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Have some Pi!

When the COVID-19 lockdown began, we were initially focused on ensuring that we were able to work from home, had enough supplies to stay at home as much as possible, and so on. (Others probably won’t be, but I was quite surprised that storing bread in the freezer is extremely effective – you can even put it directly into the toaster. Wow!)

At any rate, setting up a home network had been on my mind for many months, but I hadn’t done any more than toy with the idea until COVID-19 meant that we had 6 laptops running during business hours, and about a dozen other devices.

TIL Technology evolved from the realization that what I’ve been doing over the past four months probably makes no sense if I were to simply describe it chronologically. Each step made sense at the time, and there is a progression (logical or not) between the events.

Thanks again to Troy Hunt ( for the fact that my thinking about setting up a home network included my first exposure to the idea of a Pi-hole ( I had heard of the Raspberry Pi ( before, and thought it sounded interesting, but hadn’t moved beyond toying with the idea of getting one someday.

But all this work and planning for the home network got me thinking more and more about setting up a Pi-hole, so I decided to go ahead and get a Raspberry Pi.

When researching technology, I prefer to start with the most familiar sources first, then branch out as seems reasonable. This is actually an important point – many people will simply search for a term and click the first entry they see, but it’s vitally important to be careful, and learn what you can about where you are going. There are actually a number of rabbit-holes here.... SEO (Search Engine Optimization), how search engines manage and display ads, domain- and typo-squatting, assessing the credibility of sources, and so on. These may be interesting topics for further discussion – we’ll see.

I started, as I usually do, with Wikipedia (, double-checked the location of the official Raspberry Pi site (, and went on from there. As this was my first experience with Raspberry Pi, I decided to get a “starter kit” from one of the official vendors listed on the official site (, along with a set of heat-sinks and a fan.

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

  • 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU

  • 4 GB RAM

  • Official USB-C Power Supply (5-foot cable)

  • Official Raspberry Pi White/Red Case

  • Official Raspberry Pi Keyboard and Mouse

  • Official Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable (3-foot cable)

  • 16 GB MicroSD Card w/NOOBS

  • Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide

  • Raspberry Pi 4 Heat Sinks (Set of 3)

  • Raspberry Pi Fan

Ordering was a breeze, and the shipment came promptly.

As noted, I wanted the full kit so that I could get the “official experience”, and understand the quality of all the official components, particularly the mouse and keyboard.

While assembling everything, I discovered that there’s actually one other item included in the kit. I spent FAR too long searching for the MicroSD card containing the operating system (including going through the wrapping materials and even reaching out to the support team), before realizing that the SD card was actually an SD:MicroSD adapter, with the MicroSD card inserted into it. (D’oh!)

I found endless information on how to install the heat sinks and fan, and the installation / setup process is pretty straightforward and well-documented. I started by plugging in the keyboard, mouse, and monitor (via HDMI), but eventually set up remote network connectivity, which I may document at some point in the future, along with the setup of the Pi-hole.

So, now I have a Raspberry Pi! Erm... now what?




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