018, we ended our first five-year mission with the ODROID-GO turned into a Star Trek tricorder!

Picture 20 – 2018 October November and December issues

You are now reading our milestone 5th year anniversary issue, and we thank you for joining us on this computing journey into the future!

*a big shoutout to Starline on its 5 year anniversary badge that we used on our cover!

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