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ElectricSheepPi – Use your spare RaspberryPi to run evolving digital art! July 18, 2017

Posted by GuySoft in programming, open source.
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Electric Sheep running on a RaspberryPi

Electric Sheep running on a Raspberry Pi

Hey all,
So its been a while since I had time to release something fun. After developing CustomPiOS I thought I might write something to demonstrate how easy it is to make your own RaspberryPi distribution with it. So I made one that runs Electric Sheep on boot. Its called ElectricSheepPi.
Electric Sheep is a collaborative abstract artwork that keeps evolving as you vote for “sheep”. So it makes nice visuals and is great to play on a spare screen and Pi. Raspberrypi 2 works, Raspberrypi 3 is recommended for smooth visuals. You can see examples of the visuals on youtube.

To run it

  1. Download the image
  2. Flash it like any distro
  3. set up wifi, set your wifi settings with the file electricsheep-network.txt or electricsheep-wpa-supplicant.txt.
  4. Plug to HDMI display, internet and boot

Its easy to write a custom distro with CustomPiOS!

To write I had to write a module for CustomPiOS, it was just 32 lines mostly copied from the electric sheep install manual. To make stuff start on boot I used the gui module which lets you start any gui application full screen at boot, that’s 2 lines in the config file.

Thank you Doc’s Tech for hosting the image yet again!

FullPageOS – Out-Of-The-Box Kiosk mode for the RaspberryPi October 17, 2015

Posted by GuySoft in linux, open source, programming.
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Hey all,

Today I am announcing a RaspberryPi operating system that addresses a small need we have – Get the RaspberryPi to display a webpage on full screen with no hassle.
The OS is called FullPageOS. And you can download it here.

Why I built it

A friend of mine, Tailor Vijay wanted something to stream video and add titles to it. Also I was looking for a way to start the RaspberryPi with a browser on full screen for a stats screen at work, and apparently the only thing available is complex guides that only partly work on today’s RaspberryPi.

So what I did last weekend is build a distro based off the code of OctoPi, the 3D printer operating system I built. All this distro does is start Chromium at boot on full screen, with a URL of your choice. The url can be changed conveniently from a text file on the /boot FAT folder. So all you have to do is set the wifi and url via text files, boot, and voilà!
Among the minor tweaking is the elusive setting of disabling the screen from blanking.

How to set it up

What’s nice about FullPageOS is that its simple, no need to install packages, just flash it like any distro, set your wifi and URL settings and boot.

  1. Open the FAT filesystem that is mounted as /boot
    on the pi
  2. Set the URL you want in the file fullpageos.txt
  3. If you need to set up wifi, set your wifi settings with the file fullpageos-network.txt or any way you want are used to on the RaspberryPI
  4. Plug to HDMI display, internet and boot


How I Founded a Startup September 20, 2015

Posted by GuySoft in open source, Startup.
ShapeDo logo

ShapeDo logo

Hey all,

It’s my 29th birthday this week, and that sorta made me realise no one really knows what I have been doing the past 18 months, so I thought it’s time to tell you how I founded a company. Unlike the tutorials and guides I wrote here, I am not sure this would work for everyone, but it did work for me.

The Idea

I have started one of my biggest and ambitious projects yet, after collaborating with people around the world bringing OctoPi to the world, I realised that something was missing from the scene of 3D design – a decent version control and collaboration tools.

This was the initial idea, as you will see things played out differently, but what was important with this idea was contagious, I got the feeling everyone I told about it wanted to join me, it was wonderful.

Assembling the team

My talent is mostly in the core backed stuff, so I found myself going to one of the more talented web developers I know for help, my co-worker at Zend, Amit. It started by asking him javascript questions. When he realized what I was doing, he started helping me out, and he was fast, suddenly in days my core stuff was accessible to the world with a simple and elegant interface. At that time we thought this is going to be a nice open source project, not something commercial, but as the server load grew on Amit’s little server we understood we needed some way to pay its bills, so I started to look for someone that would help me figure out how to sustain this financially. Since our idea was “github for 3D printing”, it seemed like there should be a way to support it, perhaps charge for closed-source projects.

I’ve been going around the Makerspaces in Tel-Aviv, mostly XLN and T.A.M.I, in some random workshop I came across someone who said “You should write an executive summary, I don’t mind helping you out”. I didn’t even know what an executive summary was at the time, and today it makes me realise how much I learned about fundraising during this year. I later found his name was Ari and he was between companies. We set to meet at Google Campus and write it since we both went to some ecology hackathon that was going on there.

We ended up drunk from exhaustion and pizza, scooting on chairs at the space and we also had a draft. As we wrote it, the idea spread to Ari, and he realized he that he wanted to join. I introduced him to Amit. It took a while to put our trust in Ari, less time than we expected, and today I know ShapeDo would not have reached anything without Ari’s help. Eventually we wrote a few basic agreements on paper and Ari made sure we register a company, ShapeDo was born.

The Pivot

We worked on a new site for 3D printing and launched, we got coverage on 3D printing industry, and the user base grew, but people were not really using the collaboration features. It turns out most people 3D printing share are simple one person designs in one afternoon projects. However, what is special about the 3D printing industry is that there is no 3D CAD tool that was built for it. So you end up meeting designers from mechanical engineering, gamers, architects, programmers and any discipline that has a 3D design program that can export the printable files. We (everything eventually becomes “we”) found that everyone wanted this kind of tool in their workplace, while in 3D printing was not as urgently needed.

OctoPi version 0.6 – Control your 3D printer securely over the internet August 26, 2013

Posted by GuySoft in diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming.
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OctoPi new logo

OctoPi new logo

Hey all,

OctoPi has got a lot of support, and it has been great to see people are adopting it.

I have released a new version of OctoPi, which has the following new features:

  • Support for both Raspberry Pi camera and webcam. Depending on which you plug to the Pi (Thanks to Gina)
  • New version of OctoPrint with ACL support
  • OctoPrint now runs on HTTPS using HAProxy, allowing secure connection to your printer over the internet

Also, we had to change the logo due to it being the Raspberry Pi foundation trademark. Thanks for everyone on the google plus discussion (especially Janina).

Download the image here

Source code and project management is on github here

I will note it was pretty nice get in to this release PiCam support, since I have no camera it required collaboration of both Gina and me, meaning we have a distro now that probably can cope with more hardware than you would have in your average personal configuration.

Also thanks Matvin for the storage, and we also have another mirror lined up in case of a overload, which happened last time.

Enjoy everyone,


OctoPi – 3D Printer Web Server Distribution for the Raspberry Pi August 4, 2013

Posted by GuySoft in diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming.
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OctoPi logoOctoPi logo

OctoPi logo

Update2: New mirror opened after Dropbox suspended my public links due to traffic. Download the image here.

Update: Dropbox have suspended my Public links due to “extreme traffic activity” so in a few hours I should be syncing the image to other mirrors. Other hosting would be appreciated!

Hey all,

I am happy to say that I am a backer of the Rigidbot 3D printer, (which you can pre-order already), I am expecting it to arrive in August. In the meantime, I have ordered a Raspberry Pi to play with and started visiting a local maker community known as XLN.

This led me to find a really cool project called OctoPrint, which lets you control 3D printers using a Raspberry Pi over a web interface, however people were not installing it on their Pis because there was no out-of-the-box solution. Today I am happy to announce that a solution is here! I give you Octoprint + Rapberry Pi = OctoPi. A raspberry Pi distribution which runs OctoPrint out of the box, with support for time-lapse video on webcams (there is also an experiential version in the works that supports streaming from a raspberry Pi camera).

Just dd the image on to an sd card, put the sd card in your Pi, boot it and connect to the network and printer, then point your browser to http://octopi.local and you have a fully functional 3D printer server! Plug in a webcam and can also make time-lapse videos. Just as simple as that. More details for windows users can be found on OctoPrint’s download page.

The OctoPi image can be downloaded here.

The sources are available on github, and could also serve as a framework to automatically build other Raspbian-based Raspberry Pi distributions.

Pull requests, forks and issue reports are welcome. Also it would be helpful if someone could help me mirroring, since currently the images are hosted on my Dropbox account.

Thanks to Gina, the developer of OctoPrint, for such a great software! PlugWash on #raspbian for the build tips and Richard Mitchell for the last touches to OctoPi’s logo.

Share and enjoy,


Running Your Android Phone/Tablet on a virtual machine January 5, 2013

Posted by GuySoft in Android, diy, Hamakor, linux, open source, Uncategorized.
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Android VM on Virtualbox

Android VM on Virtualbox

Hey all,

My phone has died, and was sent to repair. And since I have a complete backup of it, as explained in my last post, I thought I might try and emulate it on my laptop.

So in this post I’ll explain how to do just that. And one the side effects is that I can now use whatsapp on my PC!

What you will need

  1. A backup of your phone that was done with Titanium BackupFollow my previous post on how to do that. Note that for Titanium Backup to run you need to root your phone.
  2. A computer that is running virtual box and virtualbox-fuse – I will show how to do this in Linux, but windows and Mac can do this too.
  3. A copy of AndoVM – This is the reason we can do this, since android by default does not come with an Ethernet drivers and AndroVM is compiled and distributed to run on virtualbox out of the  box (pun intended).


Automatic Nightly Backups for Your Android Device to Your Computer November 1, 2012

Posted by GuySoft in Android, diy, linux, open source, Uncategorized, wifi, wireless.
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Android lifevest

Android backup will keep you safe

Hey all,

Friends keep coming up to me and complaining that they had to wipe all their phone because of some attempt to do something.
However, if you give me a brand-new phone and throw mine out of a high-building window, I won’t stop you, because I have a copy of my phone at home, from that same morning, and I don’t even have to think about it.

Want to feel free again? Not scared that this small thing you carry in your pocket with all your life gets ruined? Well, here is how you do it:

Things you will need

  1. A computer running Linux you can ssh to with Rsync installed, or windows running cygwin with rsync and ssh installed.
  2. Your device needs to be rooted – I am afraid thats a requirement for Titanium backup and all programs that back up app data
  3. Titanium backup – You can use the free version for backing up, but for a single-click restore you will need to pay (I bought it and recommended you do even if its the only thing you ever buy on the play store)
  4. rsync backup for Android – This will back up all your photos and data that isn’t part of your apps, if you don’t root but this is all you want to back up, this post might help you too!
  5. Llama – lets you set location profiles


SvxlinkWrapper – Wrapper for SvxLink to provide additional functionally such as QSO logging and auto-connect May 17, 2012

Posted by GuySoft in Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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Hey all,

A short post to announce a small piece of software I released today on github for the ham radio people.
I give you SvxlinkWrapper, this wrapper sits on top of Svxlink‘s stdout and stdin and processes it with python. Making it easy to add more advance features to Svxlinik. Since Svxlink is written in C++ and takes a while to compile, this wrapper really speeds up development. Furthermore, it uses straight.plugin making its simple to write more modules by extending SvxlinkwrapperModule and placing it in the modules folder.

Currently the to modules that SvxlinkWrapper has are for auto-connect to Echolink nodes on startup and another for a QSO logger for Echolink connections. There is also a module that should let you send commands over the Echolink chat, if you extend it. This lets me open and close repeater connections directly from the Echolink chat box.

Thats it for today, now that I have more free time, I hope to publish more things, 73

Cheap USB interface to connect Ham radios and other devices to the PC October 14, 2011

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, wireless.
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Ham radio PC interface

Hi all,
As promised in my last post, I have finally finished designing and building a cheap interface to connect ham radios or any other audio device that does not share audio common ground to a PC, including a PTT interface. Price should be around $17 or 60 NIS.  The control is done using a USB interface, so unlike most ham radio hardware that uses serial connections, this one is plug and play in modern PCs. The neat thing is that it uses them same commands as a RigBlaster. So this interface works out of the box with common ham radio programs like Echolink and Svxlink. The interface should also work with soundmodem which can be used for X.25 packet digital communications, without any extra hardware (I am still trying to get this to work). This interface could also be used to connect to other devices that don’t share a common ground. For example like phone lines.

Parts you will need

  1. TTL USB Serial interface – The main part is a simple CP2102 $4 controller that can be percussed from ebay. It simulates a serial device, meaning you can still work with older pieces of software with it. Note though you need to solder a cable from the RTS pin on the board, because normally they don’t come with a pre-made pin.
  2. Audio line isolation transformer – This can be easily salvaged from any old dial-up modem. That’s how I get mine, it seems to be much easier to get them off old modems than finding them in electronics shops, plus they are so easily identifiable (just make sure not to break the contacts when you take them out, happened to me twice). If you can’t find any old dial-up modems you can get it from ebay. (more…)

Echolink Node Native on Linux with Svxlink, and a Cheap PTT Hardware Interface August 8, 2011

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, wireless.
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The Jerusalem Echolink Node

The Jerusalem Echolink Node (4Z7GAI-R)

Hey all,

I recently got my amateur HAM Radio license from the Israel ministry of communication. My call sign is 4Z7GAI.

I have been working on getting an Echolink node running on the Jerusalem repeater using Linux. Echolink is a closed proprietary software that lets you connect ham radios to one another and key them across the Internet. Luckily someone wrote a FOSS program called Svxlink, which lets you connect to the Echolink network on Linux., A remote radio control with an echolink server, svxlink-server and an Echolink graphical client, Qtel. I am going to explain in this post how to get svxlink compiled and working (compiling is the hard part). I will also giving out here an Ubuntu package for the lazy ones among you.

I will also add a small section on the physical connection to the radio, an old Icom IC-02AT from the 80s (around my age). (more…)