Raspberry Pi Catch-All

Lifehacker did a week of Pi - In their XBMC setup, they don't recommend above 720p for output.

If you don't have them as your registrar, you can use their name servers and still benefit from the Dynamic DNS capabilities.

I actually set up my own dynamic DNS service. This is fairly involved, as I'm using the dhclient exit scripts, using them to call the 'nsupdate' utility. This took a fair bit of reconfiguration on the server side, opening up just one record to be remotely modifiable with the correct RSA key. But, at this point, if my firewall changes IPs, it connects to and reconfigures my name server so that I can find it again, remotely.

The biggest change was that I can no longer just edit the zone files and do a /reload. Once bind9 starts managing your zones, it expects to be the only thing managing your zones. I didn't bother with issuing another key and setting up a management infrastructure. Rather, I just stop the service completely, make any edits I want (because all changes are committed to the master files on service shutdown), and then restart it.

If I were doing that directly on the primary, the server would be down for the duration. So, I went to a third master DNS server.... it's where everything lives, and where the dynamic updates happen. After an update, that machine notifies the 'real' primary and secondary servers, which transfer in the zone and start serving the new info, without any downtime. So, I can edit manually, I can have one name updated automatically, and I don't have any downtime while I'm editing. I don't have to pay for anything but bandwidth and my domain registration, and I can typically work around most failure modes -- I'm not especially dependent on outside services to keep my domain up and running.

But, despite this solution being both cheap and resilient, I have trouble imagining very many people putting in that much effort.

LiquidMantis wrote:

Probably the only thing you'd find for that is if your head unit has either controls for a CD changer or steering wheel controls. Those are really the only things that are exposed for any sniffing or hacking.

Or iPod controls. My head unit has nice iPod controls as does the stock one in the new Altima I have been considering buying. But the Altima also has Bluetooth audio controls. I synced it up with my iPhone during the test drive.

trueheart78 wrote:

Lifehacker did a week of Pi - In their XBMC setup, they don't recommend above 720p for output.

Yeah, I saw that and it made me a little anxious. But a friend of a friend runs his at 1080p without any problems beyond a bit of stuttering in menus. The latest version of Raspbmc has built-in overclocking capabilities, that it's said resolves anything.

I think I'll try it out. For ~$50 it's worth a shot. I can turn it into something else anyhow if I need to.

The overclocking is decent, from what I've read, you can get a fair bit more performance out of the device.

Let us know how it works out, if you would

I tried one of those OS's that had built-in overclocking, RaspBMC I think. I might have tried it in Raspbian as well, I can't remember. But I'm pretty sure it made a tangible difference.

I found this was a pretty good guide at overclocking for my needs...

I have tried a few of the different pre-set levels of overclocking Raspbian offers on a few different pi's (enter "sudo raspi-config" in the console, select overclock, then the level you want).

I haven't done any bench testing but it does make the systems feel more responsive. We ran into a problem with one pi running on the highest overclock, it wouldn't boot but reimaging the SD card but to a standard image resolved the problem so I'm not sure if it was something caused by the overclock or just a SD / file system problem.

The top level overclock has an SD card corruption warning, so I usually just select 900.

trueheart78 wrote:

The top level overclock has an SD card corruption warning, so I usually just select 900.

Yeah, i wouldn't use the higher overclocks on production systems. The pi I'm using for a home server is running on the modest overclock and has been fantastic so far looking after media downloading and streaming, file shares, local web serving, DHCP and VPN.

I've actually left both of mine at 700 but may be changing that. I got my 64GB sd cards yesterday and it took overnight to expand the root filesystem to the entire drive.

Hit a snag today, I haven't really played with my Pi config after getting the proof of concept up and running.
I bought a bigger sd card (64GB) to get rid of the USB stick for movie storage. I also bought a Nexus 7 for myself that my older child could use as a viewer.
Rebuild from scratch, have my process pretty much nailed down and documented at this point.

Lo and behold, apparently android devices need to be rooted to connect to ad-hoc networks and the N7 is apparently not able to at this time even rooted. The edimax 7811 can't operate in AP mode from what I understand so I'm looking at going to ebay for two 3rd generation ipods.

It's still awesome. I can't get raspbmc to work on either of my pi's though. The 4GB sandisk sd card would fail out during the kernel download and the 64GB cards die post install scripts/download on the reboot with the Raspbmc logo.

OK, call me a big dummy, but wouldn't it be a lot cheaper just to buy a wireless access point than to buy two iPods?

And, um, why are you buying two iPods?

The ipods are the browser/viewers for my kids movies, this way they can watch different movies with headphones.

Keep in mind that my project is to replace a dying DVD system in my wife's car. The current dvd system has a control DVD player/screen that has the dvd controls and a second screen. I am replacing this system with a raspberry pi running minidlna and using the ipods (used) as the viewers. My kids are getting old enough to fight over movies (6 and 4) and with this setup they can watch separate movies.

If the pi is in vicinity of my home ssid it will join that (my n7 can watch movies fine from the pi if I'm at the house), if my home ssid is not found it will go ad-hoc and start a dhcp server. The ipods will have reservations and the system will work just as it does at home (I've been testing with my wife's ipod touch and ipad so I know it will work I just didn't know that the N7 wouldn't be able to join an ad-hoc network, I don't mind too much I bought it for myself so now i don't have to let my son borrow it).

With the pi and ipods, the whole of the components will fit in a cloth bag (like recyclable bags from grocery stores) that my wife can put in the trunk. With the pi she doesn't have to worry about bootup/shutdown, it just works.

Wow, that is super slick, Eezy! I'm very impressed.

There must be a USB wifi board that you could set up a true AP with. That must exist, somewhere. Alternately, you could just buy a little 54GL or something and rig up a 12V->5V power converter for it. Just make sure to put big honkin' ferrite clamps on the cables, as car electrical systems get huge surges through them when you start cranking the engine.

Finally a reason to hook up my Pi to a monitor!

So I am new to all of this. I have heard the name but have been glossing over it for the past year and completely missed out on it early!

I am going with the XBMC route so I dont constantly have to transfer videos to a USB stick an then plug it into the TV. I'm skimming but has anyone has good experiences with this? I rarely have 1080p videos on my computer.

So I am new to all of this. I have heard the name but have been glossing over it for the past year and completely missed out on it early!

I am going with the XBMC route so I dont constantly have to transfer videos to a USB stick an then plug it into the TV. I'm skimming but has anyone has good experiences with this? I rarely have 1080p videos on my computer.

I don't know if anyone has tried it lately, but XBMC officially supports the Pi, so I can only assume it should be working fine.

When I tried it a few months ago, the menu was a little choppy but still pretty workable.

TempestBlayze wrote:

So I am new to all of this. I have heard the name but have been glossing over it for the past year and completely missed out on it early!

I am going with the XBMC route so I dont constantly have to transfer videos to a USB stick an then plug it into the TV. I'm skimming but has anyone has good experiences with this? I rarely have 1080p videos on my computer.

I've got one running XBMC and it's doing just fine for me, but I'm only doing AirPlay and I would imagine that something where bandwidth isn't an issue (just USB throughput, maybe), it would be fine. 1080p might cause it to struggle a bit, but recent updates to their software look to have taken care of most if it.

Do you have a case for yours?

Yep, have a blue and red of this one.

I've got a release day tomorrow to work on research. Going to spend as much of it as possible on my Pi project. Cant. Wait.

Just worked through a wierd issue. I had built up my second pi exactly the same (to verify my documentation and all hardware is same) as my first but somehow the new one got the 3.6.11 kernel whereas my first one has the 3.2.27 kernel. Anyways, the new one would start up and not detect my wifi and start isc dhcp but then not give out addresses. I had rebuilt both of my pis when I did this so I am not sure how they got out of sync. Last night I finally had the thought to test the other one and it was giving out addresses fine. Using uname discovered the kernel discrepancy and used win32diskimager to read the image off of the working pi (3.2.27 kernel) and then this morning started the write onto the other pis sd card. Got home and it's all fixed, both units are running 3.2.27 and both give out IPs. I had to change the hostname obviously but nothing big.

Not sure if I would have figured it out if both had had the same kernel/fw.

Also someone at work forwarded this to me, an article on specialized distros to use the pi as a cheap pentesting machine. One of them is by Pwnie Express who make drop in pentesters that look like wall warts.

Hello World!

Test post from the Pi.

Oso wrote:

Hello World!

Test post from the Pi.

Congrats!

For those using the Pi as a server, with a USB drive hanging off it, what kind of speed/throughput are you seeing? I'm considering grabbing it and an external drive to serve two purposes:

* in-home web server for a very specific application; and
* in-home file server, for iTunes and pictures.

Looking at NAS options, even a Synology at $200 seems kinda pricey, if I can get a more general-purpose Raspberry Pi to achieve a similar goal and then some.

Here is what looks to be a nice design for a media center centric case that will be shipping in May: Showcase. Includes an IR receiver and an optional plate for mounting it the back of a TV via VESA mounting holes. Not sure how they imagine the IR to work while mounted to the back of the TV either unless it is detachable or something. A feature that just about everyone will be into about it is that it makes it so that all the cables are routed out of the back side.

I am sooo tempted to get a RPi now, as a HTPC. But my setup is kinda unusual. And I am a Pi-noob, so I need help/info...

- I have no TV, only an LCD Projector (HDMI). It is mounted to the ceiling just above my sofa.
- The Audio/Video equipment is on a cabinet next to my sofa.
- Currently, I am using a WD Live media player for playing back media.
- The media is stored on a portable HD (2,5") connected to the WD media player.
- I use a Logitech universal remote to control all this mess.
- I have no USB keyboard (I work on a laptop), and I use a Logitech M570 wireless trackball. I should be able to find a corded USB mouse somewhere...
- My modem/router is in another room, so I generally use WiFi.

So, I suppose here is what I need to get it all to work (please, let me know if my conclusions are wrong):

- Raspberry Pi (duh!), the B version
- Power adapter (my phone chargers are 0.7 or 1.0 A only)
- A powered USB Hub (4 ports should be enough).
- USB Keyboard to get it all configured, then I should be able to use VNC from the laptop?
- SD card to install RaspBMC. Another one to test out various OSes, OpenELEC, and all the fancy stuff?
- A WiFi dongle for the RPi.

And I still have some questions/unknowns:
- Anybody using an IR receiver? So I could control XBMC and/or other media centre apps using my remote?
- How does it all work? I connect the USB drive with movies/music to the RPi-connected powered Hub, slide in the SD card with RaspBMC, and power on the RPi? Will this be a persistent state bootable thing, so I only need to do the config once?
- Are there any USB hubs with 1.2 A on the output ports, so I could also power the Pi from it?
- If I get an external (USB) DVD or BD drive, will the Pi be able to play back the discs?
- Can the Pi share the connected USB Drive? Basically, will I be able to access the drive from my Win7 laptop (via SMB or NFS)?

I know my message is a big wall of text, but I'd really appreciate any help on this...