Bluetooth keyboard on the Raspberry Pi – A quick guide

So, over the weekend I decided to try and get my Bluetooth keyboard working on the Raspberry Pi. It was originally brought to go with my iPad, however I feel that pairing it with my Raspberry Pi would give it some actual use.

Requirements

  • USB Bluetooth adaptor that works with the Raspberry Pi
  • Raspbian Wheezy (should work on most other Pi distros)
  • The bluetooth, bluez-utils, blueman and bluez-compat packages installed via apt-get, or your chosen package management tool.

Disclaimer

The following steps are the steps I used to pair and subsequently connect a bluetooth keyboard to my Pi. Your mileage may vary.

Instructions

1. Put the keyboard in pairing mode. Refer to your manual on how to do this.

2. Scan for your Bluetooth keyboard with hcitool scan. This allows you to scan for bluetooth devices. If it works, you should see an output similar to this:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ hcitool scan
Scanning …
DC:2C:26:03:C0:30       Bluetooth keyboard

In order to pair it, you need the “DC:2C:26:03:C0:30” secion of that output. This differs for each device, as it is a unique device identifier known as a MAC Address.

3. Pair it with sudo bluez-simple-agent hci0 <mac address>. It should give you a pin to enter on the keyboard. Enter it in using the keyboard keys, then press enter on the bluetooth keyboard. If it doesn’t give you a pin, then refer to your manual on what to do.

Your keyboard is paired! But it isn’t connected yet. Here’s how to do that.

1. (Might be optional with your keyboard). Put your keyboard into pairing mode again. I had to do this because otherwise the keyboard wasn’t found.

2. Run the command sudo hidd -i hci0 --connect <mac address>. This connects the keyboard to the Pi.

3. (Optional) Edit /etc/rc.local with a text editor of your choice, and put that command in the file to automatically connect to the keyboard at startup!

If everything went according to plan, you should now be able to use your bluetooth keyboard with your Pi!

Any questions? Ask in the comments!

iPad Mini – An initial review

This is a small post with my thought of the iPad mini having used it for about 4 hours. I’ll write a fully fledged review when I get the time.

The hardware
The iPad has very good build quality. The screen is large for its size. Charger port is quite good as it can be inserted either way.

Initial Setup
Thankfully, you don’t need a computer to set the device up, as mine is broken. Just turn it on, wait about a minute and you’re greeted with a 5 to 10 minute setup wizard.
This wizard was easy to use and follow, and it setup all the basics, such as my iTunes account and wii details. It also managed to restore all the apps, plus settings, from my old iPod touch, via he iCloud service. This, I thought, was useful.

The interface
This thing is very easy to use. Launching an app is a simple as tapping the icon on the home screen. Going back to the home screen is as easy as pressing the circular button on the front of it. You can see open apps by double pressing the home button.
The interface is also very smooth. Launching apps is reasonably quick, and there is no lag when scrolling web pages, unlike on my budget android.

Using it
The apps available for the iPad are very good quality. Unlike Android, the apps seem to have very good quality. They are also very easy to use.
Typing on the iPad is also decent. The keyboard is big enough for me to type comfortably on for long periods of time, such as for writing this blog post. It is also reasonably accurate.

Conclusion
Seems like a reasonable device. It is quick, and easy to use. If you have the money, buy it. Or get a nexus.

Working on a WordPress theme

So I’m working on a WordPress theme. I’m basing it off the default one, and I’m hoping it’ll be an improved version of the default. You can see an early version of it on this site! I’m hoping it’ll include the following features!

  • Two or Three different layouts: a traditional blog layout, a windows 8 style layout, and a combination of both of those.
  • Colour schemes!
  • Animations!
  • More!

If people have suggestions, feel free to contact me.

Recent lack of posts

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I’ve been concentrating more on my exams than I have on the website. So, some quick updates:

– Exams nearly over! (yay)

– New site theme and I updated everything on my site

– My custom theme is postponed for a while. Sorry if anyone actually wanted it.

That’s it really. I’ll start posting again once I have stuff to post about.