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Setting Up My Raspberry Pi

Published by on under the Technology category.

I want to talk about a project I undertook yesterday. I set up my Raspberry Pi with a new SD card. I do not presently have the energy to think of a more interesting topic. These last few days have been tough. It happens sometimes. We all have days when we are not quite ourselves. This is a blog, not my journal, so I don’t want to get bogged down in the details of reality. Here, I write about technology and coffee. To the story!

My weather station was built using the technologies I had available to me at the time. This was a Raspberry Pi, a Sense HAT, and, notably, an 8 GB SD card. I threw away my old SD cards when I was doing a cleanup of my room. I didn’t think I would need them and at the time I was going for a minimalist vibe. I had one SD card left which is the one I used to set up my Pi.

With 8 GB, I could do a lot. While the Raspberry Pi operating system would take up a big chunk of the space on the disk, there would be plenty to play around with. I realized that this was not the case. When I started to install libraries for my weather station, I noticed the space on my Raspberry Pi quickly recede. Once I had configured the weather station, over 97% of my disk had been used.

Replacing the SD Card

Realizing that I could not keep this up, I decided to purchase a new SD card. I got a 64 GB SD card for nine pounds. Not a bad deal. It was half-price. I was elated because SD cards can get expensive, especially for larger sizes. As I have come to expect from Amazon, delivery was swift. I am a Prime customer so the SD card arrived the next day.

I had prepared in my mind what I was going to do to make the transition from my old to my new SD card. I knew that there had to be a way to copy the contents of my old SD card to my new one. I found so many people on the Raspberry Pi forums and on Stack Overflow who shared the exact predicament that I was in. I was happy to see so much documentation around the issue. I found a command that let me create a .img file from my existing SD card. I could image this file onto my new SD card. Problem solved.

Well, it was not that easy. I used the Raspberry Pi Imager tool to image the .img file to my new SD card. I changed the SD card on my Pi. I booted my Pi and it did not load. I had to connect my Pi to my monitor to see what was going on. The Pi did not boot. Only a single underscore flashed on the screen. I didn’t even see the four Raspberry Pi logos after I rebooted. This was not what I expected.

I imaged the SD card again. I hoped that I had just made a mistake the first time and that the second time everything would work out. This time, I had my monitor plugged in from the first boot. This would let me see whether I had accidentally corrupted my SD card the first time around by unplugging it too soon. I noticed the same behavior as the first time. My transition was unsuccessful.

Setting Up the Operating System

I could have spent longer debugging. I did some searching to see what was wrong. I believe the issue I was experiencing could have had something to do with the different partition sizes. I explored a few solutions but none of them stuck. I gave up and decided to just start from scratch. I did not mind doing this because I had few plans yesterday and I needed something to occupy my time. What better way to use a day than to play around with a Pi?

I imaged a brand new version of Raspberry Pi OS to my SD card and began. I noticed that it took significantly longer to image Raspberry Pi OS to my SD card than it did to image my .img file from my old drive. This made me think that I had made a mistake when I created the .img file. It was too late. I had already imaged the new SD card.

I had to connect my Pi to the monitor because I needed to set it up with networking. I forgot that the Pi comes with a graphical user interface for setup. This was not a problem. It was a tad inconvenient having to plug my Pi into a keyboard, a mouse, and a monitor. I usually run my Pi headless. Nevertheless, I done what I had to do. I set my Pi up with my monitor and followed the setup instructions.

It took a while to install the updates for the system. During that time, I downloaded my Git repository and made sure I was ready to deploy my new weather station. I pulled up the documentation for Nginx so I could set up my new web server as quickly as possible. My Pi was live. After waiting a bit for the updates to install, I could reboot and get to work. It only took twenty minutes or maybe even less time to set up the new web server. I was done.

This was not how I expected to spend a Saturday but it did keep me occupied. When I don’t feel good, I like to have a project to work on. Today’s project was going to be an experiment with pixel art but I do not have the energy to read about Numpy arrays. Maybe another day. I’ve spent most of today reading about coffee. Not a bad way to spend a day!

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