Setup Google Cloud Print on a Raspberry Pi

Google Cloud Print is a great service by Google that allows you to print to your printer from any device that supports the service.  In Google’s words:

Google Cloud Print is a new technology that connects your printers to the web. Using Google Cloud Print, you can make your home and work printers available to you and anyone you choose, from the applications you use every day. Google Cloud Print works on your phone, tablet, Chromebook, PC, and any other web-connected device you want to print from.

Image courtesy of Google’s Cloud Print Android app

The problem with the service is that you need either a computer that is running the service or a printer that supports it.  Since my Brother HL-2270DW laser printer – which is a phenomenal printer – does not support Cloud Print, I needed a computer on all of the time and that’s where the Raspberry Pi (RPi) comes in!  The beauty of the RPi is that it can always be running because of its low power consumption.

Because I’m running the RPi as a headless server, I needed to find a third party application/service that can use Cloud Print.  Dave Steele’s Cloudprint-service provides a nice service that runs in the background and can be installed and updated using his PPA repository.

Update 05/01/2016

A few things have changed with Google Cloudprint and Dave Steele has posted up to date directions here.

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Fing Network Tools – An Android App for Discovering IP Addresses of Devices on your Network

On Google+, I recently came across a post entitled Top Ten Android Apps for use with Raspberry Pi which mentioned Fing – Network Tools by Overlook that allows you to discover the IP and MAC addresses of devices on your network.  This is a very handy app that I’m definitely adding to my list.

Image courtesy of Overlook

Hide an NFC Tag Underneath a Coaster

Recently I purchased a set of  Kamor® NFC tags to tinker around with.  NFC tags are passive devices that an Android phone can read as unique identifier and trigger specific events. Edit: For a further explanation on the applications of NFC tabs, please see MKBHD’s video below.  The problem with the tags, however, is that they have to be out in the open to easily use them.  Sitting on my couch the other day, I was looking at my THIRSTYSTONE coaster sitting on my end table and had a brilliant idea; embed the NFC tag in the coaster.  The coasters that we have happen to have a cork bottom that is a little thicker than the NFC tag and so I was able to cut out a piece of the cork and stick the NFC tag inside.  Also, before attempting this modification, I made sure that my Moto X was able to sense the tag through the coaster.

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My THIRSTYSTONE Coaster.

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Tools needed: Utility knife, coaster, and NFC tag.

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Tracing the NFC tag on the cork bottom of the coaster.

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The outline of the NFC tag.

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The bottom side of the coaster after cutting out the cork.

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The final modification after sticking the tag to the coaster.

Edit: