X100 Expansion Board

Recently I purchased this X100 expansion board for my Raspberry Pi, mainly for its HDMI to VGA output but the RS232 port was of interest assuming that it works as I expect it should!

The kit includes the following items 1x USB male-male adapter, 1x HDMI-HDMI male-male adaptor and mounting hardware to secure the expansion board to the Raspberry Pi. Also included is an optional reset switch pin header that isn't required for the board to function but adds the function to reset the Pi but this should be used only as a last resort because you face the strong possibility of corrupting the SDcard if you happened to drop the power while the SDcard is in the process of writing to the card!

Installation is pretty straight forward, there's two mounting posts and you line up the GPIO pins, then plug in the USB & HDMI adaptors and that's it! At this stage you have the option to solder the reset pin header to add that functionality if desired.

My thoughts, if you use the kernel that's available from Suptronics you have access to the RTC on the board, however this is a 3.6x kernel and is a little old. The drawback in using this kernel is that you would need to manually go through the setup process every time your Raspberry Pi had a kernel update, or you could just pin the current kernel you have to prevent this. There's also no source code for the modules that are provided with the kernel so you can't compile them to be used with a later kernel, if you don't really have a use for the RTC then not a big issue but after all if you purchase one of these you'd want to be able to use all of the functions! Although I'm sure that some searching should find either a newer based kernel or the ability to compile one (I've not checked as of the time of writing) Sure if I simply wanted a HDMI to VGA converting function I would have simply got something else that may have been cheaper.

 Images and installation information available from suptronics

Gremlin in the Server!

Over the last few days I've noticed that my web server has been a little unreliable. As usual there's nothing obvious in the logs to recommend just what the cause might be. I've made some changes via ISPConfig and it's possible that I may have set up something wrong! as GoogleBot has complained that it can't reach the robots.txt file (this is in the root of the web server and is visible to me) So there's a gremlin hiding here somewhere!


This is also effecting my mail server, So the occasional mail is bouncing (inwards) I just hope that this isn't the beginning of a failing SQL table…

Oops WordPress 3.5alpha

I've uploaded to the latest nightly (as of writing) and it appears that page links are broken. Posts are fine so will have to await for tomorrow's build to see  if this is fixed, or I'll need to file a bug report (if not reported already)

So one doesn't use nightly builds unless you expect some breakage 🙂

Living on the bleeding edge

For some time now I've been using Arch Linux for my desktop pc. For those who have no idea what that is/means then go back to your coffee/tea and come back in 5 minutes! No seriously, Arch is just a distribution of Linux aimed at being minimalistic so you build your desktop to what you want. Arch is a bleeding edge distribution that pretty much has the latest software that's generally available. Now this is great for the person who prefers to have a constant stream of updates (aka rolling distribution) However some prefer a slightly slower release that hopefully has a higher level of stability. This is where Arch can bite you (big time) if you don't pay close attention to the pending updates, as was the case for me about a month or so ago. The ln board graphics chip is a dreaded ATI (my first time for this chip type) as previously I've had Nvidia cards. Anyway there was the April ATI update awaiting and not giving it the attention that I normally would I allowed it to be applied. At this point all looked like a normal update until I rebooted (included a kenel update) and this is when my trouble began!

Being rather optimistic, I figured that within a day or three there would be a patch to fix the segmentation fault I was now getting from xorg-server. Now my Minecraft server resides on this pc so I needed to keep that running so I opted to use my Eee PC for what I believed to be a temporary period until a fix came through. So today I decided to tackle the problem with the intention of getting the existing software to behave as it should. After a few hours of no result it was getting to the point where a re installation would be the better solution rather than going around in circles (as I was)

15 minutes later and "Bingo!" was back in business. All that was required now was to restore the data backup and install a few programmes.

I suppose if there's a moral to the story it's be aware that the bleeding edge will at times give you grief!  😀

Posted from WordPress for Android

Trial use of WPGplus

One of the frustrating things about Google+ is the lack of an API for developers to be able to write 3rd party plugins for either posting to or reading from Google+

It's been a while now since I last checked on WordPress.org to see if there's been any progress with a plugin for posting from WordPress to Google+ and to my surprise I stumbled across WPGplus

I'm not sure if it's going to be suitable just yet, but at this point it looks like the only solution. So this post will be my first at using it (WPGplus) so let's see how it fares!  😉

Posted from WordPress for Android