Next up on the Raspberry Pi

Last week, I wrote about how I on a lark bought one of the raspberry pi single board computers. The first round of goodies for it was a SD card (to write the OS to and boot from), and a HDMI cable to connect it to my Samsung monitor.  Got it fired up and all was cool.  Of course, it sitting naked on my CSS reference book was a bit clunky, so back to Amazon I go.

Now it is in a clear plastic case, and I have a dedicated power supply for it.  I also have a WiFI dongle to get it on the internet, and ready to do more heavy lifting. I began to work my way through a Python tutorial, and will continue that this weekend.

Next up, I am going to have to move my kit to the living room for a couple hours.  Alas, to get the Linux install updated, and to add the correct kernel modules for the WiFi dongle, I need to be on the internet, and that is where the router is. Oh well, but after that, I should be good to go.

I am still impressed with what comes on this little board for a mere $35.00. I bought it to bring back memories of my early computer experiences, an 8-bit Atari system, but this has so much more, including internet, and HD video output.  I remember endlessly fiddling to get a decent serial port (the 850 module) and a modem to connect to the outside world (there was no private internet at that time), living with composite video out on a mediocre CRT display. Living with 48K of memory (actually, that was a luxury), writing small assembly language adjuncts to speed up Basic or Basic XL (OSS System software ROCKED), and running a full featured BBS system.

I still have an old Atari (some of its games are still very playable), but I don’t break it out often, because it is so painful to setup, so this will be my “toy” for now.

But what will I do with it in the long term?  Media center? MAME cabinet? Do some robotics?  Maybe build a weather monitoring system?  Hoo boy, it will be fun.

Next post will have pictures, I promise.