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JonnyAlpha
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Remote Access Made Easy (Not yet but it's a thought) (c)

Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:38 pm

Hi;

I had a thought today and just wanted to put it out there and share it to get some feedback - if I am rambling I apologise :-)

I am a primary school teacher with several years of experience with the Raspberry Pi (HAB flight, Pi Wars, small scale robotics etc).

I use RPis in my 2 x after school clubs but I have only every tried to use RPis in the classroom on a couple of occasions a few years ago and failed (not enough Pis and no other adult support with a class of 28 children).
I am not planning to use Pis again just yet but today I had a thought.

Unless a school has the luxury of a dedicated IT suite with Pis setup ready to go, in my experience one of the biggest hurdles in using Raspberry Pis in a classroom setting is the need for technical experience in setting them up headless. Yes there are loads of tutorials using Ethernet and even USB to setup remote access to use VNC etc but apart from a small number even the dedicated computing teacher would struggle without spending a lot of time learning how to do it and then setting them up ready to go. Even then once in the class the children still need to open PUTTY (if using Windows) know the IP address before logging in and getting going - all delaying a lesson which is probably only 40 minutes long if your lucky.

Solution Required
What is needed is the ability to simply connect the Pi to a Laptop via USB or Ethernet and open up an icon / app on the desktop and hey presto you are presented with the Pi's desktop.

If there is a way to already do this let me know - if not I'll be seeking a solution.

HDMI
A bit of Googling and I have found some info on HDMI to USB adaptor (very expensive though) but this proves it is possible to deliver the HDMI output from the Pi into the USB of a laptop.

Keyboard and Mouse Input
After getting the display from the Pi to the Laptop next would be to be able to use the Laptops keyboard / mouse / trackpad to control the Pi. Again with a bit of Googling technically this is technically possible e.g. here https://symless.com/synergy

So unless I am completely missing something and it is already possible to very quickly and easily (for a complete novice) to simply connect a Pi to a Laptop via Ethernet / USB and use the laptop as a host device then its something I am going try and achieve.

P.S. intellectual property rights on this if it does not exist :-)
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Roken
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Re: Remote Access Made Easy (Not yet but it's a thought) (c)

Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:44 pm

To setup via a direct connection to another computer is doable, but easier is if you have access to the router and can setup port forwarding. You don't mention if this is an option.

If not, you need to set up the host machine as a router in its own right.
Headless PI. OMG, someone cut it's head off. Oh, hang on. it didn't have one to start with.

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JonnyAlpha
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Re: Remote Access Made Easy (Not yet but it's a thought) (c)

Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:29 am

I am looking for a direct connection, plug and play solution, which does not exist at present (as far as I am aware).

The user should be able to plug the Raspberry Pi into a Laptop and open an app and hey presto - Raspberry Pi Desktop appears.
This would be ground breaking IMHO and make the Raspberry Pi a very manageable classroom asset.

I am going to run this buy the Raspberry Pi development team and see if it has been considered?

I would love to be able to use Raspberry Pis in a classroom as easily as I can Micro:Bits :-)
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B.Goode
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Re: Remote Access Made Easy (Not yet but it's a thought) (c)

Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:03 am

It isn't a universal solution like the one you envisage, but for RPiZero boards (only) and for access to the GPIOZERO API (only), are you aware of this -

http://bennuttall.com/raspberry-pi-zero-gpio-expander/


It meets this restricted part of your remit:
I would love to be able to use Raspberry Pis in a classroom as easily as I can Micro:Bits


Another possible source of inspiration might be the PiratePython utility - still a slowly evolving beta - from Pimoroni.

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JonnyAlpha
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Re: Remote Access Made Easy (Not yet but it's a thought) (c)

Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:19 am

B.Goode wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:03 am
It isn't a universal solution like the one you envisage, but for RPiZero boards (only) and for access to the GPIOZERO API (only), are you aware of this -

http://bennuttall.com/raspberry-pi-zero-gpio-expander/


It meets this restricted part of your remit:
I would love to be able to use Raspberry Pis in a classroom as easily as I can Micro:Bits


Another possible source of inspiration might be the PiratePython utility - still a slowly evolving beta - from Pimoroni.
Aha - if anyone would have been working on a partial solution it would have been Ben Nuttal :-) Looks like this is already a consideration (sort of), but still requires a lot of technical input from the user. I will however definately take a look at this. I especially like the fact that you can use the Raspbian Boot CD, wonder if this would work on a school Laptop designed to boot from a server login. Pressing F12 (I think) does give the option to boot from CD?

More research needed :-)
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ejolson
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Re: Remote Access Made Easy (Not yet but it's a thought) (c)

Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:39 am

JonnyAlpha wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:19 am
B.Goode wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:03 am
It isn't a universal solution like the one you envisage, but for RPiZero boards (only) and for access to the GPIOZERO API (only), are you aware of this -

http://bennuttall.com/raspberry-pi-zero-gpio-expander/


It meets this restricted part of your remit:
I would love to be able to use Raspberry Pis in a classroom as easily as I can Micro:Bits


Another possible source of inspiration might be the PiratePython utility - still a slowly evolving beta - from Pimoroni.
Aha - if anyone would have been working on a partial solution it would have been Ben Nuttal :-) Looks like this is already a consideration (sort of), but still requires a lot of technical input from the user. I will however definately take a look at this. I especially like the fact that you can use the Raspbian Boot CD, wonder if this would work on a school Laptop designed to boot from a server login. Pressing F12 (I think) does give the option to boot from CD?

More research needed :-)
It is possible to configure a Pi Zero W so that when you plug it into the USB port of a PC it appears as a Ethernet adapter that automatically configures the PC using DHCP and then waits for a VNC connection. At this point you simply launch the VNC client on the PC and log in with a virtual desktop.

A description of how to do this and then run Mathematica is contained in this post. Note, however, that the same setup would work for GPIO and other programming exercises.

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