THE ODD SLICE OF PI

raspbian 2017-03-02

posted Mar 7, 2017, 2:38 PM by mince pi   [ updated Mar 7, 2017, 2:40 PM ]

Another Raspbian was released, and I've uploaded module compiling source.

This seems to be a recent pattern - a new release a few days after a major release. Maybe I shouldn't be so quick to upload source? At least when the releases are a few days apart it makes it easy to upload - I can do the steps from memory!

raspbian 2017-02-16

posted Mar 3, 2017, 4:54 PM by mince pi   [ updated Mar 3, 2017, 5:01 PM ]

A new version of Raspbian is available. I've uploaded module compiling sources for it.

It supports the new Pi Zero W, and adds a few more general improvements.

I've uploaded modules for this new kernel version to the ps2pi and pi2wifi projects' files pages.

raspbian 2017-01-11

posted Jan 12, 2017, 11:49 AM by mince pi   [ updated Mar 3, 2017, 4:56 PM ]

A new version of Raspbian is available, 2017-1-11. I don't know what changed in it since the release notes haven't been updated.

What I do know is that the kernel version hasn't changed from 2016-11-25, so I won't have to update my modules repository. Yay!

pixel for mac and pc

posted Dec 29, 2016, 11:37 AM by mince pi   [ updated Dec 29, 2016, 11:46 AM ]

The Foundation gave us a little Christmas present: a version of Raspbian that runs on a Mac or PC as a live CD/Flash drive!

I've given it a spin on both an old 1.3GHz ThinkPad, and a desktop Mac. Here are the highlights:
  • It's a live CD, so it doesn't make any changes to the hard disk. Reboot and the computer is back to it's usual operating system.
  • If you boot from USB, any changes you make can be saved. This includes software installs and password changes.
  • Performance on my machines was better than on a Pi 3.
  • The Chromium browser is more stable than when it runs on the Pi.
  • The Epiphany browser is not included. This isn't a problem since Chromium runs so well.
My conclusion: it's a great way to get some use out of old computers!

i'm baaack....

posted Dec 29, 2016, 11:17 AM by mince pi   [ updated Dec 29, 2016, 11:48 AM ]

Well, that was a long break. I tend to be quite busy the last three months of the yearThat doesn't mean that I haven't been making anything though: I just haven't had time to document.

What have I been doing? I started a new project, piDrum. Nothing is posted yet, so stay tuned.

I finally updated the kernel compiling source on Github. It matches the 2016-11-25 kernel now. I also copied the newly compiled modules to the ps2pi, pi2wifi, and pi2hd44780 projects for your convenience. There was also a problem with the esp8089 overlay in the pi2wifi files section, which is now fixed.

pi2pwd updated again

posted Sep 2, 2016, 7:15 PM by mince pi   [ updated Dec 29, 2016, 11:38 AM ]

I renamed the Github repository. I wasn't able to do this from the Pi, so I waited until I was at a Windows computer. There are a couple of things I can't do from a web interface on the Pi - rename a repository, and delete it.

I should really investigate if these things can be done from the command line client. That seems to work all the time.

pi2pwd updated

posted Aug 27, 2016, 10:19 AM by mince pi   [ updated Aug 27, 2016, 4:42 PM ]

I thought I was done, but I keep finding little ways to improve it.

I made the download into one file instead of several. That necessitated moving it to Github. I also added code to preserve case if caps lock is on. This lets you type the password multiple times by toggling caps lock. Very useful if you're changing a password!

new pi2pwd project

posted Aug 25, 2016, 8:34 PM by mince pi   [ updated Aug 25, 2016, 8:37 PM ]

I've posted a new project, a password keeper. It emulates a keyboard and types usernames and passwords on command. I've been using it a lot and it works splendidly. Now my passwords can be super complicated!

It's the simplest project I've done so far: just a Pi Zero, SD card, and USB cable. That's it: no soldering, power supply, or anything else!

moore's law after running for a half century

posted Aug 2, 2016, 9:28 PM by mince pi

Today I was reading a Hackaday blog post which said that during the early years transistors cost about one dollar. That's equivalent to eight dollars today.

Fifty years later that same eight dollars will buy a Pi Zero plus an SD card. We live in a truly amazing time.

my biggest fan

posted Aug 1, 2016, 7:23 PM by mince pi   [ updated Aug 1, 2016, 7:26 PM ]

I mentioned this earlier, but here's the finished project. A whole-house-fan controller:


Inside of a salvaged project box, there's a Pi Zero with my WiFi adapter, a 12V transformer/rectifier/filter assembly salvaged from a wall wart, a 12v to 5v cell phone charger circuit board, and a 12A relay mounted on the back of a duplex receptacle. There's also an NPN transistor to switch the 12V going to the relay coil, using the resistor-less drive technique from a previous blog post.

The software is a hodge-podge of a shell script and a couple of short Python programs that use the pygooglevoice library. The whole thing periodically queries my Google Voice account looking for texts and parses them. For example, to turn the fan on, I send my Google Voice number a text such as "fan on". I also implemented an off command, and a command to shut down the Pi gracefully. Sometime later I might implement some time commands such as "fan on for 1 hour".

So far it's working great!

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