Category Archives: DIY tech

Reboot …

We kicked off a WordPress web server running on a Raspberry Pi earlier in 2015. The Pi went back on the shelf but now the time is right to dust it off, dust this blog off and get cracking !

Who else out there is tinkering with a Pi or Arduino etc ?


file transfer as easy as Pi from a Mac …

contrary to my earlier post on FTPing, it turns out it’s incredibly easy to shift files around between a Pi and a Mac. (cheers, milliways)

Get netatalk on the Pi:

sudo apt-get install netatalk

… this installs the appletalk protocol on the Pi. This lets you use the following (at the terminal prompt on the Mac) to connect to the Pi:

open afp://x.x.x.x (where x is your Pi’s local IP address)

Use Finder as normal:

Screen-Shot-2015-04-04-at-20.55.21et voilà:


realvnc sorted !


not quite sure what went wrong and tightvncserver not to blame but all sorted with VNCserver/viewers. Now running virtual mode rather service mode so raspi-configged to stop unnecessary boot into startx.


dash and blast ! vpn needs an overhaul …

a few vpn woes today. Disconnections when not expected. Window sizes. Nothing that can’t be solved but need to go back to basics later



… so have a RealVNC connection into a sensibly sized TinyVNCServer instance on “:2” but the original VNCServer instance on the Pi didn’t have geometry set and is toooooooo small. (And, now, having rebooted the Pi from USB power from the Mac – i.e. no monitor etc. – we can get the the blog but not VNC … two steps forward, one step back).

Need to sort out some type of file transfer later, also. Will look at FileZilla again …


it’s at least a couple of yards to the other desk so clearly we need a remote access solution …

(original intent was to leave the Pi plugged into the USB of something and let it work away without kb/mouse/monitor but having found out that Minecraft won’t work on VNC, don’t think Daughter will allow that …)

Quick Google and looks like we’re after tightvncserver. So all installed then headed a couple of yards (!) back to the Mac to look for a solution. Interesting page from @DavidTheExpert showing how the Mac has Screen Sharing built in. Gave it a go. Didn’t go as planned (plus you can’t copy/paste) so reached for the ol’ standby, VNC. While we were about it, went for VNC on the Pi, also.

Now, the copy/paste doesn’t seem to work at the moment and it would be cool to get the Mac stuff working. That’s another day’s problem to sort …

πccalilli – eh ?

bit of an in-joke here at the ranch but also a play on words π = pi, πccalilli = piccalilli as in the English spiced pickle.


So WordPress doesn’t seem to have a problem dealing with πccalilli as a name but we’re 2-days and counting to see if can register π

Now should resolve itself to so, essentially, that’s what we’ve tried to register. Had a chat to the 123 support team who have raised a ticket this evening … fingers crossed.

Have no idea if 123 offer Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) but their system shouldn’t have allowed us to buy one if not !

(Just realised that I’m talking to myself with these posts without an externally facing name … oh well, not much different to the other gazillions of blogs out there, eh ?)

UPDATE: So … 31 March 123reg confirm they canNOT manually create IDNs so back to the drawing board …

(originally March 30, 2015 … and πccalilli not the name of the new blog)

getting the Raspberry Pi up and running as a server (2)

The troubleshooting page over at is a useful bookmark. Thought it wise to update the Pi via the console:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

There are some really great resources out there for the Pi Noob and the vast majority of how-to guides really do take you step-by-step. Handy if your UNIX is a bit rusty …

For example, the guide at helped us install Apache:


… and PHP/MySQL …


(Caution for Debian users – need to do everything via sudo, no root credentials …)

Not long before we had WordPress up-and-running:


Check @Hardware_Hacks if you’re getting Raspberry Pi WordPress Theme Installation FTP Setting Error ?

All looking good on the internal network. Haven’t tried yet on the external network … opened ports but need to check what happens if we mess with those settings when we’ve got the external address up and running …

getting the Raspberry Pi up and running as a server

Over the weekend, we got the Pi up and running as a server. Incredible how much you can throw at this little £25 card. To start with we wanted to replace the 8Gb SD that came with the Maplin kit in case we made an unrecoverable mistake. Got a great 32Gb SD from Amazon and grabbed Snappy Ubuntu and the Debian-based Raspbian.

Now what ? Got an image, got an SD card. As a pair of Noobs we have no idea whatsoever. As always, Google was our friend but not a huge amount of luck with the various options suggested for a Mac. In the end came across the ApplePi-Baker – splendid stuff and highly recommended.

Got Snappy on the card but no joy. Faced with this initially perplexing display:

… bit of troubleshooting indicated that kernel.img wasn’t booting. Advice is to replace with “known good copy” so decided to re-build the SD card to Raspbian using the ApplePi-Baker.

Now we’re in business !


(originally March 29, 2015)