We’re in HackSpace Issue 11!

Thrilled to be HackSpace magazine’s “Meet the Maker”  in issue 11, if you have a hard copy check out page 18-21, you can also download a free .pdf version.

I met the lovely people from HackSpace at Raspberry Fields and the article is mostly taken from the “lightning talk” I gave on the Sunday and our bit of chat around the stall.

It’s a great magazine for inspiration, I love that it covers all kinds of makes and makers, and I’ll almost certainly be having a crack at Sophy Wong’s LED Shoes (P102) with my daughter.


Our #RaspberryFields Experience

We had an absolute blast at Raspberry Fields last weekend, the whole family helped out with our show & tell stand and we came away truly inspired!

We weren’t sure what to expect but it was really welcoming and organised, especially the stamp trail which everyone enjoyed (while I was manning the stall, no Pi keyring 🙁 for me).  It’s the busiest Pi event I’ve attended so far, and speaking to so many people from all over the world it struck us that the Pi community is universally friendly and fantastically diverse.


Smile? It’s too hot to smile!

It was very warm in the Junction but even hotter outside to be fair, thankfully ice creams were readily available!  We took along the Alexaphone, Google Pi Intercom, Pi VCR, Kodak Pi, Info-TV and of course the freshly-named (and not yet documented) “Rabbit Ears of Doom” game, made from junk specially for the weekend. Despite the heat the projects worked well and didn’t catch fire as I’d feared, though the Intercom struggled with all the background noise and the Alexaphone was stricken with fatigue towards the end of Sunday. We didn’t use the siren much on the rabbit ears game as it startled people (as designed) and it was too dark to use the LCD Glasses, but we had a lot of fun with it.

So far so good.

I didn’t get much time to look around or attend many of the talks but saw a wild variety of amazing things, all with a Pi inside somewhere. The kids did it all though – I’d not expected them to last beyond lunchtime but they were sucked in and had a crack at absolutely everything, merrily gathering stickers as they went.

We all loved the super-artistic body painting, were fascinated by the potential of Museum in a Box and got to watch Cubert2.0 in glowing action all weekend as Lorraine Underwood had the stand next door to ours. And of course the lighthouse umbrella thing. It’s hard to shout-out all of our favourite displays & activities as it was all so good and people had obviously thrown a a lot of passion and time into preparing them.

The extended family

Among my personal highlights was showing numerous children which way up to hold a 70s trimphone and explaining what “hang up” meant, while waxing nostalgic and generally geeking out with the adults. I’m really pleased we stayed for the end-of-day shows too, Ada.Ada.Ada was genuinely inspiring and I was so glad my daughter got to see it. Brainiac Live was also brilliant and finished of the weekend perfectly (i.e. with an exploding microwave).

Sunday Setting Up

I did a quick lightning talk about upcycling old tech with the Pi on the Sunday, which went OK but I’m sure I went over my allocated time – I did get to see the other lightning talks though, enjoyed hearing all about the Mars-A project and the use of banks as cultural spaces in South Korea.

Bit far away from the microphone there. Photo by Paul Knighton.

We were all pretty worn out by the end of Sunday but it was an amazing & rewarding weekend, we’re still counting stickers and thinking about what to make with our swag and the booty I picked up from Pimoroni. Can’t wait for the next one, though I must remember to bring more business cards and stickers. General dump of photos below, I didn’t take many pics as the projects were all tethered to my phone’s wifi hotspot and I didn’t dare move it too far!

Kodak Pi in action. Photo by Izzy Bartley
Show us the shark!
A proper coding laptop
“You’re sure you want a hedgehog?”
Which way is the ice cream?
Quick get a picture while it’s all still working.





Prep for #RaspberryFields

It’s less than a month to Raspberry Fields and we’re trying to get organised early to save a last minute panic!

After picking up an old TV turntable at the car boot at the weekend the Pi VCR is ready for show-and-tell time, but will it still work 3 years on?

Cards and stickers have also arrived, the kids are very excited about dishing these out, not sure we’ll have enough so come and get one early if you want one!

Showing the Google Pi Intercom and ’75 Info-TV is challenging as they’re both wall-mounted, so I’ve slung together a display stand out of scrap wood, including an illuminated Old Tech New Spec sign (currently taking up lounge space).

We’re super-excited to be a small part of this event and hope to see you there.

We’re in the MagPi Issue 70!

A warm welcome from Old Tech. New Spec. to everyone following links from the May 2018 MagPi magazine!

I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to this month’s upcycling feature, and hope you enjoyed reading it. If you don’t have your copy yet you can download a .pdf from the website or find it in all good newsagents.

If you want to know more about what I’m doing here have a look at the introduction page, and if you like what you see please join in on Twitter @OldTechNewSpec and subscribe to the YouTube channel for regular project videos.

We’re going to Raspberry Fields!

Exciting news! We’ve been accepted to have a Show & Tell stall at the Raspberry Fields event on 30 June / 1 July. More details to follow, but we’re hoping to bring along a selection of Old Tech. New Spec. projects, and hopefully “The Game” if it’s finished in time.

As they say on the official website:

Raspberry Fields is a brand-new event led by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with lots of help from our community of young people, educators, hobbyists, and tech enthusiasts. It will be a chance for people of all ages and skill levels to have a go at getting creative with tech, as well as a celebration of all that our digital makers have already learnt and achieved, whether through taking part in Code Clubs, CoderDojos, or Raspberry Jams, or through trying our resources at home.

It promises to be a great couple of days, come find us and say hello if you’re attending, there’ll be stickers!