Raspberry Pi – An ARM based, credit card sized PC!

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Apparently, American citizens love blueberry pie. I ‘ve never actually tried one, because I live in Greece, but I pressume its very sweet and tasty.

But what I am interested in the near future is not something sweet or tasty, but rather in a very cheap, very cost effective, miniature credit card sized, ARM based Linux PC! Can you guess how much is the initial price? 25 USD!

So the project has began in 2006, when they first created the initial concept with an Atmel based chip, much like those used in Arduinos, but as technology advances in this rapid pace, so they opted on using an ARM based chip for their new prototype, which initially was smaller than the “alpha” board, but the latter has more features and it looks like its more robust.

Public release is scheduled for January 2012 and they ‘re going to release two models of these boards, type A & type B. Both models have a few differences; type B is the “premium” model and has the features bellow, plus an ethernet port, 256 MB of RAM and two usb 2.0 ports, at the price of 35 USD!:

ARM11 based chip from Broadcom. Clock frequency is 700MHz.

OpenGL 2.0 capable GPU

128 MB of RAM (type A, the one priced 25 USD)

HDMI output (also capable of playing HD, H.264 content)

RCA video output (for analog TVs)

Audio jack 3.5 mm

SD card slot for cards up to 32 GB

One usb 2.0 port (type A)

I am pretty amazed of this compact design of it and its very low price tag, even arduinos don’t cost this little.

And if you want some visual of this great mini PC, lets give the project’s director an opportunity of demonstrating this device to us:

It looks quite promising. Imagine all the kids who cannot afford on buying all those expensive computers, getting this cheap PC, develop software for it, play games, browse the internet, process documents and pretty much anything else an ordinary PC can do. Even wealthy countries can benefit from it.

Imagine its potential! I would really love to see a cluster made with these boards in the future!

And off course it will run Linux. Initially, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and “ArchLinux ARM” will be supported out of the box, but probably others will join the party, because the Linux kernel has very strong ARM support, so don’t be surprised if you see distros popping out, like they do for x86 PCs.

How about gaming? OpenGL 2.0 capabilities come into play, having also optimized X drivers installed Quake 3 Arena can run:

Did I say I can’t wait for it? Yes I did, but I like to repeat myself, this particular time.

Blogger …PLS… show me the stuff!

There are, if not millions, several hundred thousands of weblogs (commonly known in short as blogs) hosted under the Google’s Blogger (gobl for short).

Blogs have a long time since they were made available to the masses; in the meantime, content and media produced can exceed several TB (terabytes) and now, in every single second the content is of many gigabytes in capacity. We live in a busy planet ladies and gentlemen! Flow of information is so enormous and probably, only Chuck Norris can control it!

I don’t know about blogger, but wordpress provides 3 GBs of free storage for media with the option of increasing it giving a fee.  I guess gobl on the other side provides 3 GBs as well (competition… know what I mean?), of free storage and optionally increasing it, yet again, with a fee, but I also think that there is a way of having extra storage with some trick. However I am not going to say about this trick, because it is not in the scope of this article; google (search) is your eternal friend!

Ufff, enough with words already, show me the real stuff!

Yes, ok. So this post is written to teach you how to get full size images from blogs hosten in gobl. It’s quite simple actually, however there is one major factor that has to be kept in mind:

The author must, obviously, upload his/her images in full size. Less advanced users are more likely to upload images in full size in the early stages of their blogging authoring. If they are aware of the trick mentioned above, they will keep on uploading the images in full size, if not they will either seek an alternative image hosting provider like flickr or photobucket or they will just shrink their images and keep on using blogger’s hosting capabilities.

So in case you can’t download images in full size from some posts on, then its all over… we lost the battle! Unless the user change his/her mind…

Google being my eternal friend, he helps me find all the goodies! Ok, maybe not all, but certainly most of them out there. Let’s perform an image test search; term will be site:blogspot.com “seek no more”. Then to the images tab and image size larger than 2MP, here let me help:

https://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=opera&rls=en&channel=suggest&biw=1400&bih=883&tbs=isz%3Alt%2Cislt%3A2mp&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=site%3Ablogspot.com+%22seek+no+more%22&oq=site%3Ablogspot.com+%22seek+no+more%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=650033l653625l0l653902l14l14l0l9l0l1l958l1219l2-1.6-1l2l0

I chose one random image from the results, this one:

kvet.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_OpfSWb9cyc4/TLWpnImVCUI/AAAAAAAAG-Y/CL0ujxe8m88/s1600/kvet.jpg

Yes as a matter of fact the url above points directly to a 2MP image and that’s because our search term filtered the ones smaller than 2MP. There are times, however, where the author has tweaked the url in his/her blog and point to a smaller version of the same image, like this one:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_OpfSWb9cyc4/TLWpnImVCUI/AAAAAAAAG-Y/CL0ujxe8m88/s800/kvet.jpg

There are also smaller sizes, such as 400 pixels of width. You probably guessed the trick until now… url manipulation, particularly the s#### just before /kvet.jpg can do the trick. Now try by changing it to “s0” (s-zero):

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_OpfSWb9cyc4/TLWpnImVCUI/AAAAAAAAG-Y/CL0ujxe8m88/s0/kvet.jpg

And that’s a 3.1 MP of size! Sweet… and very easy!

Cheers!

Get flickr images in their full size easily

I get really frustrated when I go to some flickr photos and pages and see that the uploader has disabled downloading of their photos. While I find it lame because there is still a way of downloading them, even when they don’t allow it, it’s just some more steps that need to be taken and this wastes my valuable time!

Fortunately for us, HTML and javascript cannot stay hidden for very long time when someone starts looking at the page’s source. Yet someone else has the knowledge to go a step further and provide us a work-around. This work-around has a name… and this is greasemonkey!

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So what is greasemonkey? Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to HTML web page content on the DOMContentLoaded event, which happens immediately after it is loaded in the browser (also known as augmented browsing). While initially targeted at Firefox browsers, greasemonkey scripts can run on other browsers, too, like Opera and Chrome. In this case I will examine installing the flickr greasemonkey script on Opera, my default browser:

1) Go the script’s page and click the link install (for Firefox/Greasemonkey/Scriptish users) or right click and save link as (for Opera users). Alternativelly right click this direct link and save it as flickr.user.js to the folder of your liking ie ~/greasemonkey/ (for Linux users) or My Documents\greasemonkey\ (for Windows users).

2) Go to opera:config#UserPrefs|UserJavaScriptFile and in the highlighted box type the path of the directory of the saved script. Alternativelly go to Preferences -> Advanced -> Content -> Javascript Options -> User Javascript Folder and click choose to navigate to the folder you saved the scripts.

That’s it! Reload the page now. You should see something like this:

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This script is awesome! Not only it bypasses pages and several clicks when all you want is to get to the point, it also saves you valuable bandwidth and time!

Consider this a supplement to my previous post for flickr images and the original pages.

Cheers

P.S. The last screen is actually borrowed from the script’s page. Normally I am not allowed to save it, because they disabled downloading. Yet as I said there is always a way to download the content, its just these further steps I mentioned.