NextThing C.h.i.p. — Parobalth

Warning — work in progress: This is a quick&dirty post about the first steps to connect NextThing C.h.i.p. via USB serial on a Debian Jessie machine. Consider it as a first draft — I am going to modify this post in the next few days and correct typos. Introduction¶ I recieved my NextThing C.h.i.p. this week!…

via NextThing C.h.i.p. — Parobalth

Thoughts about NextThing C.h.i.p. — Parobalth

Warning — thinking and opinion building in progress: This is a quick&dirty post about my first thoughts about NextThing C.h.i.p. Consider it as a first draft — I am going to modify this post in the next weeks and correct typos. My thoughts about NextThing C.h.i.p. v. 1.0: From ordering to delivery¶ …

via Thoughts about NextThing C.h.i.p. — Parobalth

Kickstarter: Runcible – Circular Open Source Anti-Smartphone

Currently there is a kickstarter campaign for a “circular open source Anti-Smartphone” that I backed a few weeks ago.

Note that manufacturing has been secured and Runcible is going to ship in fall 2016. This is your chance to get one in 2016! Next production run may happen sometime  in 2017.

 Runcible is a new category of personal electronic which occupies a space between a traditional mobile phone and a wearable device.

Featuring a first-of-its-kind fully round screen and a palm-sized form factor, Runcible is modeled on devices humans have carried around with them and loved for hundreds or thousands of years: the pocket watch, the compact, the compass, the magical stone in your hand.

Get more information and order yours here:

Static blog – Pelican

I first read about pelican on (Twitter alternative). It was mentioned that static blogs (with pelican) are very fast. I did some tests with pelican and uploaded it to my github account as a github user page. I chose the elegant theme because I wanted a theme that shows tags and categories and works crossplatform (different browsers, mobile, …).

So here it is:

The following steps give you a general picture about the required steps:

  1. Download Pelican, some additional packages and plugins
  2. Initial setup
  3. Choose a theme
  4. Write content in markup or ReStructured text and “compile” it with pelican to static html files
  5. Push the output directory to external host (e.g. Github)

Things I like about it:

  • Using vim as my editor (or in general to use the tools I prefer)
  • Reusing a post as a template for another one  is easy
  • Create my own post templates and automate if needed (Python-, Ruby-, Bash-Scripts, …)
  • Editing my drafts offline (vacation, trains, airplanes)
  • fast loading times

This post has some links I used:

Pelican is written in Python. If you like Ruby more than Python you might want to check out Jekyll.

bash with vim keybindings

If you use vim as your main text editor the following bash command might interest you:

set -o vi

It sets bash to use vim-style keybindings. As a vim user you are going to feel at home right from the beginning. Type your comands in insert mode and edit them in normal mode (navigation, yank, delete).

To ‘permanently’ apply vim-style keybindings put the command in your .bashrc file.

Raspberry Pi 2 – Debian Jessie and U-Boot

This is a short post how to add u-boot to the debian jessie image created by Sjoerd Simons.

The fastest solution is to copy my u-boot.bin, my boot.scr and my config.txt to /boot/firmware. I’m going to upload the files soon. I uploaded the files to

If you want to follow my steps or want to improve them:

You may have already read or may want to read:

First you need Sjoerd Simons Debian image (download it and write it to your micro sd-card):

Second you have to build u-boot:

My source for the u-boot part is:

Basically I used the same commands but without crossbuilding and without the need for a serial console. I built u-boot on the raspberry pi 2 and made the boot.scr file without testing. (It works for me)

1. I installed ‘build-essential’ and some of it’s recommendations on my Rpi2 to build u-boot successfully.

2. execute this commands:

git clone git://

cd u-boot

make rpi_2_defconfig

make all

3. copy u-boot.bin to /boot/firmware on your Rpi2

4. add this line to config.txt:


5. save the following lines in a file to configure u-boot:

# Tell Linux that it is booting on a Raspberry Pi2

setenv machid 0x00000c42

# Set the kernel boot command line

setenv bootargs "earlyprintk console=tty0 console=ttyAMA0 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 rootwait noinitrd"

# Save these changes to u-boot's environment


# Load the existing Linux kernel into RAM

fatload mmc 0:1 ${kernel_addr_r} kernel7.img

# Boot the kernel we have just loaded

bootz ${kernel_addr_r}

and run the following code on the file (change the /path/to/script part so it points to your file) to make the boot.src file for u-boot:

mkimage -A arm -O linux -T script -C none -a 0x00000000 -e 0x00000000 -n "RPi2 Boot Script" -d /path/to/script /boot/firmware/boot.scr

You can now reboot your Rpi2 and keep your fingers crossed. If it fails you can mount the card with a cardreader on another computer/laptop and uncomment the added line in config.txt. Then your Rpi2 will boot as before without u-boot.