Initial development configuration…

I’ve not found a good single source of config information, so thought I’d start saving my own…

I’ve installed Raspbian using the NOOBS SD card supplied with my kit from element14.com. Works pretty well.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve already configured networking. Now on to the development rig.

I decided to install pybrain for my AI work. It has a useful concept of Task, Environment and Agent. This allows a nice separation of concerns when configuring neural networks and machine learning operations.

I’ve followed the install instructions on this video. Better than the text instructions. Found the running of the XOR supervised demo a bit slow, so have quickly followed the install guide for ARAC too.

ARAC is a C++ developed set of API compatible with pybrain. Think of them as a souped up engine behind the normal python pybrain code. Compiled locally, it provides for faster execution of pybrain based environments.

I’ve then installed the Arduino IDE and performed the necessary modifications for the Gertboard (as opposed the the usual Arduino Uno/Leonardo boards). Lots of great tips on the website in that link.

Took a little while, but the instructions are pretty good. Heaven help those not used to compiling their own software though. Thankfully not many of those in the AI world.

The pybrain samples are now running nicely. Something interesting I’ve noticed is that the trained neural networks can be saved as XML…

This brings the interesting prospect of storing neural networks on their tested outcomes in MarkLogic, perhaps allowing statistical analysis of neural nets versus outcomes in the future, or for tracking genomic changes over time. (Family tree for Ralph, perhaps!?!)

I need to also buy a few extra bits. I need a ribbon cable for between the Pi and the Gertboard. I prefer this to plugging the board straight in, as I want the case still around the Pi for safety. I’ll have to cut a small hole in there.

I also may well need to dig out my old breadboard, LEDs and such like, and purchase a few more interconnects for testing. Maplin here I come. (Other geek gear stores are available)

Still not received a DVB-T (Digital TV) USB card yet. Can’t put my aircraft tracking plans in to action yet. Perhaps I should spend my time writing that code rather than playing around in Ralph’s innards? Where’s the fun in that though!…

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