Win a Raspberry Pi 4 and accessories!
Raspberry Pi 4 is here! Do you have one yet? If you don’t, you can still win one… Win one of ten Raspberry Pi 4s https://js.gleam.io/e.js The post Win a Raspberry Pi 4 and accessories! appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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How to set up Raspberry Pi 4
Congratulations on becoming a Raspberry Pi 4 explorer. We’re sure you’ll enjoy discovering a whole new world of computing and the chance to handcraft your own games, control your own robots and machines, and share your experiences with other Raspberry Pi fanatics. Getting started won’t take long: just corral all the bits and bobs on our checklist, plus perhaps a funky case. Useful extras include some headphones or speakers if you’re keen on using Raspberry Pi as a media centre or gaming machine. To get set up, simply format your microSD card, download NOOBS, and run the Raspbian installer. This guide will lead through each step. You’ll find the Raspbian OS, including coding programs and office software, all available to use. After that, the world of digital making with Raspberry Pi awaits you. What you need to set up Raspberry Pi 4 Raspberry Pi 4. If you don’t have many of the parts listed below you can buy a Raspberry Pi 4 desktop kit (which contains a Raspberry Pi 4, keyboard, mouse). Raspberry Pi 4 Kit microSD card . You’ll need a microSD card with a capacity of 8GB or greater. Your Raspberry Pi uses it to store games, programs, and photo files and boots from your operating system, which runs from it. You’ll also need a microSD card reader to connect the card to a PC, Mac, or Linux computer. microSD card to SD card (or microSD card USB adaptor). Many laptops have an SD card socket, but you’ll need a microSD card to SD card adaptor to plug the small microSD card the Raspberry Pi uses to your computer. If your laptop does not have a SD card socket, you’ll need a microSD card to USB Adaptor. Computer. You’ll need a Windows, Linux PC (like the Raspberry Pi), or an Apple Mac computer to format the microSD card and download the initial setup software for your Raspberry Pi. It doesn’t matter what operating system this computer runs, because it’s just for copying the files across. microSD card and microSD card to SD card adaptor USB keyboard. Like any computer, you need a means to enter web addresses, type commands, and otherwise control Raspberry Pi. You can use a Bluetooth keyboard, but the initial setup process is much easier with a wired keyboard. Raspberry Pi sells an official Keyboard and Hub. The Raspberry Pi Official Keyboard Hub USB mouse.…
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Raspberry Pi 4: Raspbian ‘Buster’ interview
The launch of Raspberry Pi 4 brings not only new hardware but new software too: Raspbian ‘Buster’, a brand-new release – compatible, as always, with every Raspberry Pi model going right back to the pre-launch Alpha design – with a revamped, flatter user interface based on the upstream Debian ‘Buster’ Linux distribution. Simon Long explains: “Due to the lack of obvious differences between Buster and Stretch, I wanted to do something to make it a bit more obvious that people actually had something new,” of his new interface design. When we moved from Jessie to Stretch, there was a similar lack of major differences, and people wondered whether or not they actually had the new version – I wanted to avoid that this time. Also, the overall UI design in terms of the appearance of buttons, controls, and the like really hasn’t changed significantly in the time I’ve been here – there have been some small tweaks, but it felt time for a change.” Flatter is better “The flatter appearance was driven by a few factors,” Simon continues. “First, it does seem to be a general tendency in UI design in recent years that flatter, simpler designs are in, and fussier, more complex designs are out – iOS, Windows, and Android have all done the same sort of thing. Second, Eben is a big fan of flatter UIs, and he kept nudging me in that direction! “It’s a bit of a balancing act, though – you don’t want to go too far and end up with just boring square boxes everywhere, which is why while things like corner radii have been reduced, they haven’t been completely squared off. “There’s been a lot of experimentation with new designs; we toyed with things like changing the system font and considered numerous different ideas for the appearance of buttons, sliders, and scrollbars, and I think we’ve ended up with something that looks modern without looking too boring.” Dual-desktop Buster Mixing hardware and software “Moving to a new Debian release is always a lot of work,” Simon notes. “We have to take all the changes and patches we had created for the previous version and apply them to new versions of software in the current version, test it all, make sure it is still stable and that we haven’t had performance regressions, and so on. “That on its own is usually a challenge, but the…
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Eben Upton on engineering a Raspberry Pi 4
I guess there’s a question, which is ‘why now, why not in a year’s time?’ Which is the sort of time line we previously indicated,” says Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, on the timing of Raspberry Pi 4’s release. “Broadcom has been working on silicon for it for a little while, and the silicon came good earlier than I was expecting. Building the BCM2711 “This has been a more complicated development than previous ones because previous ones have been on the same process node and we’ve basically just been – ‘just’ been – bolting larger ARM cores onto an existing chip,” says Eben of the work that has gone into the new system-on-chip (SoC). “This one’s on a new process node, so this one’s on 28 nm. Obviously, it’s got all these new features, so we’ve kind of moved it from being a 1080p-class chip to being a 4K-class chip. New process node, new memory technology, new multimedia IP [intellectual property], lots and lots of change. It’s a full-chip project.” “This is the B0 step of the silicon. BCM2835, which was new on 40 nm, was equivalently radical at the time. The version we shipped there is 2835C2, so we’d had an A0, a B0, a C0, a C1, and a C2 to get to a shippable product. This one got shippable by B0, and that’s taken a year out of the conservative schedule that we’d been communicating to people.” A Raspberry Pi engineer’s desk, where hardware is tested thoroughly and bananas are eaten Raspberry Pi 4: The pocket-sized PC “It’s a PC replacement. I mean, we’ve always talked about Raspberry Pi as being a PC, and that’s become steadily more credible, I think, over the generations,” says Eben. “I think this one takes it over the line where a lot of users will sit down in front of it and not really perceive a difference. “You talk about the things that take you into PC land? PCs drive two displays. You know, you’re not really a real PC if you don’t drive two displays, right? If you think about the person you’re speaking to on the phone in the bank, they’ll have two monitors: one to put your account details on, and one to put the product that they’re selling you on. We think this should break through very nicely into the thin client market and we’re working…
Source: Eben Upton on engineering a Raspberry Pi 4
Raspberry Pi 4 specs and benchmarks
Raspberry Pi 4 improves on its predecessor, with improved specfications across the board. Our Raspberry Pi 4 benchmark tests show a huge increase in performance over previous models. It’s not hard to see where this benchmark boost comes from. The brand-new BCM2711B0 system-on-chip has more powerful processing cores, the first upgrade to the graphics processor in the history of the project, and vastly improved bandwidth for both memory and external hardware. Gone is the single-lane USB bottleneck which hampered performance on older models, and Raspberry Pi 4 shines in benchmarks as a result.
Raspberry Pi 4 specs SoC: Broadcom BCM2711B0 quad-core A72 (ARMv8-A) 64-bit @ 1.5GHz GPU: Broadcom VideoCore VI Networking: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless LAN RAM: 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) GPIO: 40-pin GPIO header, populated Storage: microSD Ports: 2 × micro-HDMI 2.0, 3.5 mm analogue audio-video jack, 2 × USB 2.0, 2 × USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI) Dimensions: 88 mm × 58 mm × 19.5 mm, 46 g Subscribe to The MagPi for 12-months in print and get a free Raspberry Pi computer Brand new SoC: BCM2711B0, quad-core 1.5GHz The new BCM2711B0 system-on-chip offers an impressive performance boost over its predecessors. BCM2711B0 Dual display via micro HDMI The two micro-HDMI connectors enable Raspberry Pi 4 to drive two 4K displays at up to 4Kp30, or a single display at up to 4Kp60 Dual micro HDMI Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 The Ethernet port, relocated to the top-right of the board, now offers full-speed network connectivity with no bottlenecks. Two USB 3.0 ports, centre, offer high-speed connectivity for external devices including storage and accelerator hardware. See also: Raspberry Pi PoE HAT Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports Raspberry Pi 4 Benchmarks Linpack (CPU speed test) A synthetic benchmark originally developed for supercomputers, Linpack offers a glimpse at just how far the Raspberry Pi family has come. This version – ported by Roy Longbottom – comes in three variants: the fast single-precision (SP), slower double-precision (DP), and a single-precision variant accelerated using the NEON instructions available in Raspberry Pi 2 and above (NEON). Linpack CPU speed tests (higher is better) Speedometer 2.0 (browser speed test) Speedometer 2.0 measures the responsiveness of the Chromium web browser by running a web application – a to-do list – and measuring how many times the application can be completed each minute.…
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Raspberry Pi VizuWall
Mounted on a clear acrylic plate, twelve Raspberry Pi boards suddenly spring into life, moving outwards, as if waving to the attendees at Maker Faire Miami. Not just a cool effect, the movement is proportional to each Raspberry Pi’s level of activity in a parallel computing cluster. This is Raspberry Pi VizuWall, a project created by long-time computer engineer Matt Trask during his degree course at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), while doing research into a new class of supercomputer systems. “When I am successful (heh, nearly said ‘if’ there…), it will obsolete MPI [Message Passing Interface] as the main means of programming distributed compute clusters,” explains Matt. “This means that my variant of the Beowulf architecture will function as a distributed symmetric multiprocessing system that appears to be a single unified system that is the sum of all RAM and all cores in the cluster: a virtual mainframe computer. Perhaps the solution to the so-called Ninja Gap?” Matt is referring to the difficulty of enabling computer science students to obtain enough early experience programming parallel computing systems to become industry-proficient. Hence his motivation for building a low-cost cluster system with Raspberry Pi boards, in order to drive down the entry-level costs. Raspberry Pi VisuWall: Quick Facts This prototype was created to justify the cost of building a much larger version PoE will be used to simply power distribution in the next iteration Matt has been a computer engineer for nearly 40 years He wrote the first virtual machine software on the 80386 processor in 1986 He got his first Raspberry Pi in 2012 Ethernet cables are tucked neatly between each Raspberry Pi and its hinged panel, so as not to impede its movement VisuWall Moving parts Matt reveals how Raspberry Pi VizuWall works: “Each node is capable of moving through about 90 degrees under software control because a small electric servo motor is embedded in the hinging mechanism. The acrylic parts are laser-cut, and the hinge parts have been 3D-printed for this prototype.” While the original concept was to also use LEDs to edge-light the acrylic plate and change the colours to indicate CPU usage, Matt says the idea of the moving boards was always fundamental to the project: “I figured that the physical motion would help student programmers understand their system utilisation. And it looks cool.” Although Matt came up with the project’s concept several years ago, he only started building it…
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10 amazing Raspberry Pi health projects
One of the things we love to see is amazing medical and health applications of the Raspberry Pi. In our experience, they’re usually some of the most impressive displays that we see at Maker Faires, Coolest Projects, and other events where folks are showing off amazing projects. Here are ten of the best to inspire you. This article first appeared in The MagPi 82 and was written by Rob Zwetsloot BOINC BOINC uses your idle CPU Lending spare CPU cycles to help cure diseases? Not as crazy as you might think: BOINC has been around for ages, and uses your idle CPU to help fold proteins or solve equations that can one day result in cures and treatments. Website: BOINC Patient monitor Keep an eye on those vitals This project uses the HealthyPi, a HAT for the Raspberry Pi that is specifically for medical applications. With it, you can create a full ECG which can measure heart rate, SpO2, respiration, temperature, and blood pressure. Website: Build guide on Hackster Heartfelt Pictures of feet help save money Preventative care can save the NHS a lot of money, and the Heartfelt monitor is able to detect the symptoms of an oncoming cardiovascular event from the feet of at-risk patients. When an issue is detected, a carer is notified, and a quick doctor’s visit and medicine will mean the patient avoids a trip to the hospital. Website: Heartfelt Technologies LiV Pi Air quality is a big deal in Hong Kong, and this Pi-compatible device lets you know just how clean your air is. It’s aimed towards businesses, but it’s also very useful at home if you’re living in the big city and have concerns over air pollution. Website: Liv Pi MRI analysis This is your brain on MRI A very early but excellent Pi project, where a research scientist turned his Pi into an MRI analysis computer. The key trick to getting this to work was hardware-accelerated calculations, as it wouldn’t be as well optimised in software. website: Knight Errant of Science Artificial Pi Pancreas Your pancreas is a vital organ A DIY solution to a normal continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that helped Dana Lewis perfectly control her insulin injections thanks to a bit of machine learning. The Pi itself controls the insulin pump using the data from the CGM. Website: DIYPS Gastric cancer screening device It’s cheap and saves lives Not every…
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Telepresence Hand robot for hazardous areas
There’s a scene at the start of eighties classic Short Circuit where Steve Guttenberg is hiding away in a lab, programming a robot hand that is playing the piano. It’s quite quaint by today’s robotic standards (and was probably just a puppet at the time), which is only more apparent when viewing Andrew Loeliger’s university project from the last year. This article first appeared in The MagPi 82. Click here to subscribe to The MagPi magazine. Andrew is a fourth-year student at the University of Strathclyde studying Electronic and Electrical Engineering. “I set out to provide a solution to the issue of first line responders operating in dangerous areas,” Andrew explains. “Bomb disposal sites, biohazardous areas, and nuclear hot zones are all crucial areas where human intervention would be required but could be potentially life-threatening. The aim of the project was to develop an extremely low-cost robotic hand that can operate in hazardous areas and perform dextrous tasks while being controlled and viewed remotely. The visual feedback provided by the system allows the user to control every movement of the hand as if they were there.” The user wears a glove that’s connected to a ‘base station’, which also has a display. The display shows the pictures from a wirelessly connected camera, which is part of the remote robot hand system. The glove has a series of sensors to record how the fingers and hand are moved, and that is then relayed to the hand controller. This 3D-printed robot arm perfectly captures the movement of the user Telepresece Hand: Quick Facts The idea is inspired by giant robot flick Pacific Rim, albeit much smaller Andrew designed a custom PCB for the project It should be more effective than preprogrammed automatons The Pi’s size and power make it perfect for this project The wrist-turning servo is actually already in place Hand print “The bulk of the robot hand comprises 3D-printed components,” Andrew tells us. “The design files for the 3D-printed components were sourced from InMoov. The 3D-printed robot hand is designed to hold all of the servos needed to mimic user movements made in the glove remotely. To control the robot hand, there is the Raspberry Pi Zero W which takes the received values from the base station and sends them to the servo driver board to move the servos. There is one servo for each finger and each finger is moved via…
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Nicole Parrot interview
As part of the wider educational mission of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, there’s been an ongoing effort to address the low percentage of girls and women in computing and related spaces. While the overall gender balance is disappointing, there are still some amazing women who have always been part of the community, such as Nicole Parrot. This article first appeared in The MagPi 82 and was written by Rob Zwetsloot “Last millennium I was a software developer in the special effects industry,” Nicole, who currently works at Dexter Industries, tells us. “Followed by five years at Microsoft in 3D graphics.” Nicole quit in the late nineties to home-school her kids, which included teaching them and other children how to code. Her home coding lessons soon moved over to schools, and she’s helped teachers bring code to the classroom. “That gives me approximately 15 years of experience in exposing kids to code,” Nicole says. Her work at Dexter Industries reflects this experience. This fake snowman is powered by Pi, and manages to survive the cold Québécois winters What is your role at Dexter Industries? I am CTO for Dexter Industries. As such, I manage a small team to bring new products to market, and create projects. I also manage curriculum writing. We want to offer teachers the full experience, from a stable robot in the classroom to prepared lessons, to open-ended projects. Our main product is the GoPiGo, now in its third iteration. We’ve learned a lot about what’s needed to make a robot for the classroom, and this particular robot is the end result. It comes packaged with DexterOS, based on Raspbian with tools that make it usable out of the box. […] Within DexterOS we have Bloxter, a block-based language, and Python available, again all within the browser. I’m quite proud of this project, to be honest. What inspires you? Kids! And this is from a person who used to be entirely career-oriented. I used to avoid kids, and flee from the room if someone would bring their kid with them. Then I did a full 360 degrees when I got my own. Kids are such a gift; their way of thinking is magical. Their reactions are just awesome when they figure out something like a tricky piece of code, or lighting up an LED for the first time. Sharing knowledge (remember that I home-schooled, I did all subjects, all years, and then some…
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DIY Hardware Password Keeper
Experts suggest that we should use a different password for every online service we access, but, as many users know, trying to remember them all can be rather difficult. Better, then, to have a secure and convenient system that can store and recall them for you, which is why Eugene Dzhurynsky has created a hardware password storage device based around a Raspberry Pi Zero and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. See also Smart Home Entry: OpenSesamessage Museum in a Box eIDShepherd: Sheep Tagger Eugene is a Ukrainian software engineer living in Boston, Massachusetts and he is currently working as a data engineer and machine-learning specialist. Inspired by a thread on Reddit which explained how the Pi Zero could function as a USB device, Eugene noted that the Pi Zero could control another computer and act as a keyboard. “It was a ‘wow’ moment and I was stunned by the possibilities,” he recalls. With this in mind, Eugene got to work. He wanted to create a device that couldn’t be hacked remotely over a network. What’s more, he didn’t want users to have to type in a password to unlock the device and he wanted it to be relatively small, with secure and encrypted storage. Password keeper: quick facts The device stores encrypted passwords The software was built using the language Go It makes use of an RFID key fob Passwords are added via a web interface Eugene wants to add voice recognition The RFID RC522 sensor is inexpensive and allows this system to become unlockable only when an RFID key fob is presented Password Keeper: securing the system Encryption, he says, was the easy part. “I could use any industry standard encryption,” he explains. The tricky aspect was the key – the component that would unlock the encrypted file containing a user’s passwords. Eugene intended to store the passwords on the Pi Zero, so he figured that placing a private key on an RFID fob would work well. With the Pi-based device wired to an RFID card reader and connected to a computer, he reckoned a user would only need to bring the fob close to unlock the device and allow the passwords to be accessed and shared. A user could then log in to whatever service they were trying to access. Certainly, the Pi Zero proved the perfect fit. “It has a Linux OS, it’s easy to manage, it’s developer friendly,…
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