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.
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.
A few things have changed with Google Cloudprint and Dave Steele has posted up to date directions here.
I was searching for the install location of the java installation on my Raspberry Pi and came across the java
bin file in my
/usr/bin directory. However, the
bin file showed up as a symbolic link (shown in cyan) and I needed to find the source.
Google to the rescue! You can simply use the preinstalled pacakge, readlink.
$ readlink /usr/bin/java
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.
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.
Tools needed: Utility knife, coaster, and NFC tag.
Tracing the NFC tag on the cork bottom of the coaster.
The outline of the NFC tag.
The bottom side of the coaster after cutting out the cork.
The final modification after sticking the tag to the coaster.
In can be tricky reformatting a Raspberry Pi SD card in Windows 7 due to the multiple partitions that Raspian creates. Here’s a simple way using the built in Diskpart in Windows 7.
Insert the SD card into an SD card reader and open a Windows command prompt console and start Diskpart.
List all of your disks.
DISKPART> list disk
Select your SD card disk.
DISKPART> select disk <#>
List all of your disks to ensure that the correct disk is selected – the selected disk will have an asterisk next to it.
DISKPART> list disk
Clean the disk.
Create a primary partition.
DISKPART> create partition primary
Create and format the primary filesystem.
DISKPART> format fs=fat32 quick
Assign the disk to a Windowsdrive letter so it shows up in Windows Explorer.
Your disk is now ready for use.
The Raspberry Pi for some reason does not properly update the system time automatically. To do this, simply install ntpdate.
View your current date and time:
$ sudo apt-get install ntpdate
To update the time zone, simply remove the current local time file and make a new symbolic link to your timezone file:
$ sudo rm /etc/localtime
$ ls /usr/share/zoneinfo
$ ls /usr/share/zoneinfo/America
$ sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Los_Angeles /etc/localtime
Restart the ntp service:
$ sudo service ntp restart
Check the date again:
Your Raspberry Pi time should now be set!