Raspberry Pi Notes

Number one




My Arduino AlaMode Notes

My Arduino Bare Bones Board

Other Rants and Raves


Update May 2013 - I've made a new Raspberry Pi / Arduino experimenters kit! Check it out.

February 2013 - Rob Williams got me started on this, with a push from Bruce Hillsberg. I'd been reading about the "Raspberry Pi" revolution. Frankly, I was a little overwhelmed with news about the Arduino, the Propeller, STAMP, and God only can remember all the others named in Make Magazine articles. I bought an Arduino back in 2009. Then I turned my attention to iOS coding. Did I really want to jump into yet another microcontroller platform?

Rob came by one day at work and said he'd bought an RPi himself but wasn't sure what to do next. "I wonder if our (Audible Magic's) library would run on it?" A week later Rob had our code compiled and running. Wowza. I was starting to warm up to this. Then Bruce at TechShop pulled a RPi out of his kit bag and started telling me about it. Ok, I'll think about it.

That Friday I went to Adafruit and found them out of stock - huh? If something new and geeky is out of stock, then I better have one. I signed up for email notification and by Monday had one on order. It arrived a week later. I burned an SD boot image with my Windows 7 laptop and plugged the HDMI into my big Samsung TV. Holy cow, it booted! And thus it all began.

This is my place to remember things. Tips, tricks, and just general knowledge about my RPi. I hope this page is of some use to others - it certainly is useful to me. 

UPDATE March 2013 - I now have a project plan. I'm going to make an experimenter's box of servos, LEDs, potentiometers, and buttons. I will have a box of hardwired electro mechanical stuff that I can carry around to play with and eliminate all that rat's nest of loose wires that seems to grow from any bread board project. I will call my project a Bread Box.

  1. I was unable to use TightVNC to get to the RPi. Instead I use Real VNC to go to
                <ip address>:1
  2. Packages I have installed via     
                 sudo apt-get install <package name> 
    • arduino
    • i2c-tools
    • eclipse
    • webiopi
    • adafruit webIDE
    • subversion
    • wicd
  3. Real Time Clock - To set the RPi to use the AlaMode Arduino clock
    • see the AlaMode user guide for the commands needed, there are a lot of steps
  4. Battery - Well, that battery in your hand is the right one. You have to lever it in and push so hard that you think you're going to break your new toy. At least that's what I did.
  5. Wireless - Used wicd network manager.
    • Documentation  Some good information about Linux Wifi set up.
    • Enable wireless at boot:     systemctl wicd.service
    • How did I get it to consider several wifi networks? God, I've already forgotten.
    • How could I get it to connect to any open wifi when it boots? Don't know yet.
  6. When your RPi boots up, have it send you an email with its IP address.

More to come as I make progress on this.

Jim Schrempp is a sometimes freelance writer (only Vanity Press will publish his work) living in Saratoga, California. His writings have appeared on numerous pages on his own web site. The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of anyone else (although Jim wishes more people shared his opinions)