Playing around with the Raspberry Pi

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Placing an order for the Raspberry Pi via the Farnell website was almost impossible, as all the RPi followers were hammering away at the site, trying to get in their order. I chose to do things the “old-fashioned” way instead, and just called them up! Five minutes on the phone with them, and my order was in. The fact that I’d previously ordered via Farnell made things a lot simpler.

After having been away on vacation the last 5 weeks, I returned this week to find that my Raspberry Pi had been delivered almost a month ago. I headed by the office to pick it up, and have been playing around a bit with it since then.

Since the price difference between 4GB and 8GB cards is so small now anyway, I got an 8GB card to play around with as well. Populated the card with the Debian-based image and performed the necessary steps to expand the partitions to make full use of the available space on the card.

Plugged in a USB keyboard, mouse, Ethernet, HDMI cables and power, and was watching the boot-screen running at FullHD, booting up. Nice!

Started the SSH-server and set it up to start at boot as well. Logged in via SSH to confirm everything is working as expected, set up for appropriate SSH key, and shutdown.

SSH is cool, but I want to be able to see what’s happening with the RPi at boot-up without necessarily having a display attached to it.

I already had a serial USB-board, but reading the specs of the RPi it seems it uses 3.3V whereas the serial USB-board provides 5V signals. So I set up a logic-level converter in between too, hook up the cables, and soon I’m watching the serial console output of the RPi while it boots.

Next-up: exploring the GPIO pins.

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