Project 1: XBMC running on Raspbian

I have been very busy over the last two weeks. But, during this time, I did find some time to do test runs of the Debian 6 image on my Raspberry Pi.

Almost everything worked out-of-the-box. I needed to manually enable the sound drivers (they are experimental, so disabled by default). As for the Linux drivers which I got in the CD with my USB wi-fi dongle, there was one problem. The drivers were for kernel version 3.1.9. The kernel version of the Debian 6 image is 2.6. I did not perform an internet search, as I already had a LAN cable; so, I thought that I would handle this later, probably by using the Debian Wheezy image for the Raspberry Pi (which comes with kernel version 3.1.9)!

This weekend, I wanted to tackle my first project with my Raspi. I thought that I would setup Debian Wheezy + XBMC on one SD card. This is when I heard about the Raspbian project. So, I setup XBMC on Raspbian using this method. It took about 12 hours to compile XBMC on my raspi, something which others have also confirmed on the forums.

I found a script on the Raspi forums to install the Debian Wheezy drivers for the exact model of my USB wi-fi dongle. Then, I streamed two Game of Thrones Season 2 episodes (1080p) over the LAN. There were no problems in the video playback. Sound is also very good.

So, all-in-all, a very productive weekend. Project One: Media Center is complete. Now, next weekend, I will be tackling a more difficult project (running basic ROS libraries on the Raspberry Pi)…

It’s finally here – Unboxing

Today, a surprise package was delivered to my place. I was not expecting it until the first week of August, at the very least.

Element14 delivery box

There can by no mistaking the contents of the box for two reasons. Firstly, I know of Element14 as one of the two distributors. Secondly, the box came from Kits n Spares, where I had bought an electronic item in March. So, obviously, this box contained that electronic item.

So, I excitedly opened the box…

Contents of the box from Kits n Spares
In the Picture above – In anti-clockwise order (starting from the bottom): Wireless keyboard and mouse, USB Male to Female wire, USB Wireless dongle, USB 1-to-4 connector, Raspberry Pi

So, after almost three months of waiting, my Raspberry Pi is finally here!

Jumping straight to the Raspberry Pi box…

My Raspberry Pi

Thank you Rapberry Pi Foundation, Element14 and Kits n Spares for delivering my RasPi early.

I was hoping that my RasPi would have a SD card with Debian Squeeze pre-installed. But, there was no SD card in the Raspberry Pi box. No problem. I was anyways going to buy a couple of SD cards (one for an entertainment system – XBMC, one for my robotics projects hopefully using ROS and a third one for a secret project). Also, I could not find a decent HDMI cable on the Kits n Spares website. So, need to buy that too. Oh, and I also need a power adapter to connect to my RasPi via the USB cable.

Then, I can finally boot it up…

So, loads of stuff to do tomorrow!