Like many others my little Pi turned up on the doorstep in a little cardboard box. As expected there wasn’t much in the box apart from a sort of ‘Welcome Note’ and directions for downloading the OS. Needless to say it took longer to download the OS than it did to write it to the SD card. So all connected up to the keyboard, mouse, screen and ethernet and away we go. Power on.
The first boot took a little while longer than expected but I expect it was creating bits and bobs all over the place. This was confirmed as subsequent boots to the command line, or rather to the login part of the command line took considerably less time. Login details are simple enough with the user name as Pi and the password as Raspberry. Something that you may want to change later on.
Once you’re into the command line it could seem a little confusing as to what to do next. Especially if you are used to a nice looking GUI with a mouse etc. Have no fear as a simple “startx” without the quotes fires up the window manager (LXDE – Lightweight desktop environment).
One thing I like to do is to run “sudo apt-get update” from the LX terminal just to make sure everything is up to date before we get started. The other thing that may be useful is to install synaptic package manager with “sudo apt-get install synaptic”. Again from the terminal window.
Time was running out for me at this point so I thought I’d have a quick look at Xastir (APRS application) to see if it would work. After a bit of a turned up face at the look of the interface I confirmed that it works as easily as it would on any platform. A bit of configuring and you’re away. I didn’t connect up the radio then as it’ll need a sound modem like the AGWPE for windows. That’ll be the next step.
One thing I hadn’t noticed is that there is no on board clock and the Pi get the time either by you setting it in the command line or through the ethernet. This could mean that if applications like WSPR can run on it then an external clock is going to be needed or a permanent connection to the ethernet.
So first impressions are done with and I have to say that it does struggle a bit if you ask it to do too much at once but that’s more to do with managing your own expectations but this is going to be a very interesting little gizmo to keep an eye on for ham radio