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I decided my previous posts just would not cut it. So here we go, a full documentation of "Building the Beast".

The plan of action is to build a MAME and XBMC solution with a monitoring system using the Raspberry Pi camera. The Pi Camera will have a web interface to view the images, and if that is not possible then we will be setting up a VNC server.

In this post we will focus on Occidentalis, the educational distro for the Raspberry Pi.


First a bit of a background on Occidentalis:


Occidentalis is the educational distribution for the Raspberry Pi, developed by Adafruit.


It enables out of the box support for i2c, avahi, and many hardware possibilities. Because we will be constructing the Adafruit LCD Positive plate later, this will require me to get out my soldering iron and show off my terrible skills.

It is useful that i2c is available straight away, becuase we do not need to enable it later in the project, it is already there for us.


I downloaded Occidentalis and unzipped it. Using Win32diskImager I formatted the included 8gb SD card with it. (I cant find the 4gb XBMC card, but it does not really matter).


When the SD card had finished writing, I inserted it into the pi, connected everything and booted up.



I understand that most of the blog so far has been pictures and you like pictures, but we need to get down and dirty with configuring wlan0.

At the moment we have it preconfigured to search for DHCP on, but my Subnet is The entire configuration is wrong anyway, so lets update it.

Fire up nano on the file /etc/network/interfaces.


Setting up connection to my home wifi was easy, in Occidentalis you just have to change the SSID and password. I rebooted to see if it worked, and to my surprise I had internet access!

Now all we have to do is head over to PUTTY and do some work there.


Next time, we will be installing XBMC and get it to work with our media share.

Well, look what arrived today!


Thats right, my RoadTest bundle has finally arrived, and it has a heck of a lot of stuff inside it.

Sadly, some of it (Adafruit LCD Pi Plate Kit, Embedded Pi, PiFace etc) I cannot currently use due to my lack of equipment, and the Pi Camera was not included, so that is being shipped over now.

Currently I have the Control & Display working, and the Gertboard is setup and running with the Arduino "Button" example.

Anyway, my main question: What project should I build? I want your ideas down below in the comment section, and the best idea will be built.


Look out for my review and more updates soon, everyone!

Today was the day "The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Bundle" RoadTest closed.

Now, morning rolls around and they have not been announced yet.

No problem there.


Thanks to me still being a student, I had some time to check the site during my spare time.


Then it hit me.


I was selected for the roadtest. I was ecstatic, and I could not believe it. I am currently contemplating what to do with all this new gear.

Anyways, thanks to the judges who chose me and the other Roadtesters, and I cannot wait to make the world a better place using technology.


It is a massive bundle, and I am extremely grateful that Farnell/Element14 have the generosity to allow us to have such an opportunity.

The next post will be when everything arrives in the mail, which I will then post an unboxing video and explain my plans.


Again, thanks to Farnell and Christian DeFeo and crew for picking us lucky souls.

To those who did not get in, I urge you to apply for another roadtest!


Cya all around, engineers!

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