These are some of the projects we are hoping to blog about over the coming months.
- Getting started Introductory Demo
We hope to make a video that demonstrates how to set up the Raspberry Pi computer with a variety of peripherals. The aim being to allow the viewers to recognise that they can successfully use the device with common hardware that they probably already own. This will mainly cover various screen types and will include a PAL CRT TV, a Full HD PC Monitor, a non HD PC Monitor and HD TV.
- QT on Pi project
Nokia have sponsored 400 model B Raspberry Pi computers and one of these is bound for us. David Honess, who submitted an idea for consideration, was chosen to be one of the 400. The project is a modernised version of the classic programming language LOGO. It will be written using Nokia’s QT 5 framework and will feature all the expected Logo functionality but with an added game mode where the user is challenged to draw certain shapes.
- Python Braille Game
Already in development. This is a classic style text based adventure game where the intention is for the output to be done through a single line, 32 character, Braille display. The intended Braille display (the Quixote) is still in development but is designed to be a cheap, affordable device (£200). Most current Braille displays cost upward of £1500 so this is why we think it ideal to use it with the Raspberry Pi. Since we are not yet in possession of the device we are prototyping the game using a normal PyGame surface with large font.
- Mint tin case
Since the Raspberry Pi does not come with a case we intend to install it into a Marks and Spencer strong mints tin. Success will depend upon the height requirement of the board. If the M&S tin proves unsuitable we will seek an alternative. Thorntons toffee tins are also under consideration as are Golden Virginia tobacco tins. Once a viable tin case has been found we intend to publish a PDF that readers can print, cut out, stick onto their tins and then use their dremel sets to cut out the shaded areas. After which the Raspberry Pi should slot straight in.
- Pre-made lesson plans for schools
We would like to encourage the use of the Raspberry Pi in education so to that end we will be producing some pre-made lesson plans with materials and a video the teacher can watch. The content will generally be programming related and will involve Python, PyGame and Scratch. For example; a very simple game can be written in a single lesson where the players race arrows or sprites across the screen by button bashing (ala track and field). This is not only fun but will introduce several important programming concepts to students. We accept no responsibility for damage to keyboards that may occur!
- RISC OS
One of our database developers, Leon Venediktou, has a lot of RISC OS experience from back in the days of the Acorn Archimedes. We are quite excited to learn that RISC OS will be available as an alternative OS to Linux for the Raspberry Pi device. As we understand it this will not be the exact OS that was run by the Archimedes owing to the 26 bit versus 32 bit architecture difference. So an emulator would still be required to run old Archimedes programs. However this still remains very exciting. We intend to feature a few videos of RISC OS being used on the device to perform practical tasks. We will explore the possibility of using it in education and experiment with various development tools that will be available.