I have no idea how to use this thing!


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by trevorboultwood » Mon May 28, 2012 8:03 pm
So I received my pi this morning, I shan't lie I am quite disappointed. I finnaly got the Debian software to work after many failed attems (had to redownload the image?

I now am in the software and it seems quite slow and laggy(I wasn't expecting fast, but a little more responsive). The media player does not work, i click play nothing happens. I really have no clue on what to do. :/
I want to install some media playing software, but I have no idea on how to install it.

When looking at the videos showing it off prior to release. IT was shown playing quake 3, watching 1080p videos. But so far the music player doesn't work. And all there is useful is programming programs, Quite a little peed off! Not to mention my T-shirt didn't come!!!!! ;)

Hopefully someone can knock some sense in to me as I have no idea on what to do with this.
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by jbeale » Mon May 28, 2012 8:30 pm
1) Be aware this is a "developer's release" of the hardware. It was opened to all by demand, but it's still at a stage more appropriate for programmers- developing and debugging software, and some subset of end users ready to learn some new things. Most of the things you saw on Youtube were demos of works in progress, not finished features ready-to-use.
2) Hardware accelerated video playback is still experimental or developmental at this time. You need to install the right software, not included by default. See: http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting# ... ery_slowly
3) Quake can be compiled for the Pi, and it works, see for example viewtopic.php?f=63&t=6511
4) Depending what you want, music players may require some configuration for example, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5944
5) If you're not a programmer and not interested in learning, for use just as a media player you may want the XBMC install, rather than Debian. XBMC is still in development and probably "beta-quality" but people report some success with it.
See also: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5163
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by nick.mccloud » Mon May 28, 2012 9:37 pm
trevorboultwood wrote: And all there is useful is programming programs,

Which is its primary design goal ....
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by iamjohnbenson » Mon May 28, 2012 11:09 pm
I've been tinkering with the raspbmc release this evening and am really impressed... Try that for a test drive... It's running very smoothly for me
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by shirro » Mon May 28, 2012 11:25 pm
trevorboultwood wrote:I now am in the software and it seems quite slow and laggy(I wasn't expecting fast, but a little more responsive).


I think some of the slowness and laginess is to do with the maturity of the software. Mine seems a lot less laggy now than it did. I think this should improve but the Pi is never going to be fast and web browsing is likely to remain a struggle. I can't tell you how to make your Pi less laggy at the moment because you would need to do a bit of work but I expect improvements will come.

trevorboultwood wrote:The media player does not work, i click play nothing happens. I really have no clue on what to do. :/
I want to install some media playing software, but I have no idea on how to install it.


The command line accelerated media player, omxplayer, isn't widely packaged for distribution yet. I expect it and programs like quake III will make its way into Raspbian and Arch as packages before too long. XBMC is currently the only GUI player and it is a bit more than you would want to play a video on your desktop. So there are still gaps to be filled. We need some more infrastructure like vlc omx support and gstreamer omx to get you to that next step of having a choice of media players that just work. Someone somewhere will be tinkering with it.

trevorboultwood wrote:When looking at the videos showing it off prior to release. IT was shown playing quake 3, watching 1080p videos. But so far the music player doesn't work. And all there is useful is programming programs,


quake3 and omxplayer will likely be packaged in the main emerging distros which look to be Arch and Raspbian at this stage sometime in the near future. Remember this device is primarily intended to introduce programming to school students. It is vital for education reviewers to see this functionality out of the box. People have a lot of reasons for getting a Pi but my two are playing on the floor in front of me. Initiatives like the Pi are vitally important for their future so if you don't appreciate the programming capabilities that is your problem - I think it is bloody brilliant.

trevorboultwood wrote:Hopefully someone can knock some sense in to me as I have no idea on what to do with this.


Nobody is going to knock any sense into you. I think you will need to show some initiative to get started. People built the Raspbian distribution after a considerable investment in time and hardware without even seeing a Raspberry Pi. If you have the desire you will find something. If you need help the beginners forums and wiki are a good place to start.

Your experience as someone having a hard time is actually very useful. Some of us have forgotten what it is like to be introduced to a system like this and struggle to communicate our knowledge. If you can document things as you learn them and feed them back into the forum as help for others or expand the wiki that is really useful work.
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by bigsi111 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:15 am
shirro wrote:Your experience as someone having a hard time is actually very useful. Some of us have forgotten what it is like to be introduced to a system like this and struggle to communicate our knowledge. If you can document things as you learn them and feed them back into the forum as help for others or expand the wiki that is really useful work.



Agree 100%. There is also the danger that the more experienced amongst us end up alienating newbies.

I fall into the category of a lapsed early 80's homePC user and programer so find the Raspi and it's challenges exciting and I'm willing to make loads of mistakes to learn. However, I know may others will expect more functionality from day 1. However, all people who report difficulties are adding to the project by making the "A" release a better product.

My advice is to soldier on, buy Linux for Dummies and soldier on using this great forum.

The spirit of the 80's is alive and well in here!
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by sudobash » Wed May 30, 2012 8:36 pm
Honestly, I think for many people who would purchase one of these, especially when it is so untested, the problems they encounter are part of what make the experience so enjoyable. Personally, I would be very disapointed if I was just to plug it into my tv, push a button, and everything works.

Even though I am too young and missied the microcomputers of the '80s, I cut my teath on an old coco2; thats the TRS-80 Color Computer 2. I remember even getting an image on the TV was a challange. Modern telivisions do not have the proper jacks to accomidate the coco2, so I got an image on the tv by touching some wires together just right. Getting a cassette player to work with it to store my programs was even more work. I enjoyed every minute of getting that setup to work. :D
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by ccheskin » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:23 pm
Don't worry I am in the same boat. I know less than nothing! I bought it to learn programming with. Maybe the best thing is to find out from other people what it can do easily, then download some programs that improve on it. Make sure you have the right leads for your Raspi.

So anyone else listening, what distro would I be best with if I am using Orca (screen reader)with it? The Raspbian sounds a bit cut down to me, not all versions would include accessibility programs to save space.

I taught myself a bit of Linux like sudo and bash and things like that, it will be a BIG learning curve but that's half the fun of learning! Did look into RF shielding, paint etc but will really bump the price up.

Claire
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by smuggly » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:39 pm
Give Openelec a try. It works Playing 1080P Over Lan From My Server Excellent. Im Using Build 11710With No Problems @ All. It Takes A Few Seconds After You Hit Play But Once You Get There It's Great! I Also Hear Raspbmc Is Working Very Well With Fluxbox WM All This Info Here On The Forum..
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by andyl » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:48 am
shirro wrote:
trevorboultwood wrote:I now am in the software and it seems quite slow and laggy(I wasn't expecting fast, but a little more responsive).


I think some of the slowness and laginess is to do with the maturity of the software. Mine seems a lot less laggy now than it did.


I would agree - but then I've overclocked mine slightly to improve things. This is very easy to do, easy to revert, and as long as you don't overvoltage it perfectly safe.

I also think that often the SD card does the system no favours. I guess a number of people may be using any old SD card that may have been lying around the house - I know I did. Accessing the SD card does seem slow - so much so that accessing files on my NAS (over nfs) seemed to be visibly quicker.
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by AndrewS » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:47 am
andyl wrote:I also think that often the SD card does the system no favours. I guess a number of people may be using any old SD card that may have been lying around the house - I know I did. Accessing the SD card does seem slow - so much so that accessing files on my NAS (over nfs) seemed to be visibly quicker.

Indeed :)
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=6180
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by tufty » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:57 am
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by AlArenal » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:17 am
May I ask why you bought one in the first place? Do you tend to buy stuff you have no idea what to use it for?
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by MegaGumbo » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:58 pm
andyl wrote:
shirro wrote:
trevorboultwood wrote:I now am in the software and it seems quite slow and laggy(I wasn't expecting fast, but a little more responsive).


I think some of the slowness and laginess is to do with the maturity of the software. Mine seems a lot less laggy now than it did.


I would agree - but then I've overclocked mine slightly to improve things. This is very easy to do, easy to revert, and as long as you don't overvoltage it perfectly safe.

I also think that often the SD card does the system no favours. I guess a number of people may be using any old SD card that may have been lying around the house - I know I did. Accessing the SD card does seem slow - so much so that accessing files on my NAS (over nfs) seemed to be visibly quicker.


Overclocking the Rpi without touching the over_voltage settings as well as installing fluxbox, enabling the swap partition on the sd card and setting the init_emmc_clock to a higher value worked wonders in terms of user experience. I'm compiling the VICE emulator with that setup right now and it's less worse than I thought (but still gives me enough time to read here :) ) .
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by dktucson » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:46 am
I bought mine because I like to tinker..I host my own websites and do CCTV cameras on the side. Right now my Pi is running ircd-hybrid and serving internet relay chat (opened up port 6667 to the ip of the Pi and edited the ircd-conf file). That took about 10 minutes..... just sayin.....
Lemme see if I can get apache for it.
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by dktucson » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:59 am
And yes I just got apache configured..so I have me a webserver and IRC server for $35 USD... :twisted: :twisted:
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by bobus321 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:48 pm
AlArenal wrote:May I ask why you bought one in the first place? Do you tend to buy stuff you have no idea what to use it for?


I often buy things I have no idea what they are for, and then learn. It's fun, challenging, keeps me on my toes, etc etc etc. So I'm with you, trevorboultwood, I've no idea what to do with mine either. But I'm getting lots of ideas here!
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by Burngate » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:35 am
I'm with trevorboultwood & bobus321. I'll do something amazing when I've learnt how to use it.

So far: Day 1
1) Downloaded Debian, put it on a 4GB SDcard.
... Had to download Win32DiskImager.exe, made sure I wasn't overwriting my external hard drive!
... Laptop told me nothing was on it. Desktop hasn't got a card slot. Went out, got a USB card reader. With that, the laptop (and the desktop) can see things on it.
2) Plugged in Pi, fired up (RS-supplied PSU, leads) Worked!
... Atleast no power problems.
... the mouse has got a LED on the scroll-wheel and that's only dim on the Pi, will it have enough power to work?
3) Tried to log in. user i, password rasberry. WHAT?
... Different keyboard, works! Turns out the first kb has one non-working key - "p"
4) startx. Works! and mouse works!
5) Downloaded Gparted liveCD iso. Burned it to disc.
... Tried it in laptop. No. Tried it in desktop. No.
... Reburnt it to CD, this time properly!
... Still won't work on laptop. Pissed around for ages trying to get the laptop to boot from CD. Gave up. Worked on desktop.
... Extending the Ext partition with Gparted was easy, with the graphics showing precisely what was happening. Far easier than doing it using the command line instructions on the wiki.
6) Tried it on the Pi. Still works!

and so to bed (Pepys)

Day 2
1) Read all I could about RiscOs, got slightly confused.
2) Downloaded the new pre-alpha image.
3) Put it on a 16GB SD card (knowing it was going to be a mistake)
4) Fired up the Pi ... it (half) worked!
... left-hand side of screen missing.
5) Onto laptop, added "overscan_left=64" to config.txt (using notepad), back to Pi
... Can now see all the screen.
... two out of three boots don't work. TO-DO - try a smaller card?
... It hangs waiting for DHCP - there's no network attached! 'cos I'm going to use the laptop as a bridge (no wifi dongles in the drawer)

Day 3
1) Back to Linux.
2) The screen is muzzy
... it should be 1080i, I think the screen should handle that natively, I'll have to try "disable_overscan=1". Also look into forcing it to other HDMI modes. Also how to download the monitor's EDID file.
3) I don't want DHCP - I want a fixed IP. where?
... "for Debian/Raspbian modify the file /etc/networking/interfaces"
... startx. File manager / explorer / ? Oh - it's down there, seond from left, unlabeled
... Up several times, lots of directories - why aren't they sorted alphabetically?
... found it. Now how do we edit it? ... leafpad. Now syntax
... "... try 'man interfaces' for the correct syntax for this file" ... What? How? Where? Do I type that into a Bash window? Where do I find that?

So the learning curve is steep
The wizzy world-changing app will be delayed by a few months.
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by grumpyoldgit » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:41 am
Burngate wrote:I'm with trevorboultwood & bobus321. I'll do something amazing when I've learnt how to use it.

So far: Day 1
1) Downloaded Debian, put it on a 4GB SDcard.
... Had to download Win32DiskImager.exe, made sure I wasn't overwriting my external hard drive!
... Laptop told me nothing was on it. Desktop hasn't got a card slot. Went out, got a USB card reader. With that, the laptop (and the desktop) can see things on it.
2) Plugged in Pi, fired up (RS-supplied PSU, leads) Worked!
... Atleast no power problems.
... the mouse has got a LED on the scroll-wheel and that's only dim on the Pi, will it have enough power to work?
3) Tried to log in. user i, password rasberry. WHAT?
... Different keyboard, works! Turns out the first kb has one non-working key - "p"
4) startx. Works! and mouse works!
5) Downloaded Gparted liveCD iso. Burned it to disc.
... Tried it in laptop. No. Tried it in desktop. No.
... Reburnt it to CD, this time properly!
... Still won't work on laptop. Pissed around for ages trying to get the laptop to boot from CD. Gave up. Worked on desktop.
... Extending the Ext partition with Gparted was easy, with the graphics showing precisely what was happening. Far easier than doing it using the command line instructions on the wiki.
6) Tried it on the Pi. Still works!

and so to bed (Pepys)

Day 2
1) Read all I could about RiscOs, got slightly confused.
2) Downloaded the new pre-alpha image.
3) Put it on a 16GB SD card (knowing it was going to be a mistake)
4) Fired up the Pi ... it (half) worked!
... left-hand side of screen missing.
5) Onto laptop, added "overscan_left=64" to config.txt (using notepad), back to Pi
... Can now see all the screen.
... two out of three boots don't work. TO-DO - try a smaller card?
... It hangs waiting for DHCP - there's no network attached! 'cos I'm going to use the laptop as a bridge (no wifi dongles in the drawer)

Day 3
1) Back to Linux.
2) The screen is muzzy
... it should be 1080i, I think the screen should handle that natively, I'll have to try "disable_overscan=1". Also look into forcing it to other HDMI modes. Also how to download the monitor's EDID file.
3) I don't want DHCP - I want a fixed IP. where?
... "for Debian/Raspbian modify the file /etc/networking/interfaces"
... startx. File manager / explorer / ? Oh - it's down there, seond from left, unlabeled
... Up several times, lots of directories - why aren't they sorted alphabetically?
... found it. Now how do we edit it? ... leafpad. Now syntax
... "... try 'man interfaces' for the correct syntax for this file" ... What? How? Where? Do I type that into a Bash window? Where do I find that?

So the learning curve is steep
The wizzy world-changing app will be delayed by a few months.


Have you ever had so much fun for so little money!!!!!!
(I won't mention the raised blood pressure and the desire at times to hit the Pi with a sledgehammer)
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by Burngate » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:54 am
The sledge hammer has been impounded by the Pi-Police 8-)
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by andyl » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:03 pm
Burngate wrote:3) I don't want DHCP - I want a fixed IP. where?
... "for Debian/Raspbian modify the file /etc/networking/interfaces"
... startx. File manager / explorer / ? Oh - it's down there, seond from left, unlabeled
... Up several times, lots of directories - why aren't they sorted alphabetically?
... found it. Now how do we edit it? ... leafpad. Now syntax
... "... try 'man interfaces' for the correct syntax for this file" ... What? How? Where? Do I type that into a Bash window? Where do I find that?


For a lot of these type of things it is best to be at a command line and not try and use it using the various X programs.

That way the instructions are much simpler - along the lines of type sudo nano /etc/networking/interfaces rather than trying to talk people through the GUI (which could be different for different people depending on whether or not they have installed a different desktop environment, file manager, etc). Doing stuff at the command line has huge advantages in the real world as well - it is much less painful to do remote management of systems. It is also easier to get people on the phone to type commands than to try and navigate them through a GUI (although you wouldn't be doing that for system config tasks).
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by Burngate » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:01 pm
OK
So first today we're going to try to sort the screen.
1) config.txt, put in disable_overscan=1 ... no different
2) I wonder if the monitor is doing something odd? Menu > Feature > HDMI PC Full Mode > change to on?
... Yey! It's still muzzy, but I can see the Raspberry top left!
3) Lots of other prattings, no further forward, give up on that for the moment

What about the network - static IP
Let's look at the man
Yeah, lots of good stuff, but not entirely clear! I think I should be able to just change "iface eth0 inet dhcp" to something like "iface eth0 static 192.168.1.201" but something like is not as good as perfection.
So first, how about the examples?
Found /usr/share/doc/ifupdown/examples/network-interfaces.gz
Is that an archive? (flaps around in the dark) open with ... Xarchiver? sounds good. Yeah. Inside it is ... wait for it ... network-interfaces! Easiest thing would be extract it.
"Can't perform extraction! You don't have the right permission to extract the files to the directory ... " WHY NOT? For G's sake where else should it go? In fact why was it zipped in the first place! And why should anyone NEED permission - it's only a set of examples for G's sake!
I'm rapidly getting p'd off with this security malarkey. It's MY computer. I can do what I want!
TO-DO give myself full permissions to everything.
OK extract to /home/pi. That worked! TO-DO put the extracted file back where it belongs!
Now back to /etc/network/interfaces (why isn't the file manager putting the folders - sorry directories - in alpha order?)
Yeah, so infact it seems it should be:
iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.1.201
network 192.168.1.0
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.1.1
(Why do we need the network statement? isn't that obvious from address and mask? or am I missing something?)
Let's try it!
Open the file with leafpad, edit it, save it ... "'interfaces' already exists - overwrite?" Naturally!

That's what I'm trying to do! ... "Can't open to write" ... to be expected. Why does this HAVE to be so DIFFICULT!
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by andyl » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:21 pm
All the "cannot writes" are security issues.

A normal user cannot edit the config files, or create new files in a whole load of directories. When doing these changes become superuser. So if you see my previous post I had sudo at the beginning of a command. Which means do what follows as superuser. And yes you can do sudo bash - to get a shell where everything you do is with superuser rights.

As for your /etc/network/interfaces you do not need network.
Code: Select all
iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.1.5
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.1.254

will work

The network line can be used to do some fancy advanced stuff which you do not need.
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by Burngate » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:53 pm
Thanks andyl :)
The coffee cooled me down
I'm just seeing it from the noob's point of view - since I am a noob.
I'm well aware that I should do it a superuser - I'm also lazy. But your average 15-year-old is likely to not want all the hassles.
But I just thought a blow-by-blow of my journey through life might amuse some of the experts here.
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by rutherfb » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:32 am
Thanks Burngate
your blow by blow is really helpfull, im really new to programming and just recieved my pi
so still don't know anything but your post has already answered some questions
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