Late Night Hacking
Since my wife decided to spend the evening cleaning out the bedroom closet, using the bed as buffer space for old clothes and other detritus, I HAD TO stay up and play with my RPi some more. Since I have guests sleeping in my office, I set about doing some remote hacking from upstairs.
I moved a few steps closer to making the PI more useful:
- Without any additional configuration, I used SSH to login to the Pi from my upstairs desk. Most excellent that no additional messing about was necessary
- Used apt-get to update the distro and installed PHP5, Apache, vsftpd and a few other tidbits. Started playing with building content – totally standard Apache configuration. Again, the CL tools are easier to use than the utilities included in Raspian.
- Discovered that I can’t address the RPi using local DNS (.local addresses), but both the Ethernet and WiFi interfaces (10.0.0.x) serve just fine. Tried pinging a variety of clients using the .local syntax. Some resolve, some don’t. Need to grok this issue in fullness.
What to do Next?
So, I have a very cute and reasonably powerful ARM-based system to play with. I don’t want it to just sit on the shelf next to my MIPS-based ShivaPlug, so I am mulling over some real-world applications for it:
- Use it as a caching/loop storage server for IP cameras I originally installed to watch our puppies from Hawaii
- Build a home-brewed smart thermostat – think Nest with wires hanging out
- Experiment with Lua (very doable, even if the RPi community is focused on Python), among other things to diddle the bits on the GPIO port
- Use it to learn Python 😉
- Employ the RPi to teach my younger daughter about embedded systems, web programming, etc.
Other suggestions welcome!
Incidentally, I backed Karl Lattimer’s HotPi project on Kickstarter. I plan to have fun with the HotPi daughterboard once it arrives – it’ll help with the Nest clone project.
RaspberryPi.local – Avahi Daemon!
Without even meaning to, I tripped over a useful blog post by Matt Richardson – 10 Tips for New Raspberry Pi Owners. To enable local DNS-style naming of my RPi (raspberrypi.local), I needed to install the Avahi Daemon. Impressive dependency set – bless apt-get. Worked immediately.