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.

Adding swap to the Raspberry Pi

Adding swap to the Raspberry Pi

Recently I was working on a project that required more RAM than my Raspberry Pi has. After all, the model B only shipped with 512MB and part of that needs to be allocated to the video card. But Linux has a method of dealing with running out of memory called the swap. The swap is a file on disk that serves as ‘overflow’ RAM space. It is slower than regular RAM but is a better solution than simply having the program crash. At the time I was using Arch Linux which doesn’t setup any swap by default. Raspbian does setup swap space but doesn’t do it in a recommended manner. (more…)

The TinyCore distribution is now available on the Raspberry Pi

The TinyCore distribution is now available on the Raspberry Pi

For advanced users – If you need a minimal distribution that includes a GUI and run entirely out of RAM, TinyCore might be right for you. It includes only a minimal set of tools that you can use to build up a complete system with only what you need. The complete announcement can be found here http://forum.tinycorelinux.net/index.php/topic,16551.msg98689.html and a review is here http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/reviews/picore-5-1-review-tinycore-comes-to-raspberry-pi. I will say that I do not entirely agree with the review and I give TinyCore higher marks than the reviewer.

UPDATE TinyCore v6.0 is now available here

Stack Exchange now has a Raspberry Pi site

Stack Exchange now has a Raspberry Pi site

Stack Exchange, the incredibility popular question and answer site now has a board dedicated to the Raspberry Pi. Check it out http://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/. On this site (and every Stack Exchange site) users post questions and answers. The best answer get voted to the top. There is a sophisticated reputation system to keep spam and worthless exchange to a minimum. So the site always has high quality and fresh information.