Watching the Earth move with a Raspberry Pi

A few months ago, someone from the Raspberry Shake team got in touch, and asked if I'd like to try out a Shake at my home.

As someone who has spent a bit too much time nerding out over space and atmospheric weather, but never touched seismology, I decided it was time to dig deep and learn a bit more about the Earth.

Raspberry Shake on basement floor

And learn I did! They sent their simplest model, the Shake 1 RS1D, I placed it on my concrete basement floor, and then waited.

How to transcribe audio to text using Dictation on a Mac

You can use the Dictation feature built into your Mac to transcribe audio files, and in my experience, it's been about 98-99% accurate, so it saves a lot of time if you want to index your audio files, or you need a transcript for some other purpose.

These instructions were last updated for macOS Monterey 12.4.

First, open up System Preferences, go to Keyboard, then the 'Dictation' tab:

Apple Dictation System Preferences

Turn on Dictation, and when prompted, accept the terms for Apple's Dictation service. Also take note of the 'Shortcut' (e.g. 'press dictation key' or 'press control twice'. You'll use that to activate dictation later.

The Petabyte Pi Project

I haven't had time to write up the details yet, but I wanted to share a project that's been many months in the making: The Petabyte Pi Project on YouTube.

I'm still doing follow-up testing based on feedback from Broadcom storage engineers, and will put out a much more in-depth blog post later, but the gist is:

Can a single Raspberry Pi cosplay as an 'enterprise' storage server, directly addressing 1 PB of storage?

Now... caveats abound here. What does 'enterprise' mean? And what does 'directly addressing' mean? Those things are all answered in the video linked above.

But to give a tl;dr: The Pi does not perform swimmingly. But... I did get a single array of 60 hard drives—20TB Exos HDDs to be exact—working in a 45Drives Storinator XL60 chassis, controlled only through a single Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. Of course I had to rip out the Xeon guts and replace them with said Pi:

Starlink Roaming makes mobile usage possible

May 5th Update: this feature is now official, and is called "Portability." To enable it, you will need to pay an extra $25/month, though I haven't been charged yet despite using the feature. Starlink says mobility (using Dishy while in motion) is not yet supported and will void your kit's warranty.

I've logged into my account, and I now see a note that reads Click "Manage Service Options" to add Portability. — that screen leads to this Starlink Portability FAQ page with more details. I haven't signed up for it yet, and I'm waiting to see what happens next billing cycle... I still can't update the service address to my cousin's location.

External graphics cards work on the Raspberry Pi

AMD Radeon HD 7450 Graphics card with Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

In October 2020, after Raspberry Pi introduced the Compute Module 4, I started out on a journey to get an external graphics card working on the Pi.

At the time, it'd been over a decade since the last time I'd built a PC, and I had a lot to learn about PCI Express, the state of graphics card drivers in Linux, and PCI Express support on various ARM SoCs.