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Ian Vellosa

Setting up a Raspberry Pi is surprisingly easy

2 min read

It has taken me a long time to get around to finally setting up the Raspberty Pi's I received over Christmas.


Supprisingly it was very simple to setup the Pi, once over coming my only real issue. I had some old 4GB SD cards lying around, which I wanted to use. However, it would appear that the oficial Raspbian download I was working with needed an 8Gb card to install. At this point I sarted looking for an alternative and found minibian, a cutdown version of the Raspbian distribution without the GUI components.


Working from a debian laptop the process started off with downloading the image:




Once the download was completed you want to run a checksum to make sure that noone has tampered with the file, either MD5 or SHA-1:


md5sum 2015-11-12-jessie-minibian.tar.gz



sha1sum 2015-11-12-jessie-minibian.tar.gz



Now convinced that we have the right files, we want to unzip the ISO image.


tar zxf 2015-11-12-jessie-minibian.tar.gz


After inserting the SD card into the laptop it may get mounted automatically. You can see this when you run the df command. It will probably be mounted to either /dev/mmcblk0p2 or /dev/sdb1. Make sure that the card is unmounted, and then well copy the image to the SD card:


umount /dev/mmcblk0p2

dd bs=4M if=~/2015-11-12-jessie-minibian.img of=/dev/mmcblk0



Once completed we are now ready to eject the SD card and insert it into the Raspberry Pi.

Ian Vellosa


2 min read

Years ago I installed WhatsApp on my phone. When I opened it up for the first time, I was asked if I wanted to upload my entire contact list onto their servers. I was unsure if I should really do this, as the contact data is not mine to give away. There is no way I could choose which of the contacts I wanted to share with WhatsApp, and in the end decided I would rather just delete the application.

Now I'm revisiting the idea of installing WhatsApp. I still hate that in the terms of use I can find a section which says:

WhatsApp will periodically access your address book or contact list on your mobile phone to locate the mobile phone numbers of other WhatsApp users (“in-network” numbers), or otherwise categorize other mobile phone numbers as “out-network” numbers

Also, looking at the list of permissions that the application wants as I go to install the application on my phone it does look a little scary:

WhatsApp Permissions

However, at the same time I assume that the other applications on my phone, Facebook, Linkedin etc have stollen all of this information already. I would also assume that every one in my contact list has at least one friend who has installed WhatsApp and therefore transferred their data upto the WhatsApp servers by now.

Is it so bad that I Install WhatsApp? If anyone would have an objection please let me know, otherwise in the next week or so I will probably install the application. 

Ian Vellosa

Christmas presents

So guess what some nice people got me for Christmas? Now I need to start some new projects. I think that first on the list will be moving this website from an old laptop. 

Ian Vellosa

Guess whose back...

1 min read

I'm not sure what keeps drawing me back. I want to blog, start a little, then have no time for it, so give up again. So here is another attempt at setting up a @withknown server at home to see if I can keep going for more than 5 minutes. I already appear to be having some issues with dyndns, which does not appear to propogate my address out to everyone. But that is something to work on later.