To complete the installation/configuration process for
your RPi, you should update the installed software to the
latest version possible. Even though you started with the
newest Raspbian release, many changes have been made
to components of this version since it was made available
to the public.
Directly from a shell or using the LXTerminal window
on the desktop, execute the following series of
sudo apt-get -y update
sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade
This will cause your RPi to find, download, and install
the latest versions of all of the component parts of the
Raspbian software. With this, your RPi is up to date.
A Family Friendly
It turns out the only HDMI display I had
in my home was the family’s only TV set.
While using the TV as a monitor was fine for
a while, I needed a longer term solution. That
is when I discovered the AT&T laptop dock
(lapdock) for the Motorola ATRIX 4G
smartphone. While this discontinued product
was built to provide a laptop computer
interface to a smartphone, it turns out to
work great with a Raspberry Pi. Consider the
• A high resolution 11. 6” HDMI monitor.
• A full keyboard.
• A large touchpad.
• A built-in USB hub with two external
USB 2.0 ports.
• Stereo speakers.
• Internal rechargeable battery that provides up to
eight hours of power.
• An external power supply.
• A super thin, sleek design that weighs just
2. 4 pounds.
The best thing about the lapdock was I was able to
buy it for $50 online which is a lot of functionality for
my money. Of course, since the lapdock was not
designed for the RPi, it requires a bit of effort to use.
Specifically, the lapdock has two connections we have to
deal with: a male micro USB connector and a male
micro HDMI connector. On the RPi, the HDMI
connector is a full sized female connector and the USB
connections are normal sized female connectors.
The HDMI interface is taken care of by a HDMI
male to micro HDMI female adapter I found on
DealExtreme for $4.10. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky
on the USB side of things. I needed a short USB cable
with a female micro USB connector on one end and a
full size male connector on the other. I ended up buying
two cables with the required connectors, cutting them
apart, and then soldering the two cables together.
Figures 4 and 5 show what the finished configuration
looks like. Normally, I connect the RPi to the lapdock
with the HDMI adapter and my custom cable. I then
plug my wireless adapter into one of the USB ports on
the lapdock, and sometimes a Flash drive into the other.
58 March 2013