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Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech

Meanwhile, hello Epson drivers?

The Raspberry Pi OS plunged another knife into the dark heart of Flash this week while adding drivers for Epson printers.

The release notes for the latest version of the diminutive computer's operating system detail the inclusion of Chromium 86.0.4240.197 and, note that "Adobe have end-of-lifed Flash Player", the removal of the swiss-cheese component.

The Raspberry Pi OS is the latest in a long line of platforms to finally turn out the lights. While bringing blessed relief for many, a side effect has been the removal of the Scratch 2 programming language, which "required Flash", according to the release notes.

Scratch 2 had been developed using ActionScript. By the time version 3 rolled around, things had moved on to JavaScript. Those currently home-schooling offspring will have done well not to come across it in recent months, and it is a handy tool for teaching coding (the magnum opus of this hack's child is a delightful animation titled "Mr Doggy Does A Poo").

Still, while the axing of the Adobe Flash Player ends one reign that began in the last century, the addition of those Epson printer drivers might cast one's mind back to the 1980s home computer era that inspired the Raspberry Pi. Attaching a tractor-fed Epson LX-80 dot matrix impact printer was the height of luxury (second only to plugging in a floppy disk drive).

Those so inclined can fit hardware to their Pis to recreate that bulky parallel port look and feel should one have a dusty old Epson ESC/P or ESC/P2 compatible printer lurking around.

As for the Epson drivers now included in the Raspberry Pi OS, things are considerably more modern. The distribution has also bumped the Linux kernel to 5.4.83 and fixed a number of bugs, notably around audio. ®

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