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A slice of Pi inspiration

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Guess Who's Three - Raspberry Pi Birthday Party Invite

Guess Who’s Three

Dave phoned me from the Cambridge wing of the Titanium Bunker earlier in the week to tell me that we’re going to a Raspberry pi Birthday bash in Cambridge.  I’m really looking forward to attending – Hoping to see what people are using their raspberry pi’s for.  So far I’ve managed to get mine working as a DLNA receiver for Plex and serviio, but as soon as I got the Google Chromecast, it sort of became redundant.

Dave also pointed me at this video featuring Andy Proctor – a guy who modified his delivery truck to make it an internet-of-things device.

So Andy has inspired me to look again at the Pi.  I found myself looking at what he had developed and thinking about potential expansion ideas.

  • GPS – his truck has a tracker installed – so could he hook into the GPS?  Perhaps he could use something like this and get geographical data, and based on his location, send a tweet.
  • He’s only using 4 GPIO pins – would an alarm be something worth having?  Perhaps some form of Lone Worker alarm?  Perhaps a “I’m in trouble – here is my location” button.
  • Could he be affected by thefts from the trailer overnight? Would a Pi Noir camera allow him to keep surveillance on his trailer?  Perhaps motion detection could provide an alarm in the event of theft.
  • How about hooking the buzzer into the cab speakers?  That way the sound output would be way better.

More than than, he also got me thinking about the existing uses I’ve seen Pi’s used for in my day job – as a digital sign.  And while that is cool, I do wonder if we could use them for other things.  I’m currently wondering if they could be used to run Visual Studio Load tests, and therefore provide a cheaper alternative to running load tests from developer machines.  It would also mean that the digital signs (which are on all the time) could potentially provide additional load for load testing without needing developer machines to remain switched on all the time.

So how feasible would it be then to configure a Raspberry Pi as a Load Test Agent?  Well Microsoft has this page which talks about the process for installing a test agent.  Searching in WineHQ does reveal a bug that affected the VS 2010 agents install, but that was  fixed in version 1.7.32 – so theoretically, it might be possible


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