There's a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ in my Amazon cart on which I will probably pull the trigger later this week. I am very comfortable with the forum/BBS format, so I decided to sign up here even before I had the module in hand.
The Raspberry Pi has been at the periphery of my awareness more or less since it was first introduced, but until now I have never really had any specific applications for it. But now that I'm already halfway through Eben Upton's Raspberry Pi User Guide
I'm getting very excited by the potential I see for the device.
I got into computers long ago as a hobby, building my first PC, a Heathkit H100
, because it was the cheapest way to get your hands on an IBM compatible. I never coded professionally, but I could make MS-DOS sing and dance with batch files
and the ANSI.SYS driver
, and impressed everyone around me with my leet skillz until Windows made them obsolete. Still, I was always fascinated by Unix (on which MS-DOS was superficially based, via CP/M), and while I was able to spend a little time with an AT&T 3B2
running Unix System V we had in the office of my first technology-related job, I never did get a chance to run my own Unix-based system, which wasn't really very practical for casual hobbyists until the Red Hat Linux distribution appeared (I did have a netcom.com
shell account for a while in the mid-1990s). I remember buying a second hand PC about 20 years ago to host Red Hat, and over the years I swore I would load Debian or Ubuntu onto obsolete Windows laptops, but it just never happened.
So now for the first time I'll have a Unix system of my own. That's exciting.
After my first career choice, pre-press production, was mostly eliminated by computers, I spent the next fifteen years in high tech sales and marketing, and since retiring from that I've been designing and manufacturing gun parts. But I've never quite given up on coding, having played around over the years with Turbo Pascal, Perl, PHP and now Python. I made my first web page in early 1995.
I already have a few projects in mind for the Raspberry Pi. One of them is rather ambitious and I hope to secure the assistance of one or more experienced partners here in Reno. The others could probably be accomplished with an Arduino
, but thinking it over I decided I was more comfortable with programming an actual computer rather than a controller; I don't mind the cost difference in dollars or physical real estate (and gosh it will be fun to noodle around with Linux).
I'm also very interested in working with teenagers, preparing them for the adult world. I used to run a monthly hiking program for teens and had always thought about ways to get them more involved in STEM and manual arts (although I don't have a STEM background myself). Our local community college has summer programs for teens and as I get more involved with the Raspberry Pi I wonder whether I'll be able to make a contribution there.
- Mitch in Reno