The other day I was thinking about how I could use a Raspberry Pi for a practical demonstration of some Unix shell basics. At right around the same time, I was using a neat little shell utility called pv, for pipe viewer.
What pv does is sit in the middle of a pipeline and display a progress bar, so you can have some idea of whether a long-running process is actually processing, and how much longer you’ll have to wait for it to finish. It’s great for things like copying big disk images to SD cards.
So ok, I thought, I have this PiTFT display. What if I made a pipeline viewer out of the Pi and stuck it on top of my regular monitor?
Here’s Part 1 of the resulting guide. It covers the basics of doing visualizations with the Pygame framework, which turns out to be a really fun little toolset for this kind of project. Part 2, demonstrating how to pipe data across the network to this visualizer using tools like Node.js, netcat, and Flask, should be finished soon.
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