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ApplePi-Baker v2 – Backup & Restore SD cards, USB drives, etc.

ApplePi-Baker v2 – Backup & Restore SD cards, USB drives, etc.

ApplePi-Baker has become well known amongst Raspberry Pi users, with a Mac running macOS, to backup and restore SD-cards. Users do not just use ApplePi-Baker for this purpose anymore – I have seen users use it for backup and restore of pretty much anything not Raspberry Pi related.

Late 2013, I created ApplePi-Baker for my own use – I just got tired of looking up the proper command-line statements.
This way, ApplePi-Baker became my personal frontend for command-line tools like “dd“, “diskutil“, “mount” etc.

Over time, the use of command-line tools came with some problems; thanks Apple for changing command-line tool output with every new version of macOS. Besides that, having to enter your “sudo” password each time was a pain as well, and came with the occasional problems for a small group of users, so that had to go as well.

About 2 years ago I decided to rebuild ApplePi-Baker from scratch, no longer using any of the command-line tools. This came with quite a few challenges, especially since Apple increased security for macOS, not allowing me to do certain things straight from my program (see also SMJobBless: Elevated Privileges in Lazarus Pascal). I’m not even mentioning the drama when it comes to supporting the different compression formats, signing applications, and 64-bit requirements.

Almost 2 years later, I proudly present ApplePi-Baker v2. – special thanks to Jeff and Mark for testing!

UPDATE: ApplePi-Baker now also support shrinking and expanding of Linux partitions!

How to install Lazarus Pascal on Raspberry Pi 2 (Raspbian)

How to install Lazarus Pascal on Raspberry Pi 2 (Raspbian)

For those of you who have visited Tweaking4All more often, you might have noticed that I really like Lazarus Pascal. I use it to develop little freeware applications for multiple platforms (if possible), like for Windows, MacOS X and Linux.

So why not on a Raspberry Pi (Raspbian)? Lazarus allows Rapid Application Development in the good old Delphi style which would be ideal for a platform like the Raspberry Pi. Specially since the Raspberry Pi  2 Model B seems to be fast enough as well.

Now me and my brother-in-law (Jean-Pierre) are planning to build an Alarm system based on a Raspberry Pi 2, use a TouchScreen and plenty of sensor. Lazarus Pascal could be ideal for this purpose.

To my disappointment, it took me a lot of time to get Lazarus to run on my new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B … so that’s why I wrote this article, which is basically a compilation of a lot of steps that I found scattered all over the Internet.

Raspberry Pi – ChameleonPi or how to run Classic Computers, Consoles and Arcade Games

Raspberry Pi – ChameleonPi or how to run Classic Computers, Consoles and Arcade Games

The Raspberry Pi is one fun little computer perfectly capable of emulation Classic Computers like the Commodore 64, ZX-81, ZX-Spectrum, Apple ][, Atari ST and even DOS/Windows 3.1. Emulation on the Raspberry Pi however is not limited to classic computers. Emulation of Classic Game Consoles like the Atari 2600, SEGA Genesis, Super Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment System (or: NES) and Gameboy handheld work great as well.

My favorite in this however remains the emulation of classic Arcade Games with MAME.
Unfortunately, I did not find an emulator for one of my childhood consoles, the Magnavox Odyssey² (a.k.a. Philips VideoPac G7000).

In this article an introduction to CHAMELEONPI, an awesome distribution by Carles Oriol, which can be downloaded for free. It offers all of these emulators, with a beautiful interface and an easy way to upload ROMs and applications for the Classic Computers, Game Consoles, and Arcade Emulator (MAME).

MacOS X – ApplePi Baker – Prep SD-Cards for IMG or NOOBS

MacOS X – ApplePi Baker – Prep SD-Cards for IMG or NOOBS

After writing the article on “How to get an Operating System on a SD-Card“, I realized that the existing methods and tools were not to my liking. Of course the existing tools are most certainly not bad and work just fine. I just didn’t like how they worked.

So instead of complaining, I decided to write my own program: The ApplePi-Baker 

This application is for MacOS X only and allows you to prepare an SD-Card for use with Raspberry Pi’s NOOBS, and it allows you to “flash” and IMG file to an SD-Card. ApplePi-Baker can now also be found on and

Note : This application is also very suitable for creating or restoring an IMG  backup of USB drives!

Update : ApplePi-Baker v2 has been released, you can get it here.
The new version offers a lot options including shrinking and expanding of IMG’s, writing to multiple disks, a better speed and improved stability compared to the old version (1.x) mentioned in this article.

Raspberry Pi – How to get an Operating System on a SD-Card

Raspberry Pi – How to get an Operating System on a SD-Card

When I first started working with the Raspberry Pi just after the first model A was released, my first issue was: How to get an Operating System on an SD-Card?
I mean: you just purchased a Raspberry Pi – you want to see it in action right away right?

After figuring that out, others have asked me the same question on how to create a SD-Cards for the Raspberry Pi. So here a guide on how to get it done in a few simple steps for Windows, MacOS X and Linux.

The Raspberry Pi, for those unaware, is a $35 computer, equipped with all you need (network, USB, etc), capable of running an Operating Systems like Linux, RiscOS, etc. and can even run XBMC (OpenElec for example) out of the box producing 1080p video through HDMI.

Hardware – What is a Breadboard and How to use it …

Hardware – What is a Breadboard and How to use it …

When I started my first experiments with electronics, solderless breadboards, in Europe anyway, were not very common or at least not cheap.
Instead me and my dad wired everything together (the good old times!). We either used air to old everything together for the simpler designs, or we used an Open Hole Board PCB (a.k.a. Prototype PCB) for the more complex designs.

Once our design was completed and working we either left it as is – a bundle of components and wires soldered together – or we made a nice PCB to accommodate the components and connections. With Breadboards we’re only looking at the initial prototype …

Breadboards allow us to make our initial prototype much easier and much cleaner, and when I started dabbling with MicroControllers (BASICStamp) it became obvious that creating prototypes with Breadboards was the best way to go – even if it’s just to be able to handle the more expensive components more careful.
In this article a brief into to Solderless Breadboards.

Raspberry Pi OpenELEC – Using a HD44780 display

Raspberry Pi OpenELEC – Using a HD44780 display

You might be familiar with XBMC, one of the best Media Center like systems/applications out there. You also might know about the $35 computer called Raspberry Pi, and that some folks managed to got XBMC to run on this little guy; RaspBMC and my favorite: OpenELEC.

Well, in this article I’ll show you how I got an LCD display (Hitachi HD44780 based) combined with LCD2USB for use with the Raspberry Pi running OpenELEC XBMC.

RaspBMC user might find this article useful as well.
If you want to use a HD44780 based display without LCD2USB then you might want to read this post that uses the GPIO port directly. The lcdproc manual pages show more details on how to configure lcdproc to use the HD44780.

Note: These instructions should be very similar for other OpenELEC systems (Generic, ATV, Fusion, ION, etc).