Raspberry Jams - Silicon Valley


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by Jim Manley » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:33 am
I had previously announced that I am planning Silicon Valley Raspberry Jams at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View the afternoons of the third Saturday of each month. Please let me know if you plan to attend this month's inaugural Jam, 1 - 5 PM, July 21st, so that I can reserve a room of sufficient size.

There will no charge to attend these events, including access to the Babbage Difference Engine and Google Streetview exhibits. I may also be able to arrange for discounted tours of the main "R|Evolution: 2000 Years of Computing History" exhibit.

The museum is located at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA, just off U.S. 101 on the East side of the freeway, the same exit as Google and Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus. The museum web site, which features our current exhibits, on-line artifacts description and photos database, and map and directions, is at: http://www.ComputerHistory.org

See you there!
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by W. H. Heydt » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:32 am
My wife and I are planning to attend...assuming no disasters strike in the next two weeks....
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by teknoteacher » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:09 pm
Jim. This looks great.

Would you like me to help promote this for you? I can send you some RaspberryJam logos if you like.

My email address is alan@odonohoe.org.uk

Find out what a RaspberryJam is by reading this post. http://teachcomputing.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/whats-a-raspberry-jam/
You can watch a recording from the talks section of a recent London RaspberryJam here, http://youtu.be/Zes8k5U2ZZk
or read a blog post from the same meeting. http://thescientificmoustache.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/raspberry-pi-i-london-raspberry-jam/
Alan O'Donohoe @teknoteacher http://about.me/AlanODonohoe
RaspberryJam http://raspberryjam.org.uk/ TeachComputing http://teachcomputing.wordpress.com/
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by Jim Manley » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:29 pm
Time to really start cranking up the publicity machine!

We're now on Twitter:
handle: @RaspberryJamSV
hashtag: #RaspberryJamSiliconValley

We're on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/RaspberryJam.SiliconValley

We're on Google+/GMail: RaspberryJamSiliconValley@gmail.com

We need to know how many are coming Saturday, July 21st, from 1 to 5 PM. We may be recruiting from as far away as Disneyland if people have made the mistake of trying to escape on "vacation", whatever that is! :lol:

Bring your family, friends, and visitors from Afar, or even other closer places!
Last edited by Jim Manley on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
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by Jim Manley » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:39 pm
teknoteacher wrote:Would you like me to help promote this for you? I can send you some RaspberryJam logos if you like.


All help is gratefully welcomed, Alan! I just sent you an e-mail.

I also just watched the London Jam video you provided in the link, and have perused the other very helpful provided links.

Many thanks from SillyCon Valley, where "We've Been Geeks Since Before Being Geek Was Cool!" :D
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
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by Jim Manley » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:42 pm
Well, so far, we have a grand total of three, yes three people confirmed for attending the Raspberry Jam Silicon Valley in a week-and-a-half, and that includes me, but, not the museum staff, which will outnumber the attendees about five-to-one, at this point.

I've been concerned about going wide with general publicity (e.g., press releases to the wire services, the usual suspect tech journals, bloggers, TV, radio, etc.) for fear of being swamped by too many lookie-loos and not enough people with boards. It looks like there will be at least three boards on-hand, while there should be many more beyond the ~50 pinned on the RasTrack tracking map for the SF Bay area, and perhaps thousands more should be en route SF Bay area geeks from the ~100,000 reportedly to be produced by the end of June.

Where IS everyone? Dizzyland? Universal Studios? Mammoth Mountain? Knott's Berry Farm? Lake Tahoe? Yosemite? Heyyyyy, waaaaait a minnnnute ... why aren't I in one of those places, instead of slaving over a barely-warm Pi trying to organize this thing???

Earth to Pi-heads ... Earth to Pi-heads ... Come in Pi-heads ... :?
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
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by W. H. Heydt » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:14 am
Jim Manley wrote:Well, so far, we have a grand total of three, yes three people confirmed for attending the Raspberry Jam Silicon Valley in a week-and-a-half, and that includes me, but, not the museum staff, which will outnumber the attendees about five-to-one, at this point.


I trust that you're counting me and my wife, though for your purposes, I'm the one doing stuff with the Pi (though she has a fair amount of practical experience with unix and Linux as a user...she can help people with vi, for instance).

I have been in contact with one of museum staff that I know. He hadn't heard about the Jam, but has expressed some interest.

Where IS everyone? Dizzyland? Universal Studios? Mammoth Mountain? Knott's Berry Farm? Lake Tahoe? Yosemite? Heyyyyy, waaaaait a minnnnute ... why aren't I in one of those places, instead of slaving over a barely-warm Pi trying to organize this thing???

Earth to Pi-heads ... Earth to Pi-heads ... Come in Pi-heads ... :?


Probably most aren't reading these forums, and most that are reading the forums aren't reading THIS one.
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by Jim Manley » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:53 am
Yep, it's you, your wife, and I, so far. I will have three boards available to show (thanks to some to be lent by friends unable to attend), along with my Atrix lapdock with hacked cables and, I hope, my under-lapdock case which will contain a Pi board, a powered USB hub, a USB hard disk, a WiFi dongle, 5-volt power for everything, Pi I/O cables routed to the back, etc.

I'm going to pull the trigger by copying the above post with the Twitter/FB/G+ links over to the General Discussion forum and see if anyone notices. I'm also going to send out the equivalent of a press release to the local Usual Suspects just announcing the date, time, and in "Mountain View", and the contact info in case we get a huge response from the general public and need to relocate to a larger venue such as Google, etc. I have contacts with Leo LaPorte and his crew at TWiT.tv in Petaluma as well as direct e-mail to all of the SillyCon Valley media movers-and-shakers. I plan to ratchet exposure up incrementally until the response becomes noticeable, and I may not go really wide (national press release) until next month's Jam, which may be the weekend everyone will be leaving for The Bad Week at Black Rock Playa, aka Burning Man (I suppose we could just have the Jam there! ;) ).

Well, here goes nuttin'! :D
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by dgately » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:22 pm
Unfortunately, I'm out of the country until September, else would attend...

I'll follow on Facebook to watch for a September Jam!
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by W. H. Heydt » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:56 pm
Jim Manley wrote:Yep, it's you, your wife, and I, so far. I will have three boards available to show (thanks to some to be lent by friends unable to attend), along with my Atrix lapdock with hacked cables and, I hope, my under-lapdock case which will contain a Pi board, a powered USB hub, a USB hard disk, a WiFi dongle, 5-volt power for everything, Pi I/O cables routed to the back, etc.


I'm planning to bring a Pi, complete with 17" monitor in an Adafruit case (which is a nice case--transparent is a plus...). All cables, k/b & mouse, of course, and 4-plug breaker bar. I'll toss in an extension cord, too... (Can you tell I run Con Reg for a medium sized--1700 this year--gaming con?)
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by Jim Manley » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:45 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:I'm planning to bring a Pi, complete with 17" monitor in an Adafruit case (which is a nice case--transparent is a plus...). All cables, k/b & mouse, of course, and 4-plug breaker bar. I'll toss in an extension cord, too... (Can you tell I run Con Reg for a medium sized--1700 this year--gaming con?)

Nice! One interesting thing about the museum is that the network cables are still in open overhead races that were laid when the building was built new in the early 1990s for Silicon Graphics. It was their international marketing building until they built their newer consolidated headquarters buildings in the early 2000s that became the Googleplex about five years ago. The bad news is that the cable is late 1980s twisted-pair technology - the first-gen that followed RF Thinnernet, which followed the bulky yellow Thickernet of the 1970s ~ early 1980s. Man, that stuff seemed to have a bending radius of about 10 feet, and would spring back straight if you didn't nail it down! I think the museum cabling predates the cable category bandwidth ratings (e.g., Cat 5, etc.) and it's all sheathed in white vinyl insulation with no tags along their lengths.

They run vertically through closed races mounted on structural columns at various points throughout the building, which has large spaces that used to be filled with hundreds of cubicles each, but, I think they were hacked off there when the building was emptied, since the cables ran to hubs/switches, servers, and printers spread among the cubicles. So, even if one wanted to, they would have to figure out which cables were which at each end, clean them up and crimp RJ-45 connectors on. Then you might have 10 Mbps throughput, if you were lucky, only where columns over 100 feet apart are located, and most runs go to closets where switches/concentrators/servers were installed, along with Internet gateways, etc. You'd still have to run cables from the columns, where hubs/switches would have to be installed, to wherever the computers would each be.

That's why the museum is now festooned with bridged WiFi access points, although the coverage can be spotty in some of the more remote corners of the building, especially down in the R|evolution exhibit. That's got so much literal "old iron" (and aluminum, copper, and every other metal on the Periodic Table of the Elements) spread throughout that I'm amazed any RF gets anywhere without being absorbed, shunted to ground, or reflected to the point where it's nulled out. We're also within the Google-provided free WiFi that permeates the city of Mountain View, but, again, coverage can get even more spotty in the parts of the building away from Amphitheater Blvd.

I'm really starting to think that no one but us are going to show up, although I suppose at least some fraction of the public visiting the museum that day (typically a few hundred on that Saturday of the year) would at least stop by to take a gander, and that would probably make it worth setting up. We just received notification that the docent training event has been cancelled that I was originally going to attend that morning (killing two analogous fowl with one piece of compressed silicon dioxide). Now I have no other reason to drive 250 miles round-trip, further heating the already-over-carboniferous atmosphere and tilting the climate over the brink of disaster. I guess we need to get 3-D holographic communications running on our Pi boards, if not transporter technology ... by next Saturday. OOOOO-Kaaaaaay ... you first! :shock:
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by gervangster » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:10 am
Hey there!

My friend and I live just 15 minutes from the museum and we each own a Pi! We can easily bring them down (along with all other necessary electronics) and mess around with them with you guys.

At this point we have only started to get our feet wet (we got Debian and some software to run... still cant figure out why the audio drivers aren't working though) and would really enjoy discussing and troubleshooting with everyone.

Question: We have friends that are also interested in the Raspberry Pi / Linux, but don't own them. Would it be alright to invite them too?

See you there! I'll be watching the social medias to get updates.
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by W. H. Heydt » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:18 am
I can toss in a spare wireless router and even a wireless bridge or two....
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by gervangster » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:15 am
W. H. Heydt wrote:I can toss in a spare wireless router and even a wireless bridge or two....


I can bring any additionally needed technology/resources too. Is there anything that would like to be there that you cant get a hold of?
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by W. H. Heydt » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:35 pm
gervangster wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:I can toss in a spare wireless router and even a wireless bridge or two....


I can bring any additionally needed technology/resources too. Is there anything that would like to be there that you cant get a hold of?


For my use...almost certainly not. I run ConReg for DunDraCon, so I'm used to packing up all the electronics and such to handle that in a hotel. Setting up to run a handful of Pis is comparatively easy.
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by Jim Manley » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:25 am
gervangster - Yes, bring anyone and everyone you can, with or without Pi!

We can help you get things running, as I have every version of every OS on SD cards. I believe the sound is working more consistently in the current Debian Wheezy beta, and I think the Raspbian Pisces v3 hardware floating-point release also has improved support for sound (albeit not perfect, yet, apparently).

We need to get the word out virally - I just submitted a world-wide press release and, since it appears we're going to have the first Jam in the U.S., we might get some attention from at least the Silicon Valley oriented media such as CNET, Engadget, TWiT.tv, the San Jose Mercury News, the SF Chronicle, etc. I submitted the info via Manta.com, which provides promotion and the info did show up on the Mercury News event calendar, as well as one other media classified route I can't recall off the top of my head. I'm going to try to get the info to show up in Google search results over the next day, or so, in an effort to seed results to anyone in the SF Bay area searching for Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Jam, etc.

I also set up an account at EventBrite.com, which is really cool - it's free, helps promote events, and you can generate virtual/printed tickets in specified amounts. There's an iOS app that you can use the camera in an iPhone/iPad2/iPad3 to scan the barcodes uniquely generated for each ticket, and attendance stats can be developed from the scans. Tickets won't be required for this event, but, if the Jams get really popular in future months, we may need to institute their use, especially if we need to find a bigger venue, such as the Googleplex.

We might need as many HDTVs/monitors as we can muster with HDMI or DVI-D input (plus HDMI->DVI-D adapters), the bigger the displays, the better. I'm waiting to hear from the museum staff whether they can provide any, especially at least one large one. Fry's donated hundreds of them for the R|evolution exhibit, so, I hope there are some large (55+ inch) spares squirreled away that we can use.

We also may need a way to bridge the WiFi network to our Pi LAN, so, a WiFi access point that can act as a WiFi client will be handy.

Come one, come all, come early and stay 'til Fall! :D
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by 65coupei6 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:30 am
I should be able to attend. I just got my RPI and have not got a chance to get it up and running yet. I am a linux newbie.
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by dan_in_sd » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:47 am
I'm down in San Diego. Any thought to a live video stream? it doesn't have to be great quality just something with audio and hopefully it covers the Speaker and the large 55" screen you're getting. :)
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by W. H. Heydt » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:19 am
65coupei6 wrote:I should be able to attend. I just got my RPI and have not got a chance to get it up and running yet. I am a linux newbie.


The Jam may provide a chance to get help with that if you turn out to need it.
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by Jim Manley » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:17 am
dan_in_sd wrote:I'm down in San Diego. Any thought to a live video stream? it doesn't have to be great quality just something with audio and hopefully it covers the Speaker and the large 55" screen you're getting. :)

Hi Dan - the museum has a full HD studio and can stream video which they do for some special events, but, I think they lease some equipment to do 1080p at broadcast quality (2K source cameras, etc.). We may be limited to a laptop webcam as I don't know if we'll have a way to live-encode 1080p from a hand-held camcorder on a tripod.

We're going to have to play the event by ear schedule-wise because we've gotten so little local response, probably because this is the peak vacation period when locals get outta Dodge and enjoy places like Tahoe, Yosemite ... and San Diego! In looking at the RasTrack map, it appears that the number of Pi boards in the SF Bay area is about one tenth that of the UK, which is about the same ratio across the U.S. in metro areas. It appears that only about one tenth of one percent of board owners have plotted their Pi on the map, so far. As the latest 100,000 boards have been arriving recently, we can hope the map is updated to a much higher fraction of the actual deployment (my original 29 February order will reportedly be arriving Wednesday - since late April, I've been developing software on a backup pre-ordered board offered at-cost by very kind UK Pi-finity! development team member George).

There should be about 300 public visitors to the museum on Saturday, so, we will probably mostly run demos and provide short presentations on a repetitive cycle throughout the afternoon as groups finish the tours of R|evolution, demos of the Babbage Difference Engine, and other normally-scheduled museum events. It looks like we'll have at least half a dozen Pi boards on display, and I have SD cards loaded with each of the OS variants and most demo applications. I don't currently have the Quake 3 demo on the Debian Wheezy beta or Rapbian v3 preview (armhf - hardware-accelerated floating-point), so, if someone could get those set up, that would take a bit of a load off me. I just brought up the Raspbian v3 preview and found that only the hello_world and hello_dispmanx demos build and run successfully, so, if someone could get all of the hello demos to build and run on Raspbian v3 that would save me that much more work. I already have them running on Debian Wheezy beta (armel - software floating-point)

I'm focused on getting some 3-D animation demos running, including a tour of the solar system and all of the planets (yes, including poor, maligned Pluto) and the largest moons. I would also like to get the GLSL demos at http://benosteen.wordpress.com/2012/05/ ... spberry-pi running using as many of the shaders at http://glsl.heroku.com as possible - they're really impressive in showing off OpenGL ES 2.0 on the Pi.

If someone wants to take a stab at putting together some presentation slides that cover the high-level points from the FAQs, the eLinux.org/RPi_Hub wiki, etc., that would also be great. If no one else is able to do it, I'll finish them off by Friday from rough notes I've been assembling for quite some time as key info has shown up on the forums.

We'll see how it goes and try to at least be entertaining, if not informative! :D
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by Jim Manley » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:21 am
65coupei6 wrote:I should be able to attend. I just got my RPI and have not got a chance to get it up and running yet. I am a linux newbie.

Bring it along, and a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc., if you can as we don't know how much in the way of extra peripherals we'll have available. We should have plenty of power and network cables, WiFi/wired hubs/switches, etc.
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by Jim Manley » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:48 am
Anyone have an idea where we can get a decent-looking Raspberry Pi/Jam banner for nothing that we can hang behind the tables and above everything that can be seen further than Pi-driven monitors sitting on tables, to use at this and future events?
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by jbeale » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:34 am
> ...a decent-looking Raspberry Pi/Jam banner for nothing ...

well, back in the day, I made the poster you see here ("Linux - the choice of a GNU generation") with about three hours' notice before that event, with a color printer and glue and a project board from Office Depot. Although it did cost a few bucks for the board. http://rmitz.org/linux-revolt/lnx3.html
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by Jim Manley » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:37 am
I puppy-eyed my significant seamstress into sewing a really nice quilted banner and an accurate 3-D Pi Buckyberry we can hang from a disco mirror-ball, low-rpm motor ... OMG, what if it had sparkly raspberry-colored sequins or other highly-reflective material ... is that what Swarovski crystals are for? The mind boggles ... :D

The only hitch is that I didn't think about this a month ago, so, we won't have it for this Jam. Instead, I now have some white, maroon, green, and black cloth material, some iron-on Velcro, a pair of scissors, a stapler (that's how hems are done until the material becomes so frayed it has to be sewn), and a bunch of printed-out, blown-up outlines of the Pi logo, letters, etc. This may become a crowd-sourced effort Saturday morning after we get the computers set up in the first 15 minutes after we arrive with three hours to go ...

When you arrive, enter through the main doors and you will be escorted to the Jam venue. We are currently scheduled to set up in the (Admiral Grace) Hopper conference room upstairs with a 1080p HDMI-compatible projector (on a ceiling-mounted drop-down screen - very nice). There will be plenty of table space and seating and the room is wired for power, network, sound, video, and pretty much everything else. Our museum liaison is Dag Spicer, long-time senior curator at the museum - he has a graduate degree in computing history from Stanford, is a very interesting guy to talk to about computing, and is a nascent fan of the Pi who doesn't know nearly as much about it as we do, but, he's eager to learn. He will also be collecting historically-significant tidbits about how we got to this point, and I hope that on one of Eben's West Coast trips that he can sit down and do an oral history about the Pi with the museum's experts.

We will be able to go down to the Babbage Difference Engine where I can give a presentation and demonstration of it calculating values of log base 10 to 26 decimal places. I have a fun idea where we can make a video of the Pi racing the Babbage Engine - I need to look up how to calculate 26 decimal place integers using a computer that only has about nine decimal places of native integer capability. Sounds like a good Jam in-situ programming challenge problem to me! I can also provide tours of the R|evolution exhibit artifacts, if desired.

I forgot to ask if anyone would be interested in sticking around for dinner after the Jam. There's a decent Italian place across the street and a few Chinese, Indian, and other usual-suspect places within walking distance from the museum (we can also bring in goodies from any of those places at lunchtime). Castro Street a few miles away is famous for having pretty much one of every kind of restaurant cuisine on the planet since Google, Microsoft, and the other companies in the vicinity of the museum have employees from pretty much every culture on the planet. There's fast food for those on a strict budget, too, including an In-'n-Out Burger and a Costco for anyone who needs food in 55-gallon drum quantities ;)

Oh, and across the street from the museum is a multiplex theater, although, given recent events, maybe that's just not such a great idea - how so very sad for the victims, families, and friends in Colorado ... again. People need to start unexpectedly giving hugs to the loners just to see if that might reduce these tragedies.

Anyone else think of anything I've obviously forgotten?
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by Jim Manley » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:47 am
jbeale wrote:well, back in the day, I made the poster you see here ("Linux - the choice of a GNU generation") with about three hours' notice before that event, with a color printer and glue and a project board from Office Depot. Although it did cost a few bucks for the board. http://rmitz.org/linux-revolt/lnx3.html

Ha-ha-ha-ha! That's great! Love that Fry's in Santa Clara - for those unfamiliar, it has some early electronic artifacts on exhibit throughout the store - including Varian magnetrons, klystrons, and other first-generation, resonant-cavity microwave components. The Fry's over on Auto Mall Parkway off I-680 has a bunch of Tesla coils of various sizes and capacity that power up randomly and zap the crap out of the air molecules inside their safety cages! I sometimes wonder if bursts of EMF aren't "Fry's"-ing some semiconductor junctions in the hundreds of thousands of products spread throughout the store :(
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