Raspberry Pi – getting started

I’m still not sure about how easy the Pi would be for a 12 year old without computer savvy parents to get into, but I’ve had good fun. The first thing I did was browse the Internet and join the Raspberry Pi google circle. I wanted to see what others were doing with it. I discovered a Raspberry Jam event being held at The Compiter museum at Bletchley Park and went Long to that on my own. Thais was a really good move. I made some friends and came away really inspired by what people had done, and keen to try out some things for myself.

However work intervened, and I got my hands on a Senseboard used by theOU course TU100, My digital life. This is actuallu related to work, but in addition to that my goal is now to get the Raspberry Pi to control things through the Senseboard.

Meanwhile I went to my 2nd Raspberry Jam event, met up with some people from the previous week, and met some new ones. Many people bring along their projects and you can chat about what they’ve done. If somebody is having a problem, say with Python coding, there is usually somebody at the Jam with the skills to help.

What really impressed me is how friendly everyone is, and what a tremendous buzz there is for the entire 2 hours (although we tend to hang around longer chatting.

Everyone was really interested in my Senseboard, so I’ve promised to take it along next time I go. I also met one of the chaps who was involved in designing the Senseboard which was really interesting.

As to what I’ve done with the Pi so far. Well, I’ve played with Scratch, and I’m using Sense on the Senseboard which was developed based on Scratch. I’m not sure if it will do everything I want, or if I’ll have to have a go at Python. Scratch is certainly good fun, and sense is even better because of all the outputs on the Senseboard (LEDs, motors etc) that you can control.

I’ve just bought two new SD cards and flashed the raspbmc distribution onto one of them. This was developed by Sam Nazarko and aims to turn the PI into a full media streaming centre. It was a bit scary as it would be rather easy to reformat my hard drive if I weren’t careful to specify the right disk, but I was careful 🙂  It’s just finished downloading itself from the Internet so I’m going to see what it can do. Note my little Raspberry Pi at the bottom driving it all. Really neat

Raspberry Pi as a media centre

Playing media on the TV through the Pi

By Gill 

About Gill

Having worked as a Research Fellow with the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University, I have now semi-retired but retained my association with the OU as an Honorary Associate.
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