Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Pi

For this Mother's Day I purchased this for myself.   It's a computer.  Tiny and so so cool.  I miss the days when I used to tinker with computers, pull them apart and add little upgrades here and there.  I enjoy the challenges of getting myself out of a technological hole by watching youtube videos. I use predominantly the trial and error method to learn.  I need to be fixing problems to have the resilience to climb steep learning curves. My brain enjoys the challenge.

I am still coming down off the high of the Maker Faire. And when Dale, the techie at the library showed me his Raspberry Pi displaying the library's catalog system, I couldn't resist testing it out for myself.

The computer is around $35. It is a little green motherboard with a bunch of ports to plug things into it.  I have monitors, keyboards, USB hubs etc around the house to plug into it.  My challenge is to set up Minecraft in Linux and play it on the Raspberri Pi.

Armed with Raspberry Pi for Dummies and an SD card, I set about making a boot disk card with Raspbian Wheezy (Raspberry Pi Linux for beginners) on it....which led me on a little journey in fixing line errors in Python (rather intimidating).  I then abandoned Python and went with Dan on Youtube.  He had a nice slow English accent that gave me confidence.  After many trials and errors, I booted up my new little computer.

It takes a little getting used to.  It is like a PC from 10 years ago without all of the annoying pop up windows and messages.  It's a basic, yet very usable little computer.    I feel like I have entered a new little world.  Instead of Google, for example, I use Midori and Duckduckgo to search the internet.  Cute names everywhere.

I am excited about it. I want to see what it can do: experiment!  I am going to push my envelope with code and find reasons to use it/write it and not be intimidated by it.  I am going to teach my children to set up their own Raspberry Pi's.  I might even hold a tech class next year in preparation for the Maker Faire.

This is such a fun project for a tinkerer like me and a great present for kids interested in technology.

Happy Mother's Day!

... Minecraft was a piece of cake to run on Raspberry Pi.  It is not the same version as on the Mac and I couldn't play it in full screen mode. Yet Tristan was quite delighted with it and now wants his own Raspberry Pi.