Raspberry Pi
IoT, Python

Playing With Raspberry Pi (Part 1) : How To Install an OS to Raspi

I know maybe it’s already too late for discussing raspberry pi (raspi) but hey, it’s my first time touching this little one and playing with it. I’m not gonna write the history behind or anything related but i’m gonna share my experience. Actually this is not my own raspi, my friend gave me. He has a project related with raspi and python, some kind of robot project. It’s because he doesn’t have python knowledge so he asked me to do some research with his raspi. So first we have to know what kind of model, how much memory and so on. I’m in hurry so my first target is to install raspi (yeay!) using operating system that available on the site. How about the models?, how much memory this raspi have ?. We’ll talk about it later.

Okay my choice is Arch Linux. Why ?, Smaller size than Raspbian. Actually there is another one like RISC OS but i’m afraid some packages are unavailable to download or modify or there is too much dependencies but the choice is yours. The other reason is because I have slow internet connection :). That’s all. Remember, raspi using SD Card for installation. So prepare your SD Card, Image OS (choose your own OS and download from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/) and Win32 Disk Imager (download from http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/).

Ok here is my raspi from Element 14. Figure 1 in the box and Figure 2.

Raspberry PiFigure 1. Raspberry Pi from element 14

Raspberry Pi
igure 2. Raspberry Pi

 Installing OS to raspi is very simple. First, we have to format SD Card and injecting the image. Insert the SD Card into your notebook (assuming your notebook has SD Card slot) then open the win32diskimager like this Figure 3.

Figure 3. Win32diskimager

Browse your downloaded image and don’t forget to point into the right device. BEWARE !, WRONG POINTING DEVICE can ruined your notebook drive. After that push the “Write” button and wait until the process is done. If the format successfull we can forward to the next step. Insert the SD Card into the back of your raspi like Figure 4 here.

Figure 4. Back

There are 2 ways to display your raspi on a monitor or TV. We can use RCA cable to connect to TV or we can use HDMI connector. Because I don’t have any HDMI cable so I choose RCA cable. The RCA cable are the most common cable so I hope you can find it in the general store or any store that sell electrical appliances. The RCA cable is like this in Figure 5.

RCA Cable
igure 5. RCA Cable

The cable has 3 connectors, i’m using the yellow one. Plug in into your TV (find the the yellow hole in front or back). Prepare your USB keyboard and mouse to configure. I only use USB keyboard though :). Okay the last one we plug the power cord. And here is the alarmpi (Arch Linux Arm) in Figure 6.

RCA Cable in TV
Figure 6. RCA Cable for display

Login to the shell using root and password root. Tada !, congratulation. That’s all for now.

Raspberry Pi
igure 7. Login shell


What Is The Internet of Things?

Imagine when your pillow can elevate the snore or even checking your health. Imagine when all of your appliances connected and you can check, monitor even control it via smartphone. Imagine if you can control your own house and everything within it. The examples I give to you just one of the implementation of Internet of Things.

Yup, Internet of Things become interesting topic this year. We are not just talking about human interaction with computer or human with appliances, but we are talking about computer no… but machines communicate with other machines. Before talking further, we need to know where and when the of terms of Internet of Things started.

The terms of the Internet of things come from Kevin Ashton when he made a presentation at P&G in 1999. Ashton said in RFID Journal, today computers -and therefore the Internet- are wholly almost dependent to human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,204 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by human beings- by typing, pressing a record button, taking digital pictures or scanning a bar code. Conventional diagrams of the Internet include servers and routers and so on, but they leave out of the most numerous and important routers of all: people. The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy– all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world.

When we talk about accuracy, computers are better than people. People are physically limited in attention and time. Different than people, computer can survive in extreme condition without food and water.

Many researchers and practitioners studying this technology and trying to create and connecting all devices. Communication is important thing like people talk each other. If you want people to know what your talking about you need to communicate with them using the same language. This also applies to IoT. To work and communicate with other devices, IoT using a protocol. One of them is MQTT.

Refer to mqtt.org, MQTT stands for MQ Telemetry Transport. It’s a extremely simple and lightweight messaging protocol created by Dr Andy Stanford-Clark of IBM and Arlen Nipper of Arcom (now Eurotech) in 1999. Here is an example of the Internet of Things implementation.

Internet of Things Implementation
Internet of Things Implementation (source : electronicsnews.com.au)