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Installing OpenVPN on a Raspberry Pi
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So now that you have a Raspberry Pi, what can you do with it? One interesting option is to install an OpenVPN server on it. This will allow you to connect to your own home network – and browse the internet as if you were home – from wherever you are in the world. This is great if you don’t trust the public Wi-Fi hotspot in your local coffee shop (you shouldn’t trust it!), or if you find yourself on a public network that limits your access to certain information (e.g. internet on a bus, or internet with a content filter). Of course, it is also a great way to watch your favourite Netflix series while abroad. Luckily, installing OpenVPN has become a lot easier lately thanks to a number of great scripts that do all the hard work for you. I particularly like PiVPN for its simplicity and …

A Basic Install of a Raspberry Pi System
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With a brand new Raspberry Pi comes the challenge of how to set it up. For some uses, such as a desktop (full Raspbian with PIXEL) or media centre (e.g. LibreELEC) it can be as simple as downloading an image, plugging in a screen, keyboard, and mouse, and going from there. When you want to do something else with your Raspberry Pi, especially in a headless setting (i.e. without screen), then setting everything up can be a bit more tricky. This guide helps to simplify the process of setting up a basic, secure Raspberry Pi headless installation.

WDLabs PiDrive 6x6 Enclosure Review
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Last year, on Pi Day 2016, Western Digital launched the PiDrive for the Raspberry Pi. The PiDrive at the time was a 314GB external hard drive (get it?), optimised for low power consumption and with an integrate SATA-to-USB controller to make it easy to plug into one of the Raspberry’s USB ports. Of course, this last feature is a bit of a ruse. Many of the external 2.5” drives that are sold nowadays feature these SATA-to-USB controllers. It makes the external drive slightly more compact, and it prohibits the drive to be used in e.g. a laptop. Since then, the original PiDrive has sold out and has been replaced by a 250GB, 375GB, and 1TB version. The pricing on these isn’t exactly bad – assuming it meets your storage needs. When comparing the options with alternatives it is important to note that these come bundled with a …

Intel J3355 - A Gem in the Rough for H.264 and H.265 Encoding
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This last decade the world of desktop processors has been, well, boring. The Intel Core processors which launched in 2006 were a significant step forward. They did away with the worst of the Pentium 4 series and moved to a much higher IPC, resulting in a processor that could outperform the Pentium 4s using a significantly lower clock rate while using significantly less power. Those were the days of revolutions. Nowadays, those leaps and bounds are reserved for the mobile space (although those days are coming to an end before long). On the desktop, we have only seen (limited) incremental progress as better core designs are introduced along decreasing fab sizes. The problem is that we are getting closer and closer to a wall, the fabrication size, that cannot easily be broken. Making the fabrication process one step smaller comes with an exponential increase in costs, while only offering a …

Low-Cost Python Internet-Of-Things
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The Internet of Things – or IoT for short – is a powerful buzzword in current day-to-day life. It promises a world where everyday object have network connectivity, allowing them to form a massive and secure machine-to-machine network. The potential applications range from smart cities, to smart grids, to smart homes, all powered by smart devices (I assume that smart is another buzzword?). But what does it all mean? Smart cities are probably the closest to reality and they allow a city to manage all its resources centrally. At any time the city knows where its police officers are, which lights are turned on, what traffic conditions are, how many pedestrians are in a given area, etc … . If an accident happens, such a smart city can immediately – even without human intervention – direct the closest police officer to the accident site, advice on the pedestrians that were in the area, redirect traffic to …