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Ramblings of a Robot Cat Maker Wannabee, Because Real Cats Aren't Allowed :P

Archive for June 2012

Raspberry Pi To Do List

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BWAR HAR HAR HAR!!! (Megalomaniac laughter :-)) I’ve just popped over to element14 to self-collect my Raspberry Pi !!!

When I got a call yesterday late afternoon, I was squealing (like a school girl). But when I reached there then, their employees were already knocking off work and streaming out — I was too late! Arrgh!!!

Finally this morning, my Raspberry Pi is in my hands! Three months of anxious waiting, and all this time, I have designed and pre-built a DIY expansion board for it called Raspy Juice. I was and still am, overcome with excitement to try out my expansion board. BUT, I’d better practise some self-control and go through the rigmarole of baby-steps of testing the Pi “AS-IS’ first. So, this blog is just to cool me down and make a To Do list.

A bit about the Pi and my project: Raspberry Pi (the gadget) is an extremely low-cost, small credit-card sized, relatively high-computational power and low-power consumption Single-Board Computer. It was designed and promoted by the UK-based Raspberry Pi Foundation as a means to enhance a more hands-on approach to computer-science education to students all over the world. In this day and age where computers are used as consumer devices where one would only need to mouse-it, swipe, touch, prod, etc., we forget how complex the inner workings of a computer are.

The Raspberry Pi Computer

My Raspy Juice Expansion Board

And today, a computer is just another handy gadget — a display panel with some user-interface mainly for browsing, reading and, gaming. To get youngsters to learn about computers, programming and maybe some electronics, I thought it’d be fun to add some “do this, and get that” kind of effect. Like some blinking lights, or mechanical movement. So, Raspy Juice is an expansion board to allow this Raspberry Pi computer connect to controllable motors (they’re called RC Servos) to make things move. Well, it’s really more than that: but I just want to keep this short. (Oooyah: As I’m writing this, my Pi is staring at me, calling, calling, calling, “power me up!!!” Resist, resist, I must resist).

And so, the baby-steps TO DO list:

  • Borrow nephew’s spare Dell LCD monitor with HDMI input.
  • Where is my microUSB +5volt power adapter?
  • Find an SD card and load it with the foundation’s standard linux distribution. Probably Debian.
  • Test with LCD monitor, mouse and keyboard!!!
  • Practise the boot up sequence.
  • Go through my ‘new’ linux distri routines: dmesg, drivers, networking, date/time, update/upgrade, free, mounts.
  • Add jed, emacs, less, psmisc, wpa, dropbear, ssh.
  • Test USB hubs.
  • Test USB wifi adapters.
  • Test USB webcam adapters.
  • Test USB audio adapter.
  • Test USB external HDDs.
  • Add my pet interest linux applications: alsa, mpg123, espeak, motion, mjpg-streamer, etc.
  • Add some linux helpers: samba, ntfs-3g, usbmount, i2ctools.
  • Add some linux services: lighttpd, php-cgi, qbittorent-nox.
  • Find kernel sources and try to rebuild kernel, with I2C drivers.
  • Try to restart standard distri with new kernel.
  • Test Pi with +5V through the GPIO header pins.
  • Hold breath and test Pi with Raspy Juice.
  • Test the console.
  • Test I2C bus with i2ctools.
  • Test Raspy Juice-powered USB external HDDs.
  • Test Raspy Juice-powered RC servos motors.

And more to come:

Written by catmaker

2012/06/01 at 17:50