The Raspberry pi is a tiny credit card sized computer which can run a whole variety of Linux distributions on it. The latest model, the Raspberry Pi 2 comes with a quad core ARM CPU and 1 GB of RAM, and is extremely low on power consumption. Very very impressive.
The Pi also has a series of pins called the GPIO pins which can interact with real life electronics. This is one reason for the craze around it. This feature makes it applicabile in a myriad of different real life projects.
I bought my Raspberry Pi in March, and have had installed the standard Raspbian (a flavour of Debian GNU/Linux) on it. As I was very busy for the next few months, I really didn’t do much with it. It was quite recently that I set it up again and have been tinkering with it.
Here are a few things I’ve done with it. The list shall hopefully increase in size and I’ll keep adding more stuff to it as I tinker more.
- Installed Raspbian, and accessed the Pi over my local network from my laptop via SSH. The first time I bought the Pi, I thought one needed a keyboard to work with it, but it was only after I installed it that I realized that Raspbian sets up an SSH server on the pi upon the first boot. The default username is “pi” and the password is “raspberry“. So this eliminates the need for a keyboard and mouse completely, (although having them would make things easier)
- Accessed the Pi from work. This was one thing I struggled to do many times. Essentially I found that there were two ways to do this. The difficult way was to first assign a static IP address to the Pi, set up an SSH server on the Pi, install a dynamic DNS client (I used No IP), and finally go to your router and set up port forwarding so that the router will pass any incoming SSH request on the specified port to the Pi. I did all of these things, yet I couldn’t access it from work. The easy way was to use an application called Weaved, which made things very very simple. But the downside was that Weaved only allows for 30 minute connections, which is bumped up to 2 hours if you use the Weaved iOS app. I personally liked Weaved, but then I still was facing the annoying “Connection closed by host” problem when I was trying to use it.
- Woke up and annoyed my sleeping brother at home from office. This was super fun. I used Weaved to SSH into my Pi, downloaded and installed mps-youtube, and played some mean techinical death metal. This played over a speaker which I attached to the Pi and hid from sight.
- I also used espeak to creep the same brother out.
I’ve got a lot of other stuff planned. I’ll keep updating stuff as I do them.