Monday, 29 February 2016

Raspberry Pi 3 is on sale now

In celebration of Raspberry Pi’s fourth birthday, a third iteration of the UK’s best-selling computer has gone on sale.

Raspberry Pi 3 key specifications

  • 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU
  • 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1
  • Compatiblity with both the Raspberry 1 and 2

It’s important to note that the older variants of the Raspberry Pi will still be available for purchase, but that a revised Model A version is like to appear later this year.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is now on sale for $35.

from Linux User & Developer – the Linux and FOSS mag for a GNU generation

Introducing the Raspberry Pi 3

$79 Smart Mirror Uses Raspberry Pi

[Nathan] wanted a smart mirror that cost less than the last one he build, which was about $500. He decided that you don’t see more smart mirrors because of the high cost. His latest build came in at only $79 (you’ll have to visit the blog’s home page to find the entire series).

The most expensive piece of the build is a 7-inch monitor ($45). Any Raspberry Pi will work, although [Nathan] uses a Pi B+. Although he managed to score a free one-way mirror from a local glass shop, you can buy one for about $13.

This is the kind of project that isn’t a big technical challenge. After all, it is a one-way mirror with an LCD screen behind it. However, getting the screen blacked out and set to provide the best possible effect is the trick and [Nathan’s] techniques will give you a head start.

You can see the mirror in the video below. We’ve seen smart mirrors that sense your presence as well as wireless mirrors before.

Filed under: Raspberry Pi

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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Rasberry Pi Analog Input Using Only Passive Components

The Raspberry Pi is a very capable device whose hardware has been pushed to the limit in all sorts of interesting ways. But even the most ingenious of experimenters have to agree on one point; it doesn’t possess an analog-to-digital converter. If you want analog inputs you will have to buy or build them.

[Mincepi] has done just that, but not as you might expect by adding an integrated circuit on one of the Pi’s interfaces. Instead the circuit [Mincepi] is using consists only of passive components, measuring the time taken to discharge the parasitic capacitance of one of the Pi’s inputs from logic 1 voltage to logic 0 voltage through a resistor into the voltage to be measured. This is a long-established approach to A to D conversion, one that was achieved back in the day with purpose-designed timers as microprocessor ancillaries.

The problem is that the Pi does not have a timer peripheral, so [Mincepi] has used the shift registers that form part of the Pi’s SPI and PCM inputs to perform this task on two channels. A sample rate of 100kHz and 6-bit resolution is claimed, with enough voltage range for a 1V peak-to-peak audio signal to be sampled.

Of course, simplicity does not guarantee a good ADC, and this circuit does not perform very well. It is noisy, non-linear, and as [Mincepi] puts it, probably sensitive to temperature. And though [Mincepi] talks in detail about the software to drive it, none is forthcoming. To quote: “It doesn’t include code since I’m in the process of writing a proper sound device module. My previous code was a simple character device, but it worked just fine, and served to prove the concept.

We really want this to work, even if it’s not the best ADC ever. So we eagerly await the sound device module, and look forward to more news from the project.

This may be the simplest of simple ADCs we’ve yet featured here on Hackaday, but it’s not the first we’ve seen. There is this one using a comparator for example, or this one using a flip-flop. It is the essence of creative electronics to eke a function from a component that was never meant to be, please keep them coming!

Filed under: hardware, Raspberry Pi

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Saturday, 27 February 2016

An Internet Radio in a Classic Cathedral Case

If you’re looking for a hot collectible item and a great restoration project, cathedral-style radios from the 1930s are a solid choice. But they’re getting harder to find as the years roll by, so if your heart’s content is to listen to modern broadcasts through a radio with a classic look, you may need to roll your own cathedral case for an internet radio.

The cathedral-style case was a hugely successful form-factor for radios back in the day, with variations on the arch-top theme ranging from Gothic to Art Deco. For this build, [nick.r.brewer] decided on a more parabolic arch. His build log has SVG files for the individual ribs that were cut from plywood with an X-Carve. A Raspberry Pi and TFT display were mounted inside the finished case, along with a Bluetooth module and a 20W amplifier and speaker. A big 3-pole rotary switch with custom knob selects the audio source and evokes that 1930s feel. It ended up looking pretty good, and the video after the break shows that it sounds nice, too.

We featured a fair number of internet-radio-in-a-classic-case builds before, but we’re surprised to see no cathedral-style radios have been modded. Maybe it’s time to hit the flea market and estate sales and see what turns up.


The Raspberry Pi Zero contest is presented by Hackaday and Adafruit. Prizes include Raspberry Pi Zeros from Adafruit and gift cards to The Hackaday Store!
See All the Entries || Enter Your Project Now!

Filed under: classic hacks, Raspberry Pi

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Nessie, the Educational Robot

At the Lifelong Learning Robotics Laboratory at the Erasmo Da Rotterdam in Italy, robots are (not surprisingly) used to teach all of the fundamentals of robotics. [Alessandro Rossetti] and the students at the lab have been at it for years now, and have finally finished their fifth generation of a robot called Nessie. The big idea is to help teach fundamentals of programming and electronics by building something that actually uses these principles.

The robot is largely 3D printed and uses an FPGA to interact with the physical world through a set of motors and sensors. The robot also uses a Raspberry Pi to hold the robot’s framework. The robot manages the sensors in hardware with readers attached to the CPU AXI bus. The CPU reads their values from memory space, though, so the robot is reported to be quite quick.

The lab is hoping to take their robot to a robotics competition in Bari, Italy. We hope that they perform well there, since we are big fans of any robot that’s designed to teach anyone about robotics and programming. After all, there are robots that help teach STEM in Africa, robots that teach teen girls about robots, and robots that teach everyone.

Filed under: robots hacks

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Friday, 26 February 2016

Finding anagrams with Mihalis Tsoukalos

Today we will focus on word anagrams. You probably already know that an anagram of a given word is a different word that has exactly the same letters as the original. Word anagrams have many applications, including dictionaries, word processors, computer games, scrabbles, password checking and more. Apart from the practical applications, the whole problem is a good exercise for the mind because it’s important that you see the problem from the right perspective before trying to solve it.

The process is greatly simplified by introducing the concept of word signatures. The letters of the word sorted in alphabetical order compose the signature of a word. Signatures are the building blocks of anagrams because words with the same signature are anagrams of each other! Therefore, hist, this and hits are anagrams; their common signature is “hist”.

If you don’t choose to use word signatures, finding a solution will undoubtedly be very difficult, inefficient, complex and slow. If you attempt to solve the problem by finding all of the possible permutations of the letters in a given word, you might well fail miserably or develop a solution that would appear rather pathetic. A word with ten letters has ten (factorial) possible permutations, which is an enormous number. Checking which of the permutations are valid words would require many look-ups to a dictionary, delaying the process even more. If you want to find the anagrams of multiple words, then the whole process might take hours or even days depending on the total number of words.

The presented code will be in Perl because it is smaller than C; you can try to implement a C or C++ version as an exercise. As you will see at the end of the column, you can even solve the problem using AWK!

From the definition of the signature term, you can understand that you will need to be able to do some kind of sorting in your code; the presented code uses the Perl sort function but you can use any algorithm you want.

The following Perl code does most of the job as it separates the letters of a word and puts them into a new variable named @sign:

for ($i = 0; $i < length($word); $i++)  {

    @sign = (@sign, substr($word, $i, 1)); }

Now you just have to sort the letters of the @sign array. Please note that @sign can contain any letter multiple times; the signature of “panama” should be “aaamnp”.

A simple run of the complete Perl program ( produces the following output:

$ ./

Give me a string: persistent

The signature of persistent is eeinprsstt.

As implements the signature function, you can easily use it and find out if two words have the same signature. Similarly, you can use the signature function to correct or auto correct misspelled words.

To save processing time, you can pre-compute word signatures for the dictionary file usually found inside /usr/share/dict on many Linux systems and store them as (word, anagram) pairs. Then, a grep using the signature of a given word will reveal its anagrams. You can also sort the words in respect of their signatures.

It is now time to look at the AWK implementation. The AWK script takes the same approach, so the AWK code will remind you of the Perl code. The AWK script reads its input from a text file as can be seen in the next output:

$ gawk -f signature.awk file_with_words

The signature of this is hist

The signature of that is ahtt

The script ran using GNU AWK version 4.0.1 that is an improved version of the original AWK implementation.

Not only is the AWK version smaller than Perl, it also processes every line of the input file without requiring any extra code! Nevertheless, the greatest advantage of AWK is that it makes you write clean code as you can recognise by looking at the implementation of the signature function. So, don’t underestimate the power of the AWK programming language.

Remember that sometimes you should simplify the original problem by transforming it into a simpler one. Where anagrams are concerned, the original problem is equal to two sub-problems: calculating a signature and selecting words with the same signature.

You can find the relevant source code at and at

from Linux User & Developer – the Linux and FOSS mag for a GNU generation

Thursday, 25 February 2016

CNC Scrapbooking with a Raspberry Pi

It is perhaps a surprise that the widespread adoption of CNC machinery in the home has not come from 3D printing or desktop mills, but as a quiet revolution in the crafting industry. CNC cutters for plastic or card have been around for quite a while now, and while the prospect of cutwork greetings cards might not set all maker pulses racing these cutters do have significant untapped potential in other directions. Perhaps you have to own a carburetor whose gaskets have been unavailable since the 1960s to truly appreciate that.

[James Muraca] has a KNK Force, something of an object of desire in the world of desktop CNC cutters. The computer inside the Force is a Raspberry Pi, so of course [James] set about investigating its potential for running his own software. His progress so far is on GitHub, a web interface through which you can upload and cut an SVG file, but his plans are more ambitious. He hopes to turn his machine into a complete PCB manufacturing station, able to both cut the PCB, and with the addition of a vacuum attachment to pick and place components.

The KNK Force is an interesting machine not just because it is powered by a Raspberry Pi. Its cutter head is a rotary tool with a Z axis, so it can perform more heavy-duty and complex cutting tasks than its competition. In addition it has a camera built-in, and it is this feature that [James] hopes to use in his PCB project.

We’ve covered plenty of cutter projects before, from projects turning CNC machines and pen plotters into vinyl cutters to using a cutter as a laser engraver and even cutting solder paste stencils with one. We look forward to further progress on [James’s] project.

Filed under: cnc hacks, Raspberry Pi

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Build a Raspberry Pi Glove – Part 1

The Pi Glove is our project name for a wearable, social media-controlling glove – we’re going to show you how to build it this month and how to program it next month. With the advent of Google Glass, Android and Apple smartwatches and various other disruptive technologies, the devices we’re beginning to use today point towards a future where we may well one day wear all of the gadgets that enable us to communicate with each other (before they are simply embedded into our bodies…). The more natural or ergonomic this medium becomes, the more likely we are to use it, so we’re going to use a Raspberry Pi to create a powerful yet comfortable glove. Part one of this two-part tutorial covers the hardware setup so that you can make your own version of the Pi Glove. Part two will cover the software to control music, a camera and social media using your glove’s buttons.

1. Strip and prepare the wires

Take the female-to-female jerky wires, select one end and remove the plastic coating; this can be done by applying a little pressure on the plastic cover – you can use your teeth but it’s better to use a set of pliers! The end will now consist of a small metal spike. Prepare the other wires using the same method.

2. Attach the wires to the poppers

The next part is a little fiddly, so take your time as you work through each of the wires. First, you need to connect the wire to the popper whilst pinning the other end through the finger of the glove. Once through, close the two sides of the popper together, ensuring that the wire is secured in-between. This is easier if you turn each glove finger inside-out and then push the popper through. The key part of this step is to ensure that the wire stays connected.

3. Check the wires are in place

One wire/popper combo is attached to each of the four fingers and the thumb of the glove. The thumb forms the earth, or ground, of the connection when it comes into contact with one of the other metal finger poppers.

Build a Raspberry Pi Glove – Part 1

4. Add the Pi camera

The Pi camera is mounted into the glove, which enables you to angle your wrist and take a picture in the direction that the hand is facing. Make a small hole in the top of the glove, big enough for the camera lens to push through. On the Pi camera board you will find four small holes, so use these and the tiny cable ties to secure the camera onto the fabric of the glove.

5. Attach the Pi camera cable

Flip the glove inside-out so you can access the back of the camera. Take the camera connection wire, with the blue side facing away from the camera, and attach the wire to the back of the camera. On the Raspberry Pi, slide up the black camera holder piece and secure the wire into place. You may wish to thread the wire through the side of the glove to conceal it.

6. Checkpoint

At this stage you have the five poppers attached individually to a wire and through each of the individual fingers, and also attached to the thumb. Each of these wires runs through the inside or outside of the glove to the Raspberry Pi. The Pi camera is also attached to the glove, with the lens exposed to enable pictures to be taken.

7. Mount the Raspberry Pi

You can mount the Raspberry Pi onto the top of the glove using the small cable ties and the four holes located on each corner of the Pi – this makes the overall glove more portable. Take your Pi and orientate it so that the SD card slot is facing away from your wrist. Thread the cable ties through the holes and through the glove, securing the Pi in place. Be careful not to over-tighten the cable ties.

8. Attach the wires to the GPIO pins

Now that all the hardware is attached to the glove, the next step is to connect the finger and thumb wires to the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi. The pin numbers we use here identify the physical pin number on the board. Take the thumb wire and connect it to physical pin number 39 – this is the ground contact for the other buttons. Now take the index finger wire and connect to physical pin number 7.

Build a Raspberry Pi Glove – Part 1

9. Connect more wires to the GPIO pins

Using the same method as described in Step 8, take the middle finger wire and connect it to pin number 11, the ring finger to pin 21 and finally the little finger wire to pin 12 – again, these numbers are the physical pin numbers on the board.

10. Boot up the Pi

The first time you boot up your Raspberry Pi you will need to set up your Wi-Fi connection. Connect the Pi to your HDMI monitor and insert the Wi-Fi dongle. If you are using the newer A+ model, which only has a single USB, you may require a USB hub to enable you to add a keyboard and mouse. You could always set up the Wi-Fi on a B+ model, which offers more ports, then transfer the card to the A+. Add the USB mouse, keyboard and power supply. Boot the Pi up. 

11. Add Wi-Fi app 

Open up the Wi-Fi Configuration tool from Menu>
Preferences. When open, select Manage Networks and then Scan – this will find and list all of the available Wi-Fi networks in your area. Select your network from the list and double-click. You will then be prompted to enter your WEP code, so enter this in the PSK text box and press Save. Return to the Current Status page and click Connect. This will connect your Pi Glove to the Wi-Fi.

12. Set up Wi-Fi in the command line, part one

If you are using SSH to access your Pi, you can set up your Wi-Fi dongle from the command line. In the terminal window, type: sudo iwlist wlan0 scan. This will scan for available Wi-Fi networks. Look out for: ESSID:“test-network” – this is the name of the Wi-Fi network.

‘IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1’ is the authentication that is used; in this case it is WPA2, the newer and more secure wireless standard which replaces WPA1.

You will also need your password for your Wi-Fi network – for most home routers, this is located on a sticker on the back of the router. The ESSID (ssid) for the network in this case is ‘test-network’ and the password (psk) is ‘testingPassword’.

Build a Raspberry Pi Glove – Part 1

13. Set up Wi-Fi in the command line, part two

Now add your Wi-Fi settings to the wpa-supplicant.conf configuration file. In the terminal window, type:

  sudo nano etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Scroll to the bottom of the file and add the following lines:





Using the example network found in Step 12, you type ssid=“test-network” and psk=“testingPassword”. Now save the file by pressing Ctrl+X then Y, then press Enter.

14. Set up Wi-Fi in the command line, part three

On saving the file, wpa-supplicant will normally notice that a change has occurred and so it will try to make a  connection to the network. If it doesn’t do this, you can either manually restart the interface – just run sudo ifdown wlan0 followed by sudo ifup wlan0 – or instead reboot your Raspberry Pi with sudo reboot.

To test that the Pi is successfully connected to your Wi-Fi, type ifconfig wlan0. If the ‘inet addr’ field has an address beside it, the Pi has connected to the network. If not, check that your password and ESSID are correct.

Build a Raspberry Pi Glove – Part 1

15. Disable the Wi-Fi power management

If left idle, the Wi-Fi power management system on the Raspberry Pi may drop the Wi-Fi connection – this may, for example, occur if the glove is out of range of the router. To disable the power management, load the terminal window and type:

  sudo /etc/network/interfaces

At the end of the block of code, add the following line:

  wireless-power off

This will ensure that the Wi-Fi stays connected whilst in range.

16. A simple test program

Now you have completed the hardware section of the Pi Glove, you can use a simple program to test the connections and make sure that all of the poppers are working correctly and responding to the thumb and finger contacts. Download the test program from Run sudo idle in a terminal to open the Python editor, then start a new file and insert the code. With your Pi Glove attached, save and run the program.

17. Run the code

The test program will respond to each connection of the fingers and the thumb, and display a message stating that the respective button has been pressed – like so: ‘button one has been pressed’, ‘button two has been pressed’, etc. If this fails, check for the following errors: 1) incorrect wiring on the GPIO pins, 2) loose wires not in contact with the poppers, and 3) thumb and finger not in contact. Part two will cover how to develop a program that brings control to your fingertips.   

from Linux User & Developer – the Linux and FOSS mag for a GNU generation

Giving The Pi Zero USB, Ethernet, And Serial Over USB

Just as the USB port on your phone can serve as a serial connection, mass storage device, and a network connection, the Pi Zero can do the same. We’ve seen a few people turn the Zero into a single USB gadget, but what about turning the Zero into a USB HID device, network connection, and serial port all at the same time? That’s what [Tobias] did, and his method is even easier than the old one.

The old method of turning the Pi Zero into a USB device required the user to modify and recompile the kernel. Obviously, this isn’t an ideal solution. [Tobias]’ implementation fixes this by putting everything into userland. Everything is configurable through a script and a few tweaks to how the Pi starts up.

The result is a Raspberry Pi Zero that will appear as any USB peripheral. [Tobias] goes through the usual examples: setting the Pi up as a serial device for hacking and code cracking in a terminal, as an Ethernet device to give the Pi Zero networking capabilities, as a keyboard to send keypresses to another computer, and as a mass storage device so that other computers can read a small portion of the Pi’s SD card.

There are plenty more USB gadgets the Pi can emulate, from printers to audio devices to MIDI adapters to webcams. If you can wrap your head around what a Pi Zero could do when configured as one of these devices, drop a note in the comments.

Filed under: Raspberry Pi

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Picture Frame Mashup Taps Subreddits For “Deep Thoughts”

Remember “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey”? We do, and we always enjoyed the quirky mix of soothing music, soft-focus nature images, and random absurd thought scrolling across the screen as bumpers between segments on Saturday Night Live. Clearly, [tvm78] remembers them, because his picture frame mashups of the r/EarthPorn and r/ShowerThoughts subreddits could have been written by Jack himself.

While [tvm78] shares no photos of his build and offers no tutorials, he makes it clear that this was his first build of any kind. He does offer a few details, like the fact that he’s driving a display with a Raspberry Pi, and he handily references a similar build that includes the code he borrowed to make his frame happen. While we feel that the original mashup works well, several helpful redditors offer suggestions for other combinations, like r/ArchitecturePorn and /r/nocontext, or r/abandonedporn and r/onelinehorror. Of course a straight grab from r/demotivational could be fun too.

We’ve seen tons of web-enabled picture frames before, and plenty of “magic mirror” builds that display useful information on a two-way mirror. But this one appeals to the cynic in us, and would make Jack Handey proud.

Filed under: misc hacks, Raspberry Pi

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Add A Slide Show To Your Fish Tank

Once in a way we get a hack that makes us wonder – why didn’t we think of that ? [hydronics] tore apart an old LCD monitor and built a fish tank around it. Not sure if the fish notice that they are swimming on the Moon, but it sure makes for an interesting fish tank display.

He starts by ripping apart an old 19″ LCD monitor and built an acrylic fish tank around the display. The backlight of the panel is fixed at the rear side of the fish tank, along with the rest of the electronics from the old monitor.

For an earlier version, he built his own back light, but the second version with the original back light turned out much better. The fish tank pieces were joined together using acrylic glue and left over night to dry, although he still needed to use some silicone to plug leaks.

A Raspberry Pi connected to the monitor’s HDMI input provides the background slide show. [Tony Rieker] helped add bubble animations via some OpenCV code running on the Pi. A live feed of the fish is overlaid on the slide show, adding a level of inception to this tricked up fish tank. The project was recently shown off at the Portland Winter Light Festival.

Filed under: Raspberry Pi

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Spin your own Debian

Today, we’re going to look at creating a custom Debian ISO using the Debian Live Systems project. With the project and website, you can create your own custom version of the distro to deploy as you wish around an office or in your own home. The benefit of creating your own spin is the ability to include specific packages that are relevant to your needs, have it work on specific architectures, and generally make it much more suited to your needs.

We’ll be using the online tools to create this custom image but they’re very similar to the ones that exist within Debian, which will enable you to create your own spin once you decide to go a little more hardcore and edit it from the distro itself.

1. Find the builder

For this tutorial we will be using the Debian Live System builder. This is not only software that you can actually use on Debian, but also it has been applied to a web service. We are going to use the web version of this, which makes the setup slightly easier to parse and generally understand. You can have a look at it by heading over to the following address:

Spin your own Debian

2. Start the build

From this page you can read up on the range of different uses for the software, including development info and old versions of the build software and images used in it. For now, we are actually interested in building a distro, so click on the Build tab that’s located on the top bar and select the Debian option to get to the interface where we can customise the build to our liking.

3. Select an image type

After putting in your email address, you have a selection of image types to use. ISO is a pure image of the distro, able to be used for live booting from a CD or USB device only. Netboot is the kind generally used in net booting, which is over the network live boot/installation. Isohybrid combines both CD ISO live booting with the ability to use it to live boot off other live mediums (such as a USB stick), separate CD ISO and HDD(/USB) images and a compressed version. Isohybrid works for most situations.

Spin your own Debian

4. Type of Debian

You have a bit of choice on what kind of distro you can create for the ISO. You can select between Debian Testing (currently Stretch) and Sid for the image – Sid is the unstable image and you should probably stick with Testing. Otherwise, you can also choose the desktop environment to be used by default by the system – there’s a wide variety, along with having the option for no desktop at all.

5. Default package choice

You can set the ISO to have certain packages installed as part of the default package list using the ‘cgipackages.list.chroot’ field. All you need to do is add the package names to the list separated by a space – ensure you get the exact package names correct though, so perhaps check the spelling in a standard live booting Debian before you add it to the list. There’s a limit of 255 characters, so make sure to add only the essentials.

6. Architecture choice

Choosing whether to have a 32 or 64-bit ISO is entirely dependant on the use cases you have planned. A 32-bit ISO (i386) will be more universal, working fine on older systems as well. This can be good for general troubleshooting or maintenance. For getting the most out of a system though, a 64-bit ISO (amd64) is preferable. You can always go back and create a second ISO with a different architecture if you desire, though.

Spin your own Debian

7. More architecture choices

As well as a basic architecture choice, you can drill down into the sub-architectures to better optimise your distro for the task you need it for within linux-flavours. If you’re doing 64-bit, the standard amd64 is all you really need to concern yourself with. For 32-bit/x86 builds, there are many more choices. For much older processors 486 will work, but won’t be able to make full use of their power. In addition, 686 won’t work on older tech, but it will work on all modern machines. Choose 686-pae if you want to properly use 4 GB of RAM as well.

Spin your own Debian

8. Chroot filesystem

The root filesystem that you actually boot from can be modified in the chroot-filesystem option, right above the linux-flavours that we just talked about. It’s set by default to SquashFS, which is the current standard, but if you need it to be another filesystem type for older or different machines, you can choose ext2 or plain.

9. Extra boot options

In the advanced binary options we can start adding extra options for our specific use cases. You can mostly keep these at their defaults, but there are a few options you could feasibly change to get the most out of it. First of all is the ‘bootappend-live’ option: this enables you to add any extra boot options to the distro you’re creating. Setting a resolution, running in software rendering and any other boot option you’d want can all be added here.

10. Choose a bootloader

Live systems tend to use syslinux for live booting, although it can depend on what kind of images are in the ISO. Multiple arch or kernel versions are easier to launch via GRUB. We won’t be able to do that in this image, but if you’re having problems booting then you could always try building the image with the different bootloader. For now, we recommend using syslinux and then changing it to GRUB if it’s not working in your specific use cases.

Spin your own Debian

11. Choose installer type

There are three choices for the installer in the ISO. First of all, you can have none and it just boots into a live environment. Secondly, you can have it as an option other than live-booting, so that you can go straight into installing the image if you know it’s exactly what you want. Lastly, the live option provides for a live install from the live environment. We’re choosing live, as it enables us to use the distro and then install without rebooting.

12. ISO options

The ISO labelled options are all for just labelling the ISO in your own way. You can leave these be and it won’t affect anything, or change them if you plan to distribute your version of Debian and want some extra info to be in there. The volume will appear on the actual ISO name, with the application being used as the name of the distro elsewhere.

13. Final binary options

Finally, you can set a few extra options such as whether or not memtest is included in the ISO, and the location to look for the Netboot ISOs for booting with the net-path and net-server is available to tweak. These last few you won’t need to change for a normal ISO, but if you’re making a netbooting distro then you’ll have to make sure you have the infrastructure set up and know what needs to be added to these fields.

14. Source files

If you also want a source version of the distro once it is made, you can set the source option to true. By default, this will create a TAR file with the source of the distro, but that can be changed to a couple different options if you wish. For the time being you can keep it set to false, but in the future if you find that you need the source separately, it is definitely a good idea to keep this option in mind.

15. Build your distro

Double-check everything one last time and then click submit. You’ll be presented with your options as a run-down, so you can try to remember them, and two links that you can use. One will let you check the process of the build, while the other is the link to the actual ISO itself. The process to build is supposed to take up to an hour, but in our tests it did take longer. Remember to download all the files you want as soon as possible because they will be deleted after 24 hours.

Spin your own Debian

16. Use your image

Once you get notified that your image is ready, download it and anything else that you want. Load it into a virtual machine or onto a live-booting medium and then check out your new distro. Make sure that any packages you wanted have installed by looking in the menus, and that you have the right architectures and options in the build itself.

17. Install your image

If you plan to install this distro on your system then you can do so from inside the live environment, as we selected that option during the build. If you’re having problems with it, try the other install options in the build until it works as planned. You can also use a command line and graphical installer from the boot menu if you want to skip live boot.

18. Use your Debian!

Once you’ve checked to make sure your new image is working, you can start using it properly. As Debian updates, so too will the system you have, and you can get zsync ISOs to use in updating if you don’t have access to the Internet. You can also freely distribute it as you wish, as it’s also free software licensed under the GPL. 

from Linux User & Developer – the Linux and FOSS mag for a GNU generation

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Monitor your local network with NagiosPi

Is your PC offline? Has your Linux box stopped serving Minecraft or Counter-Strike? If you’re out of the house, or even the country, there is no real way of knowing without trying to log in – something you probably won’t be able to do without being on the premises (unless you’re using remote desktop software).

A far better way would be to simply receive notifications when your network devices are knocked offline, and this is why we turn to NagiosPi, a Raspberry Pi-built version of the popular open source network monitoring tool.

NagiosPi is available as a full image ready to be written to SD card, with the real configuration taking place once it’s up and running. Let’s get started.

1. Download and write NagiosPi to SD

Windows users should write the extracted contents of the file to a formatted SD card using Win32 Disk Imager. Linux desktop users can use Disk Utility or the command line ( With the image written to SD, safely eject the card and insert it into your Pi before booting.

2. Login to NagiosPi

As with most Pi projects, you’ll probably want to operate via SSH, so check your router’s list of connected devices to find the IP address and connect. You can also use a keyboard and monitor connected to your Raspberry Pi. The default username and password for NagiosPi is pi/raspberry.

3. Expand the filesystem

Before proceeding, run sudo raspi-config. You’ll need to select the first option, Expand Filesystem, and wait a moment as the filesystem is expanded to the full size of the SD card.

Once done, select Change User Password to add some security to your NagiosPi, then select Finish and reboot.

4. Open NagiosPi in your browser

With the Pi rebooted, you’ll be able to open the NagiosPi web console in your browser. Visit] to see the available options.

Here you’ll spot a menu of links in the top-left corner, each accompanied with the username and password to sign in. Start with RaspControl.

Monitor your local network with NagiosPi

5. Monitoring your NagiosPi box

In the RaspControl section you’ll get a flavour of just what Nagios can do. On the home screen you’ll see general hardware information such as connectivity and system status, and as you flick through Details, Services and Disks you’ll see what level of monitoring is possible.

Monitor your local network with NagiosPi

6. View host status in NagiosPi

Next, go to Nagios and pick Hosts. Here you will see the current status for the configured hosts, which is a combination of items detected on your local network and preset entities.

Look for Current Network Status in the upper-left area of the console; just below this you will find alternate views.

7. Adding a host to monitor

Open NConf to add the server you wish to monitor, using the Hosts – Add button to input the device hostname, IP address and alias. Click Submit when done, then switch to Services – Add, where you can assign a name and check command (such as check_ping) to monitor.

8. Create your configuration file

Each check must be set up individually. Some require the installation of NRPE (Nagios Remote Plugin Executor) on remote devices to interrogate and present full system details, but this isn’t necessary for basic things like ping.

When you’re done, click Submit, then Generate Nagios Config. Following this, select Deploy.

9. Monitor your server

In the NagiosPi window, select Services for a view of currently monitored servers and devices. For each listed device, there will be additional information that you drill down into by clicking under Actions.

We’ve only shown you the basics of NagiosPi – investigation will demonstrate just how powerful it really is! 

from Linux User & Developer – the Linux and FOSS mag for a GNU generation

Monday, 22 February 2016

Manage your business resources with ERPNext

Lean is the buzzword of this century – all the organisations, whether big or small, want to do more and better things in less time and with fewer resources. While this is easy for small organisations, the big ones or even the medium sized enterprises often take lot of time to cut the flab and get to the right size in terms of resources. What makes this so difficult? Why isn’t it possible to move quickly in the direction you want to? While there is not a single reason for this, the biggest contributor to such a situation is unplanned growth. Especially in the initial stages of the company, people focus more on growth and less on planning, leading to extra hires and extra resources. When such companies grow bigger and recognise that they need to pivot, then it’s too late! So, why not plan in advance and grow organically?

We will explore the open source tool ERPNext and learn how to use it to manage resources in your company. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small or a big setup – everyone needs to manage resources well. ERPNext offers the complete spectrum of resource planning tools, from CRM and HR to asset management and accounting. We used Ubuntu 14.04 as the host and software from the ERPNext GitHub repository.

1. Installation

ERPNext can be installed in two different ways, so you just need to choose the installation type best suited to your use case. The first and probably the easiest way to install ERPNext is by downloading the VirtualBox image file and mounting it on VirtualBox. For the uninitiated, VirtualBox is an open source virtualisation tool backed by Oracle. It is available for almost all the major platforms – Linux, Windows, Mac and so on. So, you can install VirtualBox on your system and then mount the ERPNext VirtualBox image file. Then you need to boot the virtual machine, access http://localhost:8080 via the browser in the host machine, and log in using the credentials Administrator (user) and admin (password).

The other way to install ERPNext is via the automated script available at their GitHub page. Just open the command prompt and type the following commands:

  # wget


  # sudo bash –setup-production

The first command downloads the script and the second command executes it on your system. If everything is fine you will get a confirmation message. You can then access ERPNext at http://localhost:80. Note that the passwords are generated dynamically for this installation process; you can find them at ~/frappe_passwords.txt. Now log in as admin using the username Administrator and password from the passwords file. After the first successful login, the setup wizard will ask you to provide several details related to the admin user, your company, taxes, customers and suppliers. You can either fill them or skip them to do later.

2. Setup users and permissions

After you have ERPNext installed and the basic data filled in, the next important thing to do is to set up the users and their permissions in the system. ERPNext uses a role-based permission system, so once a user is assigned a role, their permissions automatically change as per the role. To add new users, go to Setup>Users and Permissions>User. Once you click on the user link, you’ll have the user list visible. Here, click on the New button in the top-left corner. Next, a form will appear for you to fill in the user details – only the first name and email id are mandatory. Click Save after you have entered the details. The page then redirects you to the user details page, where you can set the roles for the new user. You also have options to set the security details, new password, third party authentication and so on.

02 New User

3. System settings

The next step is to personalise the tool. Go to Setup>Settings, where you will see four options available. The first is System Settings, which enables you to set up the language, date, time and more. Second is Show/Hide Modules, where you can decide which of the system modules will be visible on the home page when a user logs in. The third option is Naming Series, where you set the naming series for the various transactions on the system. For example, if you set the series for journal voucher as JRNLV.#### then vouchers will be numbered as JRNLV.0001, JRNLV.0002 and so on. Last is the Global Settings, for setting the currency and company details.

03 Settings

4. Price lists

All the products and items that you may need to procure, or the finished products that your organisation sells, need to have prices associated with them. Now, prices are no longer just the function of cost; there are several other factors affecting them like customer, currency, region and shipping costs. In such a dynamic scenario it is almost mandatory to have different price lists based on different parameters. Thankfully, ERPNext supports price lists and you can maintain as many different ones as you like. You can access price lists under the Buying, Selling or the Stock sections. Just go to Buying/Selling/Stock>Setup>Price List to see the list of price lists. Note that there are two default lists already created by the system.

Now click the New button in the top-left corner. Fill in the details and tick the buying or selling checkbox based on the type. Then click Save and you have the new price list ready.

04 Add a new price list

5. Workflow

Workflows are an integral part of an organisation, and ERPNext doesn’t let you down in this area. Let’s see how to implement workflows based on roles: the first important thing to note here is that workflows are applicable to document types in ERPNext, and so you need to know the document on which your workflow will be based. To add a workflow, go to Setup>Workflows>New Workflow, then click on the ‘Make a new workflow’ button. Next, enter the workflow name and the applicable document type. Now you need to set the states of the workflow and the roles allowed to edit the workflow in that state. For example, in a typical leave application workflow the states will be either approved, pending or rejected (the default states available), and the role allowed to edit the workflow will be the HR Manager. You can also add new workflow states while editing the row. The next step is to add the transition rules, ie the steps that will change the state of the workflow – for example, the transition approve will change the state of a leave application from pending to approved.

05 New Workflow

6. Make a brand

Branding is another very important aspect of a business. As they say: act big, even if you are small. So, every time you as a business communicate with an external entity, it is important to get your brand noticed. ERPNext has a feature called Print Format that will help you achieve this. Print format lets you define the format for a document type. This way, whenever a new document of that type is created, it automatically takes the form as defined in Print Format. To get started, go to Setup>Printing and Branding>Print Format to be able to see the list of predefined print formats. To add a new one, click on the New button in the top-right corner. On the next page, set the document type for which this print format is applicable. You will then need to write the HTML for the page; you can refer the Bootstrap CSS framework and Jinja template designer documentation.

06 Sample Print Format

7. Buy

With the background set, let’s head to the basic business functions: buying and selling products. An enterprise resource planning system must enable you to properly manage these two things and ERPNext does that too. While on the home page, click on Buying. The first option under Downloads is Supplier – this works as the supplier database, so add all your suppliers here. Once you click on a supplier, all the related documents like quotations, purchase orders, receipts and invoices are shown along with their basic info, contact details and communication history. So, this is your one-stop shop to deal with almost everything related to suppliers. Next is the Material Request list to help you add requests for a raw material, and then Supplier Quotation and Purchase Order follow this. The Contact and Address fields help you manage the contact details, and finally, Items is the place to find or add the list of raw materials that you need to procure. Also, note that a few options here like Contact are accessible via different sections too, so if you make changes in one place then they will be visible elsewhere as well.

07 Buying

8. Sell

To manage sales, click on the Selling section on the home page. The first option here is Lead – a database for potential customers, similar to CRM tools, you can track conversations and convert leads into customers. Second is the Customer, for people/organisations who have already bought something. The third option is Opportunity; the main difference between a lead and an opportunity is that leads are people or organisations that may buy, while opportunities are leads that are definitely looking to buy. This means that you can only create an opportunity if certain criteria are met – for example, the lead liked your product demo. Also, an opportunity can only be created by using either a lead or a customer. The fourth option is Quotation, for quotes to the customer or leads. Fifth is Sales Order, listing the confirmed orders. The last three options are same as the Buying section.

9. Invoices

In line with typical transaction types, there are two types of invoices supported – sales invoice (raised to customers) and purchase invoice (raised by suppliers). To access sales invoices, go to Accounts>Documents>Sales Invoice and click on the ‘Make a new sales invoice’ button. In the form that appears, you can fill in the details or even choose to populate it with data from sales orders or delivery notes. Similarly, to access purchase invoices, go to Accounts>Documents>Purchase Invoice and click on ‘Make a new purchase invoice’. It is obvious that this has to be raised by the suppliers, and so in real-world scenarios the supplier will have access to the system and raise the invoice. Note that a purchase invoice can be preloaded using the data from a purchase order or a purchase receipt.

09 New Sales Invoice Form

10. Human resource management

ERPNext is a huge tool and covers almost all of the important aspects of a business. So talking of important aspects, we just can’t ignore HR management. To finish, let’s see how to manage human resources in ERPNext. As you log in, you can see the Human Resources section on the home page. Click to enter and you’ll find almost all the major HR management features: employee records, leave applications, expense claims, attendances, salary slips, appraisals, and even job opening and applicant management – you have it all here. Next, click on the Tools link on the left sidebar; here you can find the Process Payroll, Upload Attendance and the Leave Allocation tools. To process the payroll on the payroll freeze date, just click on the Process Payroll link and then fill in the details like the concerned branch, department and designation, for example. Optionally, you can also check the Send Email checkbox to send salary slips to all the employees via email. The Upload Attendance field enables you to upload the employee attendance via CSV files, and Leave Allocation can be used to allocate designated leaves to the employees during the beginning of the leave cycle. 

from Linux User & Developer – the Linux and FOSS mag for a GNU generation

Punch Card Reader for the 10 Types of People in the World

Punch card data input is so 1890 US Census, right? Maybe not, if your goal is to educate kids about binary numbers and how they can encode characters. In which case, this paper clip and metal tape punch card reader might be just the thing you need.

Built as part of the educational outreach efforts of the MakeICT hackerspace, this project allows kids and adults to play with binary numbers and get some instant feedback. The reader itself is a simple affair of wood and plastic; bent paperclips make contact with a foil tape strip and LEDs show the state of the five input bits. A card is provided to students with spaces for the letters of a word that they want to input, along with a table to translate each letter into a number. Students use a paper punch to encode each character in binary. As the card is pulled through the reader, the letters are spoken by the Pi in turn and the whole word is pronounced at the end.

We’ll no doubt hear quibbles with the decision not to use ASCII for the character set, but we can see the logic in keeping the number of bits to a minimum and not distracting from the learning process. What’s cool about this is that it engages kids on so many levels. They learn about binary numbers, encoding systems, interfacing a computer to the real world, and if they care to delve deeper, they can learn about the code behind everything. It’s a great hook into the hacking arts.

And once the kids learn a thing or two, maybe they can use this punch-card Twitter interface to tweet their new-found knowledge.


The Raspberry Pi Zero contest is presented by Hackaday and Adafruit. Prizes include Raspberry Pi Zeros from Adafruit and gift cards to The Hackaday Store!
See All the Entries || Enter Your Project Now!

Filed under: contests, misc hacks

from raspberry pi – Hackaday
via Hack a Day

Sunday, 21 February 2016

$5 VGA for Raspberry Pi user [mincepi] wanted a VGA output on his Raspberry Pi Zero. His quest led him to design a PCB that mates with a VGA monitor and the Pi board and–according to his estimates–costs about $3.62 each (although to get that price, you have to build three).

The VGA hack uses the Pi’s built-in port for driving a VGA (the vga666 by [Gert]) that we’ve covered before. Keeping in the spirit of the Zero, though, [mincepi] stripped the external components to a minimum. He uses fewer bits, so there is less color resolution. He uses cheaper 5% resistors and solders them directly between the Pi and the VGA board to save a connector (see below). He uses a male connector with the middle pins removed, so it straddles the PCB and plugs into the monitor directly.


You can order the boards from OSHPark, or you can make boards yourself. There are even instructions for recycling old VGA cables for connectors if you don’t want to buy new ones. Don’t worry about the rumors that VGA is dead. Vinyl records and tube amplifiers were dead too for a long time, but they still manage to hang in there year after year.

This project, by the way, was an entry for the Raspberry Pi Zero contest.


The Raspberry Pi Zero contest is presented by Hackaday and Adafruit. Prizes include Raspberry Pi Zeros from Adafruit and gift cards to The Hackaday Store!
See All the Entries || Enter Your Project Now!

Filed under: Raspberry Pi, video hacks

from raspberry pi – Hackaday
via Hack a Day

Breathing New Life Into An Old Key

For most of us who have experimented with Morse code, the oldest key we are likely to have used will have been a piece of military surplus kit from the Second World War era. [Kyle Gabriel] however is a lucky man. His grandfather left him his key-on-board telegraph practice set, a vintage key and telegraph sounder arrangement used to learn Morse code in the days when the telegraph was king. Rather than keep the set merely as an heirloom, [Kyle] set about bringing it up to date by interfacing it to a Raspberry Pi and writing a Morse reader program.

Along the way [Kyle] had to contend with debouncing the switching signal from the key, considering an RC network before settling on a software debounce timer. He provides a brief synopsis of the mechanics of Morse decoding software, and a demonstration of the code in action which you can see in the video below the break.

[Kyle’s] decoding software, beatbybeat, is on GitHub. We can see it will be a useful tool for anyone interested in Morse, or who is writing their own Morse software.

Morse code has featured on these pages more than a few times over the years. Of relevance to this piece are an Arduino decoding Morse code, a more up-to-date practice oscillator with a home-made key, and a couple of other vintage telegraphs reading RSS feeds and reading emails.

Filed under: classic hacks, Raspberry Pi

from raspberry pi – Hackaday
via Hack a Day

10 awesome Raspberry Pi upgrades – Part 2

Adafruit 10.1” Display & Audio – £110/$154.95

Finding the right display for your project can often be a bit of a pain. We have covered the HDMIPi in a previous issue (146;, which is a fantastic 9-inch HD screen for your Raspberry Pi, and it really was wildly successful on Kickstarter (

If you want to take things one step further, Adafruit have a 10.1-inch offering that just can’t be missed. It features a beautiful 1280 x 800 (so slightly higher than 720p) resolution IPS display with a very wide viewing angle. It has mounting tabs to enable you to easily flush-mount it within your project and it can accept a number of different input methods – HDMI, VGA and composite. Perhaps best of all, this display kit also enables you to directly connect 2-, 4- or 8-Ohm speakers without the need for a separate amplifier or externally powered speaker, which is very useful.

It is not the cheapest display around at $155 on the Adafruit site, but if you need a high quality display in your project with native audio capability then you should seriously consider it. We are already daydreaming of a dedicated multiplayer arcade emulator with built-in stereo audio, and we’re sure you can come up with some cool applications too!

PaPiRus ePaper/eInk HAT – £30-65/$47-102

As computers of all sizes and powers are now being embedded into pretty much everything, electronic parts have become even more commoditised and, happily, this is filtering down to display technology as well. We now have a wealth of offerings from your standard monochrome LCDs to TFT, OLED and AMOLED offerings.

One of the most exciting and disruptive display technologies of recent times is ePaper/eInk. You probably know it best as the screens that go into e-readers like the Kindle and Kobo (fun fact: the Pebble watch is commonly referred to as an ePaper watch, but it actually uses what is known as a Memory LCD and a very clever marketing team). You may have wondered in the past why your iPad barely lasts five hours on a charge but your Kindle lasts for over a week, and the answer is all to do with the display. ePaper only uses power to update what is on the screen, which means that for a large number of applications where you don’t need to change screen contents particularly often, it saves a lot of battery power. It would be pretty useless for playing videos, but for e-readers, monochrome graphical info displays, digital price tags, bus and train station signage and many more applications, it is by far the best choice.

PaPiRus brings the low power ePaper display technology you know and love to the Raspberry Pi in a HAT-compatible format with screen sizes ranging from 1.44 to 2.7 inches. The ePaper film used in these screens is actually identical to that in the popular e-readers mentioned above. You can get your hands on one for around £35 and they come with a useful Python and command line framework. They are worth trying out if you have any display-driven projects!

10 awesome Raspberry Pi upgrades - Part 2

Pimoroni Skywriter HAT – £16/$20.95

For a lot of projects you undertake with the Raspberry Pi, you will want some kind of user interaction. When using the desktop GUI this is normally done with a keyboard and mouse, but these are not always the most intuitive input methods when you aren’t using a full desktop environment and when you don’t need to type anything.

The pirates over at Pimoroni have created a new HAT module called the Skywriter that enables you to add near-field 3D gesture and touch sensing to your projects for a great price. There is a Python API provided that provides full 3D position data and gesture information (swipes, taps and so on). Play with this for a short while and you will realise that it is a really nice input method with a lot of potential – Pimoroni even have a video of a home-made Ras Pi-based theremin (

There is even a larger non-HAT version of the Skywriter that is more than twice the size and boasts a sensing distance of around 15 cm, which means that you can mount it inside your projects behind a sheet of acrylic or other non-conductive material and it will still work. This is especially good if you want to convince people that your projects are
simply pure magic.

10 awesome Raspberry Pi upgrades - Part 2

Energenie Pi-mote Control Starter Kit – £19.99/$31

Home automation is all the rage at the moment – perhaps it is because people are inherently lazy or maybe it’s just because this tech is extremely fun to play with! Either way it doesn’t really matter, as it can make our lives easier and quicker and can automate tasks that would often be boring and monotonous, like fiddling with heating controls and turning off the lights before you go to bed.

One thing that we are always told is to turn off devices at the plug rather than leaving them on standby, as they use a lot of electricity when not properly turned off. This is sound advice but is not always a practical solution as the socket is not easily accessible. This is where the Energenie Pi-mote control starter kit comes in. It contains two remote-controlled plug sockets which can be turned on and off with an RF remote. What does this have to do with the Raspberry Pi? Well you also get an add-on board to enable you to control the sockets via software on the Raspberry Pi, which unleashes whole new possibilities – you could set your lamps to turn on and off automatically at specified times when you are away to avoid burglars, or create a basic web app to control your plug sockets remotely using your smartphone.

They only come in UK and EU plug types, so if you use a different plug then you may need to look for something else (and maybe send Energenie a request to make more versions).

from Linux User & Developer – the Linux and FOSS mag for a GNU generation

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Minecraft NFC – How one man took Minecraft to the next level

Hacklet 96 – Pi Zero Contest Projects Week 3

The calendar is rolling through the third week of the house that Hackaday and Adafruit built: The Raspberry Pi Zero Contest. We’re nearly at 100 entries! Each project is competing for one of 10 Raspberry Pi Zeros, and one of three $100 gift certificates to The Hackaday Store. This week on The Hacklet, we’re going to take a look at a few more contest entries.

tizen[Phil “RzR” Coval] is trying to Port Tizen to the Raspberry Pi Zero. For those not in the know, Tizen is an open source operating system for everything. Billed as a go-to OS for everything from wearables to tablets to smartphones to in-vehicle entertainment systems, Tizen is managed by the Linux Foundation and a the Tizen Association. While Tizen works on a lot of devices, the Raspberry Pi and Pi 2 are still considered “works in progress”. Folks are having trouble just getting a pre-built binary to run. [Phil] is taking the source and porting it to the limited Pi Zero platform. So far he’s gotten the Yocto-based build to run, and the system starts to boot. Unfortunately, the Pi crashes before the boot is complete. We’re hoping [Phil] keeps at it and gets Tizen up and running on the Pi Zero!

harmNext up is [shlonkin] with Classroom music teaching aid. Guitar Hero has taught a generation of kids to translate flashing lights to playing notes on toy instruments. [Shlonkin] is using similar ideas to teach students how to play real music on a harmonica. The Pi Zero will control a large display model of a harmonica at the front of the classroom. Each hole will light up when that note is to be played. Harmonica’s have two notes per hole. [Shlonkin] worked around this with color. Red LEDs mean blow (exhale), and Blue LEDs mean draw (inhale). The Pi Zero can do plenty more than blink LEDs and play music, so [shlonkin] plans to have the board analyze the notes played by the students. With a bit of software magic, this teaching tool can provide real-time feedback as the students play.

retro[Spencer] is putting the Pi Zero to work as a $5 Graphics Card For Homebrew Z80. The Z80 in this case is RC2014, his DIY retro computer. RC2014 was built as part of the 2014 RetroChallenge. While the computer works, it only has an RS-232 serial port for communication to the outside world. Unless you have a PC running terminal software nearby, the RC2014 isn’t very useful. [Spencer] is fixing that by using the Pi Zero as a front end for his retro battle station. The Pi handles USB keyboard input, translates to serial for the RC2014, and then displays the output via HDMI or the composite video connection. The final design fits into the RC2014 backplane through a custom PCB [Spencer] created with a little help from kicad and OSHPark.

brambleFinally we have [txdo.msk] with 8 Leaf Pi Zero Bramble. At $5 each, people are scrambling to build massively parallel supercomputers using the Raspberry Pi Zero. Sure, these aren’t practical machines, but they are a great way to learn parallel computing fundamentals. It only takes a couple of connectors to get the Pi Zero up and running. However, 8 interconnected boards quickly makes for a messy desk. [Txdo.msk] is designing a 3D printed modular case to hold each of the leaves. The leaves slip into a bramble box which keeps everything from shorting out. [Txdo.msk] has gone through several iterations already. We hope he has enough PLA stocked up to print his final design!

If you want to see more entrants to Hackaday and Adafruit’s Pi Zero contest, check out the submissions list! If you don’t see your project on that list, you don’t have to contact me, just submit it to the Pi Zero Contest! That’s it for this week’s Hacklet. As always, see you next week. Same hack time, same hack channel, bringing you the best of!

Filed under: contests, Hackaday Columns

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