Programming Station Setup

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The corner of the living room has now been reserved for “tinkering”. From left to right: the workstation table in front of the window is where I set up the Raspberry Pi and play with it.

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To the left of this table is my television set with the router underneath, so if for some reason the wireless doesn’t work I can still grab an ethernet cable and move my Raspberry Pi to the end of it. It’s also in front of a window to get as much daylight as I can while working.

To the right of this is my new shelf.

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Shortly after I ordered this shelf I realized I would need to label all these spots. The bottom middle has nothing in it (yet). I still have four more shelf spaces to attach if I want I just didn’t feel the need to yet. It’s also already a tight squeeze along my wall.

To the right of this is my programming computer.

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This computer is running Linux Mint with Atom and Jupyter Notebook for programming C++ and Python respectively.

Atom

Programming Python

I’ve been thinking about moving to Visual Studio Code but I’m going to get used to this for a while for now. Everything is all ready for me to go except I’m still waiting on the new Raspberry Pi camera to come in. When it does I’ll probably create a home security camera this weekend.

 

Navigating Raspberry Pi

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The overhead camera project has been shelved (for now) as the camera only has a battery of 3 hrs or so when on motion detection. Instead, this post is going to be an overview of the programs I’ll use on the Raspberry Pi 4 with Raspbian 10 Buster, as well as some things I think the makers could improve and things I think they are doing well. The above image is the home screen. If we look at the black box icon at the top and click on it we open a terminal.

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Typing into the terminal with the “sudo” command reveals that a password is not required, even though I thought I had set an account password at the beginning. I’m not sure what that’s about but otherwise it seems to be a perfectly ordinary Linux terminal. I tried installing a couple of programs like Cheese and Gedit and they worked fine.

Moving on to programming if you click on the Applications menu (the top-left Raspberry Pi icon) and navigate to the “Programming” section you will find two programs for Python editing. The first one is called Mu and based on its initial appearance I like that one best.

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The second program is called Thonny Python.

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Please note I haven’t explored either of these and my opinion may change over time as to which is best. I will also explore the other programming tools as time goes on.

Other programs included LibreOffice (Applications -> Office -> LibreOffice Writer),

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Task Manager (Applications -> Accessories -> Task Manager),

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and a web browser.

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Basically what I’m trying to say is the Raspberry Pi is a really cheap Linux box with some cool built-in programming tools.

There were a couple of glitches and I would like to see support for this improved in future Pi versions. First, I was not able to get my wireless mouse working well. I’m not sure if it was that particular mouse or if it’s wireless mice in general, but I had to borrow an older mouse. Second, I had to order a new camera because my usb camera wouldn’t work with the Pi.

Other than these two issues though the Pi runs smoothly and I just need to explore further to make good use of it. This week I’m going to experiment with a bit of python. After that I’m going to think of something fun to do with it.