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issue159:mon_opinion

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issue159:mon_opinion [2020/08/02 17:46] (Version actuelle)
auntiee créée
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 +Everyone likes a piece of Pie. Preferably hot apple pie with a slice of whipped cream or vanilla custard served on a hot day. However, that is not the Pie I am talking about. I'm gibbering about everybody’s favorite Single Board computer that costs nothing, and can do more tricks than a hamster on cocaine: The Raspberry Pi. Should you have just returned from an interplanetary voyage that has cut you off from earth communications over the last 5 years, I'll quickly recapitulate. The Raspberry Pi is a tiny and super-cheap line of "​single board computers"​ that run Linux. Lately, the fourth iteration of the Pi came out (each board even more powerful than its predecessor) heralding that it "could even be used as a desktop computer"​. But what if you already HAVE a desktop computer, and what if you aren't really good at soldering, and breadboards,​ and not able to program a pi-powered-orange-juice-machine if your life depended on them. Would it still be useful? I handed over 40 bucks and found out for you guys.
  
 +So why get a pi?
 +
 +One thing I like about the Raspberry Pi is that they are small, simple and single purpose devices that consume hardly any power. They don't take up a lot of room, they don't have noisy fans, and my better half doesn'​t complain about 'yet another computer'​ that I'm dragging into the house. I love to experiment with Linux and this has led to me "​adopting"​ a couple of broken-down laptops with busted screens from friends and family, and turning them into headless linux servers for a variety of purposes. It's a fun way to "​experiment"​ but not very practical. A Raspberry Pi proved to be a very interesting alternative so I have been giving it a go. 
 +
 +What do I use my Pi for?
 +
 +Let me just say: I'm not a programmer, and can't solder 2 wires together at gunpoint. So building a brain for the next finalist of "Robot Wars" was out of the question. I've tinkered with the Raspberry PI 3 as a '​desktop replacement',​ but found it wanting. Sure: A 40 euro computer makes for a pretty cheap desktop, just like a 14-year-old second-hand Lada makes for a great first car: both of them are cheap, but leave you wanting something more. A Pi for me is an appliance. Something cheap and simple you use to do one thing and do it well (like an electric toothbrush). An appliance for me is easy to set up and low in maintenance. So, when picking a distro (there are plenty of them out there), I settled on Dietpi; a great distro that lets you turn a single-purpose device into a multi-purpose Linux server without having to break the bank OR get a degree in coding.
 +
 +How does Dietpi Work?
 +
 +After installing Dietpi, if you can call copying the distro to your MicroSD card ‘installing’,​ you run through a command-line wizard that helps you set up the right IP address for your server, and reset the standard login and password. When you are done with that the fun starts. Using the commands ‘dietpi-config’ and ‘dietpi-launcher’,​ you can tune and tweak your Pi to your heart'​s delight. The interactive ncurses menu lets you change different configuration options that would otherwise take you weeks of digging around in the terminal. From a massive list of apps, you can select which functions you want your Pi to do. Stuff like Plex - an open VPN server, a surveillance station to a NAS drive, or even a BlockChain Bank – all get installed automatically using scripts that actually work.
 +
 +What applications do I use?
 +
 +I could write a small book on the different kinds of software and services you can install with the "one click" menu. But I will let you find that out for yourself. The guys (and girls) behind the Dietpi project have written a comprehensive list of all the tools included, describing what they do, how to get them started, and, of course, provide the link to the original project. You can peruse the list at your heart'​s content, and add and remove whatever apps and services you want – thanks to the automated scripts from the menu. I'll give you a small rundown of what I use my Dietpi for.
 +
 +OpenVpn Server
 +
 +I'm out and about a lot, and use quite a few guest wifi-networks at clients or when I travel. I consider these networks "​Hostile"​. For the sake of privacy and security, I prefer to encrypt my traffic in a VPN. By turning my Raspberry Pi into an Open Vpn endpoint, I can do just that. I can encrypt my traffic (there are open VPN clients on all platforms), have a direct connection with my home network, AND I don't have to fork out extra cash for an external VPN Service. Don't worry if you don't have a static IP at home. Dietpi even has built in apps in the list that keep your changing IP linked to a fixed DNS name.
 +
 +Pihole
 +
 +I love ads! I love clicking on them and buying stuff from them. I adore how cookies track my every move, and how the Facebook Pixel is slowly starting to know me better than my own therapist. Sometimes, I just stare at websites for hours, just waiting for a popup to appear that I can click on. But seriously... of course not. That is why I run the Pihole server on my Dietpi. This customized DNS server takes care of filtering out all the ad riddled domains, and gives you a lot more control over the ads that you see on websites. Ad-blocker not required (so no need for websites to guilt-trip you about that). Just point your pc's DNS Server at the IP of your Pi and ab-bra-ca-dabra!
 +
 +Ebook Server
 +
 +I love to read, and I have built up a nice collection of DRM free eBooks, comics and PDF's through the years. Getting them to my various devices has always been a bit of a hassle. Perusing folders full of ePubs and pdfs, and having to scoop down to the level of actually using a usb cable to get content over, is too shameful for me. For a while, Calibre was a great tool to have a powerful eBook web server up and running. But uBookquity is just as good if you need something simple. In short: A web server that allows you to browse through and download your comics, ebooks and pdfs in any format you desire (oh, and regular files too!). Sweet, simple and password protected.
 +
 +Sync-thing
 +
 +When you are a cross platform user who hops around among Mac, Linux and Windows machines, it’s hard to find a decent solution to keep a folder in sync. Dropbox was a nice alternative (if you trust them), but their 3-device limit that allows you to sync your files to only 3 devices offline is a bit of a hassle. Sync-thing does the same thing but without having to rely on "the cloud" as yet another repository for your files. One folder on my Dietpi is the "​master folder"​ and all other machines use the sync-thing client to sync from there.
 +
 +What else is possible?
 +
 +There are plenty of other applications and services to choose from. Enabling too many might be a little hard for your Raspberry Pi to handle, so you might have to "pick and choose"​ a little. On most accounts, these different services work perfectly side-by-side. I love this since it turns your single-purpose-cheap-computer into a multi-purpose micro-server. If you are brave (I don't recommend nor discourage this), you might want to set up the holy-trinity of piracy: Sonarr Radarr and Laydar that automatically torrent all the Music, movies and TV shows you desire (fully automated) to your Pi. Fire up the Plex server (also a one-click-install) and you will be streaming the content straight to every screen in your home. But remember: you will be waving the pirate flag at your own peril if you do so.
 +
 +Documentation
 +
 +Documentation on the Dietpi is excellent because it is SHORT. No pages and pages of monotype fonts lulling you to sleep with technical details: just a simple website with a comprehensive list of all the services you can install (and de-install) at your own leisure. How do you install them, what do they do, and how do you use them... Boom.. That's it.
 +
 +I was even more amazed by Dietpi when I found out that you could also install it on OTHER platforms. Plenty of Single-board platforms are supported AND you can even run it on I386 platforms. Run Dietpi on that old laptop you have lying around with the broken screen and, before you know it, you will have a super-simple but super-powerful machine in your home, even without 'a slice of pi'...
 +
 +
 +
 +Links
 +
 +The Dietpi Website: ​
 +https://​dietpi.com/​
 +
 +The Dietpi Software list: 
 +https://​dietpi.com/​phpbb/​viewtopic.php?​t=5
issue159/mon_opinion.txt · Dernière modification: 2020/08/02 17:46 par auntiee