Friday, April 12, 2013

Rpi: getting started

Post 1: First of Who knows?

I ordered my Raspberry Pi in February. I resisted paying any more than the legendary $35. That made it take longer. I also ordered a fast class 10 16GB SD card so it would have plenty of free space ($28).

This took so long that I swiped an SD card from my camera and downloaded a Linux image onto my iMac. To copy it on to the chip in proper format I had to learn about the ancient Unix "dd" command (I worked on Unix at Bell Labs in the 1970s -- never thought I use dd again).

I had just finished all of this when Fedex guy arrived with the other chip in a tiny padded envelope (4-ton truck to deliver a half-ounce package).

I have also bought an HDMI-to-VGA cable so I could use a borrowed old LCD monitor. You could program from a VGA monitor but it was fuzzy on any resolution greater than 640x480, which now days is useless on the Web. This was a waste of $20+ and a lot of time messing with the config file.

Also, I acquired a plastic case and a tiny USB WIFI plugin ($13). WIFI setup was pretty easy but the device caused a headache. When I typed on my old left-over keyboard I got a bunch of repeated keystrokes. It wasn't obvious to me that the WIFI device was taking too much current but the problem stopped the instant that I plugged the cords into a powered USB hub (another $16).

I borrowed an HDMI-to-DVI cable & monitor. They work fine. Here's how my Pi looks now.
The little blue light is on the WIFI adapter. The keyboard/mouse (when needed) go on the powered hub.

I mentioned "when needed" because I have worked out how to access the Pi from my iMac. I set up "ssh" (remote login program) on the Pi and use the same thing from Terminal on the Mac. Now I only need a monitor/keyboard when I screw something up.

Next issue: a Python Pi program for your bemusement and what I'd like to do with the Pi.

Dick Haight

No comments:

Post a Comment