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Subsonic 6 Raspberry Pi Zero Streaming Media Server

I've written a few Raspberry Pi tutorials, but when it comes to music, I wanted a media server that could play my music library anywhere I was at (with an internet connection, of course). The RuneAudio Raspberry Pi works well for music when I am sitting by the Pi and can jack in with my headphones or speakers, but if I'm at work, the Rune Pi can't pipe the tunes to me at my desk from home.

For this, I've chosen to run Subsonic, a free media server that can handle both audio and video files, and stream them to any web browser on the net, or a dedicated phone app.

While I could play my music on my phone or from the laptop, it's pretty cool to have your own server sitting at your house that you can play your music from anywhere you are, and accomplishes my goal of having a single source for media. I don't have to move media files to every device I have anymore. I just load the files to the Raspberry Pi and I'm done.

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Run Your Own Self Hosted CRM With SugarCRM On A Raspberry Pi

Having a good CRM is a no brainer. SugarCRM is an excellent SalesForce alternative if you're looking to save money.

Running SugarCRM on a Raspberry Pi costs less than $5 a year, and best of all, you own the data.

When I was freelancing, I used SugarCRM to manage accounts, contacts and relevant information through the engagement as it has all the features that both freelancers like myself and outside sales people need for collecting and retaining customer information.

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Rune Pi: Raspberry Pi Rune Audio Music Player

In my last post, I mentioned that I use an Original Rasbperry Pi Model A (2012 version) as a Rune Audio music player.

I use this little contraption both at home and work to play all the music I want, and it keeps my phone free to make and receive calls.

I found it annoying that the Samsung S4 doesn't automatically mute incoming messages and notifications when I'm jamming to music through the earbuds. Since I get a lot of notifications, the music cuts out just so that the phone can ding at me. Hate that. Also when calls come in, the music again mutes and pauses.

You just can't rock it out when the music keeps cuttin' out like that, so I found another solution.

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Raspberry Pi 3 Is On It's Way!

The Raspberry Pi is a fantastic little machine. I have quite a few of them, and my wife just ordered a Rasberry Pi 3 Model B kit from Amazon to add to my collection.

Right now, I have a Raspberry Pi Zero running Piratebox (Piratebox Homepage) that provides a Ad Hoc WiFi network for the kids to connect their tablets to and play Minecraft Pocket Edition (PE) in network mode.I also have a Raspberry Pi 2 running as our OMSC Media Center that's hooked to our TV. We did away with the chromecast when we found that we could get movies that just came to theaters in 1080P HD quality as opposed to waiting forever for Netflix or Hulu to get them.

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How To Build A Raspberry Pi Zero PirateBox

The Raspberry Pi Zero is a very small, fully functional computer that fits into the palm of your hand... literally. Due to it's small size, and 12 hour run time on a 4000mAh battery pack, it's ideal for use as a Piratebox.

The darn thing is only 2.55" (65mm) x 1.18" (30mm) x 0.2" (5mm) and fits easily into an Altoids tin.

Over the past couple nights, I've turned the Raspberry Pi Zero into a very small Piratebox that boots up in about 15 seconds and provides an Ad Hoc (computer to computer) Wi-Fi network. The Pirate box offers chat functionality, file upload/download and 4Chan style forum, all done off-internet.

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Raspberry Pi Webserver Project

I do love a good project, and this time it was building my second Raspberry Pi Webserver. While the first one was built on a Model B with 512MB RAM, this one is on a Raspberry Pi 2.

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Bypass MetroPCS Tether HotSpot Block

2015 MetroPCS / T-Mobile Tethering Guide (Updated)

Back on November 4 last year, I wrote a blog post on how to bypass the MetroPCS Tethering Hotspot Block imposed on all new phones from Metro.

This article serves as an update for 2015 since times and technology have changed on MetroPCS / T-Mobile.

MetroPCS is now using the T-Mobile service 100% which means that you're actually using the T-mobile towers with your MetroPCS phone. The biggest difference is that when you go to activate tethering on your MetroPCS phone, and you don't have the $40 or $50 plans that have limited 4G data, you'l; get a stupid error message that you have to add tethering.

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Keep your Family In Sync with a Raspberry Pi and OwnCloud

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Build a "Local Network Only" File and Document Repository (Like Dropbox)

Keep your family documents in a safe and secure location that only your family can access

Wouldn't it be nice to have one place that the family could store all documents and files that everyone can access, but was not open to the whole world. While using a service like Dropbox or Box is fairly good, you'd wanted to keep certain things off the internet completely.

This private "dropbox" alternative could be used for:

  • Bill payment receipts
  • Medical Information
  • Car Information
  • Mortgage Information
  • Email and Web Accounts
  • Various Log In information
  • Kid's school papers
    • Anything else you don't want out there.

A $35 Computer - The Raspberry Pi

raspberry-pi-type-bProbably one of the best inventions for ultra-cheap computers out there, the Raspberry Pi makes perfect sense for anyone who needs a full time, always on computer at home that doesn't suck a lot of power. On the flip side, the computer is not that powerful, so it's not like you could use it for hardcore gaming, like playing WOW or Counter Strike (You could, however, use it to play Minecraft)

This makes it a perfect platform for light duty home web hosting, file sharing and a bevvy of other tasks. For this post, we're using the Raspberry Pi as a file sharing tool, much like Dropbox. 

File Repository with ownCloud on the Raspberry Pi

Next, in order to upload and download the files, you need to have a user friendly interface that you would be able to use while on the home network only. For this, look to the software ownCloud

ownCloud provides universal access to your files via the web, your computer or your mobile devices. It also provides a platform to easily view & sync your contacts, calendars and bookmarks across all your devices and enables basic editing right on the web.

More information on ownCloud

Two Installation Methods Available

The first way to install ownCloud on a Raspberry Pi is to download the complete OS image and install it using win32diskimager, and the other is to manually install it yourself using the base Raspbian image.

The guys over at ownCloudBlog have created a premade optimized image that includes the ownCloud install.

What else is there over and above standard Raspbian? Good that you asked. Here is a list of minor tweaks that I did:

  • PHP execution time is increased to 240 seconds.
  • Default upload limit of PHP is increased from 2M to 512M.
  • Default POST is increased to 512 M.
  • .htaccess support is enabled in Apache to protect data directory.
  • SSH access is enabled by default.
  • SQLite is used for backend database.
  • Certain packages like Scratch, Oracle Java and Dilio are removed in order to make squeeze the image in 2GB SD Card.

View the Full Post here -- includes download links.

How to install ownCloud on Raspberry Pi yourself

There is a really good tutorial on instructables that walks you through the ownCloud installation from start to finish using an external hard drive so that you can store a lot more than the SD card could hold. This is the tutorial I followed to setup our family's Raspberry Pi. There is also a link in the second paragraph of the post that links to a complete installed OS image if you don't want to take the time to do it yourself.

View the full post here

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How to Tether a MetroPCS - T-mobile Phone 4G Unlimited Hotspot with Windows

T-Mobile-Metro-PCS-Logo
The $60 MetroPCS plan allows unlimited 4G, but blocks tethering.

This post has been updated for 2015 at this location:

>>  <<

We show you how to use your $60 plan to get that unlimited 4G on your laptop using your phone to tether or as a wi-fi hotspot

As of this writing, MetroPCS service in the Detroit market blocks tethering your CDMA (older Samsung S3 and similar) MetroPCS phone directly to a Windows seven computer with just a few website exceptions. The way the block works is that it looks to see what operating system you're running, and if it's windows, it will block you. The new 4G T-Mobile phones that use GSM / SIM cards are heavily guarded against tethering, so your only option is #4.

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