Raspberry Pi ideas

A Raspberry Pi is one of the things that you should consider getting if you are a computer programmer.

Just bought a Raspberry Pi but not sure what to do with it? If that is the case, you had come to the right place. On this page, you will find plenty of ideas on how to use your Raspberry Pi.

By following the ideas here, you will understand your Raspberry Pi and the Linux operating system better. In addition, you will be able to setup your Raspberry Pi to serve some interesting use cases at home.

For example, you will find instructions on how to setup a CCTV for surveillance, Web IDE to help you code everywhere you go, project management platform for tracking your project statuses and etc.

How to setup Raspbian Stretch on Raspberry Pi 3 for developing Python 3 applications

Previously, I had shared:

Although Raspbian Stretch Lite is ideal for running Python 3 applications on Raspberry Pis, it is not so handy for developing Python 3 applications.

For example, if you are building a Python application that interfaces with the GPIO ports and CSI camera of your Raspberry Pi 3, it is hard to test it out on Raspbian Stretch Lite.

Since Raspbian Stretch includes a desktop environment, it is more convenient for developing Python 3 applications for Raspberry Pi. With this purpose in mind, this is how to setup Raspbian Stretch on Raspberry Pi 3 for developing Python 3 applications.

How to make your Raspberry Pi fill up your entire monitor screen by disabling overscan in Raspbian Stretch

After you had booted up Raspbian Stretch for the first time, you may notice that your Raspberry Pi does not fill up your entire monitor screen:

Raspbian Stretch 20181113 not filling entire computer screen

In such a situation, the overscan function in Raspbian could be what you should disable. Given that, this post shows how to make your Raspberry Pi fill up your entire monitor screen by disabling overscan in Raspbian Stretch.

How to host a static website on your Raspberry Pi 3 with Raspbian Stretch Lite and Nginx

When you want to host a static website as your personal portfolio, you can consider using a Raspberry Pi 3. In addition to having a small form factor, a Raspberry Pi 3 is a single board computer that does not take up too much energy to run 24-7.

In order to host a static website on Raspberry Pi 3, you will need an operating system and a web server. Given these points, this is how to host a static website on your Raspberry Pi 3 with Raspbian Stretch Lite as the operating system and Nginx as the web server.

How to get your Raspberry Pi 3 to use Namecheap dynamic DNS to update your domain when your home’s public IP address changes

When you do not leave your modem and router on 24-7, chances are that your public IP address will change. As I had noted in how to host multiple website at home, a public IP address is needed for HTTP clients to reach your HTTP servers at home.

On the other hand, a domain name allows us to map some meaningful English characters to that public IP address. Therefore, it is easier to access our servers with a domain name rather than an IP address.

Although you can get a free subdomain from a dynamic DNS provider, getting your own domain name from a domain registrar like Namecheap can be better. On one hand, you get your own online branding for establishing yourself or your business on the Internet. On the other hand, you are resilient to having your domain shutdown by the dynamic DNS provider for any reasons that is beyond your control.

Previously, I shared why Namecheap is the best domain name registrar for hosting your web server at home. One of the reasons is that Namecheap provides dynamic DNS for us to update the host records of our domain whenever our public IP address changes. Since Raspberry Pi 3 is an affordable, small and energy efficient single board computer, you can get it to use Namecheap Dynamic DNS service to update your domain when your home’s public IP address changes.

In case you need it, this post shows how to get your Raspberry Pi 3 to use Namecheap dynamic DNS to update your domain when your home’s public IP address changes.

How I use my Raspberry Pis to help me work on with my side projects

Undeniably, Raspberry Pi has revolutionised the way we use computing technology in our lives. In addition to being energy efficient, a Raspberry Pi is a single board computer that does not take up too much space.

Given these points, a Raspberry Pi is an ideal programmer gift and one of the things that you should buy if you are a computer programmer.

On the other hand, pursuing side projects help me explore technologies that I may not be able to explore at work. For example, through Techcoil, I got to know more about:

In case you are wondering how to use Raspberry Pis to help you work on your side projects, read on to find out more.

Helpful GPIO Pinout resources that you can reference while connecting sensors to your Raspberry Pi 3

Undeniably, the GPIO (general-purpose input/output) pins along the top edge of your Raspberry Pi 3 board is what makes it so useful for IOT projects. In case you are curious, this is how the GPIO pins looks like on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+:

GPIO pins of a Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Although there is the word GPIO on the circuit board that indicates what those pins are, there is no indication on what each individual pin does.

So how do you know which pins to connect your sensors to? Thankfully, there are several good resources that you can reference while connecting sensors to your Raspberry Pi 3 board.

In case you need it, here are some helpful GPIO resources that you can reference when you are connecting sensors to your Raspberry Pi 3 board.

How to read temperature and humidity from a DHT11 sensor that is connected to a Raspberry Pi 3

I had always wanted to measure the temperature and humidity of the environment where my herbs are grown at.

Since I had a few pieces of Raspberry Pi 3 lying around the house, I decided to use one of them to measure the temperature and humidity of the area of the house where my herbs are.

An additional sensor is required to measure the temperature and humidity of the environment. Therefore, I went to AliExpress and got a DHT11 sensor. By connecting a DHT11 sensor to my Raspberry Pi 3, I can give it the ability to read the temperature and humidity of its environment.

Given these points, I created this post to show how to read temperature and humidity from a DHT11 sensor that is connected to a Raspberry Pi 3.

In order for us to check the temperature and humidity from the DHT11 sensor, we will build a simple Flask application that returns the temperature and humidity values as HTTP responses to HTTP clients.

Building a Raspberry Pi 3 prototype camera that takes a picture at the press of a button

A fun way to test your Raspberry Pi Camera on your Raspberry Pi 3 is to build a prototype that takes a picture at the press of a button. Through such an activity, we will be able to experience:

  • connecting a button to the GPIO ports on a Raspberry Pi.
  • setting up a camera through the CSI interface of a Raspberry Pi.
  • preparing an operating system, such as Raspbian Stretch Lite , for running Raspberry Pi projects.
  • coding a Python 3 script that interacts with the GPIO port and camera on a Raspberry Pi.
  • running a Python 3 script when Raspberry Pi powers on.

Given these points, this post shows how you can build a Raspberry Pi 3 prototype camera that takes a picture at the press of a button.