Setting up a small touchscreen

Setting up a small touchscreen

When I found a touchscreen the same size as the Raspberry Pi I thought it was a great find. Having the screen the same size as the board was perfect for touch keypads and other man/machine interfaces. I knew it would be a challenge to get it fully functional but it was nearly impossible. Lucky for you the hard work is done and I have documented my steps here. (more…)

Installing php with lighttpd on Debian and Raspbian Stretch

For most cases the recommended web server for the Raspberry Pi is lighttpd. But when I entered the command sudo apt-get install php to add php to the Pi, I was surprised to find apache2 was a dependency of php7. I didn’t need apache2. I wasn’t sure if it would interact with lighttpd and I didn’t need all the code that came with it. I partly understand the reasoning but it didn’t solve my problems. I did some Google searches and found a few out-dated how-tos so I collected the current steps here. (more…)

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…)