……last night, about the Rasberry Pi, so vivid that it woke me up. More like a nightmare. I thought I'd relate it here for entertainment purposes; I've already been ridiculed by my family so public humiliation can't get much worse . Dreams are weird. I rarely remember them, never mind get woken by them. I have to say that whilst I have been quietly excited about the release of the Raspi, I have not been obsessing about it to the extreme. I have been keeping tabs on the site and the ebay auctions…. still, let this be a warning to all those prospective buyers …..
….I was in a strange house situated on a cliff near the sea somewhere. The house had three or four levels and the dream started near the top level. I was far away from home and was attending what looked like some kind of event or party. It was early evening, before the start of the event and there were already 10 or 20 people throughout the house. They all seemed to be setting up various pieces of technological equipment and artistic installations. Some of those people were close friends I have not seen for a long time. I suddenly got notification via email or twitter that the Raspberry Pis had been released for purchase and were available from the online shop (at this point my partner laughed at me and called me an obsessive saddo!). I panicked a little as my immediate thoughts were that they would disappear quickly. I had to buy one, *now*. I asked one of my friends if I could borrow a computer and they pointed me to a laptop that was connected to a projector that was already projecting on the nearby wall (the laptop screen was blank). I started to connect to the Raspi shop. The laptop was perpendicular to the projection on the wall so navigating wasn't easy. Then things started to get a bit strange….
The Raspi shop website was the worst, most confusing site I had ever seen. The design was extremely cluttered with a green on black background colour scheme. I managed to add a Raspi board to my cart but then I could not figure out how to check out and pay. Try as I might I could not find the appropriate link or icon. Some icons that looked like shopping baskets did not have clickable links. I started to get slightly anxious and frustrated. Then one of my other friends appeared and started to call the Raspi "order hotline" and proceeded to purchase one over the phone using his credit card. It all looked so easy. I started to feel a little jealous and thought that I wouldn't, couldn't, be out-witted by this guy. His brief conversation came to an end and after he had hung up the phone, I asked him about his experience. "Go ahead" he said, "you can get the telephone number from the contact section of their site". It sounded so easy. Still using the laptop that was connected to the projector, I craned my neck and navigated to the contact section to find the shop telephone number. No problem. I quickly typed the number into my phone and pressed dial. I thanked my friend for the use of their computer and whilst the phone was ringing, I proceeded to walk downstairs to find a quieter spot to talk to the sales representative and make my order.
Half way down the stairs, my call was answered. "Hello" said the lady at the other end and before I could say anything, "is that Sarah Carter?". "Nooo?" I said and she replied "I didn't think so. You must have the wrong number". I agreed and hung up. My anxiety levels rose a notch. I checked my phone and realised I must have mistyped the number by being too hasty. Unfortunately I couldn't remember the correct number! I was already downstairs at the second(ish) level of the house by this time and so looked around for the next potential avenue for my much needed Raspi purchase.
The second level of the house looked to be at ground level. I was surrounded by glass. Ceiling to floor windows everywhere and the vista across the patio outside was of the cliff edge, sky and sea. People were bustling about and I couldn't see anyone with another computer. I had to make an order quickly. My sense of urgency increased; the Raspis were going to be sold out! My next attempt involved trying to change one digit of the phone number I had initially got wrong and then trying calling each adapted number in turn. The phone refused to make a connection each time; either it didn't exist or wasn't a proper telephone number. Sometimes the number the phone was calling did not reflect the number I had actually dialled. My frustration and anxiety levels rose another notch.
I sat down and attempted to connect to the Raspi site using my phone. Big mistake! The connection was sluggish, my phone was sluggish, my fingers too fat! No matter how much I poked and prodded, it would not respond in a timely manner and when it did respond, it came back with something unrelated to my query. Try as I might, I could not get the Raspi site to appear. At this point I was getting very angry and came close to smashing my phone into smithereens. Someone noticed my predicament and offered what looked like an old battered military looking laptop. I opened it up gratefully and turned it on. A web browser immediately came to life. I navigated to the address bar and proceeded to enter the Raspi URL. Nooooooooo. The characters that appeared were foreign, mixed up and interspersed with random symbols or punctuation. I deleted the line and tried again. Same thing. By now my blood was beginning to boil! I looked down at the keyboard of this old battered laptop and realised that all the keys had Cyrillic characters on them – it was an old former Soviet military computer and was completely useless to me – I don't know any Russian!
I noticed someone setting up a Mac book on a large table a few metres away. I walked over and asked them politely if I could use their machine for a few minutes and explained why. "This is it!" I thought, "an Apple Mac. Nothing can go wrong now" (for some reason, Macs seem reliable in my dreams. In reality, I am not a massive fan). The screen came on, Safari appeared in a blink of an eye, the qwerty keyboard felt responsive. I typed in the Raspberry Pi web site address and hit Enter……..
……and I woke up. My heart was pounding a bit. I checked the time on my phone. It was 5 a.m. I was surprised at the intensity of the dream and immediately recounted the story in my head in a bid to make remembering it easier when it came to relating this painful and strange story.
Hope that was some entertaining Sunday reading for you all. Analyse away!