Copyright © 2002 - 2022 John F. Moore
Copyright © 2002 - 2022 John F. Moore

Linux and Makers

A little History

Linux is more that just an Operating System, it is a tool box. One of it’s strengths is that it gives you the user everything you need to create new programs, or just customize what you have, to your likes.

Linux has flourished because it allowed programmers, or literally anyone who is willing to write computer code, to create and use computer programs which are under their control. At their day jobs, many programmers are hobbled in trying to build elegant programs by marketing pressures. The phrase It’s good enough, ship it. does not resonate with people who like to take pride in what they build. Much like the painter who is never satisfied with his/her work, these are people who enjoy creating and working on elegant software programs. These are the people who write the code for Open Source software.

Linux is the core OS for a number of micro controllers, due to it’s free price, flexable architecture, and real time capabilities.

For background information on John F. Moore take a look at the Who is John F Moore page. Linux Counter 8010

Talk Name Date Created Place Presented
Raspberry Pi GPIO Pins 15 May 2019 WPCUG Linux & Maker Section
Setup and Maintenance of Linux on the Raspberry Pi Part 2 14 February 2019 WPCUG Linux & Maker Section
Setup and Maintenance of Linux on the Raspberry Pi 19 December 2018 WPCUG Linux & Maker Section
Web interface for Raspberry Pi Apps 17 October 2018 WPCUG Linux & Maker Section
AIY Voice 21 March 2018 WPCUG Linux & Maker Section
Automation with OpenHab2 20 Decenber 2017 WPCUG Linux & Maker Section
Raspberry Pi Thermostat 18 October 2017 WPCUG Linux & Maker Section
Raspberry Pi Boot Process 18 January 2017 WPCUG Linux Section
Raspberry Pi Programming 16 March 2016 WPCUG Linux Section
Microcontroller Programming 20 January 2016 WPCUG Linux Section
Raspberry Pi: Introduction 16 September 2015 WPCUG Linux Section
Home Automation: Weather Station with Arduino 17 June 2015 WPCUG Linux Section
Home Automation: Fan Control with Arduino 18 March 2015 WPCUG Linux Section
Makers and Linux 15 October 2014 WPCUG Linux Section


  • Exploring Microcontrollers

    Today may of our appliances come with displays and buttons. Instead of motors and gears, many household items today have embedded Microcontrollers. We are going to explore how we can experiment with Microcontrollers at home.

  • Exploring Microcontrollers Part 2

    Before we can start to create our first microcontroller project we need to understand a few basic components, and how to read a circuit diagram.

    So we will learn about some of the basic building blocks of electronics before we use them to make a simple circuit.

  • Exploring Microcontrollers Part 3

    Now that we understand resistors, capacitors, bread boards, and other peripherals for our microcontroller it is time to jump into using one of the boards.

    So today we are going to explore making use of the Arduino Nano.

  • Exploring Microcontrollers Part 4

    We have learned to work with the Arduino Nano to make some interesting circuits. Now lets have a look at a different type of microcontroller board the Raspberry Pi.

    We will look at how a computer reads and writes analog signals, and how power is measured. Then we will put it all together.

  • Makers and Linux

    The maker movement is a DIY (Do It Yourself) movement which encourages people to explore new ideas. The high school shop class has become a thing of the past. But losing the hands on aspect of working with your hands, has led to a generation that is afraid to do things themselves. If we are going to create a new generation of strong Americans, we need to reclaim the DIY spirit, and encourage people to experiment.

    In the electronics arena of the maker movement Linux is a driving force providing the Operating System underpinnings for many of the experimenter boards. It is open source, it is scaleable, it is modable and best of all it is free.

    This section will explore how to use Linux in an exploration of micro controller boards. We will explore how Linux can provide a stable base on which to build and experiment.

  • Home Automation: Fan Control with Arduino

    The Internet of Everything is bring more automation into our lives. The idea is to allow devices in your home, office, and environment to talk to each other. But behind this idea is the automation of tasks using electronic control. A prime target of automation is the home, one of the lowest tech environments around.

    Since automation is coming on strong I thought it would be fun to do some home automation ourselves. So I thought we would begin exploring this new level of automation by building some home automation.

    Do you ever get home after work in the spring and notice the inside of the house is hotter than the outside? Well suppose you could sense the temperature outside, and the temperature in the house, and turn on a fan to draw in the cool air before you got home.

    We are going to design a system that can do just that and discuss how to program it.

  • Home Automation: Weather Station with Arduino

    The weather is a constant topic of interest and concern to everyone. We have weather apps on our phones, and reports on our radio’s. Yet all this information is based on weather stations that report information like temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind direction and speed, plus rain fall amounts.

    The process of predicting the weather is beyond home weather stations. But recording those pieces of information can be fun and challenging. Add to this that the WeatherUnderGround Personal Weather Station Network, encourages you to contribute your data to their site, and you have an interesting DIY project.

  • Raspberry Pi: Introduction

    What is a Raspberry Pi?
    What can you do with a Raspberry Pi?
    How do I start with a Raspberry Pi?

    Join me as we explore this single board computer. We will discuss what it can do, and how to interface to the outside world. In the process we will discuss how to setup a new board, and how to gave a remote Raspberry Pi for use over the network.

    Lastly we will build and program a small circuit to get your hands engaged in a real application. I will not pretend to be an expert, but merely a leader in the exploration of this micro-controller.

  • Micro Controller Programming

    One of the most important parts of working with microcontrollers is learning to write code. Programming is how we make use of the hardware to accomplish our task.

    We are going to start learning to program the Arduino using the IDE and the Nano. I chose this platform first because it is easier to work with. The Arduino is more limited than the raspberry pi, but the programming environment is simpler.

  • Raspberry Pi Programming

    The Raspberry Pi is a pint sized computer designed for the experimenter and maker. But to put this small computer to work we need to be able to program it.

    Since the OS on the Raspberry Pi is Linux we can take advantage of all the programming languages available on Linux. But also being a small computer, means it does not easily support the graphical and programming applications available on a Linux Laptop. Besides, one of the best way to work on a Raspberry Pi is over SSH.

    So we are going to configure a Raspberry Pi for remote access over SSH, then explore how to program it for some temperature measurements using both Python and Perl.

  • Raspberry Pi Boot Process

    As we delve into the Raspberry Pi I thought it would be useful to understand how the Linux System works on this microcontroller. This will help us understand how to make better software choices.

    Additionally it will allow a deeper understanding of how the Linux Kernel controls the hardware.

  • Raspberry Pi Thermostat

    Instead of using a Raspberry Pi for some toy, why not create a multi-zone thermostat. This month we are going to discuss how to implement a thermostat using a raspberry pi, relays, and temperature sensors.

    Next meeting we will create a web interface for the thermostat so it can be controlled by any computer, tablet, or phone in the house.

  • Automation with OpenHab2

    Do It Yourselfers often like to experiment with home automation. Whether is is turning on light, or watering the lawn, automation can save you both time and make your home more livable.

    Today we are going to pursue using the automation program “OpenHab2” and the switches made by TP-Link. We will discuss how to set it up on a Linux computer, although is works on most OSs.

  • AIY Voice

    Google created the AIY Voice kit to promote the use of Google Assistant. So how does it work and what can I do with it. Lets find out together as we explore how it works.

  • Web interface for Raspberry Pi Apps

    Building applications to run on the Raspberry Pi is getting to be a common occurrence. But how we interface to the applications is often an issue that is over looked.

    For this talk we will explore how to build a web interface for turning on an off some LEDs. This will provide a framework for how to control an application using a Web interface.

  • Setup and Maintenance of Linux on the Raspberry Pi

    We are going to setup a Raspberry Pi for use as a headless server. Once it is setup and put in the closet, our only access is through SSH. So we will look at initial configuration, how to write and modify programs, how to grab source code from GitHub, how to get and configure applications.

    In order to keep your Raspberry Pi software up to date, make changes, or issue new commands you will need to use the command line. Knowing a few commands, or working off a cheat sheet is easy. We will explore some basic commands, and learn how to find other commands.

  • Setup and Maintenance of Linux on the Raspberry Pi part 2

    Last meeting we setup the Raspberry Pi as a headless server. We discussed some of the commands needed to maintain the system.

    Now we are going to discuss some of the background programs and configuration used by the operating system.

    This will be a wide ranging talk about Linux on the Raspberry Pi.

  • Raspberry Pi GPIO Pins

    The GPIO pins on the raspberry pi provide an interface to other hardware devices. Unlike the normal computer interfaces such as USB, Ethernet, or power, these pins can read and write hardware.

    We will explore how to use the interfaces and then experiment with a couple of devices.

    Finally we will explore a few other things you can do with a Raspberry Pi.

Written by John F. Moore

Last Revised: Sun 13 Feb 2022 01:20:30 PM EST

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