Raspberry Pi Roundup - Build your own Amazon Alexa, try out a new browser and see how to make a Plex server monitor

Alexa!

Over on HowChoo, Jeremy has written a great tutorial which steps you through the process of linking your Raspberry Pi up to an Amazon Developer account and then installing the necessary software to create an Alexa device. These devices, which are normally purchased from Amazon, allow you to issue voice commands and get an AI-generated response. This can be anything from finding out the distance to another town or city to playing music. Read about how to do it yourself here.

New Browser

Launched in 2016, the Vivaldi web browser has been available for Windows, Mac and Linux for some time. Now, it is available for the Raspberry Pi. It’s a bit different to other browsers and boasts the following ‘headline’ features:

  • Advanced tab management – ability to group, tile, move and pin tabs.
  • Side Panel with easy access to bookmarks, downloads, a “tree-style” access to tabs, notes, browsing history and websites of users’ choice.
  • Built-in functionality such as the screenshot Capture tool, Notes and Image Properties.
  • Powerful History overview that lets users explore their browsing patterns, backed by statistics and visual clues.
  • Unique and customizable look and feel of the browser interface with custom Themes and more.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts and Mouse Gestures for quick browser commands.

I haven’t had a chance to have a play on the Pi yet, but I will and I’ll let you know if it’s worth trying. Bear in mind, this is an experimental build so it may not be totally stable yet, but if you’re tired of using Chromium or Web/Epiphany, I reckon it’s worth a try.

You can download Vivaldi here and then install it using the following command:

sudo apt install ./vivaldi-stable_1.13.1008.34-1_armhf.deb

Read a little more about the browser on Vivaldi’s press release.

Plex Monitor

Average Man (Richard Saville) has been continuing his resurgence into the world of Raspberry Pi. This time, he’s chosen to build a Plex server monitor out of a Raspberry Pi and a 20×4 LCD screen. He’s used the Plex API and a Python library to interrogate his Plex server and get vital pieces of information out and then displayed them on the LCD. It’s a bit of fun and you can read how he did it here.