30 July 2015

Raspberry Pi Lap(dock)top

Mechanical links work to splice USB cables without soldering and I have a Raspberry Pi Laptop

The initial process took about 2 hours and it includes:

  • shaving the extra plastic material in the cables and adapters
  • actual splicing (without soldering)
  • micro SD card installation of Raspbian
  • 1st boot up
Additional tinkering on the config file to get the Atrix's speakers, resolution, RTl8192cu WiFi dongle, and the correct system locale and keyboard layout work ate up another 1.5 hours or so. I was watching a drama via live streaming on my other laptop so I guess my concentration wasn't that great.

At any rate, here's my new baby - I named him "monster" (M):
Monster says "hi!"

 Raspbian installing. I had downloaded the entire 750MB+ .zip before hand to the download is not included in the count. The installation on the micro SD card rounded up at 15 minutes or so - while I changed my beds linens to fresh ones.

 My handy "cabling work". I didn't have any electrical tape so masking tape should do for now.

Here's the mess at the back. The HDMI extender (30 cm) hasn't arrived yet from Hongkong so I'm connecting the Pi's regular sized HDMI to the Atrix's mini HDMI with an adapter that also functions as propping tool

  • Raspberry Pi 2 on Raspbian is not fast enough for me. Either I had unrealistic expectations from the reviews I read before hand or the micro SD card I purchased wasn't really a class 10, but a lower rated one.
  • Adafruit RTl8192cu was super slow - 50kbps in the terminal when I install via apt-get. But it's an 802.11n rated WiFi dongle. According to the forums, it's most likely a power management issue - this particular WiFi dongle is very sensitive that it won't go on max performance with sketchy power source.
  • Hence, slow browsing and no impossible Youtube even with the Chromium + PeppaFlash workaround
  • So it goes back to the first issue of slowness. I did manage to install Libre Office from the Pi Store. The download and install took a lot of time but once installed, launching the word processor app took only 9 seconds and the typing experience was alright - I can probably use this for writing.

I must say though, I'm loving this project. Looking forward to a better case for my Pi. I'm torn between just getting a Pibow Coupé Flotilla since I've already found a local reseller or if should just hack some plastic thing I can get my hands on make the slimmest profile Pi unit I can envision.

I'm also undecided on whether I'll end up sticking the Pi on the back of the lapdock by velcro or if I should let it sit on that phone tray at the back, like it does at the monent, while I wait for the short HDMI cable I ordered.

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