Raspberry Pi Diary : December 26, 2012
Gosh, my last post to this blog was back in April 2011. Well, here goes.
I received a Raspberry Pi (B) as a holiday gift, along with a case and a wireless nub. I had commented in the media on several occasions about the RPi phenom, but had never laid hands on actual kit until this week.
Well, I downloaded the Raspian image and rolled up my sleeves.
- Burned Raspian on an SD card using my MacPook Pro – don’t bother with the graphical UI – dd works just fine. Set bs=2m for better performance.
- Hooked the cute little card up to my giant monitor using HDMI, inserted the SD card, plugged in an old IBM USB keyboard/hub, ran a short CAT5 cable to the nearest Ethernet switch, and connected a borrowed Nexus charger/power supply. And . . . nothing. No boot msgs, no diagnostics. Bubkes.
- A little research revealed that the SD card (Sandisk Ultra 8 GB) I used was marginal, at least for the RPi (works great in cameras). Bought a handful of alternate cards (after consulting http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals). Gotta love post-holiday sales. The next one I tried, a PNY 4 GB Class 6, worked fine – gave the rest of the cards to my kids for use in Xmas presents.
- The RPi booted right up, albeit slower than I would have liked (700 MHz ARM). Nice clean Debian distro, familiar in some ways, alien in others. Awkward config utility – need to go back and reconfigure a few key items
- Discarded the IBM keyboard (too much key bounce) in favor of an ancient Compaq I dug out of the garage. Added an equally antediluvian MS mouse.
- Having run out of USB slots, I dug out a nice little powered 7 position USB hub. Moved the KB and mouse over, jettisoned the Nexus charger, and now draw power from the hub (up to 2A).
- Stuffed a wireless nub in the now-available RPi USB slot. Rebooted, ran the wireless config util and voila – everything just works. Only issue – both the wireless and Ethernet interfaces present the same MAC address to my router. Hmmm.