You've probably noticed from the datestamps of my last couple of weeks worth of posts that they were autoposted by an agent. This is because work has taken a turn for the extremely busy and I haven't had the time or the energy to write anything in particular; certainly nothing really useful. Rather than wasting everybody's time I decided to relax a bit by picking up an older project, namely a new war-walking rig, and making it work. Since I wrote that original post a few more security updates have come out for my phone and broke not only the Wigle wardriving app but a couple of other things that I really like, but that's neither here nor there. I'm still using the equipment outlined in the previous post and the latest Git commit of Kismet right out of the developers' repo. I made a couple of design decisions that I'll discuss later which are specific to my use case, which you are free to ignore or discard as you deem necessary.
Earlier this year I got back into urban hiking by taking up war walking again around home. Not too long after that, I started picking up buzz that upcoming versions of Android are specifically not going to make it easy (or probably possible) to wardrive or war walk by changing how the wifi drivers work. By this, I mean they're making it possible to trigger a wireless scan once every two minutes instead of whenver you ask it to. Unsurprisingly, if you read through that ticket's comments this is going to break a lot of other applications out there, but when you're the 500 pound gorilla you can pretty much dictate terms, and to hell with what your users actually ask for.
Yeah, I'm still bitter about that. Moving on.
A couple of months ago for my Lesser Feast I decided to treat myself to a toy that I've had my eye on for a couple of months: A Pi-Top laptop kit. My fascination with the Raspberry Pi aside (which includes, to be honest, being able to run a rack full of servers in my office without needing to install a 40U rack and a new 220 power feed), it strikes me as being a very useful thing to have under one's desk as a backup deck or possibly a general purpose software development computer. Most laptops have one unique motherboard per model and if you want to upgrade (or need to replace it) you're pretty much limited to buying a brand-new laptop. To upgrade a Pi-Top you just need to buy a new RaspberryPi, slide a panel aside, and swap a few cables, a system design that I think could be useful indeed. It also has remarkably few components; the screws and fasteners aside, the PiTop is composed of only a few modules: A base with a battery, a keyboard and touchpad panel, a lid with display, a black lexan access panel, a hub circuit board that ties everything together, and a RasPi. You can get a couple of modules to go with it, such as a prototype board for electrical engineering experiments and modular speakers, all of which attach to a sliding rail and plug into a unique pinset on the hub. I'm not an electrical engineer by any means but I have built many a kit over the years, and from eyeballing it it looked like a fairly simple build. I didn't document the build with photographs or anything because I didn't think to do so at the time. Sorry.