Treating a RaspberryPi as just another Windows machine

This guide has been superceded by the AutoInstall version but it still shows the process needed to go through 🙂

To access the files on your RPi over your network and to stop worrying about finding its IP address, you need to install and configure something called Samba – but don’t worry-  I’ve made this easy peasy

1st off -need to run LXTerminal and then type

sudo apt-get install samba

(Answer any question it asks with OK or Y)

Once its installed – we need another thing installing – so do this

sudo apt-get install samba-common-bin

And then run this command

sudo smbpasswd -a pi

You will be asked to enter the pi password twice – use raspberry as the password.

Finally use

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

And copy and paste the following to replace the existing file contents

#======================= Global Settings =======================
workgroup = WORKGROUP
server string = mypi server
netbios name = mypi

dns proxy = no

#### Debugging/Accounting ####
log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m
max log size = 1000
syslog = 0
panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d

####### Authentication #######
security = user
map to guest = pi

#======================= Share Definitions =======================

comment = Home Directories
browseable = yes
guest ok = yes
read only = no
create mask = 0775
directory mask = 0775
writeable = yes
guest account = pi

path = /
guest ok = yes
guest account = ftp
browseable = yes
read only = no
create mask = 0777
directory mask = 0777
writeable = yes
admin users = everyone

Save the file in nano (Ctrl-O, answer Y and then Ctrl-X) and finally issue the following command

sudo /etc/init.d/samba restart

Your RPi should now be set to be reffered to as \\mypi from any windows machine on the same network.

You will be asked to logon the 1st time you use it after every computer restart – just use username pi password raspberry

If you wish to change the name of your RPi to say darkstar then just replace mypi with darkstar in the server name and netbios name lines

A Tale of Two Pi

…I’m no longer a SimplePi man – I’m now MrT(au)



I didn’t intend having two so soon but last Friday (3rdAug) I was googling for something when I noticed a sponsored advert for a RaspberryPi from Farnell.  In curiosity (just shows their advertising engine is spot on BTW) I clicked on the link and a page came up saying 142 in stock and would I like one!!!

So I clicked yes and  2 hours later I got an email saying it had been dispatched at total cost to me of £24.55 + £4.91VAT – free P&P (Although 24.55 works out at $38 but lets not nit pick 🙂 )

Obviously, with free P&P it was sent out by camel and only arrived here this morning (5 real -3 working days later) but considering I waited 3 months for my 1st one to arrive – I’m not complaining 🙂

My only problem I’m going to have is when my wife finds out I’ve bought another one!

GPIO Pins on RaspberryPi

This article is for beginners – I know there are wars on the Internet as to what the pins are called but this is what I follow 🙂


When trying to use the GPIO port on your RaspberryPi, its VERY VERY important to know which pins do what (and are always available to play with) and that YOU MIGHT BREAK YOUR RASPBERRYPI if you get something wrong.

But, if like me, you just want to be able to flash some LEDs off an on to get started then, I recommend looking at this guide

You can 100% assume that when people are talking about pin 11 – they mean pin 11 🙂

If you see references to GPIO 0 – then 99% of the time – they are talking about pin 11.

If you see references to GPIO 17 – then 99% of time – they are talking about pin 11.

(If you follow my Scratch/GPIO stuff and see me talking about output1 then I’m probably talking about pin 11 – as I think kids like start to count at 1 and not zero 🙂 )

PS I might change to calling it outputA – it’ll still be pin 11.

Once you got a starting reference point then its easy to follow any further instructions that you might find in guides.

Here is a nice one

That is pretty much the simplest way of getting a blinking LED going (Of course I just used jumper wires myself to a normal breadboard from Pin11 (my favourite pin) and Pin6 (the zero volts/ground/earth pin)

Now, there is real danger of blowing your RPi up by making a mistake so you have been warned – although  no harm will come to your Pi at all if you get it right 🙂

There are lots of add on boards that are designed to make things safer/easier and I recommend check out the list at

I’m not using any of them yet as I’m waiting to see what the “official” Gert board is/does/costs before making a descision as to what to recommend for kids to use.

Hope this helps in getting started.

Improving Scratch -RaspberryPi GPIO Control Performance

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting a bit brighter 🙂

The reason my current doesn’t handle sequential variable changes is that Scratch codes them up differently (for efficiency) and that I need to use something like this

to handle them.

Also, the CPU time used by Scratch seems to increase whenever you create more variables.  I’m assuming this is because it starts checking for changes in variables when RSC is enabled.  This increase in CPU load doesn’t seem to take place if using broadcasts so I’m going to change my python code to try and incorporate these two things and lets see if we can improve performance 🙂

Backup your Pi

Every now and then and especially once you’ve made a very useful change to your RPi (got your wifi USB adaptor working or made it autostart into LXDE etc) then I recommend creating a backup image of your whole SD card.

On windows, the easiest way is to connect your card to your PC and use Win32 Disk Imager in read mode.
e.g Insert SD card into your computer/Card Adaptor and run Win32 Disk Imager, click on browse icon and create a new file somewhere to save your image – then click Read and the program will do the rest. 🙂

Remote Sensor Connections

Still coming up to speed with Scratch on a RaspberryPi and its ability to communicate to other processes 🙂

Remote Sensor Connections (RSC) – can be enabled by right-clicking on the bottom sensor block in the Sensing section.

This seems to do the same as using Mesh with the advantage that if you save a project with RSC enabled – Scratch will re-enable it when you re-load the project 🙂

So no need to use a modified Scratch at the moment 🙂