A summer of fun

Time to do more with this blog, I think, and I have an idea just what I could do.  Two parcels of electronics.  Two different ways to get technical.  It’s time to delve under the covers and see what goes on, to create my own stuff instead of using what’s created by others.

raspberry pi and assorted bits

The Pi itself is the smallest item on the table, I think!

Raspberry Pi

The first to arrive was the raspberry pi – a computer the size of a credit card.  Some declare it to be the saviour of computing, others are not so sure.  I intend to use it to develop my programming skills.  Yes, I can do it on my PC just as well, if not better, but that’s not what this project is about.  The pi is the circuit board bit just behind the keyboard – dwarfed by the other components, even the mouse!  Hard to believe that this is a full working computer, but then apparently the chip on our chip and pin bank cards hold more processing power than they used to take man to the moon!

My pi has a 4G SD card loaded with Debian Squeeze, a linux distribution, and has several programs ready for use, including Scratch and python.  I may also use some other software development tools over the summer, for example smallbasic/visual basic, yousrc and MIT app inventor, which won’t yet run on the pi, but which still offer opportunities to design software and are reasonably accessible to younger programmers.  Greenfoot is another programming environment, an introduction to java, which is being ported to the pi.

Arduino starter kit

A box of goodies – no idea what most of them are, let alone what they do!


Then just today the arduino starter kit arrived.  This I’m less sure about – my experience with electronics is next to none, although I have played with Lego Mindstorms before now, so the principle of connecting components to a control system is not new. Still, it comes with a manual, and there’s always the internet, and I’m looking forward to finding out how to use this thing.


About emmyleigh
Writer/editor/proofreader who loves technology

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