Welcome, gentle reader, to my blog of adventures in geekery.
Since I heard about the Raspberry Pi project I've been getting progressively more and more excited about it. I'm of the same generation as the RPi's creators, the generation of bedroom programmers and electronics hobbyists who grew up to become the engineers of today, so I can appreciate what they're trying to do with it as a way to introduce kids to programming. But it's also a great platform for more experienced tinkerers to play with, as it can easily be powered by batteries and at under £30 you don't have to be too worried about breaking it. The early adopters have had their RPis for a while now and come up with some great projects like this one.
Due to the somewhat distracting arrival of our second child I've not pounced on the RPi as quickly as some, and by the time I'd registered my interest there was a waiting list before they'd even take a pre-order. But the orders opened up earlier this month and I placed mine last week, apparently it's now been dispatched so I'm getting giddy with excitement. Unfortunately the RPi doesn't currently come with all of the bits and pieces you need to get started, you need to order those separately and I'm going to have to wait for those. There's not much I can do without a power cable and the one I ordered isn't due for a month (!), so I'll have to see if I can use my iPad's mains to USB adaptor until the dedicated one turns up though I've seen some reports that it's been found to be inadequate. I've not ordered a powered USB hub as the decent ones are more expensive than the RPi itself, though having read a bit about power requirements and polyfuses I'm not so sure I can get away without it. Hub or hubris?
And that brings me clumsily to the point of this blog - essentially a lab book with style sheets, to keep track of my Raspberry Pi projects and other geeky projects I'm up to. It's purely for my own benefit, though should anyone other than myself and my mum read it then all the better. However as most of my friends are people from college or work colleagues, many of whom are far smarter than me and more knowledgeable about this stuff, I expect they'll only read it for the schadenfreude gleaned from my inability to perform simple tasks such as setting up SSH (must be the firewall, or I'll have to get out Wireshark).
So what have I got planned? Well, I've seen enough hardware bringups to be painfully aware that it's best to walk before I try running - let me just get the bleedin' thing plugged in and booting reliably first. Then I can try a few simple projects, maybe a Squeezebox type thing? After that I've got my eye on those GPIOs, and I'm wondering what I can wire up to them. One of my favourite toys when I were a nipper was BigTrak and I was thinking of making a programmable robot type thing, maybe add a camera, a few sensors, battery pack or really long power cable, etc., then it's all "just" software. There are lots of pre-made robot parts which I could use, the question is how much I want to make myself? Maybe I should just buy a BigTrak, chuck out the microcontroller and use the chassis?
|Fifty-Nine Icosahedra screensaver (in windowed mode|
for screenshot) - looks better when moving, but still