Programming Station Setup


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.



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.



The second program is called Thonny Python.

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),


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


and a web browser.



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.