Mobile Raspberry Pi

Does this sound at all familiar? You get a Raspberry as a christmas or birthday present, set it up on the familly TV or computer monitor with a power pack connected and a keyboard and mouse. You do some stuff on it that you're proud of and want to take it into school to show your mates. Unfortunately, the school computer monitors do not have an accessible hdmi port and the keyboards cannot be unplugged in because they have been cable tied in and there is no free power socket. The ICT technitiatians also frown when you start to pull cables out of machines. You could take your laptop in to connect to it, but this is going to draw to much attention and anyway isn't the point supposed to be that a Pi is a portable coding machine? So how can a Pi be made portable. Well one solution would be to buy a portable screen, but this is bit pricy. Here is my cheaper solution using stuff you probably already have.

  1. Setup a wifi hotspot on your mobile phone with a secure password.
  2. Install whatever version of the Pi operating system you want, but I reccomend Jessie Lite as you wont be using a graphical user interface.
  1. Precofigure the Raspberry Pi with details of your phones wifi hotspot password. Instructions here The Pi will connect to it as soon as it is turned on.
  2. Power by a portable usb charging pack.
  3. Connect to the Pi using ssh via an app on your phone called juicessh.
  4. Use a small bluetooth keyboard that connects to the phone to alllow for faster typing.

This gives you access to a terminal on the Pi. Ok it's not a full desktop environment, but for programming you can manage with this. To get multiple terminal shells use the screen programme. Using this you can have a text editor open in one terminal, debug code in another and run code in a third. All of these can be moved between with some easy to learn keyboard shortcuts.

The result of this is the Pi can stay in your bag or pocket and all you need on the table is your phone and bluetooth keyboard. Or if you really want to be descrete, despense with the keyboard. You can code to your hearts content in the smallest of spaces and no one will have a clue what you are doing!