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The C.H.I.P. computer from Next Thing Co. has many IO ports, features, and expansion capabilities. It also has a status LED that can be controlled via software. That means that the LED can be made to blink.

fordsfords wrote a much better version of a blink utility: it can use different control buses and even has a feature to flash differently depending on the current battery level.

To go above and beyond, fordsfords has an example in both C and bash. But I don't like writing in C or bash. So this is one in ruby.



You need to install ruby on your C.H.I.P. I'm too daring to use an unprivileged user so all commands below are for root. Adjust to taste.

At the time of writing, the current version of ruby is 2.3.1. Also, adjust to taste.

Install build dependencies.

Not all of these are needed but I expect to want some of them later so I'm throwing them all in for now. Adjust to taste.

apt-get -y install wget curl build-essential zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libreadline-gplv2-dev libxml2-dev  libsqlite3-dev libffi6 libffi-dev

Download ruby


Unarchive ruby

tar -xvf ruby-2.3.1.tar.gz
cd ruby-2.3.1

Build ruby

./configure && make && make install


Ruby has an extensive library available through the gem system. This script uses daemons and i2c-devices

Install daemons

gem install daemons

Install i2c-devices

Unfortunately, the current version of this library (0.0.5) does not support forcing commands over the i2c bus. This is a requirement for controlling the LED.

This feature has been merged into the library; but until a new version is published, you'll need to build the code.

Install git
apt-get -y install git
Clone the current i2c-devices code
git clone
Build and install the development version of the gem
cd ruby-i2c-devices
gem build i2c-devices.gemspec
gem install --local i2c-devices-0.0.5.gem 

Install blink.rb

Get the code

You could download the code directly from github; but you have git installed so why not use it?

git clone

Install the script

cp chip-blink-ruby/blink.rb /usr/local/bin
chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/blink.rb

Install the service

cp chip-blink-ruby/blink.service /etc/systemd/system/blink.service
systemctl enable /etc/systemd/system/blink.service

Start the service

service blink start

Stop the service

service blink stop  

Thanks again to fordsfords for writing the code that I was able to copy.


A ruby-based daemon to blink the LED on the C.H.I.P. $10 computer




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