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Provide USB sound output for Alexa Voice Services (useful for the Raspberry Pi Zero) + headless restart

Running AVS on a Raspberry Pi zero doesn’t work out of the box. The reason is that the installation script provides no output via USB is because this is not available in the script. In my opinion this is something that is just overlooked as making the changes manually is not hard at all:

Put the following text to the .asoundrc file in your home directory (/home/pi/.asoundrc)

This will allow usb input and output from AVS.

Autostart

Create a file using  nano .config/autostart/AlexaPi.desktop with following content:

The AlexaStart script contains the following (requires TMUX):

 

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DIY NAS – Installing OpenMediaVault (OMV) on a Raspberry Pi 3

NOTE: These instructions were made for Raspberry Pi 3. From my experience these will not work on a Raspberry Pi that does not have ARM7.

Have you always wanted your own NAS, but don’t want to spend the money on it? Have an old Pi laying around and don’t know what to do with it? You have many old harddrives laying around and always have to sift trough them to get the correct files?

Install OpenMediaVault, a NAS solution with a heap of services (ssh, ftp, smb, torrent clients, …) and tons of plugins. While a Pi is not designed for running a NAS, it is very well capable of doing so.

NOTE: if you are having trouble, refer to the video that explains all this in more detail.

Let’s stat with a standard installation of raspbian jessie (I choose jessie lite, without desktop environment). Flash it on your SD card as usual. With the new release of jessie, ssh is disabled by default. Put a file called “ssh” (no file-extension) on the FAT32 partition of your SD card (see here for more info).

The boot partition on a Pi should be accessible from any machine with an SD card reader, on Windows, Mac, or Linux. If you want to enable SSH, all you need to do is to put a file called ssh in the /boot/ directory. The contents of the file don’t matter: it can contain any text you like, or even nothing at all. When the Pi boots, it looks for this file; if it finds it, it enables SSH and then deletes the file. SSH can still be turned on or off from the Raspberry Pi Configuration application or raspi-config; this is simply an additional way to turn it on if you can’t easily run either of those applications. – http://raspberrypi.org

Installation

NOTE: during the installation process the ssh access for the user pi will be disabled.
If you log out of your ssh session during the installation you don’t have a way of going back in over ssh. Access will be restored from the OMV GUI.

Now we can start installing OMV. Put the below scripts in 2 different .sh files in the home folder of the pi user (/home/pi). Note that you may need to add execution permission to the scripts – using chmod  chmod +x one.sh

This will add the repository to your sources, install some dependencies and initialize OMV. (original source)

Execute it with:

NOTE: Script one should NEVER be executed again. This will cause problems in your sources file.

Now you can navigate to the IP address of your pi (ifconfig command)using a browser (no port is required, OMV runs by default on port 80).

Usage

Default login credentials are admin:openmediavault. You can now connect to the gui and experience OMV in all its glory. Format your external drives to a file format for Linux. OMV can handle this the best by default and it will increase your speed drastically. (note that only Linux based computers can read this by default.)

After OMV has picked up your drive, you have to mount the file system. If you are having issues, have OMV format your filesystem by manually unmounting the drive, creating a new filesystem via the GUI and mount it.
Once that is done you are free to create folders, configure them for samba, manage your users and so much more.

OMV-Extras

Enhance your OMV experience using a bunch of plugins. omv-extras is the best library for all of them.

Download the .deb file of OMV-extras. In the plugins section choose upload, and upload your .deb file. Install the openmediavault-omvextrasorg plugin which will allow you to have access to all the plugins you would ever need! (note that you may need to click “check” after installing to ensure the plugins are being picked up).

 

Conclusion

You now have a PiNAS. A Raspberry Pi running NAS software which allows you to manage your shared folders on your network, manage user access and so much more!

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Increase cache size in Kodi Krypton(V17) for faster and smooth playback

When you are streaming videos from a network device to Kodi, you may feel some slowness, stuttering, buffering or complete interrupts in your video. This is not enjoyable at all. In Kodi Jarvis(V16) you were able to change the cache, but in the new version the tags have changed!

Create the file “advancedsettings.xml” in the userdata directory of Kodi. Depending on what system you are using, find the location below:

Operative system File path
Android Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata
iOS /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/userdata/
Linux ~/.kodi/userdata/
Mac /Users/<your_user_name>/Library/Application Support/Kodi/userdata/
LibreELEC/OpenELEC /storage/.kodi/userdata/
Windows  %APPDATA%\kodi\userdata

Using the following code in the advancedsettings.xml file, your Kodi will buffer the data into your ram and speed up buffering in general. Note that you need 3 times the amount of available ram as is defined in “memorysize”(in bytes). For the example below you would need around 400Mb of free ram.

Happy watching!

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Retropie 4.1 – WiFi, Scraper, Runcommand, Remove kodi from Ports and Themes

Hi guys

With the release of retropie 4.1 some new features where introduced. I’ll also try to clear up some questions on last few videos.

Many people wanted to remove Kodi from the ports system after they made Kodi its own system. After some checking I was able to come up with a solution that is very easy to implement. I’ve also added some fun tips and tricks to the video.

Want more? Leave a comment here or on the video!

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2017 – The future

Best wishes and a happy new year!

So… we are 2017 now. A new year to explore new gadgets, build up home-office software contraptions and play around with a wide array of software available out there!

While I have been (s)lacking new video uploads, I have been thinking what I will do first. As RetroPie & Kodi are still my most popular videos out there, I will try to respond to most of the questions with a new video. I am planning to release this one either this or next week. I do need to prepare a new SD card for this. After that I may start looking into “AlexaPi”. I have gotten voiceCommand working, but I feel amazon powered software is just more reliable for this.

I hope 2017 will be an as beautiful year as 2016 was. See you soon!

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Raspberry Pi Zero necessary accessories: Connectors, cases and expansion boards (USB hub)

Looking into some awsome and must-have accessories for the raspberry pi zero!

I bought some of these to protect the pi and expand some of its capabilities. The ZERO4U is also one of (if not THE best) USB hubs for the pi zero out there!

Check it out below:

Today we are checking out some awsome Pi Zero accessories:

  • Pi Zero + HDMI & usb connectors: https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/raspberry-pi-zero
  • Protection case for pi Zero: http://www.banggood.com/Acrylic-Case-For-Raspberry-Pi-Zero-p-1025873.html?p=XA21121527197201504D
  • Zero4u: http://www.uugear.com/product/zero4u/
  • ACRYLIC CASE FOR ZERO4U: http://www.uugear.com/product/acrylic-case-for-zero4u-and-raspberry-pi-zero-clear/

Hope you guys enjoy!

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Share your Unity game’s URL every build!

As a game developer I want to share my current game quickly with friends and testers. As going to the build page, clicking the share-link and then updating a webpage is a lot of work, I went looking for other ways.

Luckily Unity Build has an API. It also has a webhook to notify when the build is completed. Putting these all together, my website buttons now automatically link to the latest build on the Unity Build platform. Unfortunately I spent a lot of item trying to figure out what parameters were the correct ones, which took more time than which I had hoped. For that reason, please find the references in step 4.

Requirements

  • A webserver with php installed (MySQL optional)
  • A Unity cloud build project with automated builds set-up

 

 

  1. Go to your webserver and create 2 files: webhook.php and index.php
  2. Open webhook.php and paste in the following code (explanation will follow)

     
  3. Paste the following code in index.php
  4. Now we can look up the required information:
    1. Your api-key can be found in your cloud build > Preferences > API-key
      apiKey
    2. Your organisation, project and build id’s can be found by making the following API get-request

      From there you can find all the required ids from above (per project).
    3. Your build target is the name of your target system in small letters (eg. webgl)
  5. Now it is time to set up the actual webhooks. Go to the notifications tab of your cloud build project and choose “Add new”. Fill in the URL of your php script on your web server and keep the json content type.  Click the check boxes so only “ProjectBuildSuccess” remains and use SSL only if your site has https.
    newWebhook

 

After filling everything in, start a new build (or commit a change). The cloud should send a post message to your website and the URL in the text file will be updated. When you go to your index.php page, you will be redirected to the build of your game’s latest commit!

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Retropie 4.0 – Start Kodi on Launch

Using my retropie-Kodi combo for a while now I walked into some issues where Kodi wasn’t active for some reason (usually me forgetting about it after rebooting my Pi). This interfered with my SickRage Kodi notification.

With the release of Retropie 4.0 this option has finally been built-in! After upgrading to the new Retropie release you can go to the retropie-setup menu and choose the following options:

C Configuration / tools > 001 autostart – Auto-start Emulation Station / Kodi on boot > 2 Start Kodi at boot (exit for Emulation Station)

Exit the retropie setup and restart your raspberry. You will now be greeted by your Kodi! On exiting Kodi you will go back to emulation station.

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Remove torrents that finished downloading in transmission (WebUI)

Ever found your transmission queue filling up with torrents that have been completed which makes you lose the overview? I have, and coming home to start removing these files was a major waste of time, so I stared writing my first ever Bash script to solve this issue.

First thing you have to do is ensure you have “transmission-remote” installed. For me it was included when I installed transmission on my raspberry pi.

Once you have verified you have this installed you can continue with the creation of the script. Create a new file using you favorite text editor (for example “nano”) and paste the following code:

This is assuming you are running transmission and this script on the same server, and transmission-daemon is listening on localhost:9091. For other hosts/ports you need to pass additional parameters to the transmission-remote command.

Now that you have your script in place, remember to call it using crontab. In below example it is getting called once a day at noon.

The reason I am using this instead of the ability to call a script once a download completes, is because I had to clean up a whole chunk of backlog torrents that were still in my queue. This script will clean up ALL torrents that have status “Finished” once a day.

 

Note: In case your torrents never have status “Finished”, this will not work. Torrents are only set to status Finished if they are not seeding or downloading anymore. This can be forced in transmission by changing the options under “Seeding”.

transmission settings

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