Access Raspberry Pi 3 UART Console on MacOS

Raspberry Pi can be used with a prepared OS, booted up and just used. But when it comes to customising or doing something else than what was planned, you may need to use the console. And that requires a TTL adapter connected to the GPIO. The thing is, using MacOS is not as straightforward as I thought. So here are my notes.

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Install Windows 7 from a USB stick

On my netbooks, I have to install (too often) Windows 7 from the USB port. I usually use the “Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool” but today it just didn’t want to build the USB stick properly.

Here’s the manual way to prepare a USB stick that allows installing Windows 7. The directions worked from a Windows 7 virtual machine running on my Mac.

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Use an HSDPA 3G USB adapter with the Asus Transformer TF101

My Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 is quite nice to take on a ride. The only issue is that when there’s no WiFi around, there’s no Internet at all. I used to have a Novatel MiFi 2352 3G hotspot but it died. All I have left is a data-only SIM card and an Huawei E220 USB modem.

By default, even with the dock keyboard, plugin the HSDPA USB adapter into the Transformer won’t lead far. But since I can root the Pad and install an alternate ROM, there are every likelihood that I can manage to access Internet via the 3G modem.

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Hercules Wireless Pico USB HWNUp-150 working on OpenBSD

Unfortunately, the Broadcom BCM4315 wireless adapter from the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 is not supported by OpenBSD (as of 5.0). So I looked for a wireless USB adapter. First I looked at my favorite online shops to see what was available. Then I searched for the chipset of the adapter I’ve selected.

The Hercules Wireless N USB Pico (HWNUp-150) looked perfect as it is really small. Having a look at urtwn(4), I read that, in theory, this adapter should work. In practice, it does:

urtwn0 at uhub0 port 3 "Realtek 802.11n WLAN Adapter" rev 2.00/2.00 addr 2 urtwn0: MAC/BB RTL8188CUS, RF 6052 1T1R, address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx

Configured for WPA2, it’s up and running.
Hurray!