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    Python: Basic Electronics Control with the Raspberry Pi

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Saturday, 7 May - 13:10 · 1 minute

The Raspberry Pi device, beyond just being a low-cost introductory computing tool, also provides a robust electronic controller interface that enables programmatic control of external electronic systems. These systems can be as simple as turning on or off an LED, or as complex as being able to control a robotic arm or other, more elaborate, electronic devices. This Python and embedded programming tutorial will show the reader how to use Raspberry Pi-specific Python libraries to control basic electronic components. Many similar Python tutorials presume extensive knowledge in the use of such components, but this article will not make that presumption. Instead, programmers will be shown a “gentle” introduction into the electronics concepts needed to get this project going, in the hopes that this foundation will encourage the reader to do more experimentation beyond the simple experiment to be presented within this two part programming series.

This article, and the second part of it (follow link from bottom of page in first article), presumes that the reader has a basic understanding of how to navigate the Raspberry Pi OS – namely, how to log in, open a terminal window, and how to use a text editor. It also presumes a basic understanding of the Python programming language and concepts.


#technology #raspberrypi #relays #electronics #python

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    It’s now possible to run a Radeon HD 5000/6000/7000 card on the Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module (with some glitches)

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Friday, 29 April - 13:34

There has finally been a breakthrough — Thanks to the dedicated community that has sprung up around this topic, a set of kernel patches manage to work around the hardware issues. It’s now possible to run a Radeon HD 5000/6000/7000 card on the Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module. There are still glitches, and the Kernel patches to make this work will likely never land upstream. That said, It’s possible to run a desktop environment on the Radeon GPU on a Pi, and even a few simple benchmarks.

The results… aren’t particularly inspiring, but that wasn’t really ever the point.


#technology #raspberrypi #hack #linux #opensource

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    You can quite easily host a Drupal blog on a Raspberry Pi at home

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Friday, 11 March - 11:28

I tested accessing the site as it loads just as any other normal site is expected to load. It makes one realise again that for many hosting projects, you often don't need external paid hosting.

You can use a Pi as long as you also have a domain name you can point to your home, and something to handle the incoming web requests securely (see my YouTube video about how I handle hosting from home at

Hosting with a cloud provider is pretty cheap if you are just doing something small, but once your storage needs really grow (photo or video site for example), or you need to run a bunch of services, it can get quite costly. One, or more, Pi's may well do the trick from home!


#technology #raspberrypi #selfhosting #blog #drupal

  • How I run my blog on a Raspberry Pi

    Like a lot of folks who enjoy tinkering with technology, I now have a small but growing collection of Raspberry Pi boxes around my house. I've used them for various projects: A PiHole network ad blocker, an OctoPi 3D print server, and a Minecraft server, among others. However, the most custom project I've done is setting up a Raspberry Pi to act as a web server to host my own blog site, I got the idea while researching for an interview I did a couple of years ago.

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    Raspberry Pi and the Story of SD Card Corruption - A Suggestion is don't Skimp on Card or PSU Quality

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 9 March - 17:33

Tales of Raspberry Pi SD card corruption are available online by the fistful, and are definitely a constant in Pi-adjacent communities. It’s apparent that some kind of problems tend to arise when a Raspberry Pi meets an SD card – which sounds quite ironic, since an SD card is the official and recommended way of booting a Pi. What is up with all of that? The linked article below expands more about this.

Certainly in the future with newer models many may be wanting to consider rather SSD drive enclosures with an embedded Pi. But the quality of SD cards and even PSU's do also make quite a difference.


#technoloft #raspberrypi #sdcard

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    Boost your home network with DNS caching on the edge, e.g. with a Raspberry Pi

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Tuesday, 1 March - 12:43 · 1 minute

The term edge computing reflects the recognition that the cloud has boundaries. To reach those boundaries, your data has to connect with one of the physical datacenters powering the cloud. The cloud itself can be as fast and powerful as possible, but it can't do much to offset the time required for the roundtrip your data has to make.

The answer is to use the edge of the boundaries of regional networks and the cloud. When initial services or computation happen on servers at the edge, it speeds up a user's interactions with the cloud. By the same principle, you can create your own edge by running some services on your home server to minimize roundtrip lag times.

One particularly useful and easy change you can make to your home or business network to give it a boost is running a DNS caching service. With a DNS caching service running on your network, once any one device on your network obtains a number assigned to a website, that number is stored locally, so no request from your network need ask for that number again. As a bonus, running your own DNS caching server also enables you to block ads and generally take control of how any device on your network interacts with some of the low-level technologies of the internet.

As more and more websites get added to your server's DNS cache, DNS traffic will have to go farther than your local Dnsmasq server less and less often.


#technology #linux #opensource #dns #raspberrypi

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    ZimaBoard is a hackable single-board server with Intel Apollo Lake, intended as a server alternative to a Raspberry Pi

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Monday, 14 February - 08:28

The ZimaBoard is a small, fanless computer powered by a 6-watt Intel Apollo Lake processor with support for hard drives and SSDs. Apart from having an Intel CPU (vs an ARM processor) this computer also has 2x SATA III, 1x PCIe 2.0 and 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports to set it apart from a Raspberry Pi. So it is more readily usable with expanded storage capabilities and dual networking. It is also a lot cheaper than buying an Intel NUC with a single network port.

It can be used as a media server, software router, personal cloud, VPN and Firewall, smart home monitoring, file sharing and collaboration applications, embedded projects, or personal server applications.

Yes it will cost more than a Pi, and it is a Kickstarter project (with 20% off the final retail price), but I see DBTech has just received one to review on YouTube, so it does actually exist.


#technology #server #zimaboard #raspberrypi #hardware

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    Raspberry Pi 4 bootloader enables OS installs with no separate PC required to first flash the SD card

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 9 February - 13:26

Setting up a Raspberry Pi board has always required a second computer, which is used to flash your operating system of choice to a SD card so your Pi can boot. But the Pi Foundation is working on a new version of its bootloader that could connect an OS-less Pi board directly to the Internet, allowing it to download and install the official Raspberry Pi OS to a blank SD card without requiring another computer.

To test the networked booting feature, you'll need to use the Pi Imager on a separate computer to copy an updater for the bootloader over to a SD card — Pi firmware updates are normally installed along with new OS updates rather than separately, but since this is still in testing, it requires extra steps.

It's something that many Windows PCs still can't do despite their modern feature-rich UEFI bootloaders (presumably in part because of licensing restrictions).


#technology #raspberrypi