Getting Started With Raspberry Pi – A Student’s View

img_1052We met Ethan today at our free Raspberry Pi workshop. As well as having tons of ideas and questions, Ethan wrote this report which he was kind enough to send to us, and which we immediately wanted to share with you. So without further ado, here is what you missed!…

Last night, I signed up for a Free Raspberry pi workshop by Maker Mobile at the local Library, George Mackie. On Thursday, I saw my tutor, Rebecca, at the library where I did social studies. When getting up to go to the water fountain, I saw a sign above the checkout and information centre anouncing a workshop on Saturday. I printed off my ticket on Friday, and today, I went to the library again to visit the workshop. Mom dropped me off at 1:00, and we were taught about how to plug in the cables, including mini-usb, usb 2.0, and hdmi to plug it into the power, the peripherals ( keyboard and mouse), and the display, respectively. The display goes in first, then the peripherals using usb, and then the power using mini, because there is no power button, and it boots up immediately. We also insert an sd card filled with firmware called NOOBS, or New, Out Of the Box Software. It’s an OS installer that boots up a lightweight linux Operating System, such as riscOS, Snappy Ubuntu, or the Raspberry Pi foundation’s official OS called Raspbian. On the newest model, there’s also Windows 10 IOT Core, and coming soon, Google’s new OS, Fuchsia. After bootup into Raspbian (skipping NOOBS), the first thing we were told to do was use a program called Geany to create, compile, and run a Hello World Program in the Python programming language (spoiler alert, it’s ‘print “Hello World”‘). I labeled my file hi.py, hi because it’s Hello World, and .py because it’s a Python script. Unlike Windows, which has a start menu, or Mac or mobile operating systems with a plain home screen, the Raspbian system’s workspace is the LX Terminal, the command line , which is where we ran the hi.py file. Next, we used Scratch, a graphical programming platform from MIT. We all experimented with that for a while, and then we spent the last fifteen minutes talking about General purpose input-output pins, or GPIO pins. The instructor, Simon, was discussing how he used the Pi’s GPIO pins to create security cameras that he can view from his Nokia N9000. I also learned that you don’t have to go online to Amazon or element14 or Newark to buy Raspberry Pi’s. There is a Vancouver company called Lee’s Electronics (leeselectronic.com) that sells hardware supplies, including Pi’s. I’m probably going to get a Pi soon, and I can’t wait to find more activities like this in the community, with a diverse age group, sharing a common interest.

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Thanks to Ethan for the words, and him and his mom for the photos!

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting it to the website. I enjoyed the workshop!

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