30 July 2015

Raspberry Pi Lap(dock)top

Mechanical links work to splice USB cables without soldering and I have a Raspberry Pi Laptop

The initial process took about 2 hours and it includes:

  • shaving the extra plastic material in the cables and adapters
  • actual splicing (without soldering)
  • micro SD card installation of Raspbian
  • 1st boot up
Additional tinkering on the config file to get the Atrix's speakers, resolution, RTl8192cu WiFi dongle, and the correct system locale and keyboard layout work ate up another 1.5 hours or so. I was watching a drama via live streaming on my other laptop so I guess my concentration wasn't that great.

At any rate, here's my new baby - I named him "monster" (M):
Monster says "hi!"

 Raspbian installing. I had downloaded the entire 750MB+ .zip before hand to the download is not included in the count. The installation on the micro SD card rounded up at 15 minutes or so - while I changed my beds linens to fresh ones.

 My handy "cabling work". I didn't have any electrical tape so masking tape should do for now.

Here's the mess at the back. The HDMI extender (30 cm) hasn't arrived yet from Hongkong so I'm connecting the Pi's regular sized HDMI to the Atrix's mini HDMI with an adapter that also functions as propping tool

  • Raspberry Pi 2 on Raspbian is not fast enough for me. Either I had unrealistic expectations from the reviews I read before hand or the micro SD card I purchased wasn't really a class 10, but a lower rated one.
  • Adafruit RTl8192cu was super slow - 50kbps in the terminal when I install via apt-get. But it's an 802.11n rated WiFi dongle. According to the forums, it's most likely a power management issue - this particular WiFi dongle is very sensitive that it won't go on max performance with sketchy power source.
  • Hence, slow browsing and no impossible Youtube even with the Chromium + PeppaFlash workaround
  • So it goes back to the first issue of slowness. I did manage to install Libre Office from the Pi Store. The download and install took a lot of time but once installed, launching the word processor app took only 9 seconds and the typing experience was alright - I can probably use this for writing.

I must say though, I'm loving this project. Looking forward to a better case for my Pi. I'm torn between just getting a Pibow Coupé Flotilla since I've already found a local reseller or if should just hack some plastic thing I can get my hands on make the slimmest profile Pi unit I can envision.

I'm also undecided on whether I'll end up sticking the Pi on the back of the lapdock by velcro or if I should let it sit on that phone tray at the back, like it does at the monent, while I wait for the short HDMI cable I ordered.

28 July 2015

Today Is the Day!

July 28, 2015 : which day could be more exciting than this one?

A Raspberry Pi 2 of my own is on its way :

And the Motorola Atrix Lapdock is also joining in the fun:

Only a few more components missing to complete my Raspberry Pi "Laptop":
  • 16 GB Strontium Class 10 micro SD card I got from a deal - I have to collect this little guy from the physical store in the city center one of these days
  • HDMI extender (30 CM) - which should arrive from Hongkong - I'm not counting on it to get into my hands before I leave this island for a vacation
Oh, and the fun actually started yesterday when I got this in my mailbox:

Lovely, just lovely!!

21 July 2015

A New Adventure

Geeks will always be geeks. Nerds will always be nerds. I say "Cheers to that! and they're absolutely happy to stay that way.

What makes them excited?

New stuff to tinker with.

Technical Specifications:
  • Broadcom BCM2836 Arm7 Quad Core Processor powered Single Board Computer clocked at 900MHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 40pin  GPIO
  • 4 x USB 2 ports
  • 4 pole Stereo output (doubles as Composite video port)
  • Full size HDMI
  • CSI camera port for the Raspberry Pi camera
  • DSI display port for the Raspberry Pi touch screen display
  • Micro SD port (push-push)
  • Micro USB power source

Yummy like its namesake fruit, indeed!

This one goes to my nephews in hopes of encouraging them to get into programming and maybe even robotics. I wouldn't mind a automated coffee maker that I can ask to brew my faves from a connected terminal - my phone would be best :)

I'm excited to see what they'll come up with. Let their creativity flow and sky be the limit to what they can achieve. Learning is key.

As for me, another Raspberry Pi project is in my radar right now. Just waiting for some parts and pieces and it will get me busy as a bide time before I can go home the Philippines and be with the family again.

Hopefully, I'll tote with me a Pi Laptop.

Nothing really fancy - just some USB cable splicing activity that will hopefully get this ol' gal warmed up and back into shape for nerdiness galore.

I'd really like to learn soldering. Not sure if I can get a cheap soldering set here in Singapore though.