Polling the Pi Population

The last couple of times I’ve been working on projects I’ve found it really tricky to tell them apart on the home network, especially when using SSH to connect. I decided to document them once and for all, noting down the Pi version, software and IP address. I was surprised to find that I’m currently on Pi number 22, with a couple of others lined up for future projects!

“Pi Charts” may have been added to this spreadsheet.

To be fair many of these are doing menial jobs around the house like looking out for the postman, monitoring the cats or dishing up digital entertainment of some sort. Many have also been sourced second-hand on the likes of Gumtree – I just can’t resist a bargain Pi.

It was a fun exercise though, and worthwhile – making sure they were all up to date, had their default passwords changed etc. I think I have enough to see us through the Summer projects at least.

The blue streak conceals the current Pi project, a lovely looking dual-purpose appliance from way back in 1963. If it isn’t destroyed in the process we should be painting it this weekend & tidying up the final code, pics & video coming soon!

A Trip to the #RPIstore

What to do with the kids at half term? A pilgrimage to the new Raspberry Pi store in Cambridge of course! I’ve been feeling an irresistible magnetic draw since the shop opened, and we finally got to visit last week. 

What to do with the kids at half term? A pilgrimage to the new Raspberry Pi store in Cambridge of course! I’ve been feeling an irresistible magnetic draw since the shop opened, and we finally got to visit last week.

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First impressions were great, much bigger than I expected with Pis set up all around the store, showcasing the many different things you can achieve. Lots of hands-on stations for kids (and adults) too, making it easy for customers to get interactive.

I came to shop though – I only had a short window of dedicated pi-time before the wife & kids caught up with me, so I headed straight for the shelves. There was a pleasantly surprising array of products, with lots of HATs, kits and accessories, even maker staples like packs of jumper cables, far more than just the Pi-branded gear I had imagined. First to be scooped up was an official Pi Zero case – I have a fair few zeros but no cases and this thing looked so small and cute I had to have it. Next I grabbed a Pi-branded mug and tote bag, and finished off with some Sugru, which I haven’t seen in the wild since Maplin closed down.

It was fascinating to see the responses of other shoppers too – while I was ogling the cases a lady next to me pointed out the boxed Pi 3s interestedly to her husband, who responded “I think you’ll find that’s just the mouse in that box”. I resisted getting involved.

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After a while the family arrived and we tried out some of the Pi stations, then busied ourselves opening all of the MagPi magazines & specials we could find to pages showing my projects and left them out on the coffee table.

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As shops go it’s pretty impressive and inspiring, though we were naturally biased! Plenty of helpful staff around too. I did think it could do with being a little bit brighter in there, but obviously it’s early days. We’re all looking forward to a return visit next time we’re in Cambridge (or when the Norwich branch opens – cmon please?)

Walkman Phones

It’s always good to hit the car boot as early as possible, last week we got there while some sellers were still setting up – and it was worth it, I picked up these sweet Sony Walkman headphones (MDR-3l2) for just £1.

Amazingly they not only work but sound great and are surprisingly comfortable. They shipped with the iconic Walkman TPS-L2 back in the very early 1980s – the first portable cassette player.

There are clues to this heritage in the design – for example the cable is a whopping two metres long (try untangling THAT) reflecting how previously you’d be tied to a static player and would need a long cable to avoid throttling yourself taking a sip of tea.

Headphones are one of my favourite things to pick up at sales, they’re super-easy to test before you buy and even 45 year old cans like my go-to Wharfedale DD1s are still practical and comfortable to use today. I can’t wait to kick back in a deckchair with these retro Sonys if the good weather ever arrives.