The first two hours playing with Raspberry Pi

Unbelievable what can be accomplished in only two hours. Today I finally unpacked my Raspberry Pi and started to play with it. Pretty soon I had it up and running… This is going to work out just fine 🙂

The Raspberry Pi. This will be the new brains behind the Paludarium v2.0!

The Raspberry Pi. This will be the new brains behind the Paludarium v2.0!

Getting the Raspberry Pi to boot

I just typed up the downloads page at, found the tool to format the SD card, copied the NOOBS files onto the SD card, inserted the card in my Raspberry Pi, connected the Pi via ethernet to my network, hooked up the TV via HDMI and powered on. Soon I was looking at a menu which flavor to install. I choose Raspbian which seems the best and most widely supported choice, and off it went. Wow that was quick.

Config ‘n stuff

The Raspberry forum proved of insane value. It has the answer to everything I’ll ever need. Within 15 minutes I had set a static IP address on the Berry, enabled SSH, changed the pi and root user password, uploaded some sound WAV files and got them playing using the pygame library. Adding sound to my paludarium (birdsounds, junglesounds, thunder sounds) just got REAL simple.

Up next was the serial port. I was worried that this would be awkward, just like in Borland C++ builder where only one single piece of software can have the serial port open, and that would require an actual software design… 😉

In Python this was as easy as it gets as well. Try to open the port, if it fails retry (another script is shooting bytes), shoot some bytes, close the port again. I just have to hook up my scope to make sure the bytes actually shoot out 🙂

Now all that remains is scheduling cronjobs to kick off some python scripts and connect my hardware control system to the serial port and I’m good to start playing for real.

Web server

The Web server is another story. I needed to somehow find a web framework that would allow me to have buttons, tables with realetime values in them and configurable graphs. Thanks to an ex colleague whose opinion I value a lot, I ended up checking out Flask. Thanks Carl Wolff!

This will probably be the hardest part to get going, but eh… I would not want to get bored!!

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