the itjerk

my adventures with technology

raspberry pi hands on

Raspberry Pi arrived on June 25th via DHL and off to Microcenter I went to get a 4GB SD-HC card ($3.99) and a new card reader ($9.99) for my linux box, because the old one couldn't read "HC" cards! Easy enough to setup, I followed the instructions on flashing the SD card with Debian "Squeeze" operating system. That accomplished, I then plugged all the necessary connections (using the power adapter from my cell phone) but quickly realized that there was an issue. Off to Raspberry Pi's wiki page for troubleshooting. Fortunately, it's well maintained and figuring out my issue and the resolution was easy as, er, pie.

There would appear to be a bug in the distributed version of bootcode.bin

So I replaced the bootcode.bin file on the SD card, and then tried to get it to work again. It did, but unfortunately that HDMI connection wasn't going to go through my A/V Receiver and off to my projector. (See this post for why). Not the Pi's fault, I was off to Microcenter the next day to get a HDMI->DVI-D adapter. That in place, I was in business. But wait, the screen looked pretty crappy. Once again, I was off to Raspberry Pi's wiki page for troubleshooting.

Big black borders around small image on HD monitors


Interference visible on a HDMI or DVI monitor

The fix was simple enough for both issues. Edit the boot configuration file for Raspberry Pi and add the following:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

and then reboot. Viola! Raspberry Pi meet Strawberry Bricks.

Performance is just okay for modern computer use, but I guess that really isn't the point of the Raspberry Pi. It's an educational tool, not a desktop computer. Whether that's of interest to you or not, well, you'll make that decision.

On the web:
Raspberry Pi


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