Pump Up The Jam – Raspberry Pi’s First London ‘Jam’

I Hope You Like Jammin’ Too!

Last night I attended what was the first London ‘Raspberry Jam’.

It was an opportunity for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts and wannabes , like me, to hear what’s been done with the micro-computer, what’s being done and what people hope to do. An informal chance to talk geek about these credit-card sized wonders.

Here’s what went on.

Taking place in Mozilla’s new-ish ‘working space’, ‘Raspberry Jam’ was organised by Alan O’Donohoe (@teknoteacher) as a means for owners and would-be owners of the Raspberry Pi to share ideas and projects.

I managed to arrive late so turned up halfway through a talk by Neil Ford (@neilcford) who demonstrated how a Raspberry Pi could be used as a portable upload point for people to chuck their data onto when they’re stuck in the middle of a field or a river. All of the components required were pretty cheap and have been placed into this neat little list.

Keith Dunlop (no Twitter!) showed off new OS’ that had been ported onto the Pi, well, RISC OS is technically pretty old, but it’s new for the Pi. Whilst the version demonstrated was pre-alpha, it still looked stable enough and the only real issue was some screen tearing.

Worth a mention is John Bevan (@bevangelist) who works for Mozilla and was keen to show off their ‘Thimble‘ project. Thimble allows people to mees about with HTML and CSS and get results in real-time. Some of the projects already loaded up on the site explain some of the basic components of coding websites and I can see this being used in schools (as well as other places) around the world.

Mozilla’s Workspace Is Worth Checking Out.

Other than that, some prizes were given out, discussions had and plans for the future made, meaning this will hopefully be the first of many jams happening. It’s always interesting to see how different people can go in such wildly different directions with the same piece of kit. One person had plans to create a card-dealing machine to help with his games of bridge, another wanted to stick a robot on top of a model car and someone else had created a mini light show with some simple LEDs.

It seems that the only thing stopping people from getting on with a Raspberry Pi project is deciding on one. Last night didn’t help, as I’ve now got a hundred extra ideas.

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