Category Archives: Raspberry Pi

Updating Your Raspberry Pi

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Raspberry Pi – Like all computers, you have to periodically update your Pi with the latest versions of the software. If you visit the Distrowatch site, you can see the date of the last Raspian release. To update your Pi follow these steps:

  1. open up the terminal
  2. update your system’s package list by entering the command [1-4]:
    sudo apt-get update
  3. upgrade all your installed packages (this may take several minutes and require user responses) to their latest versions by entering the command [1-4]:
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  4. discard any unneeded files that have been downloaded as part of the upgrade by entering the command [2]:
    sudo apt clean
  5. reboot your Pi to complete the update by entering the command [1-4]:
    sudo reboot
  6. now verify the version of Raspian (9.8 at the time I write this) by opening the terminal again and typing the command [5,6]:
    cat /etc/debian_version
    or
    lsb_release -a

 

References

  1. Updating and Upgrading Raspbian
  2. How to Update Your Raspberry Pi to the Latest Raspbian OS
  3. Keeping your Raspberry Pi up-to-date
  4. How to update your Raspberry Pi to the latest version of Raspbian
  5. How to Check the Software and Hardware Version of a Raspberry Pi
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Book Review: “The Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide”

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Book Reviews – Raspberry Pi – “The Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide” book was published in 2018 and was written by Gareth Halfacree (https://freelance.halfacree.co.uk). Mr. Halfacree has published more than 20 non-fiction technical books.

I downloaded a free PDF copy of the book from Raspberry Pi organization. I first posted about the availability of the book back in December. A paperback copy can also be purchased through Amazon for $18.62. I found that the PDF was easily readable on my iPad and worked well for me.

I thought that this was a well-written book. It will be particularly good for younger Pi enthusiasts, though I found it adult friendly. It gives a good introduction to the Raspberry Pi and provides very detailed ‘how-to’ instructions on programming the Pi with either the Python (my preference) or the graphical Scratch languages. Given this 244-page book and one of the many Raspberry Pi started kits available a student of any age can have his or her Pi running in no time. I give this book a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

CLI – dd

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CLI – If you are wanting to copy a file from one place to another then you may want to look at the dd command. This command is particulary useful when you want to copy the file while making edits to it on the fly.

The command is also useful when copying a disk image to other media. This can be very useful in creating a bootable SD card for a Raspberry Pi. The Wikipedia page on the dd command gives a good overview of how the command can be used.

The description of dd in the macOS man page is:

The dd utility copies the standard input to the standard output.  Input data is read and written in 512-byte blocks.  If input reads are short, input from multiple reads are aggregated to form the output block.  When finished, dd displays the number of complete and partial input and output blocks and truncated input records to the standard error output.

To learn a lot more about how to use dd, take a look at “Linux dd command explained for beginners (8 examples)“. Yes, this is a Linux article, but the dd command as implemented on macOS is fundamentally the same. Check the macOS man page for dd for all of the available options.


See my other CLI and macOS articles


 

Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide

BeginnersGuideLinux – I recently saw that the Raspberry Pi Press has just released its official “Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide”. This 244-page book is intended to get the reader started with their Raspberry Pi. As they say:

From setting up your Raspberry Pi on day 1 to taking your first steps into writing coding, digital making, and computing, The Official Raspberry Beginner’s Guide is great for users from age 7 to 107!

You can order a hard copy of the book through the Raspberry Pi Press store (£10.00) with free international delivery. If you are willing to settle for an electronic copy, you can download the PDF for free. I have downloaded the PDF and look forward to reading it on my iPad.

Just in case you have been living in a cave somewhere, the Raspberry Pi is:

a small, clever, British-built computer that’s packed with potential. Made using the same technology you find in a smartphone, the Raspberry Pi is designed to help you learn to code, discover how computers work, and build your own amazing things.

One of the great things about the Raspberry Pi is that they are very inexpensive. If you search Amazon, you will find various kits and versions of the Raspberry Pi starting from $27. They are also available in Fry’s Electronic Stores if you are lucky enough to have one of those close by.

The book and the hardware would be a great Christmas present for the clever kid (of any age) in your family.