RaspBerry-PI First spin

28. June 2012 18:30 by Ron in   //  Tags:   //   Comments


Today I took a keyboard home from the office and decided that I will be using the 40” TV as the monitor for the first test with the RBPI.

I downloaded an image (Debian “squeeze”) from the RBPI website and wrote it on a 4GB SDCard to make sure I had a working operating system to boot.

I used my phone USB charger as a power source and connected the keyboard and the HDMI cable to ports on the board.
Write SDCard

RBPI First run

I did some filming of the first run with my phone

As you can see the RBPI is booting fast and I entered the default login/password for this image and start the graphical interface.
I forgot to get a mouse so more than showing the screen is something I can not do right now.

The first run went well, the board is working now I can think of what to do with it.

Some things that come to mind when thinking about some use of this kind of small, low-power computers are:

  • Mediacenter
  • Computer for on my boat with GPS, 3G internet etc..
  • Thin client
  • etc..
            There are some nice development projects but maybe I start my own project.
            In the near future I will show you some test runs with custom software on it.

            Raspberry-PI Model-B

            27. June 2012 22:25 by Ron in   //  Tags:   //   Comments
            There it was, today it arrived in the mail.
            Many nerds want this thing and only a few have one.
            a little white box as large as my cellphone, only a bit thicker..

            Open the box and there it is wrapped in an antistatic plastic bag..
            My brand new Raspberry-PI Model-B, the credit-card size computer..

            Compared to a 2-Euro coin you really see how small it is..
            I can not wait to play with it but have to download some software first and hook it up.

            I have one problem, before I start I have to pick-up a monitor that I can use for this thingy.

            But Hey, I got a nice T-shirt SmileSmileSmile



            When I did some stuff with this thing I will let you know..

            MTK6575 X310e Android phone

            14. June 2012 18:33 by Ron in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

            It has been a while since I bought a new phone for myself but now there was a new phone on the market.

            The X310e is a HTC clone but the Chinese one is running Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich.

            This new phone has some nice features:

            • 4.3 inch Capacitive Screen QHD :960*540
            • Operation System: Android 4.0.3
            • 2G network:GSM:850/900/1800/1900MHZ
            • 3G WCDMA network:850/2100MHZ
            • CPU : MTK6575, Cortex A9, 1.0GHz
            • GPU: Power SGX531T
            • 4G ROM,512MB RAM, RAM extend to 32GB max
            • Support SPB Shell 3D
            • WIFI:802.11b/g wireless internet
            • Bluetooth A2DP
            • 8.0 Mega pixel camera (2560*1920) Support Auto Focus
            • G-sensor
            • Proximity sensor
            • Light sensor
            • Support Compass
            • 177 grams
              All these specs made it a promising phone.

            IMG_6952 It has a nice design and everything looks much better than some of the previous phones I had from China.

            When you open the box you find:
            • The phone
            • 2 Batteries
            • USB Charger
            • Earphone
            • standard micro-USB Data cable
            • User manual

            Some free gifts with this phone:

            • Touch screen protector
            • Leather sleeve
            • USB-microSD Card reader

            A very complete package.

            So the first impression was very good.

            The phone boots in a couple of seconds (surprisingly fast) and it feels great, very smooth response.


            But, there is always a but..

            When I inserted my microSD card something funny happened, the phone mounted it as SDCARD2 and the
            mount point was /mnt/sdcard2.
            Many of the programs you would use on the phone, like the camera, could not find the storage the
            microSD could provide.. Houston we have a problem..

            The guy who sold the phone to me tried to resolve the problem but in the end that came out like that I had to
            send the phone back to get them to fix the problem. Shipping from the Netherlands to China is expensive
            so I tried to avoid that option.

            The alternative was to root the phone and fix the problem in the main configuration of the file system
            mount points, I have some Linux knowledge and android is nothing more that some Linux with a nice shell.

            The Android file system mount points are not stored in /etc/fstab like on your average Linux distribution but in /system/etc/vold.fstab

            The information found there was like:


            dev_mount sdcard /mnt/sdcard emmc@fat /devices/platform/goldfish_mmc.0 /devices/platform/mtk-sd.0/mmc_host
            dev_mount sdcard /mnt/sdcard2 auto /devices/platform/goldfish_mmc.1 /devices/platform/mtk-sd.1/mmc_host

            The easiest way was to change the mount point in the vold.fstab file but to do that you have to remount the
            root file system in read/write mode and to do that you need to be root.

            To become root you have to do some things I will not describe here, if you know what I am talking about you probably know how to root your Android phone.

            I changed the mount point configuration to:


            dev_mount sdcard /mnt/sdcard2 emmc@fat /devices/platform/goldfish_mmc.0 /devices/platform/mtk-sd.0/mmc_host
            dev_mount sdcard /mnt/sdcard auto /devices/platform/goldfish_mmc.1 /devices/platform/mtk-sd.1/mmc_host

            As you can see it is a very small change but very effective, after the reboot the phone mounted the
            microSD as expected and is fully functional.


            The phone is brilliant
            + It is very fast
            + Great response on the touchscreen
            + Android 4.0.3 ICS
            + Screensize
            + much more

            The down side was the wrong mount point for the microSD card, for me it was solvable but for most it would not be that easy.

            Still this phone gets a 7+ out of 10 from me.