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Found 4 results for tag "raspberrypi"
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Transistion, Business Shutdown, and Overall Updates


Here's, the deal: the past few months have really been chaotic for me.

The first thing: As of March 4th, Shadow Dev is no more. On March 4th, I cut the 800 number, ended the insurance, and pretty much cut all ties. There's even a "goodbye" message at that goes into a little more detail and the why of why it happened. Honestly, it was a good 8 years, but it was time to change directions.

Since I didn't want to say that I have been "unemployed" for the past few months (because self-employment doesn't supply unemployment insurance), I have created a sole-proprietorship freelance web development company called Q5 Industries. Don't ask about the name; Q5 was an available domain and good for a short domain (, which really helps with short links.

So anyway, I've also finished Day of Reckoning - well, writing it, of course. It is currently going through the Editing process, which is taking a bit longer than expected, but hey - it's free. After that is finished, I will move on to Book 3: Dusk of Demise and almost be done with the series. My mother, although I'm sure it's 50% support and 50% real, likes my books, so finding how the series ends will be a surprise to us all.

I've also move some more personal "blog items" to a personal blog - kind of a "personal log". I gave it a LCARS look with more of a quick bootstrap view, and only available behind some security (I'm sure my reasons don't have to be explained).

Also, due to some role-playing gaming research, I would like to do a few things:
1) With a raspberry pi, I would like to do some hardware tinkering. I feel like I can do some testing and developing with basic LED research with a few helpful resources that I found on the internet using Python GPIO.

2) I would also like to tinker with raspberry pi and Jasper - a voice-command based system with a "dead-simple API". I thought I 'd give it a shot.

3) I've also been experimenting with some UI Framework, including UIKit, Bootstrap, Foundation (my favorite, thus far), Pure, HTML5 Boilerplate, and Skeleton. In reference, this may help with my job search with Frontend UI Design experience. (Speaking of which, I've updated my blog design to a slimmer, more responsive design, which looks pretty good)

I'm also going to be writing (and releasing) some tutorials on some HTML5, CSS3, and PHP on this blog - maybe to increase more traffic, maybe to show off some of the new techniques that I had learned (such as CSS3's vw property, which I thought was pretty cool)

Meanwhile, Java has taken a bit of a backseat while I get the rest of this chaos under control.

Tags:#nightblade #python #ui #raspberrypi #frameworks

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Raspberry Pi: The (Unofficial) Missing Startup Guide

Raspberry Pi Logo If you just ordered a Raspberry Pi (like me) and unboxed it only to find a circuit board and no instructions, let me outline a few things for you and make it simple to go from "box" to "running" with little to no hassle:

(also because the "Quick Start" guide was a little more confusing than expected - based on the directions, I thought it required a Windows-based computer to set up a Linux circuit board. I'm glad I was wrong, but it took me a while to find it out)

Step 1: Gathering the Necessary Parts/Cords

Here is a list of items that you will need to set up your Raspberry Pi:

  1. Micro-B USB Power Cord (with at least a 700 mA / 5V output - most cell phone chargers will work)
  2. A USB Powered Keyboard (hopefully with an input power of ~100mA)
  3. An HDMI cable (for HDMI TV's or Monitors) OR an double male RCA-RCA cable (for CRT TV's - if you have a double yellow male Video-Video cable, that will work too, as you will only need the yellow video jack). Don't expect to get a VGA connection out of this, because HDMI-VGA connectors are super expensive
  4. A Network cable (recommended)
  5. A dedicated blank (or can be blanked) 4GB+ SD Card (or Micro SD card with a full SD Reader - that's what mine is)

The SD card is here because that is the "hard drive" of the Raspberry Pi. Which means that the Pi does not come with it's own pre-installed OS, as I found out the hard way.

Alright, all of the parts have been gathered.

Step 2: Get the OS

Next, you'll need a functioning computer with internet, and go to to get an operating system.

Note Note: When I saw "For your free download go to " on the box, I thought it was for some free open source items - they didn't say "Go here for your Operating System"

At the time of this writing, the latest version of the common Raspberry Pi OS is a Debian-based distro called Raspbian (specifically, "2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian").

Download the ZIP or Torrent of the OS to your hard drive (about 1.8GB in size) and unzip if you downloaded the ZIP.

Now, you will have to process the IMG to the SD card using a specific program.

Linux/Mac: you can use dd from a terminal
Windows: Follow the instructions on to use Win32DiskImager

I'll be discussing Linux instructions from here.


Put the SD card into your machine (or into the USB Dongle if you don't have a card reader). Once your machine recognizes the card, find the specific location of where the card is located in the mounted file system (Debian: Go to "Applications" > "System Tools" > "Disk Utility").

Once you find the location, format the card (if you haven't done so already) so it is blank (I recommend formatting using a FAT system). Now, unmount the card, but don't pull it out of the machine.

You will need to perform the following command to get the Pi to properly read the card:
sudo dd bs=1M if=[location of your img file].img of=/dev/[card location]

sudo dd bs=1M if=2013-02-09-wheezy.raspbian.img of=/dev/sdf

NoteNote: You will want to write to the whole card, not just a partition. Double check to see if there are any numbers after your mount location. If there are, you may be writing to a partition and not directly to the card

That process will take a couple of minutes. Once it is done, confirm that it transferred the full amount to the card (1.8GB). If it did not, repeat this process from the "Format" step.

Note Note: This took me about 12 tries before the card was properly written to for the Pi to read it

Once it is properly written to, you can just remove the card, but I recommend "Powering down the device" first.

Step 3: Starting up the Pi

Hopefully, everything up to this point has been successful. If so, please proceed.

  1. Assuming you haven't already, open the Raspberry Pi from the box. I have a Model B
  2. Put the SD card into the slot below
  3. Plug in the Network cord, USB Keyboard, and HDMI/RCA cable into their respective slots (also, make sure that your TV/Monitor is on the right Input setting to receive signal)
  4. Plug in the Micro B cord into the small port opposite the Network port for power

Success! You should now see a Red LED (PWR [Power]) in the corner light up. If it did, you have power!

You should also see a Green LED (ACT [Activity]) start to flash. If it is, your Pi is reading the SD card. If it is not, your SD card may have not been written to correctly (as in my case). If it's blinking, please refer to for Troubleshooting tips.

Note Note: For the longest time, I could not figure out why the Red LED would come on, but I wouldn't get any display or additional LED's. From some of the forums I was on, they called for pulling out a multimeter and testing the power flow between points. I was expecting this to be an "easy DIY project", not "easy, but you need some electrical engineering experience before you can boot up" kind of deal. Luckily, my problem was the SD card, which I was able to finally rectify.

If your Network cord is plugged in, you should also see 2-3 additional lights: FDX (green [File Data Transfer]), LNK (green [Link Connectivity]), and 100 (100Mbps, orange if 100, nothing if just 10).

Step 4: Setting up

Alright! Hopefully everything went well and your Pi is powered up, fully connected, and reading the SD card properly.

I recommend to at least do the following, just so your Pi has a standard basis for operations, unless you have other plans for it.

  1. On your screen, you should see the Startup logo and sequences (unless you are reading this slower than it took to start up). Regardless, you should see a large blue box with options
  2. Select the 2nd choice: expand_rootfs. This will expand the root file system to the SD card for usability and storage
  3. Set your Locale (if necessary)
  4. Set your Timezone
  5. Turn on SSH
  6. Hit "Finish" and confirm a reboot

Default Login: pi
Default PW: raspberry - I recommend changing this to something you will remember

Last Note

I would highly recommend running "sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade" before too long, just to make sure you have the latest system updates.

That's it! Your Raspberry Pi should be fully configured as a base to do whatever you want it to do. Go explore the options!

What can I do now?

There are a gazillion+ things that you can do with a Raspberry Pi. My first project was to create a webcam-based monitoring system from the instructions I received from (including making it Wifi).

You can make a:
  • personal music server
  • small desktop environment (try startx after you reboot)
  • small network file storage system
  • media center (see
  • small web server
  • sensor for recording temperature, light, wind, speed, etc
  • lightweight search engine
  • multi-core cluster processor
  • ...and more! Go google something


PS: This site/guide/reference point does not in anyway endorse Raspberry Pi or the manufacturer. This guide was written as a hope to help others get started without the hassle of spending half a day to figure it out, or (if like me) have little experience tinkering with projects like this.

Tags:#raspberrypi #startup #guide #power #led #blinking #help

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Bachelor for a Week 2013: Day 5

Last night was a bit of a doozy. I spent most of the night watching Season 3 of Reboot. Apparently, I haven't seen that season in quite a while, because nothing looks familiar.

Well, the good news about yesterday is that the Internet came back. Long story short: I have no idea why it came back.

Long story: On Tuesday, the internet went out. So I found the most recent paper bill and saw that "If $4.55 was not paid by 3/25, then service would be cut off". Since the Internet was out, I couldn't pay the bill online, so I had to use my phone to do it. Good News: Charter has a mobile friendly site. Bad news: their payment system doesn't work on mobile (and I have a market smartphone, so having an "Unrecognized device" was irrelevant). Since I thought that the bill wasn't paid, I freaked out a little and paid $150 to cover the bill cost. That charge went through successfully, however, since it took 24 hours to process, I was internet-less on Tuesday night.

I came home yesterday and I find out (to my surprise) that the Internet is still out. I logged on to Charter's site from my phone, and somehow, the billing system says that I paid $150 at the beginning of March, so I have a credit of $78, which means that I overpaid. If that's the case, where's my Internet?

I called Charter and said "Internet is out", which apparently is a key phrase that starts their automated system troubleshooter. After it automatically ping'ed and restarted our modem (which was the first thing I did along with power cycling the router), the Internet came back up.

Miracle? Probably. But I didn't do anything to fix it.

Well, semi-rant over.

Today started out weird. I first had a call from the building Director that his computer was acting up and some program was making him buy some antivirus software. As soon as I arrive at the office, my first question to him was "Were you using Internet Explorer"? His response (of course) "Yes, I think so". Found the problem.

So I booted into Safe Mode, found the location of the issue program, removed it and all traces of it, cleaned up his computer, scanned the registry (Thank you CCleaner) and rebooted. Problem solved.

I told him (for the xth time) to use Firefox or Chrome to browse the internet because IE is bad and etc, etc, etc.


As you may be able to tell, I don't like IE - the fact that over 80% of the world uses it and having to develop for Microsoft's excuse for browser standards.

After that was done, I played catchup all day, including re-convincing a client to not pay extra for SEO services again (let's just say that the client paid somewhere around $2000/yr to a company to perform "SEO Services". Translation: they added some Google Analytics code and provided meta tags for pages (which were very poorly written and irrelevantly coded). As I told the client, "this is 'first year developer' stuff. There's no need to pay somebody else $2000 for this when we do it for you". I have been told by the client (again) that she will contact the other company and cancel the service. Here's hoping it turns out better and doesn't come up again.

On the brighter side, my Raspberry Pi came in!
Raspberry Pi!

At first, I thought: provide power, connect network, all is good.

However, nobody told me I had to configure it myself.

Here's what I have done: provide Ethernet cord, Provide power supply, go to, download OS, dd'ed it on SD card, provide USB keyboard, provide RCA cable (I don't have any HDMI TV's), connect everything together, (here's where I am) boot from SD card, set up OS, configure system, and then ready to go.

So far, I have everything, but I'm not sure if my SD card (which is in the form of a 8GB Micro SD card in a SD Card reader, which is in a SD/USB dongle to write with) is working right. When I plug the SD card in and power on the Pi, the red POWER light comes on, but nothing else. Even by connecting the RCA Video cable to the TV (and making sure it's on the right input setting), still nothing. I'm supposed to get a green LED to light up, but no luck so far. I think I may need to get a full fledge SD card, which nowadays are pretty cheap.

Other good news: our peppers are finally coming in! I took a look last night, and 9 sprouts are coming up!

I've also started watching Breaking Bad - not bad so far. (Sorry for the pun). I'm halfway through episode 3, and it is still keeping my attention.

I also did some research on Zero Hour, found out it was semi-cancelled. Can't same I blame it - the first episode dragged on, set up the mystery at the very end, and basically told the whole story in the first hour of show. I like a quote from The New York Daily News' David Hinckley stated the series "dodges several bedrock problems that have torpedoed other recent attempts to make engaging series TV out of mystery thrillers", adding, "The question is whether Zero Hour can sustain [the setup] for 13 weeks, because what makes a good two-hour movie doesn't always make for 10 gripping hours of television." (wikipedia)

I'm going to see what I can scrounge up tonight on the server and call it a night. Good thing is that this is the last night I will be spending alone for a while. In just over 25 hours, I get to pick Keat up from the airport! YAY!

Tags:#zerohour #raspberrypi #breakingbad #reboot #ie #seo #ccleaner #internet

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Bachelor for a Week 2013: Day 3

First, since Keat's in Colorado, here's an airplane joke (special relevance since Southwest allows you to pick your seats):

I was able to sleep in this morning, but it was a little odd again having the big bed to myself. I can't say it was comfy, but it was comfy. I didn't actually get out of it until about 2.

The weather decided to have some different plans (as March always done) and it sprinkled about 1/4 to 1/2" of snow today. I would have driven into work, but based on the extremely low amount of cars that I have seen/heard on the road in front of our house, I'm guessing that traveling was not the best option.

So, I got comfy in my chair at ("in") my home office and started working on the "First Steps" section of the site. I've been making a lot of progress on different sections loading internally of jQuery's framework. It sounded like a challenge at first, but through the process, it has become a whole lot easier.

While I was working, I also caught up on my TV shows: Once Upon a Time, Community, American Dad, Family Guy, Malibu Country (which I found out that Lily Tomlin was Ms. Frizzle, which blew my mind), and Last Man Standing.

Also, I found out that Volume 2 of my Star Trek/Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 compilation has been shipped and will be here soon. In addition, my Raspberry Pi (which I assumed was extremely backordered and would ship in on the 29th) apparently shipped out today and is on it's way.

I did some research and tweaking on my RSS feeds for my personal blog and company blogs, and found out that my original RSS importer was not working. Therefore, I found a new one, which I highly recommend: RSS Graffiti , which is an app via Facebook. So far, it looks pretty sleek and works efficiently to import the RSS feeds into Facebook.

The first of 3 articles I wrote yesterday went live this morning: (the next 2 will go live on Wednesday and Friday)

Also, I finished Enterprise tonight (this morning?). Overall, I give it a rating of 8/10 stars. It has some unique qualities of it's own, and has some TOS mixed in. Jeffery Combs does a great job in his own role, but I kind of wish the crew was a little more dimensional. Season 3 and 4 were better than the first 2, especially since Season 3 had a whole dedicated arch to itself, which reminded me of DS9 and the dominion war. At least the Xindi arc had a little more depth than the Dominion war.

Now, here's a(nother) Star Trek related comic:

That's it for me. 'Nite!

Tags:#bug #xkcd #plain #startrek #enterprise #doctorwho #raspberrypi