Using a Raspberry Pi as an iBeacon

November 15, 2013

There's an excellent blog post by by James Nebeker and David G. Young about simulating an iBeacon using a Raspberry Pi and a bluetooth dongle. Since I already had both, I thought I'd give it a try. It worked really well, and I've even put together the files necessary to do it in my GitHub repository.

You'll need to install BlueZ as well for this to work. Once you get it all installed and working you can use one of the mobile iBeacon apps, such as iBeacon Locate. Very fun to play with, and a good way to be able


More Fun With BeagleBone Black

October 20, 2013

I've discovered that owning a BeagleBone Black (or, in my case, two) is kind of like owning one of those really, really nice
cars that you buy but you can almost never drive because it spends so much time in the shop. It's a lovely piece of hardware, it
really is, but the people who created it seem to have gone to great lengths to make sure that all you can do is sit back and admire
it, because you certainly won't be able to do anything useful with it.

My next foray into BBB craziness was attempting to get


Zeroconf Rocks!

June 28, 2013

I have a lot of computers on my network now - my laptop and desktop, my wife's 3(!) computers, her iPad, two Linux servers and miscellaneous other devices, along with my Raspberry Pi and two BeagleBone Blacks, so managing all these was starting to be a pain. So, just on a hunch, I wanted to see if Bonjour/Zeroconf/Avahi could help. I did some investigation, and it turns out that you can access any machines that advertise on Zeroconf by name.local. Since I work predominantly on Macs, I was already pretty comfortable with the idea of dynamically finding


Setting up NTP on BeagleBone Black

June 10, 2013

For some reason, they didn't seem to see the need to set up the time service on the BeagleBone Blacks by default. I tried using the instructions from this gentleman, but I had to make some modifications.

  1. Install NTP
        $ opkg update && opkg install ntp
  1. Edit /etc/ntp.conf, adding as the server:
        # This is the most basic ntp configuration file
        # The driftfile must remain in a place specific to this
        # machine - it records the machine specific clock error
        driftfile /etc/ntp.drift
        # This obtains a random server which will be close
        # (in IP terms)


BeagleBone Black

June 10, 2013

Got my two BeagleBone Blacks from AdaFruit on Friday. Really nice. I bought them without enclosures because, well, the enclosures were $20, and the BeagleBones themselves were only $45. The nice thing is, though, that they fit exactly into an Altoids tin, so I turned two into my enclosures. I used tin snips to cut holes for power and Ethernet, and lined them with electrical tape to insulate the board from the box. Here's what they ended up looking like:

By default, they run Ångström Linux. The default programming environment for them is a variant of Javascript they call "