Boolean Box FAQ
This page is the restored FAQ for the original Boolean Box, a Raspberry Pi based build it yourself computer kit. During the pandemic Raspberry Pis were is short supply and we stopped selling the Boolean Box moving on to our new micro:bit kits.
My Boolean Box does not seem to work
Couple of things to try:
1) In the lower right corner, near the power plug there should be a little red light that comes on when you power it up. After a few seconds the green light next to it should blink. If the green light is not on or blinking it is the SD card. May sure you have inserted the SD card.
2) remove the SD card and reinsert it. Power it up again.
3) Still not working?
– You can reload the image on the SD card by following these instructions
– Send us your order number (amazon or Boolean GirlTech), your address and we will send you a new SD card. firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address.
If your SD card has been corrupted you can frequently fix this by buying a new image on to the SD card. Below is the latest Boolean Girl disk Image and instructions for “burning” a new disk. NOTE: this will wipe out any data on the disk. If you are updating your disk, make sure you save your programs to a USB drive first.
Follow this link to download the image file to your PC or Mac.
Once the file has downloaded, follow these instructions. You should format your SD card first.
1. Insert the micro SD card that you want to clone in your computer using a USB or built-in card reader.
2. Download and install the Raspberry Pi Imager, and run it.
3. For the operating system select “Use Custom” the last option on the list. Then select the image file you downloaded, BG_IMAGE_2020AUG.img or BG_IMAGE_2021JAN.img
4. Choose your SD Card drive.
5. Click Write
Typically you will be asked for the password. This is your Mac Windows login password.
This process will take a while depending on the size of the SD card. Once the restore is complete, you can remove the card from your computer and insert it back in the Raspberry Pi.
Why update the disk image? If you purchased your Boolean Box before October of 2019 this image has updated version of Scratch, a new google chrome based web browser, a new Python development environment, several python libraries, and if you purchased prior to March 2018, a new block based Python programming tool.
The default user is pi , and the password is raspberry
For the most part Wifi is not required. We never use a network connection in our classes. Advanced user do connect to the internet to download new software Etc.
All the projects can be done with the software installed on the Raspberry Pi.
If you want to connect to WiFi, there is an icon for setting up WiFi on the upper right side of the desktop.
How do you resize the display from the boolean box computer to fit the HDMI monitor?
On the main menu (the Raspberry) click Preferences, Raspberry Pi configuration to get a popup window
Click on Set Resolution and pick a better resolution – we use DMT mode 81 1366×768 60Hz pretty frequently. That might be a place to start.
Sound does not work
There are lots of reasons for not having sound. Before you try anything else verify that your monitor/TV has sound.
There are two ways to get sound out of the computer: 1) through the HDMI cable to your monitor/tv. 2) through the audio port or headphone jack.
Audio through the HDMI cable
If you are trying to get sound through the TV, make sure the HDMI cable is plugged in to the TV and the TV is on before you start the computer. For sound to work the computer must sense that the speakers exist. If the computer gets booted up before the monitor is connected the computer may be defaulting to headphones. If sound is not working, try restarting the computer.
If your TV has modes try game mode. Some TV’s only take 3rd party sound in Game mode.
If that doesn’t work, there is a configuration setting. In the upper right corner is a volume control.
If you right click you get a selector. Pick HDMI and that should work. Also, make sure the volume is turned up. If that fails, there are several other ways to configure the audio output if it does not work after a reboot. Checkout this article for the details.
Audio through the headphone jack
The audio port is great for headphones. Again, if the headphones don’t work, try rebooting first.
The Raspberry Pi audio port is designed for headphones. It cannot supply the current required by a passive speaker, so you’ll need to buy a set of powered speakers. Recommended power speakers are here.
My computer now gets an error on start up
Mostly likely, your SD card has become corrupted. This can happen if the computer is unplugged instead of shutting it down.
You can fix the SD card by following these instructions.
You can also buy a new SD card with the latest SW here
Please contact us if you have questions. email@example.com
Do you ever update the software for the Boolean Box?
Yes, we update the software at least once a year. You can always get the latest software by either downloading the latest image and updating your SD card following these instructions or by purchasing a new SD card here.
The WiFi (or other icon in the task bar) was accidentally removed how do I get it back?
Start by right clicking on the task bar near where the wifi icon was.
Click on Add/Remove Panel Items
In the popup that appears, click add
Find the item names Wireless and Wired Network
Once it is on the task bar, you can use the up and down buttons to move it around.
My Kit is missing a part
If your kit is missing a part let us know by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Describe what is missing. Send the order number and a shipping address and we will make it right.