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    How to set up your own free VPN server at home for whilst travelling, especially at hotels or public Wi-Fi spots

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · 2 days ago - 12:36

This is not the sort of VPN for circumventing geoblocking of streaming media servers. It is meant for if you are using public Wi-Fi from hotels, airports, or other such spots where you want to access banking or other services and ensure your data is not being snooped on in the vicinity.

Such a VPN service can be set up at home using a spare computer or a Raspberry Pi, and the only other thing you need is have a service like DuckDNS running to ensure a constant web address is available. It can all be run using free and open source software.


#technology #opensource #linux #raspberrypi #VPN

  • Set up a VPN server on your Linux PC

    Have you been connected to an untrusted network such as a hotel or café WiFi and need to securely browse the internet from your smartphone or laptop? By using a virtual private network (VPN), you can access that untrusted network anonymously and as safely as if you were on a private network. VPN is an amazing tool for safeguarding private data. By using a VPN, you can connect to a private network on the internet while maintaining anonymity.

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    Analogue camera goes digital with a Raspberry Pi Zero and camera sensor

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Sunday, 18 July - 08:51

Befinitiv’s latest project handles this conversion by swapping in a Raspberry Pi Zero where the film cartridge would otherwise be inserted into the camera. The Pi is attached to a 3D-printed case which mimics the shape of the film, and also houses a Pi camera right in front of the location where the film would be exposed. By removing the Pi camera’s lens, this new setup is able to take advantage of the analogue camera’s optics instead and is able to capture images of relatively decent quality.

There are some perks of using this setup as well, namely that video can be broadcast to this phone over a wireless connection to a computer via the Raspberry Pi. Would be nice to be able to add a slightly larger and higher resolution camera sensor.


#technology #photography #raspberrypi #retro #vintage

  • Analog Camera Goes Digital

    The digital camera revolution swept through the world in the early 2000s, and aside from some unique situations and a handful of artists still using film, almost everyone has switched over to digit…

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    Acorn will be an environmentally friendly open source farm automation vehicle powered by Python, Raspberry Pi, solar, etc

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Friday, 2 July - 10:45

The robot is known as Acorn and is the project of [taylor] who farms in California. The platform is powered by an 800 watt solar array feeding a set of supercapacitors for energy storage. It uses mountain bike wheels and tires fitted with electric hub motors which give it four wheel drive and four wheel steering to make it capable even in muddy fields. The farming tools, as well as any computer vision and automation hardware, can be housed under the solar panels. This prototype uses an Nvidia Jetson module to handle the heavy lifting of machine learning and automation, with a Raspberry Pi to handle the basic operation of the robot, and can navigate itself around a farm using highly precise GPS units.

Right now it's a prototype as no working tools were demonstrated. It seems the vehicular control and sensors are first being finalised, but it's an open source project, so the invitation is also out there for others to contribute and get involved.


#technology #farming #opensource #raspberrypi #environment

  • Automate the Farm with Acorn

    Farming has been undergoing quite a revolution in the past few years. Since World War 2, most industrial farming has relied on synthetic fertilizer, large machinery, and huge farms with single crop…

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    Microsoft wasn't joking about the Dev Channel not enforcing hardware checks: Windows 11 pops up on Pi, mobile phone - so why limit it?

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 1 July - 11:27

The enthusiast community has thumbed a nose at Microsoft's hardware requirements for Windows 11, with Insider builds demonstrated on Raspberry Pi hardware and the inevitable mobile phone. The latter will delight Windows Mobile holdouts, still mourning the death of their beloved operating system and stung by Microsoft's latest take on a telephone, which runs Android.

A video surfaced yesterday showing the operating system running on a Lumia 950XL, inadvertently demonstrating that the operating system is less than ideal on the small screen, even if such wonders as screen rotation appear to work well.

Could it be that Windows 11 is respecting not competing head-to-head with Linux across all devices?


#technology #windows11 #raspberrypi

Cast out the Heretic! When gaming goes OpenSource! #GamingOpenSource #Gaming #MovimGamingOpenSource #AltTech #RaspberryPi #Kodi #GamingOpenSourceMovim #Heretic

In 1998 the game Heretic was shareware but its EULA was incompatible with GPL. However, on 8 September 2008 the game's code was rereleased but, this time, under GNU GPLv2. So now it qualifies as OpenSource.

Heretic Game

Originally most people expected to play the game under Microsoft DOS (although yes some could play it on Mac). This make the game Heretic an interesting case (although not unique), setting it aside from other OpenSourced game engines such as that for Doom3 which went on to be used in the Thief3 style game "Dark Project" (which cannot run on DOS 16bit). Even though Heretic could be played on an opens-source operating system such as linux, Heretic is one of those games that is in the position of being able to be played on an Open Source Operating system such as Linux but also on the retroactively open-sourced Operating system DOS.

While it maybe seem like just an interesting redundancy, there is something useful about that fact. DosBox is an avenue for softwares to be released in locked down operating systems that can run DOSbox (like some Android devices), sometimes even with GPU passthrough (although not always). With it, 63MB of RAM can be accessed which is enough to play some media codecs in software, such as some XVid.

In reverse, the fact that a person can run the game in a DOS emulator or natively on linux means that bit by bit, people who use RetroPie gaming systems can move from using DosBox or an emulator to play the game (such as heretic), into using the native Linux operating system (such as on there Raspberry-PiZero or Pi3b, both of which can run on batteries as handheld with a small screen). Not only does this unleash the power of a retropie RaspberryPi device to utilise more of its full potential, but also it means modern mods and patches can be written to exploit RAM and other resources (more CPU power to integrate comms/chat features like XMPP including webcams which would use the ProtectionRings of the pi3b CPU in a VM). An example of a game, were it to be opensourced one day, that has had modern features added from both patches an mods is ut2004 (for linux or MSWindows) which uses dual core since patch v3369 but also RayTracing. It also uses dx11 but the OpenGL equivalent is yet to catch up to be rereleased.

Such games become scalable and modern features like adding xmpp chat in Movim or video-conferencing (such as in linux using a ps2 eye-toy camera or something more modern) are the upgrades that require the extra RAM, cpu power, and features such as protection-rings, thereby keeping open source communites engaged and able to organise multiplayer games or highscore rankings of single player gaming.

Breaking away from locked down android and zealous private company policing of "acceptable vocabulary" in Discord or Twitch style chat functionality, games such as Heretic can be on self-hosting Movim XMPP RetroPies like a pi3b as a handheld and using more of the 1GB RAM for added functionality as well as improved graphics and level design.

GTK4 Moveable Tiles

But why mention all this now? GTK4 is now out (using Glade, and can also run on MacOS) and with it, not only does the software allow for the design of Widget-Toolkit GUI software (which its GTK1 old DOS release had also done) but it can allow for movement of tiles (drag-and-drop), file-transfer, playback of video and 3D using software rendering or OpenGL, thereby meaning entire games resembling ut2004 (similar to xonotic or Dark-Project) like Heretic could be rewritten and compiled within a GTK4 app linking to Movim XMPP or even an IM, and using the video-conferencing with the protection-rings of a pi3b. The BSD to linux compatibility layer could also make efficient use of running BSD as the native OS on a Pi3b and then running linux in a BSD jail in a similar way to a linux VM, so you could run three PiZeros when each is in a VM as if three retropies are used. Then, self-hosting, all three can be tied together so their video-conferencing becomes three way (and thereby potentially infinite), not just one-to-one peer to peer movim video conferencing. The BSD to linux compatibility layer for a VM is far more efficient than running DOS or MSWIndows in each VM, and you can use more than one core per VM whereas you cannot on say Win98. You also have security updates.

IPFS could add more AltTech but through its distributed network rather than solely using decentralised like movim.

Features such as the drawing widgets in GTK4 can allow for sports-gaming, like a football match on TV, to have strategies drawn on the screen with an arrow or circle, etc.

GTK4 Drawing

Until now, many people have been relying on software such as Kodi to tie together all their audio/video media playback with their Emulated retro games software. With the potential for file-transfer and comms in GTK4, all this could change (or at least for video of 1080p and below such as 720p), especially as the pi3bplus is capable of running on battery as portable and it is a known quantity. People can then write their own software in GTK4, sometimes even with little coding knowledge (in simple applications). The PinePhone is another interesting device that might use some of this potential, running linux.

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    Learning how to program with Python can be done with just Raspberry Pi computers

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Saturday, 12 June - 09:22

"I offered to self-fund a Raspberry Pi and Python programming course in our local public library system. The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library system accepted my proposal, and the co-central library in Olean, N.Y., offered to fund my program. The library purchased five Raspberry Pi 400 units, Micro-HDMI-to-VGA adapters, and inline power adapters, and the library system's IT department loaned us five VGA monitors."

Which goes to show that innovation and learning can be done without expensive technologies.


#technology #programming #python #learning #raspberrypi

  • How I teach Python on the Raspberry Pi 400 at the public library

    After a long and tough year, I've been looking forward to once again sharing my love of Python and open source software with other people, especially middle and high school students. Before the pandemic, I co-wrote a grant to teach Python programming to middle school students using Raspberry Pi computers. Like many other plans, COVID-19 put mine on hold for over a year. Fortunately, vaccines and the improved health in my state, New York, have changed the dynamic.

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    Emulate the Sinclair ZX81 (or ZX80 and ZX Spectrum) home computer with Linux, MacOS, Windows or Raspberry Pi

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 26 May - 08:43

Emulation is the practice of using a program (called an emulator) on a PC to mimic the behaviour of a home computer or a video game console, in order to play (usually retro) games on a computer.

The ZX81 was a hugely successful Z80-based home computer produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured in Scotland. It was launched in 1981 and sold for £49.95 in kit form and £69.95 for an assembled computer.

For many of us our introduction to programming came with one of these home computers which helped launch us in our careers. I tested out the ZEsarUX emulator, and it was easy to get running in a GUI environment. Just note it uses ZX81 key mappings, so you may need to open help to remember for example that " is actually SHIFT-P on today's keyboards.


#technology #retro #ZX81 #linux #raspberrypi #opensource

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    A simple Raspberry Pi for your complete audio system

    Timothée Jaussoin · Tuesday, 18 May - 21:18 edit · 1 minute

I bought a small #RaspberryPi 2B a few years ago. It is currently plugged to my Pioneer amplifier using an HDMI cable. Attached to it I have a 1Tb Samsung SSD.

I then installed Raspbian with the following applications:

  • MPD that is playing my 400Gb audio music directory
  • Syncthing to automatically backup the audio files to another drive on the network
  • The wonderful myMPD, that gives me a Spotify like website to manage and play all my musics
  • lirc + a specific setup for my remote and a little IR receiver plugged to the GPIO pins of the RPi, this allows me to directly command MPD using my Pioneer amplifier remote
  • Pulseaudio + Zeroconf that allows me to also use the Pi as a network audio-sink in case I quickly want to stream the sound of my laptop on my amplifier. Here is the tutorial to set it up

With a bit of configuration I can now play, manage, backup and control all my music with a 30€ hardware. And it fully integrate with my existing devices and consumes only a few Watts.

Why buying expensive Sonos/Apple/Google devices when you can do it with a simple computer and some nice Free Softwares <3

  • Raspberry Pi : Du son en réseau avec PulseAudio

    Cet article décrit comment utiliser le Raspberry Pi comme sortie son ( sink ) distante ( en réseau ), pour un ordinateur sous Linux. Il exploite les capacités réseau de PulseAudio, tant coté Raspberry que sur l'ordinateur source. 2 méthodes de connexions sont proposées : La découverte automatique du Raspberry par Pulseaudio, simple et pratique, ...

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  • 9 June Mr.Zan

    Do you know [Moode]( I installed it on Raspberry Pi 3B with my stereo and used it for two months, and I feel good. Try it ;)