Well it has been a few months but finally there was a knock at my door and I was handed a rather small box.
It may not be as tasty as a really Raspberry Pie but I was jumping around because I finally got my Raspberry Pi.
Now there are absolutely gazillions of ideas of what you can use the Raspberry Pi for, I’ve listed a few below that I am wanting to try out:
- Video Media streamer – Replacement for my Apple TV
- Audio Media streamer – Stream audio over the network from my iTunes share, akin to Apple Airport Express
- NAS drive – Replacement for my Time Capsule, a lot cheaper than QNAP/Synlogy drives but is limited by the USB ethernet controller.
- Internet Client for the TV
- Torrent Client – Connect to USB external drive and download overnight at very low power.
It should be noted that I am already an Embedded Software Engineer so tinkering around with Embedded devices is already my day job, I will first off try out the options where they can replace some of my more expensive kit at home.
After downloading Raspbmc, plugging in the SD card, firing up the terminal and running through some commands…
Check what the SD card is called (usually disk1S1)
Unmount the disk so it can be written to directly
diskutil unmount /dev/disk1s1
Write the Image to the disk (once unmounted the disk is called rdisk1 from disk1S1)
dd bs=1m if=~/Downloads/installer-testing.img of=/dev/rdisk1
Eject the SD card.
diskutil eject /dev/rdisk1
I plugged in the SD card, connected all the wires and booted it up, after a bit of retro Linux love as the XBMC client was downloading and being configured it finally booted into XBMC.
Everything went swimmingly until I realised I didn’t have a USB keyboard and so couldn’t actually do anything #FAIL
So I brought home my Apple USB Keyboard from work and plugged it in, what I found was that the Raspberry Pi was very fussy about booting with it plugged in (possibly due to the power requirements as the Keyboard is also a USB Hub) but it started working eventually.
Using RaspBMC was rather nice until I wanted to access my content. Currently it is all stored on my Apple Time Capsule and attached USB external HDDs, all of which are formatted as HFS+.
It looks like RaspBMC (and looking at the forum posts confirmed this) that HFS+ support was removed from RaspBMC, so I can’t mount/read the drives. Also what is annoying is trying to set up -or fail at setting up an AFP (Apple File Protocol) connection between the Raspberry Pi and the Time Capsule on the network. Trying SMB shares just crashed the unit.
So not giving up I tried another XBMC distro for the Pi, this time I used OpenElec and it did have HFS+ support, but again I have yet to find a reasonable approach to accessing my content. I think I need to read a few more AFP setup guides for XBMC.
*Update of the Update*
I got OpenElec (XBMC) working with my Wifi and AFP (Time Capsule) finally, for more information visit the related blog post.