I’ve nearly used a Raspberry Pi...
In all my time blogging - which is coming up for nearly ten years - I’ve staunchly stuck to the principle that I didn’t accept free gifts in return for editorial. It has been set in stone in my statement of blogging principles.
Until today that is.
Because when I got offered the chance to get my hands on a Raspberry Pi, I just couldn’t resist. One swift edit of my blogging principles to exclude offers of sexy little electronic kit later, and here we are.
Well, we would be...if I’d been able to do something with it. As I unpacked it my wife asked suspiciously “So what do you do with it?” and the best reply I could muster was “Stuff! Computing stuff! With a little computer!”
I absolutely adore the idea of the Raspberry Pi. I grew up with the ZX Spectrum and the BBC Micro, so my first experience of machines was a blinking cursor and a command line after I’d plugged something into the telly. I think initiatives to get kids coding are a great idea, and anything that lowers the barrier to entry and cost for schools, whilst helping pupils get out of the straight-jacket of Windows or Mac OS X, is good with me. To the extent that I even wrote about it for the Guardian.
And as someone who has never been terribly good at making and soldering and components, it just felt great to be holding such a small thing that was actually an exposed computer. I barely ever opened the cases of my old PCs to clean them of dust, let alone monkey around with the components.
But my wife had hit on a problem. I had no idea what I was going to do with it. Or even any of the right peripherals. So it has sat on the side whilst I wait to be hit with “the big idea”.
In the meantime, I keep looking around the web for inspiration, seeing some brilliant things that people have been achieving with their Raspberry Pi machines.
- Putting subtitles on foreigners
- Making a light-painting rig
- SK Pang’s portable version
- Here is one sent up in a balloon
- Raspberry Pi case mods - including one made of Lego and things that look like Orac or a BBC Micro
- Raspberry Pi Hacks, Tricks & Tips
- And bizarrely, a project to make a Raspberry Pi emulator for Windows
If you do get hold of one yourself then there are some useful tutorials, none more so than this one by Mark Wilson which looks to assume that you have no knowledge of any computers or what any of the different types of leads you can use look like, which is a brilliant bit of attention to detail:
And so, over and out from what has been the first ever, and very possibly will be the only ever, post I’ve written because somebody sent me a lovely thing.