02 August 2015

No Pibow Coupé For Me (For Now)

I talked to the reseller here and got $20 quote for a Pibow Coupé Flotilla case for my new Raspberry Pi 2. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with this case, below is a picture to let you understand why it got me into this dilemma:
from modmypi.com

Super slim and slick right?

Anyhow, good thing we were busy at work since it's the end of quarter and it was all bout getting sales booked so I didn't have time to meet up with the reseller and buy the case. But then I was itching to get my Pi out of the generic clear or frosted case I got from Element14 Singapore which resembled a soap case.
Looks like I got the soap dish from the shower and stuck it on the back of the Motorola Bionic Lapdock

Well, I hated that and I felt it wasn't time for me to fork out yet another $20 in the name of geeking out. Thus, I decided to turn this into a case:

I bought 4 or 5 of these from my last trip to Hongkong - just had to spend the loose HK$ change which I couldn't change back to S$ anyway. That one last empty box I found in a corner of my office desk drawer.

With the help of a sharpie to mark the cut outs, a utility knife and X-acto knife from Daiso, I ended up with this:

Sitting beside a 1" 3M clear tape, we can better appreciate how thin the case ended up:

I'd say not bad for a first foray into case modding!

And for the more substantial updates:
  • I've solved the issue with the RTL8192cu WiFi dongle (the same one that Adafruit sells). I followed the steps from Adafruit and added a line to disable power management and USB auto-halt for the dongle. Very decent download and upload speeds now! In the terminal:
echo "options 8192cu rtw_power_mgnt=0 rtw_enusbss=0" | sudo tee --append /etc/modprobe.d/8192cu.conf

  • I'm now using Ubuntu MATE with modest overclock at 800MHz (the Pi 2 runs its quadcore @700MHz) without sdram and core freq changes. Anything higher than 800MHz and with sdram and core freq changes, the power supply from the Motorola Bionic Lapdock won't be sufficient to power the Pi and the WiFi dongle which I ended up sticking to the Pi's main board - no longer the lapdock's 2 USB ports.
  • Bought licenses for the MPEG-2 and WVC1 codecs from RaspberyPi.org
All in all, it's a nifty little machine that has delighted me and I can't wait to tote it off somewhere as a proud owner of "Monster". It's a great blogging / writing equipment :)

Although now I have doubts on it being a good idea to give my 16 year nephew a Raspberry Pi. I don't think he'll like the idea of turning the HDMI TV in his and his brother's room into a slow computer that cannot even run their favorite video games. They're a generation of kids who got the best and wouldn't get impressed easily.

I was like: "A credit-card size computer! Wow!" 
They would be more like: "So what? I got a PS 4 and iPad and a smartphone that can run Youtube without issues."