Simple Webcam on Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi’s low power consumption makes it well suited to the role of always-on server. This post describes how to attach a simple webcam to a Raspberry Pi and have it take a snapshot every few minutes, and how to view the pictures on the web. Just like a traditional webcam.

My Raspberry Pi was purchased from New It in the UK. It was installed with Debian 7 (“Wheezy”) by applying the image “2014-01-07-wheezy-raspbian.zip” downloaded from the raspberrypi.org downloads page. The following procedure was then performed without any further pre-work (other than enabling ssh in the basic setup). Continue reading

File Serving: Sheevaplug vs Pi vs WDTV vs Linkstation vs Home Hub 3

In need of some network storage in the home ? Well, you could go off and buy a proper NAS unit, offering RAID, several Tb of storage, fast access speeds and so on. On the other hand, you might have something lying round the house that will do. It won’t be as good as a proper NAS, but it might just be good enough. Continue reading

Mounting BT Home Hub 3 USB on WD TV Live

This post may be of interest to UK users who own both a BT Home Hub 3 router and a WD TV Live media streamer. Both are Linux based systems, but getting one to work with the other can be a bit of a challenge.

The USB port on the back of the Home Hub 3 can be used to share storage over the network. Plug in a disk or memory stick, and it is automatically shared out as a windows share. Using a large capacity memory stick offers the possibility of NAS like, always-on access to your media files from any connected device. Low power consumption too. This post explains how access the USB connected drive from the WD TV Live. Continue reading

Connect to Sheevaplug USB from Red Hat Linux

The Sheevaplug is a small ARM based “plug computer” manufactured by GlobalScale. This post explains how to connect over the serial connection for out-of-band access. A bit like connecting to the server processor of a unix server, or the alom/ilom of a Sun/Oracle box, or the Vsphere console of a vmware system.

Connect a USB cable from your PC to the sheevaplug’s micro USB port (also called the “JTAG” port) and proceed as below. Continue reading

Sorting a Directory in the FAT File System

The venerable fat16 and fat32 file systems are still in widespread use today. Devices such as digital cameras, satellite navigation systems, memory sticks and mp3 players all make use of FAT.

The files in a FAT file system are arranged in a strict order. This can affect the way that some devices behave. For example, some MP3 players will play songs only in the order in which they are arranged on the device, rather than the more convenient alphabetical or alphanumeric order. Music players that use USB memory sticks and in-car USB systems can be affected in the same way. The only way to get the songs to play in a more sensible order is to sort the directory (folder) in which they are located. Continue reading