After a few months on the shelf gathering dust, I have finally started using my Raspberry Pi over the last few weeks. I’ve had loads of fun hacking and learning, and while it’s not as much of a prototyping dream as my Arduino, the fact that it’s easier to connect to the internet has meant I’ve been able connect it to more stuff. In my next few posts I’m going to describe some of my projects hackery by no means expertly executed but fun never-the-less.
Why a Raspberry Pi?
For those who don’t know a Raspberry Pi, is a very small, very cheap computer – so cheap it doesn’t even come with a case. The idea comes from some people in Cambridge who wanted to build a cheap computer for kids to learn on – built on a single chip with bits for network, tv and other connections a raspberry pi gives you all the basics, and I think the idea of it being all on show is so you can begin to understand how computers work.
For me my Raspberry Pi and Arduino too are about making software more physical. My everyday work revolves around creating applications and websites it’s fun and interesting but it’s all virtual you need a screen and you need some form of computer to use it. With the Raspberry Pi it becomes possible (and more economical) to start embedding the computer into physical things and start to interact in other ways it’s making the software tangible (it’s also a trendy thing called the internet of things)
So I’m going to talk more about my projects over the next few posts but to give you a taster of the type of things I’ve been hacking together here’s my list of mostly unfinshed things so far:
A wireless doorbell attached to an Arduino that sends a tweet when someone presses it.
A dial that moves around when I am in different places (moved onto the me map now)
The weather station
Those weather stations you see and wonder who would by one of them ? well we did, and now it’s connected to the Raspberry Pi
House Pause button
Press the button (a wireless doorbell again), and all the TV’s, DVDs and computers in the house pause. A great way to call for tea!
The commuting email
An email at 7am every morning that tells me what the cycling to and from work is going to be like.
The (Backward?) evolution of the Clock, the places I go to on a physical map, and they light up when I go there.
Mail Box (Soon)
An old servant bellbox, that will give the unread mail counts for the whole family.
I’ll link the projects up as a write about them. It’s a hobby really, just a bit of fun and I know nothing about electronics – I’m googling as a go along.