XBMC on Raspberry Pi

I have been playing around with the Raspberry Pi and XBMC a lot lately.  It has come a long was since it 1st came out.

I really like Openelec XBMC distro because it really does make the Raspberry Pi feel like an appliance since there is really almost no configuration necessary, it just works.  Most partitions are read-only, so if it crashes, you don’t have to worry.  But, that being said, it makes it a lot harder to tinker with.  I couldn’t get a GPIO remote to work and it was a pain to get other software installed on it.  It’s perfect if you have a USB remote sensor and you want to set it and forget it.

Raspbmc is another XBMC distro.  It is now on RC4 and its getting really good.  I like it a real lot.  Boot up times are not as good as Openelec, but since you boot it up once, then just let it go, it’s not a big deal.  It is based on Debian, so installing extra software is a breeze.  Also, since they have switched over to hardfp and other XBMC tweaks, it’s FAST!  Also, it comes with the lirc_rpi IR sensor kernel driver so getting a cheap ($1) remote sensor working was easy..

All in all, both distro’s are really coming along nice.  It’s impressive that the Raspberry Pi can do all that, or should I say it’s impressive with all the hard work that the developers did it get it to run on the Raspberry Pi.

Teensy USB Development Board

I started working with the Teensy USB Development Board from www.pjrc.com and I have to say it is nothing short of amazing.

The Teensy is an AVR microcontroller board and comes in 2 flavors, the Teensy 2.0 and the Teensy++ 2.0.  The Teensy has 25 I/O, 12 analog and 7 PWM whereas the Teensy++ has Teensy has 46 I/O, 8 analog and 9 PWM, but on both boards they have shared pins, so an I/O may also be an analog pin.

It’s almost like a Arduino, but smaller, runs full USB, and you can solder directly to it.  They both have their pros and makes a great addition to a makers toolbox.

Code is easy to create for the Teensy using the library’s or you can even put it in Arduino dev environment.

So for the $16, it’s worth a try.  Shipping was fast and the developer at PJRC seems like good person.