My first, one of the very first Pi’s, was purchased due to pure geekery. It was new tech toy that took me right back to my youth. I suspect the same applies to a lot of people who purchased one at the same time. It sat on a shelf for at least 6 months!
Gradually the guilt of seeing it slowly gathering dust spurred me into actually doing something with it. I’d already found Pimoroni and their Pi toys, so the rainbow styled case and the flashing LED PiGlow were also adding to Pi pile. Something had to be done. Frequent searches of the Internet for something vaguely interesting had failed to provide any motivation, there were too many completely pointless projects that would take too much time with not enough reward. I needed something that was quickish to fit with my limited attention span and that I could show off to my not so geeky friends and family without boring them senseless. The answer finally came in the form of a weather station. It would require me to buy some more stuff, a USB weather station from Maplin so that was a bonus; it needed a just the right amount of technical skills and brain stretching to make it interesting, but not so much that I couldn’t be bothered; and it was something the Mrs might actually look at. I’ll detail the process in another post, mainly so that when it does eventually go titsup I’ll have something to remind me of what I did. In the meantime, it’s been working for a year and a half now and shows no sign of stopping. It Tweets more than I ever have and updates it’s own web page more than I ever will. At some point I have to connect the MoPi I got off a Kickstarter project. That should let me connect the solar car battery charger I have somewhere in the garage to it so that for three minutes a year it will be completely environmentally friendly. If someone could invent some sort of kinetic energy device that you can attach to kids, and then work out a method of wirelessly transmitting the power to something else, I’m sure the MoPi would handle that as well.
Rapsberry Pi number 2 arrived for the eldest child. After a brief moment of enthusiasm it made it as far as it’s case, but no further. I have something in mind now for this one. Again proper techie stuff, it’s hopefully going to become a VPN server and possibly even a proxy server for our broadband, but that might be pushing it too far. I also need something to connect to the 2.5 inch touch screen that was begging me to buy it.
Raspberry Pi number 3 came via the Kano project from Kickstarter. It’s a brilliant program for kids to get them into computers and coding and comes with all the bits you need, including a really neat keyboard which I’ve “borrowed”. The youngest has it and is slightly more keen, that’s very promising, hopefully it will continue.
Raspberry Pi B 2 was released on the world last week so naturally I had to have one. It’s already setup behind the TV running KODI (formerly XBMC). I tried running that on the original Pi but it was, quite frankly, completely unusable, it was way too slow. The new one however, with it’s quad core processor and extra RAM, is just about right. It has a few moments where it thinks about things for a second or ten but it has replaced the underused micro PC that was doing the job so it should save a few £’s on electricity. Plus once I figure out how to get the PiGlow working it’ll look proper geeky, which is always nice.