lauantai 28. marraskuuta 2015

Raspbian Jessie Lite - the official headless Linux for Raspberry Pi

If you need a quick, tiny and headless Linux for Raspberry Pi try Raspbian Jessie Lite. No graphical user interface, command line only. In addition Lite in an official distribution supported by Raspberry Pi foundation.


An older Raspberry Pi and Lite - perfect match!

Downgrading Nexus 7 Wifi (2012) tablet from Android 5.x to 4.4

Downgrading Nexus tablet from Android 5.x to 4.4 couldn't be easier.
  • Download pre-made image from Google;
  • Extract the image
  • Keep down Power+VolDown to enter recovery mode
  • Attach tablet to your PC via USB
  • Make sure you have adb-tools -package installed in Linux
  • Become a superuser; sudo su and cd to Android 4.4 directory
  • type in the following command, ./
That's it!

I hope from now on my "old" Nexus 7 Wifi (2012) is quicker and more responsive. Android 5.x was a bit too much.

Android 5 was too heavy

perjantai 27. marraskuuta 2015

Replace K-plussa bonus card with an app (beta for Android)

If you live in Finland you must have seen those K-plussa bonus cards. You have to carry card in your wallet and show it (via NFC technology) when buying something.

Yesterday I decided to download beta version of K-plussa card app for Android. Take a look. It's in the Play Store:

Off I went and tried newly installed app. I placed my phone side by side with NFC-based device in the nearest K-market. And indeed I got my bonus. If your phone doesn't do anything move phone a little bit so that NFC circuit (of your phone) is in the right position.

I guess the only downside is K-plussa card app is always there in the background of the memory of your phone. And NFC is also always on draining your battery (?).

I'm happy with K-plussa card app. One plastic card less in my wallet!

torstai 26. marraskuuta 2015

Raspberry Pi Zero is out!

A new Raspberry Pi Zero has been introduced. It's three times smaller than Raspi 2. When looking at the performance Zero has 1 GHz one core ARM processor and 512 MB RAM memory.

At the moment I have no idea how much Zero is going to cost. They are saying it's very inexpensive costing only 5 $ (excluding taxes?). However when Zero is shipped to Finland where I live the price will be... wild guess is 20-30 €?

No photo available, sorry!

keskiviikko 25. marraskuuta 2015

Retro! vol 2

IBM XT booted! Two floppies (?) with IBM DOS 3.3 inside. Still have to find out if my PC has a hard disk inside. I've found floppy drives A: and B: . Forgot to try C: . Keyboard has those åäö-hats which are important for people like me living in Finland.

In the next issue: applications, floppies, which DOS runs on PC with 512 KB RAM?

Retro! vol 1

IBM XT. No idea if it works or boots. But it's there sitting on my table. So it needs to be tested. Nothing more to say at the moment.

In the next issue: keyboard, floppies, DOS operating system

tiistai 24. marraskuuta 2015

Lue Raspberry Pi -juttuni eOppimiskeskuksen syksyn numerosta

eOppimiskeskus julkaisi syksyn numeronsa. Kirjoitin lyhyen jutun koskien Raspberry Pi  -tietokonetta. Lue se täältä:

Vinkki: paina Control ja plus (+) niin saat suurennettua juttu (joka on kuva) www-selaimessa.

Koko lehti, joka kertoo koodauksesta kouluissa, on luettavissa täältä:

keskiviikko 18. marraskuuta 2015

Debian 8 (Jessie) on an old Asus EeePC 4G

Debian rules!

Debian Linux 8 (Jessie) came available this autumn. It still runs on an old PC, in my case Asus EeePC laptop, with only 4 GB SSD hard disk.


In order to install Debian you need to download the ISO-file and burn it on a USB-stick. I chose Debian Netinstall which is available here: . There are number of burning sofware out there. Use Win32DiskImager, UNetbootin on Windows or command dd on Linux to prepare your bootable Debian USB-stick.


Make sure you tap down Esc while powering your EeePC in order to boot from USB. Then, off you go and install Debian. There is nothing much to tell about this phase. If you are setting up Linux for the first time pay attention to every screen you see.


Since there is not that much space available, only 4 GB hard disk, you have to compromise. I decided to wipe out GIMP and LibreOffice. They both are too heavy for my old EeePC. This is how you do it what comes to LibreOffice:

sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice*
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoremove

After the uninstall of GIMP and LibreOffice there is more than 1 GB free space available for the forthcoming updates. I'm very satisfied with this result. My EeePC is still going strong!


EeePC 4G meets Debian 8 (Jessie)

lauantai 7. marraskuuta 2015

Building a Lego EV3 robot is time consuming but rewarding

It's been a long time since I've played with Legos. Robots are something everyone is talking about nowadays. With my colleague it took approx 4 hours to build a Lego robot. In the end of the day there was a remote controlled robot standing on the table. In addition, test code was driven. I'm very pleased Lego EV3 robot is now there up and running. Next, we need to figure out how to program our robot. There is a coding environment available for Mac and Windows for free. So why not listen to Kraftwerk's The robots ;P.

We are the robots!

The product of the year 2015 IMHO - Google's cardboard glasses

Three years in row I've been choosing hardware or software which have been useful for me during the year; Raspberry Pi (2012), Pebble Smart Watch (2013) and Android 5 (2014).

Year 2015 sort of "opened my eyes" when Google's cardboard glasses came available here in Finland. There are many 360 services available at the moment:

  • It's possible to see Google's 360 channel on YouTube
  • Music Television is going to broadcast live and 360 their annual gala later this autumn
  • You can create 360 pics of your own with Google Camera app and send them to Google Street View
3D glasses have been around for a long time. This time is different. Now it's possible to create something own, not just enjoy 360 games and movies. What's best, you can look at your 360 pics with cardboard glasses immediately after shooting. That's why it's easy to announce Google cardboard glasses the product of the year 2015!

Cardboard glasses are inexpensive costing only ~ 6 €

perjantai 6. marraskuuta 2015

Neverware's version of Chromium OS runs smoothly on my Acer ZG5 mini laptop

If you have a spare laptop/PC you can easily turn it into a Chromebook. Neverware's version of Chromium OS called CloudReady has a super easy built-in installer. Installing CloudReady on hard disk is a task with no pain.

First you'll need a USB memory stick with CloudReady (i.e. Chromium OS) inside. Follow the steps I took in an earlier blog post. Boot your laptop from the memory stick.

Once you get CloudReady up and running log in with your Gmail account. Click in the down-right corner and choose to setup CloudReady on hard disk. You'll be asked if you are 100 % sure. Yes, you'll want to install CloudReady.

The installation will take ~ 20 minutes. After that your laptop will boot and you can start using CloudReady.

I guess multiboot is not possible?

tiistai 3. marraskuuta 2015

Turn your old Windows laptop into a Chromebook with Neverware's version of Chromium OS

If you own a spare laptop with Windows XP inside why not turn it into a Chromebook.
  • First off, download Neverware's version of Chromium OS called CloudReady. It's free of charge for individuals.
  • Unzip the file and write .bin to to your at least 8 GB  USB memory stick. Use dd command in Linux 
  • Boot your laptop from the stick. This way you'll get CloudReady up and running in live mode.
Now you can log in with your Gmail account and start to use CloudReady. But that's not all! You can install CloudReady on hard disk! I'll be telling how to that in my later post. So stay tuned for more information!

running on my Acer mini laptop
(CloudRaedy not there just yet!)

FullPageOS - a Raspberry Pi distribution to display a full page browser on boot

It's a distribution for Raspberry Pi aimed at info displays

In case you need a display which shows full web pages without any address fields then FullPageOS is for you. In addition, you can contact your display (and raspberry Pi) via ssh and change the contect remotely.

Ok, where can I get it?

The latest image based on Raspbian Linux can be found here: . Make sure the whole image is downloaded. I had to use wget since my browser didn't finish the job. If in doubt there is MD5 available to make sure the image is ok.

Image downloaded, then what?

Write the image on your SD-card. Use your favourite writer; for example Win32DiskImager in Windows, UNetbootin, etc. Make sure your card is big enough.

Boot your Pi and start configuring

To make wifi work edit the file fullpageos-network.txt which you can find in the directory /boot. In case you are using LAN-cable there is no need to edit fullpageos-network.txt.

Place the SD-card in your Pi and boot FullPageOS. Login via SSH using the following user and password; pi and raspberry. Now, configure FullPageOS like you do in Raspbian using sudo raspi-config.

Finally, edit the file /boot/fullpageos.txt which tells the OS which web address opens when Raspberry Pi and FullPageOS boot. Bear in mind FullPageOS let's user to browse any web page! Ok, there is no address field... which is not stopping anyone!

Tip: If you need to know your current IP boot process echoes IP on screen for a second. That's an easy way to find out whether you have an IP or not.

That's it!

Wait, does it work? Did you try it?

It does! I did! Look at the picture below!

Edit: Translation bar showed up. I chose "Never translate Finnish". Not showing anymore. I heard it's a bug. They are working on it!

FullPageOS up and running!

Connected via ssh 

My Raspberry Pi B (1st gen)