My bashrc file and what it does

My bashrc file and what it does

Even though Linux GUIs have been around forever, much of the administration and configuration is easier in a command line interface (CLI). The default CLI (shell) for most versions of Linux is a powerful tool called bash. To configure bash you need to create and/or edit the .bashrc file in your home directory. This file is read everytime you start a new bash window. I have collected some of the best parts from .bashrc files and listed them below. (more…)

DietPi – my new favorite distribution for the RaspberryPi

DietPi – my new favorite distribution for the RaspberryPi

I have been using the DietPi distribution on my Raspberry Pis for a about a year now and it has become my go-to for doing quick projects. It is a lightweight distro that is based on Debian. It automates many of the more complicated tasks required with setting up and updating a Linux SBC and it includes an impressive list of ‘standard applications.’ There are two items that are the most convenient for my lab. First, DietPi is not just a Raspberry Pi distro. It supports about 30 different single board computers and virtual machines. That is important for me because I am trying new boards as they are released. The second big factor is the automated setup. I will be doing a blog post dedicated to that topic in the future. (more…)

Moving from NOOBS to a permanent filesystem and SD card

For my Raspberry Pi on my workbench I have a large SD card with NOOBS installed. This gives me the ability to switch between different operating systems without any trouble. But I recently finished a project and had to move the OS from the NOOBS SD to a permanent home on a smaller SD card. Basically, I needed to move the OS created by NOOBS to a new SD card. I did find some instructions in the forums but there are a few extra steps for Arch Linux to make the process smooth. (more…)

Tracking AT&T Data Plan Use With PhantomJS / Part 1

Tracking AT&T Data Plan Use With PhantomJS / Part 1

When my family moved to the cheaper AT&T Shared Data Plan we saved hundreds of dollars every year. But, now we had to better manage the data use because it was shared by 4 people. Most months we don’t have a problem but I would like to know when we are over budget early enough to tell everyone to conserve. No Problem, I thought. I will use my Raspberry Pi to scrape the AT&T web pages and send me an alert when the use is too high. I already use my RPi to gather information like the outside temperature and stock quotes and this shouldn’t be any different. I was wrong. The AT&T site makes heavy use of javascript and jQuery and I was not able to the simple methods I used in the past. That is where PhantomJS comes into the picture. (more…)

How To Compile PhantomJS on the Raspberry Pi 2

How To Compile PhantomJS on the Raspberry Pi 2

PhantomJS is an awesome tool for web testing, web scraping and complex scripting. In a future post I will be talking about how to use PhantomJS to check and report on cell plan use. Because the Raspberry Pi 2 is new, no one has created a PhantomJS repository entry so before I could use it on my Raspberry Pi 2 I had to compile it from scratch. The PhantomJS team has done a super job automating most of the process (check out the instructions here) but a few tweaks are needed for the RPi2. (more…)

My Raspberry Pi 2 arrived

My Raspberry Pi 2 arrived

I was not part of the inner circle that was able to preview the Raspberry Pi 2 and my order finally arrived. My first impression is that NOOBS does not have Arch Linux for the Pi2. So I installed Arch based on the simple instructions found here. The result – a perfectly working, faster Arch RPi. More to come on this over the next few weeks.