Sam Forster's Raspberry Pi ~ 15th November 2018

Samuel Forster

Sam Forster's Raspi in the rainbow case The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. It's a cheap computer allowing you to develop programming with a programmable interface.

The Raspberry Pi has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor (The firmware includes a number of "Turbo" modes so that the user can attempt overclocking, up-to 1 GHz, without affecting the warranty), VideoCore IV GPU, and originally shipped with 256 megabytes of RAM, later upgraded to 512MB. It does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, but uses an SD card for booting and long-term storage.

The Foundation provides Debian and Arch Linux ARM distributions for download. Also planned are tools for supporting Python as the main programming language, with support for BBC BASIC, (using the "Brandy Basic" clone), C, and Perl.

Most of the coding I've completed so far with the Raspberry Pi has been in C. I plan to have a system that can replace the multiple remote controls I have in my living room. This is to be achieved by using a raspberry pi with an IR sensor to capture all the IR codes of the different remotes then to have a raspberry pi near my devices under the TV with an IR transmitter to control them all.


I received my first Raspi for my Birthday on 10/09/2012.

All I need to do now is to play with different boxes, so far I have the one with the breadboard brought with the Electronic starter kit and the Rainbow box.
Sam Forster's Original Raspi
Sam Forster's Original Raspi

I built it into this plastic housing with the breadboard (Electronic starter kit) on 17/09/2012

I built the traffic light scenario where pressing the button triggers the raspi to sequence the lights.

Sam Forster's Original Raspi

Sam Forster's 2nd Raspi

My original ordered Pi finally arrived on 08/10/2012 in this cute box which can also store an SD card for transport purposes.

I opened this raspi straight away!!

Sam Forster's 2nd Raspi

Sam Forster's 2nd Raspi in the Rainbow box

Rainbow box arrived on 24/10/2012 for my Raspberry Pi.


Getting Started

Installation Guide using dd under Linux as copied from here

1) Download the zip file containing the image from a mirror or torrent http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

2) Verify if the the hash key of the zip file is the same as shown on the downloads page (optional). Assuming that you put the zip file in your home directory (~/), in the terminal run: sha1sum ~/2012-09-18-wheezy-raspbian.zip This will print out a long hex number which should match the "SHA-1" line for the SD image you have downloaded

3) Extract the image, with unzip ~/2012-09-18-wheezy-raspbian.zip

4) Run df -h to see what devices are currently mounted

5) If your computer has a slot for SD cards, insert the card. If not, insert the card into an SD card reader, then connect the reader to your computer.

6) Run df -h again. The device that wasn't there last time is your SD card. The left column gives the device name of your SD card. It will be listed as something like "/dev/mmcblk0p1" or "/dev/sdd1". The last part ("p1" or "1" respectively) is the partition number, but you want to write to the whole SD card, not just one partition, so you need to remove that part from the name (getting for example "/dev/mmcblk0" or "/dev/sdd") as the device for the whole SD card. Note that the SD card can show up more than once in the output of df: in fact it will if you have previously written a Raspberry Pi image to this SD card, because the RPi SD images have more than one partition.

7) Now that you've noted what the device name is, you need to unmount it so that files can't be read or written to the SD card while you are copying over the SD image. So run the command below, replacing "/dev/sdd1" with whatever your SD card's device name is (including the partition number) umount /dev/sdd1 If your SD card shows up more than once in the output of df due to having multiple partitions on the SD card, you should unmount all of these partitions.

8) In the terminal write the image to the card with this command, making sure you replace the input file if= argument with the path to your .img file, and the "/dev/sdd" in the output file of= argument with the right device name (this is very important: you will lose all data on the hard drive on your computer if you get the wrong device name). Make sure the device name is the name of the whole SD card as described above, not just a partition of it (for example, sdd, not sdds1 or sddp1, or mmcblk0 not mmcblk0p1) dd bs=4M if=~/2012-09-18-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/sdd Please note that block size set to 4M will work most of the time, if not, please try 1M, although 1M will take considerably longer. Note that if you are not logged in as root you will need to prefix this with sudo The dd command does not give any information of its progress and so may appear to have frozen. It could take more than five minutes to finish writing to the card. If your card reader has an LED it may blink during the write process, or you can run pkill -USR1 -n -x dd in another terminal (prefixed with sudo if you are not logged in as root).

9) Instead of dd you can use dcfldd; it will give a progress report about how much has been written.

10) You can check what's written to the SD card by dd-ing from the card back to your harddisk to another image, and then running diff (or md5sum) on those two images. There should be no difference.

11) As root run the command sync or if a normal user run sudo sync (this will ensure the write cache is flushed and that it is safe to unmount your SD card)

12) Remove SD card from card reader, insert it in the Raspberry Pi, and have fun


Buy your own Raspi now by clicking here.

The Raspi User Guide might be useful too, click here.