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Updating the Bridge

Matt Webb edited this page Dec 22, 2015 · 6 revisions

Why the Bridge needs an update

The Bridge runs embedded software that automatically connects to bergcloud.com, which is the server that controls Little Printer.

What we want is for other servers to control the Little Printers, and for the Bridge to be configurable to connect to these other servers. That way, lots of people can run their own control servers... you can use the one that I run, but maybe you can use the one that you run too, or one run by a friend. This project, "sirius", is about making a new, simplified control server.

So the Bridge software needs to be updated to add this functionality. Once your Bridge software is updated, you can point it at your own installed version of the control server (or alpha.littleprinter.com which is a demo site, and runs occasionally).

Unfortunately the procedure for updating the Bridge software is complicated. I think we can make the procedure simpler in the future, but it's always going to be risky, which is why I'm not rolling this out as an automatic update.

Follow these steps

By following these steps, you will be controlling your Little Printer(s) using the new control server. You'll lose face changes, publications, nicely formatted messages, and the Direct Print API. To be fair, these are going away anyway when the old bergcloud.com servers are turned off, but y'know, it's worth pointing out. What do you gain? You gain the ability to receive messages from Twitter friends.

Here are the steps.

  1. Find the Bridge that you want to update. Follow the steps here to get the Bridge MAC address, and drop it into that thread -- I'll queue up the software update (this is a manual process so it might take a few days)

  2. When the software update processes, the lights will start to flash. If I've told you in the thread that the software update is ready, and the lights aren't yet flashing: Unplug the bridge, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in again and wait several minutes for the lights to do a little dance. Absolutely do not power off the bridge at this time! You will brick it.

  3. Once the update is done, the instructions above will lead you to the configuration page of the Bridge... use the username "berg" and the password "hereandthere"

  4. Paste this URL into the configuration box: http://alpha.littleprinter.com

  5. Press the button, wait, and see what happens! After a minute or so, the Bridge will have booted and most of its lights will be on. Refresh the configuration page, and make sure that the URL still says alpha(etc). It might be that the configuration didn't take if it couldn't find the control server. [Note: There are some bugs with this stage -- working on fixing them. MW]

  6. Reset your Little Printer, it needs to be plugged in and powered on to do this. Reset Little Printer by pulling off the metal front, taking out the paper, and using a paperclip to press the reset button through the tiny hole inside, right at the back. The reset button will click.

  7. Now turn your Little Printer off, re-assemble it, and plug it in. The light will come on. Press the black button, and you'll get a claim code.

  8. Now go to the alpha site, sign in with Twitter, and attempt to claim your printer with the new claim code. The alpha site is running sometimes... you can install this code on your own server as an alternative.

  9. Gulp.

  10. If that all worked, all four lights on the Bridge will be solid and light, and there will be no light on Little Printer. You can then use the site to send your printer messages.

  11. Let me know (a) if this worked, and (b) if not, what happened! Also let me know how to make this instructions better, because I don't have access to anything I can take screenshots with and so I'm doing this all by memory!

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