Lapdock – The Raspberry Pi Laptop

 

The Problem

I have a problem (well lots of problems really – but I’m just focusing on just one at the moment). I live in a three by one house which I share with my wife and three kids. We already use laptops as our primary computers as we don’t have room for a desktop. My problem is I have just bought a Raspberry Pi (well three actually but that’s another story) and I have no room for an extra monitor or keyboard etc.

Easy you say – there are heaps of options available to use the Pi without a dedicated monitor – just Google it. Well these are the ones I have tried so far and why they don’t work for me:

  • Connect it to your TV and use a wireless keyboard. Yep – tried this and it works fine – but we have only one TV so the wife does not like being relegated to watching shows on her Macbook while I use our 50inch TV to muck around with my Pi’s. So that options out.
  • Setup the Pi on the TV and then use a remote connection to access the Pi (see my article on how to use remote connections here – once I write it of course :-$). So this is the technique that I have used mostly up to now. However, I find I spend most of my time playing with multiple Pi Operating Systems (OS) and variants of these OS’s.  This means setting up remote access every time I compile a new kernel. This just gets tiresome as I need to wait for TV time each time I want to setup a new image on the Pi – so this is not the best solution.
  • Surely you can get a cheap small HDMI screen of Ebay. Actually, this is more difficult than it sounds. It’s easy to find 5”-7” sized screens for the Pi reasonably cheap. Some of them even have a touch screen interface but if you are looking for anything larger than 7″  you are going to be disappointed.  At this size you start entering GPS screen territory and a big jump in price.

The options above seemed to be the only ones I had available to me – unless I start using a dedicated monitor (which, as I said earlier is not an option)……………….that is until recently. I was trawling through some Raspberry Pi forums and came across a post about a Raspberry Pi laptop. Intrigued I had a read and found the answer to my problems – enter the Lapdock! Continue reading…

Raspbian – The OS X Way

 

Okay,  if you now have all the parts ready to get started with your Raspberry Pi the next step is to flash a MicroSD card with a Pi Operating System (OS) and get cracking.  If you’re a bit lost about what I’m talking about or have landed straight on this page then I suggest that you read my introductory article to the Raspberry Pi here:

http://www.mygeekinterior.com/raspberry-pi-a-beginners-guide/

To make following this guide a bit easier I’m going to break it up into the following steps:

  1. Preparing the MicroSD Card;
  2. Installing the Operating System; and
  3. Basic Raspbian Setup.

Continue reading…

Raspberry Pi – A Beginners Guide

 

So you have heard about the Raspberry Pi – maybe your tech head mate is talking about it or your kids have said something about it because they are using it at school.  You could have read about it in a magazine or seen it on TV.  You want to know a bit more about it and what you can actually do with it.  You’re even interested in getting acquainted with it but are a bit unsure how to get started.  Luckily I should be able to answer most of these questions here.

To give this article some structure I’m going to loosely stick to the following questions:

  1. What is a Rasberry Pi?
  2. What can you do with a Raspberry Pi?
  3. What do I need to get started?
  4. How do I load something useful onto my Pi?
  5. Where to now?

Follow me after the break to get some answers.

Continue reading…

Arcade Coffee Table – Plan and Parts

 

So if you have read my intro post to building an Arcade Coffee Table you know what I want.  If you haven’t read it yet you can find it here – http://www.mygeekinterior.com/a-table-of-a-different-kind/.  To make sure I actually meet some of my goals on this project I’m going to need a cunning plan.

I am breaking the planning stage  two parts: The Geek Stuff (i.e. electronics) and The Table Stuff (i.e. the table legs, top, frame)

The Geek Stuff

Lets start with the Geek Stuff.  So I started off with this simple block diagram to organise my thoughts and put together a list of electronics that I needed.

Block Diagram

Continue reading…

Nerdy is the New Black

 

It seems Nerdy is the new black and this means that tees with tech slogans, science grabs or old-school computer logos are all the rage.  I’ve been wearing these for years but just recently my group of mates has introduced me to the plethora of online stores that are starting to stock cheap tees with geek prints.

To help in the hunt for the best value tees available I plan to try as many of these stores as I can find. I’m going to base my reviews on the following loose criteria:

  1. Cost;
  2. Quality; and
  3. Designs available.

First cab of the rank is 6dollarshirts.com. I ended up buying ten shirts off this site (three of them can be seen below) so lets see how they stacked up!

6dollartees

Continue reading…

Adventure Time…….Every Second Friday

 

It has been my MO for a fair while now to listen to podcasts on the way to, from (and sometimes during – shhh don’t tell the boss) work. I’ve been through a few different podcast series now – some good, some bad and some freaking awful.  To stop people subjecting their ears and minds to the same abuse I have – I’m hoping my podcast reviews will steer you towards the better end of the spectrum. Obviously most of the podcasts I listen too have a nerdy bent to them so I’m thinking that most people that visit here will also enjoy them.

My inaugural write up is for a reasonably new podcast that one of my mates at work put me onto.  It’s innocuously named The Adventure Zone.  The premise of the show is pretty straight forward – it involves three brothers (Travis, Justin and Griffin McElroy of My Brother My Brother and Me fame) and their father (Clint) playing through a game of old school dungeons and dragons or D&D as it is typically referred to as. To find it just go here:

http://www.maximumfun.org/shows/adventure-zone

Continue reading…

A Pebble in the Hand

four_half-stars_0

Pros:

  • Battery Life;
  • Easy Setup and Integration with Phone;
  • Phone App is Simple to Use;
  • Notifications are Easy to Read;
  • Can View Screen in Any Light; and
  • Water-resistant.

Cons:

  • Charging Cable and Connection; and
  • Looks Hideous.

Usually when I go about acquiring a new gadget I research it extensively. I look at all similar products available and benchmark them based on features, build quality, price and how best they fit my needs. The one time I didn’t do this was when I purchased my first Pebble………and it was one of the best purchases that I have ever made.

Needless to say I am pretty excited about the announcement of the Pebble Time’s release – particularly the Steel version. So in anticipation of the new Pebble’s release I thought I would outline what I like and don’t like about the current Pebble.

459794-pebble-time-steel

 

Continue reading…

A Table of a Different Kind

 

When I was a kid one of things I always loved to do was head down to the local fast food joint (back then called the Hungry Spot) and play the old cocktail table arcade machine they had tucked away in the corner. It was an old coffee stained affair and I only remember playing three games on it: Pac man, Ms Pac Man and Galaga.

So when the Raspberry Pi first came out and I was poking around the internet looking at what people were doing with them I was drawn to the projects that involved using them as MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) emulators.

I started mucking around with various MAME builds however at that stage in their development all the available emulator images were buggy and took a fair amount of tweaking get them going. Once there were up and going in the majority of cases the loaded ROMs (game data files) were unplayable so eventually I just gave up.

That is until recently. I was looking through a magazine and I found this

2506-double-7-1

Continue reading…

What About Me

 

Welcome! My name is Ray and I am a 33 year old Engineer currently living in Australia.  Typically I wouldn’t brand myself as a Geek (even though my wife would disagrees with this), but lately I have been embracing my inner Geek in my free time pursuits.

In my recent travels around the Internet, investigating whatever my current interest is, I have noticed that there is a lot of good information to be found.  The one problem that I keep on encountering is that the information is usually fragmented or missing critical information.  I understand that most Bloggers or Technical Writers expect their readers to have a fundamental understanding of the concepts or process they are explaining but sometimes I think they are expecting too much from their readers – in most cases this means me!  Usually I end up on a google search merry-go-round because let’s be honest – I need an idiot proof explanation on how to do anything before I get it right!  This has motivated me to start documenting my experiences in my endeavors to discover my inner Geek.

MyGeekInterior is the first Blog that I have created since high school so please be kind as I work myself up to speed with the current Blogging expertise and try to work out how I want this site to run.  I’m not sure how this blog will look in in the future but my initial intention is to provide my opinion and experiences as I purse my current interests and projects which include:

  • Converting a combustion car to electric;
  • Building a cocktail table arcade machine;
  • Raspberry Pi projects;
  • Home tech projects;
  • Buying various tech products;
  • Finding and reviewing software and potentially apps;
  • Buying geek paraphernalia

Continue reading…