I set up a RaspberryPi to run on my workbench.
Here’s the (neat!) login screen when remoting in/to the shell:
And here’s the GUI
You might think it’s funny to have the name of the machine (GaragePi) on the desktop, but in my crazy world–both at home and at work–it’s pretty normal. When you remote into multiple systems, you want to be sure that you’re working on the right one. Of course, Unix and Unix-like systems have been doing this since eons past, by putting the username and system name in the command prompt. The desktop image helps when I use VNC to connect for GUI work: I get the desktop that says “benchtop programmer” so there’s no confusion. That’s not actually that common though–usually I remotely access through ssh. JMRI is the only GUI-based program I use, and I have to be at the bench to program a decoder.
I also bought a SPROG (a simple, low power DCC command station) and together they make setting up and changing decoder programming much easier.
A two-foot length of track completes the benchtop programming station. I have to say I find it vastly easier to edit decoder CVs from the GUI than using the NCE Pro cab. Which makes it much less trouble to install, test, and program decoders.