Playing with the PiDrive

(Daniel Hollands) #1

I got to play with the PiDrive last night, and while some parts of it (specifically the BerryBoot software) confuse me, overall I’m somewhat impressed.

The first thing you need to do is obtain all the components needed to make it work:

  • the PiDrive itself (which, I’m not sure if I mentioned before, but is 314 GBs :grin:)

  • PiDrive Cable (which accepts power in, and supplies this to both the drive and the Pi, as well as providing the USB (3, I think) link between the Pi and the drive)

  • a Pi

  • a Pi power supply

  • an SD memory card (with BerryBoot software)

  • [optionally] a case (there are three variables of this available, although only one is available in the UK currently)

  • keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc…

After this has all been assembled:

…you’re presented with the BerryBoot software, which lets you format the drive, and download/install the OS you want. The cool thing about BerryBoot is that you’re able to install as many OSs as you want, and simply choose the one you want to boot.

The selection of OSs on offer was impressive, including multiple versions of Raspbian, RetroPie, multiple media centers, Ubuntu MATE (although not the latest version, disappointingly), etc… and once it was all installed, it all just worked.

Well, almost.

BerryBoot uses something called SquashFS, which has a side effect of not allow operating system automatic updates to install. Or something like that, because I was able to run an apt-get update && apt-get upgrade without issue.

In any case, BerryBoot is optional, and there’s nothing stopping you from installing the OS directly on the SD card, using the drive for storage - but right now I don’t want to rock the boat, so if WDLabs suggest BerryBoot, that’s what I’m going to use.

Anyway, I’ll be spending some time over the next two days working on my secret project, so I’ll keep you updated.

(Andy Wootton) #2

The thing that most confused me about the Pi was the move to the Debian release system. By default it patches but doesn’t do on the fly updates to software, like Ubuntu. Debian ‘stable’ really means it.

(Daniel Hollands) #3

Some more photos. Here’s a sexy close up:

And one in context of the room:

The project isn’t complete right now, as I have a lot more work I need to do to get it where we want it, but I think I’ve made a good start.

The only other thing I’ll say is this - I’ve named the machine Raspberry Tapas.