Linux Voice has this awesome tutorial up on making your home brew even better by adding in a Raspberry Pi. They write, “The BrewPi isn’t an easier way of making of making beer. It’s an easier way to make it perfect.” We’re sold!
Beer is lovely. But when you’re making it at home, the biggest challenge (after discovering a way to boil vast quantities of water) is always finding somewhere to leave your brew to ferment. It’s this stage of beer-making magic that turns what’s known as wort into beer, creating alcohol and oodles of flavour. And for this stage to work well, you ideally need to be able to manage the temperature of the environment your beer is sitting in. In the UK, many amateur brewers resort to using an ‘airing cupboard’, normally situated next to the hot water tank and used for drying clothes. This isn’t a bad place, because it’s warmish – many beer kits like to ferment at around 20 degree centigrade – and the temperature doesn’t fluctuate massively. But it still fluctuates, and it may even prove too warm. Many yeasts, especially for ale, prefer things a little cooler (18–20 degrees, ideally, but this depends on the beer). And lifting 25 litres of wort into a first-floor cupboard could break your back, and you’ve got a hygiene nightmare if it falls over, or falls through the flimsy shelf its sitting on.
BrewPi is the answer to this conundrum. It’s a brilliant project that brings together a love of Linux, a little hardware hacking and plenty of beer into one fermenting barrel of hoppy goodness. It’s essentially a device that controls the environment surrounding the fermenting bucket of beer, enabling you to make perfect beer every time, regardless of climate and house heating cycles. Many people use an old fridge or freezer as the surrounding container and connect the BrewPi to a cooling and heating mechanism to enable its clever algorithms to create the perfect environment for your beer. The BrewPi itself is a mixture of hardware, software and initiative. Not only has its creator, Elco Jacobs, built an incredibly effective system for fermenting beer, he’s created an extremely helpful community of BrewPi enthusiasts, an online shop and an assembly system for easy access to all of the bits and pieces you’ll need.
YouTube user XCY11A made this great project with his BeagleBone Black.
I’d like to introduce my latest project, the desktop MiniMill.
This is a small CNC milling machine with a milling area of approximately 160x100mm. Application should be mainly the isolation routing of printed circuit boards and the milling of small parts…
…The objective is a very cheap system with components such as those used in the 3D printers, but to meet with a more stable structure around the greater forces during milling.
The Wii U GamePad is a deceptively feature packed bit of gaming hardware. In addition to the usual wireless console controller elements + resistive touchscreen LCD, it houses an IR transmitter/receiver, speakers, mic, camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and yes, even an NFC antenna. This is of course a big tasty invitation to get the GamePad working with something other than the Wii U console itself … like say, a personal computer?
Console hackers booto, delroth, & shuffle2 endeavored to do just that and after an extensive amount of reverse engineering, they now have an alpha demo working on Linux. The OS receives control input from the GamePad and streams low-latency video back out to the GamePad display.
The alpha version demoed below (@ 47m35s) still has issues, but shows much potential for awesome …
If you’re new to Linux (Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone, etc.), you might find the learning curve a bit steep getting used to the most important command line tools. While there are a lot of good resources out there, the Unix/Linux Command Cheat Sheet from FOSSWire.com is a great summary and it’s available in multiple languages.
A great story about a hobbyist, a Raspberry Pi, some Linux tutorials, and some … beeeer! From WIRED Design:
The Raspberry Pi has a reputation for being beginner-friendly, but even slightly buzzed hackers have been able use the mini microprocessor to improve their microbrews. Now one tinkerer is using his board, plus a 7-inch Sony touchscreen and a little PHP coding as the perfect high-tech setup for for his home-brew tap list.
Created by a hobbyist beer maker who goes by the name “SchrodingersDrunk,” the setup can give a garage operation the high-end brewpub makeover for about $35. And while the project’s creator wants to keep his identity secret, he has shared the code on GitHub….
While there aren’t many write ups on creating a beer board, the Raspberry Pi that Schrodinger chose as the brain of the project runs Linux, which offered him loads of PHP and Python tutorials as well as a dedicated community that loves debugging offbeat projects. Beyond that, he relied on tenacity and online research. “As a non-coder, non-graphic designer getting a website built that is visually appealing and easy to edit from anywhere was quite the task,” he writes. “Really, my strength lies in having strong ‘Google-fu’ and being able to adapt working snippets of code to my particular needs.”
We have started to hear lots of exciting news from those pitching in to help the development of openFrameworks for Raspberry Pi — now’s a great time to dive in and join this project!
You are now entering the world of embedded linux development. You’ll be using mostly bash scripts, gcc, and your preferred commandline Text Editor. It this world screen is your friend, from bash type man screen to learn more. If you are completely new to the idea of doing linux development from a command line and have no idea what a commandline Text Editor is, you’re in luck we’ll show you how to get started and point you in the right direction to learn more. Note: If you are a seasoned vet and use vim+regX to refactor your code move along to Installing dependencies and Compiling the openFrameworks Core.
Some of these might be old hat to experienced Linux users, but who knows, you might also learn something new.
Command line completion
You don’t have to laboriously type out long paths, filenames, and commands. Just type the first few letters and hit tab. If bash (the command interpreter, or shell) can determine what file you’re referring to, it will fill in the rest for you. If not, hit tab again it will give you a list of possibilities if there are more than one.
It can be frustrating to type out an entire command only to be told you need to be the superuser to execute it. Type “sudo !!” (pronounced “sudo bang bang”) to execute the previous command as root.
Install scrot (by executing “sudo apt-get install scrot”) so that you can take screenshots within the graphical desktop environment. After it’s installed, execute the command scrot in a terminal window to save a PNG of the desktop to the working directory. Scrot is also highly configurable; execute “scrot -h” to see all the options available to you.
Log in remotely
If you want to access your Raspberry Pi’s command line from another computer, type sudo raspi-config at the prompt and choose the option to enable SSH. Then type ifconfig to get your Raspberry Pi’s IP. On a OS X or Linux computer, type ssh pi@[ip address] to connect to your Pi. On Windows, use PuTTY.
Use your computer’s internet connection
If you don’t have a convenient ethernet connection nearby or a USB Wifi adapter handy, you can also use your computer’s Wifi internet connection and share it via Ethernet to the Raspberry Pi. Here are guides to do on various operating systems: Mac OS, Windows, or Linux (Ubuntu).
If you have trouble remembering the IP address of your Raspberry Pi when you want to access it over the network, install avahi with the command “sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon” and you’ll be able to use raspberrypi.local instead of the IP address. If you’re accessing the Raspberry Pi from a Windows machine, you may need to install Bonjour Services on it for this to work.
Here’s a quick video walking you through how to setup the Pi Store to access free and pay Raspberry Pi Software for those who are using distros that don’t yet have the Pi Store installed. From Raspberry Pi IV Beginners. Read more.
One resource that I return to time and again when I’m looking into Linux networking tasks is the Linux Home Networking site — one of the best written online guides for stepping you through the underlying structure to how networking functions from concept to execution.
Here is a basic Linux command line tool I felt worth mentioning here for those looking for networking tips for their Pi.
The first place to start is fire up a terminal. In Occidentalis, you will need to grab the Root Terminal under “Accessories” as the LXTerminal on the desktop doesn’t have this tool. Or you may be able to access the terminal for your Raspberry Pi via the WebIDE.
Type “ifconfig -a“, the command to give you information about your network devices, with the “-a” flag which according to the “man ifconfig” pages will “display all interfaces which are currently available even if down.”
In this case, $ ifconfig -a tells us a number of things about my Raspberry Pi. Typically, the eth0 interface is the one you will be using on your Pi, unless you add a wifi connection or similar.
In this case, it is not online: if it was, there would be the line:
The xx.xx.xx.xx would be a series of four numbers from 0-255, such as the IP address 192.168.1.101. This assessment is correct, because the unit isn’t even patched in, it is sitting on a tray table on an airplane over the Atlantic Ocean.
Using this tool you can make changes to the interface by typing commands such as:
$ ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.104 up
This command will assign the above static IP address for the session to interface eth0 and then activate the interface. (And down would deactivate the interface.)
Raspberry Pi is an awesome little single board computer for around $35. Adafruit is a one-stop-shop diy electronics supplier. Adafruit rolled it’s own Linux distro to run the Raspberry Pi, called Occidentalis, and has recently alpha released the Raspberry Pi WebIDE that allows you to program your Pi with Chrome or Firefox on your Mac or PC.
The documentation to get things rolling is a bit spread out, so here are steps that Mac users need to use to run Occidentalis with the WebIDE on your Raspberry Pi.
I went with TightVNC for my server and Chicken-of-the-VNC (Mac only) for my client. I physically have my laptop and Raspberry Pi connected over ethernet to the same little switch, so if you are configuring a wi-fi option, you might have a few more steps.
Oh, and here’s a hint: I opened up the terminal in the Adafruit Raspberry Pi WebIDE and was able to install TightVNC from there using the tutorial. I did learn however that I can’t run TightVNC from that web terminal without establishing the USER environment variable (at first I thought this was an error) — so I used my username and password and SSH’d in via Terminal to startup the VNC server and pick the screen geometry and bitdepth I wanted (I switched between 1024×728 and 1920×1080 and both worked great).
So you’ve got your Raspberry Pi setup, but what if you don’t have a dedicated monitor to use with it (for example, mine’s connected to my TV). How can you use it without disrupting your setup? VNC (Virtual Network Computing) allows you to see your Pi’s desktop and control it remotely using another computer running Mac OS X, Windows or Linux (and other devices too).
The VNC server software runs on your RPi, access it by running VNC client software on your other device.