Help – Newbie in total break down


Has anybody got a simple guide to using a PI with any of the Pi boards I have spent about £200.00 on pi’s and pi’ cases, displays, PIR’s, Temperature sensors . (PI A, B B+, PI2B) “Too much money and very little sense.”

This may sound funny but, my problem is a little knowledge is a bad thing. Nearly 40 years of using computers from Sharp MZ80-K, BBC micros, thru to IBM S370 (Cobol Programmer) used IBM / MS-DOS from version 3 on to windows 8.1 and even Windows 10 (Beta). So the “command line” does not scare me but Python is at the moment.

I just cannot get my mind round setting up the pi and using python programs, to use the dot3k, Adafruit 2.8” 320x240 tft w/touch screen with the pi.

From the guides that I have looked at just do not help, What I need is a simple step by step to set up and run a board. I have been able to get Code from Adafruit, Primoroni using a Windows PC to the Pi but they do not work due to errors when accessing the PI GPIO pins. (some error about \dev\mem GPIO code)

I have seen a script which appears to update the OS to use the dot3k, PIglow or any other Pimoroni product. But I’m not sure how to get it from the internet on to the pi. So that I get everything to work.

What I need is a step by step which is “Along the lines of” :-

  1. Load NOOBS,
  2. Run apt-get (update / upgrade)
  3. Now get Script from github, (clear instructions to do this)
  4. Run Script (Promoroni updates for dot3k to work)
  5. Run apt-get (update / upgrade)
  6. Reboot
  7. Get program from github Reboot if necessary (clear instructions to do this)
  8. run program to check dot3k works.
  9. Now Write my own programs. (This is just learning to use Python a few hours, days or weeks most likely)


I think you’ve got most of the steps down pretty well if you’re as far as the “/dev/mem” error. Don’t sell yourself short!

All you’ve got to do now is remember that in the Pi world, everything is run as root, IE: prefixed with the “sudo” command.

I suspect you know enough to know why this is a terrible idea, but it’s become the norm on the Pi.

So when you want to run a Python Display-o-Tron script, run:

sudo python


sudo ./

Both these should work for all examples, since I tend to make my Python scripts executable and include the relevant hashbang header ( the line that reads #!/usr/bin/env python ) so that Bash knows how to execute them.

You can install Dot3k, all the requirements, and the example code just by running this script:

curl | bash


Thanks gadgetold

Just a small question how do I get “” from GitHub while working on the pi. (on a PC I just cut & paste to a notepad text file and save as *.py) then transfer using a usb stick.

Many Thanks in advance

---- 1hr later ----
copied files : - (This is the usb stick dir list of the files as copied to pi)
Directory of K:\

17/02/2015 00:49 2,064
17/02/2015 01:01 13,051
17/02/2015 00:58 5,604
17/02/2015 00:59 2,452
17/02/2015 01:00 2,369

These files are copied to home folder

error (not the true wording - have shutdown pi)

dot3k.joystick (not found)


Possibly there is something on YouTube that is Step by Step … and if there isn’t ~ Great idea to create some!! ~ Videos are a great way to learn from step-by-step ( I learned how to Cast molten Aluminum from watching YouTube videos ) ; therefore… Maybe we can find some people on this forum to make some videos and link them on this forum.
When my Raspberry Pi 2 arrives I will start a YouTube Channel that details from unpacking it to setting it up to using it with Flotilla for Raspberry Pi and provide the links on this Forum area.

If you find any good step-by-step YouTube videos for using Raspberry Pi could you send me a note with the links? … and I will do the same :-)


@greenpid you really need everything within the Dot3k library to get it up and running, if your Pi doesn’t have a network connection ( I’m assuming this because you’re using Sneakernet! ) then this is really tricky, but not impossible. You wont get the Radio example up and running without installing VLC, though, and for that you’ll definitely need a network!

If you don’t have network on your Pi at the moment, then:

On GitHub you should use the Zip file download, it’ll give you a zip of the whole repository with all the code needed to support the examples. Look for the “Download ZIP” button on the bottom right, or click this link:

Unzip it to your USB stick, and pop it into your Pi.

If you do then:

Open up LXTerminal or Terminal and type:

git clone


What is “Sneakernet” ? - have 4 pc, 1 server 5 TV/set top machine, (PI a, b, 2x b+ & pi2) I have a network,

Use the PC to do most thinks, As I said at the start have many years of PC and Mainframe but no UNIX did have HP3000 system well before there was an internet just bulletin board and use dialup @9200 baud

Everything I hope behind a good solid router, stopping access.

Using one of the B+ for this, just need to plug it in, just do not understand github yet.

ok - got the dot3k downloaded from github (on PI)

boot pi, login and sudo startx
open from /home/pi/dot3k/python/examples/advanced/ (in Python 2) F5 to run

Python 2.7.3 (default, Mar 18 2014, 05:13:23)
[GCC 4.6.3] on linux2
Type “copyright”, “credits” or “license()” for more information.

================================ RESTART ================================

Traceback (most recent call last):
File “/home/pi/dot3k/python/examples/advanced/”, line 3, in
import dot3k.joystick as joystick
ImportError: No module named dot3k.joystick

Looking at directory listing under home can see the dot3k from github and the one under library

It’s going to be something simple I just missed at some point. Mostly a missed "environmental variable I missed setting (path in MSDOS / windows 8.1).


You actually need to install the Dot3k library, you can either do this by running:

curl | bash


sudo apt-get install python-pip
sudo pip install dot3k

or, by navigating into the python/library directory and running:

sudo ./ install

The first way is the easiest- it uses our install script which should get everything you need for Radio set up!

( Oh, and “sneakernet” is an old term for physically walking data from one place to another on a floppy disc! )


I have just run the from a python window and it did not work was going to send the error message. Will not now. I see ./ so should be doing it in terminal DOH.

Got the dot3k to install. But not yet been able to run the keep getting missing files like

But my back is now too painful to carry on for a few hours and a heat pad or two to get back to it. (TUIT - if are a Yorkshire man (Southerner but moved to Sheffield at 3 years)).

Oh did I have a big sneakernet (I’m very mild dyslexic so could not put the word into context.)

In one job, 20+ PC in department appox and 40 people that was a big sneakernet, (DOS 5 win3.1 or win3.11) Software audit required. Dept. head’s laptop had got a virus and was done early on, I used a Floppy to get info needed for the audit using the floppy in each machine, IT maintenance gave me a copy Dr Solomon to fix the pc’s and then I had to go round and check every floppy in the department anything from 5 to 50 floppies per person (5.25 and 3.5 floppies).


Youch! It’s amazing how computer viruses managed to get around, even before the internet!

It looks like you’re on the right track. Is there a file called “” alongside If so, you should delete it. Python can very easily be confused into loading a file instead of a module- this problem famously occurs when you name your script and try to load it- it’ll fail attempting to load itself instead of the dot3k module.

( I’m a Southerner ( Norwich ) who moved to Sheffield about 7 months ago! )


after reboot to command line, “cd” to the examples\advanced directory

sudo python
Traceback (most recent call last);
file, line 5 in
import dot3k.backlight as backlight
File “usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/dot3k-1.8.0-py27.egg/dot3k/”, line 1, in
import sn3218,colorsys, math
file “user/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/”, line 17,
i2c = smbus(i2c_bus_id(9))
ioerror: [errno 2] no such file or directory

from educated knowledge
Missing sn3218 and smbus

so re-run the

expected this to do nothing but redid the python - bah humug missed some of the python updates needed. Still run on Pi!

ar lights on dot3k just need some speakers or headphones to see if it plays music now. "Install Complete have Fun " on dot3k .

Phil would you mind if I do step by step on what should be done and then run it by u via private email till its correct then add it to this thread?

For the complete newbie like me now I can see it will work.

BUT Norwich is past the Watford gap, your not southern enough to say that,
I’m from south coast near one of the best known jump point at Beach Head.


Sure! You’re probably going to write better and more beginner-friendly instructions than me. You can run stuff by me via forum PM, and I’ll make sure your user account is updated so you don’t run into any limits.