Hardware

Category page of all posts on the web site that are tagged as related to hardware including PC / embedded and more

Raspberry Pi 4 USB Boot Config Guide for SSD / Flash Drives

Raspberry Pi 4 with Samsung 950 Pro NVME SSD

The Raspberry Pi 4 is finally here and has a lot of exciting changes. One very major downside is that it doesn’t support true USB booting yet out of the box (like the 3 series did).
The Raspberry Pi foundation states that it is being worked on and will be added back with a future update. No timeline has been given yet for that to happen but they state it’s one of their top priorities.

Most of my projects heavily depend on having good performing storage so sitting and waiting was not an acceptable solution. In this guide I’ll show you a workaround to use USB devices as your rootfs device and use a Micro SD card as bootloader only which gives us full SSD performance after boot!

My Early Bitcoin ASIC Miners (2013-2014) – Pictures / History

Block Erupter ASIC setup

The most competitive Bitcoin mining operations today consist of entire warehouses of large ASIC miners usually located near sources of renewable energy or power plants selling off excess energy production for cheap. To get seriously involved in the Bitcoin mining space of today will require you to already be quite wealthy and to put up some *serious* cash.

But things were not always this way. I found a bunch of pictures in my photo library of my old mining rigs back from the dawn of Bitcoin ASIC mining and wanted to share them. Let’s go on a journey together back to the year of 2013 and explore what old school Bitcoin mining ASIC hardware looked like, how much it cost, and what we can learn from them today!

Install Ubuntu Server 20.04 on Intel Compute Stick Guide

Intel Compute Stick

My primary purpose for buying the Intel Compute Stick was to have an ultra portable x86_64 server to get around ARM limitations. Therefore the dated Ubuntu 14.04 GUI install had to go. In this guide we will walk through installing Ubuntu Server 18.04 on the Intel Compute Stick!

Raspberry Pi Cheap SSD Upgrade Guide

SSD now cheaper than Micro SD cards

I’ve covered the benefits of taking your Raspberry Pi to a solid state drive (SSD) before extensively in this article but in a nutshell you get around a 280% increase in raw throughput and a 1000% increase in 4k random read/writes over a MicroSD card.

In this article I will teach you how to upgrade to a SSD on your Raspberry Pi for under $30.

Turn Old mSATA SSDs To Fast USB Stick Drives

Looking down the barrel of the mSATA drive

Since the M.2 NVME form factor has won the high performance solid state drive war many of you may be stuck with older micro SATA (mSATA) drives.  These still have a very awesome use that will only cost you $10 to take advantage and have a blistering USB stick instead of throw them away!

These are full blown SSDs and their performance blows a regular USB flash drive out of the water.  They support the trim command and show up as “fixed disks” instead or removable storage.  This means they support cache write optimizations that normal USB removable drives don’t.  This allows you to do all sorts of awesome things on them.  Some examples:  Windows to Go, Fast Portable Linux, Virtual Machine storage, etc.  You can also just use it as a really fast drive to transfer files back and forth with your friends while looking like a total techie badass.
Looking down the barrel of the mSATA drive
View of the top of the drive

UDOO X86 Microboard Breakdown

Front of the board

The UDOO X86 is a single board computer that runs an Intel 64-bit chipset. It also has a separate chipset with a full implementation of Arduino. It runs Windows 10 and any flavor of Linux. The board is touted as as the “new PC that can run everything.” That is quite a bold claim!

In this breakdown we will examine the Udoo X86 and see how it stacks up against other SBCs!

Old Skool NES Classic Case Fan Mod

Pi Classic Fan Case Open

This is a followup to my awesome Old Skool NES Classic RetroPie build.  When I posted my build on Reddit several users that already had the case noted that the case tends to get very hot.

That’s not good, but since the case is so awesome I was determined to find a solution.  This mod requires no soldering, no drilling, and is dead simple and cheap.  It also does not modify the look of your NES Classic RetroPie setup at all!

Check If Raspberry Pi is Undervolted Or Throttled

Raspberry Pi 4

I uploaded a quick gist that will measure your Raspberry Pi’s true clock speeds using the vcgencmd. Don’t believe what other tools like cpufreq tell you that your Raspberry Pi is running at because they are lying to you! The true clock speeds are controlled by the firmware and vcgencmd is the official way to interact with the Raspberry Pi’s firmware and hardware and are the only readings you can really trust! Available at https://gist.github.com/TheRemote/10bda1ac790f959210db5789f5241436 or click read more to view it directly on my site.

amiibo NFC Backup Guide for Mobility and Safety

N2 Elite Manager with N2 elite chip loaded

My girlfriend and I are huge fans of the Nintendo Switch and especially The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Switch is praised for its portability but whenever she comes over she brings the Switch but carrying all the accessory was a big pain.

There are over a dozen amiibo figurines that work with Breath of the Wild and can give you very powerful items and abilities. But bring her whole collection of amiibo figures on top of the switch itself became too big of a load. To solve this she found a very compact and protective carrying case that made it very easy to take the Switch around safely.

Kali Linux 2017.1 + Raspberry Pi 3 + RPI 7″ Touchscreen = Plug and Play!

Kali actually running and connected to local WiFi using built in WiFi

The Kali Linux penetration testing distribution has been available for Raspberry Pi for quite some time. However, it can be quite a chore to set it up, especially with a touchscreen.

Recently I purchased the official Raspberry Pi 7″ touchscreen and was astonished when I put the SD card in and Kali booted up right to the desktop ready for me to log in!