Tag Archives: linux

Next Event: 3/14, Raspberry Pi Demo with Raspberry Pie

raspberry_pi_logoOur next RTC event will be on March 14th, from 1-3PM, in the Fox Room at the Rutland Free Library.

Steve Waite and Chad Merkert will present an introduction and demonstrations of the “Raspberry Pi” from the Raspberry Pi Foundation in Britain.  The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer, for about $35, that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse.  With the Raspberry Pi, you can browse the internet, play HD video, make spreadsheets, word-processing docs, and play games.  According to Wikipedia article:

“The Raspberry Pi is a series of credit card-sized single-board computers developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools.”

If you want, you can also use the Raspberry Pi to learn coding, or learn about the Linux operating system.  You can also make your own projects by connecting the Pi to sensors (inputs) and other devices (outputs).  Steve and Chad will demonstrate some of their projects that they built.

There is a video that answers the question, “What is a Raspberry Pi?

At our last RTC event (Hour of Code), Steve brought his Raspberry Pi.  He hooked it up to the monitor and keyboard of the “Google Hangout” station, which is the large screen on wheels in the Fox Room at the Library.  So we were able to get a quick preview of what a Raspberry Pi is.  We got thinking that this would be a good topic for our next event.

As we looked for an open day for the Fox Room, we chose March 14th.  Later we realized that March 14 (or 3.14) is a perfect day to talk about the Raspberry Pi (3.141592654…).  We then later discovered that March 14 is actually “Pi Day in the USA”, according to the online forum at RaspberryPi.org.  That forum post suggests that your Pi Day event can get bonus points if you celebrate the Pi moment of 3/14/15 at 9:26:54.

pieHowever, since our event is in the afternoon, we will celebrate the Pi moment at around 3/14 1:59PM.  That is about midway through our event, and a good time for a quick break and indulge in some Raspberry Pie.  Thanks to Steve and his wife who offered to make us some Raspberry Pie for this event.

If you are planning on coming to our next event, it would really help us if you could please RSVP by email to rutlandtechclub@gmail.com, or call 802-775-8861, and let us know how many will attend.  That will help us determine how many folks are coming, and “how much” Raspberry Pie we will need for 3/14 @ 1:59PM.

We look forward to seeing you at our next Rutland Tech Club event about the amazing Raspberry Pi computer!

Ron, Steve and Chad

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Next Event: November 29, Linux 101

The next learning event is on Saturday, November 29, 1-3PM, again at the Rutland Free Library. This month Chad Merkert will be our guest presenter, and will give an introduction to the Linux operating system.

Linux 101 will cover the fast growing and popular open source operating system called Linux. Chad will describe what Linux is, as well as what Open Source software is. He will also explain and demonstrate how you can start using Linux and Open source software on your computer!

If you have an old Windows XP computer, you might already know that Microsoft is no longer supporting the XP operating system. If you have since purchased a Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer or laptop, or plan to do so, have you thought about what to do with your XP?

It turns out you can install Linux on your old XP computer. If you’ve wanted to learn more about using Linux, converting your old XP computer is an inexpensive way to do so. You can install Linux on your PC or laptop directly. Or, there is also another option to boot your computer up with Linux, via a a “bootable” version of Linux on a flash drive.

We look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Ron, Steve and Chad

the batphone rang and we were there to answer the call…

While Ron and I were describing the tech club at the brainstorm session to the throng that had gathered upstairs in the Fox Room at the Rutland Free Library (okay mostly Ron), my cell phone rang and there was a distressed damsel at the other end of the line.

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She described to me how one of the lanes on the Rutland Area Food Co-op’s newly installed, open source Point of Sale system was non-functioning.  I informed the group and headed for the exit.

A couple cups of kombucha, some soup and 3 hours later we had the lane back in action.  The tech who patiently worked with me on the phone was ready to give up and do a clean install but I remembered some tricks from a RedHat certification class I had taken about ten years ago.

It turns out that the filesystem had become corrupted and the brand new little computer with a very nice solid state hard drive wasn’t even able to boot into recovery mode from the GRUB prompt; it’s running Mint, a Debian based Linux variant.  So we booted Ubuntu off a USB and were able to mount the drive after issuing a series of low level disk commands as the super user of course.  The tricky part was finding and activating the logical volume group with a lvscan, pvs, and vgchange -ay “volume name”.  Once it was activated we could run the file system checker “fsck” (without much imagination one can see it’s profane origin) which was able to quickly repair the ext4 type filesystem.  After mounting and upgrading the packages all was well on a reboot.  It was time for a nice cold one.

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