This is what I love about Melbourne.
I’m at the Council library in Docklands, which is a ruse designed to lure you to here, if only to see the corner of Bourke Street and Collins Street that simply shouldn’t be happening.
I’m here with someone who worked at Channel Nine when it first opened its doors, two blokes with projects that include hacking a voice assistant so that it turns the telly on, (which I’m astonished to find certain voice assistants don’t already do) and another who wants to automate a cricket scoreboard, because he’s last batsman and he’s sick of keeping score the long, hard way and another bloke in the same boat as me of wanting to understand how these buzzwords that are meant to alter life as we know it, except that he did electronics at University and I did arts.
It’s not that I’ve never seen a circuit before, but when I first encountered them at High School it was hit and miss whether I picked the right logic to get them doing what they were meant to. And they were all designs on paper.
We are here having a bit of a go with using Raspberry Pi.
Having recently complained about the lack of imagination technologists repeatedly demonstrate in the naming of things, I’m thrilled and delighted by the baking terms that Raspberry Pi uses, from its pi tops to its bread boards, to its Rasbian operating system, it’s cute and relatable.
In between interrogating people about their projects, and past lives, I’m learning to program an LED light, or more accurately program a switch and make a physical circuit for turning an LED on and off. Two different ways.
I follow the instructions and employ a magnifying glass to be able to see the tiny pins I’m plugging these wires into, and low and behold, it works, well, once I fix the syntax errors in the code it does. Doh!
The Pi was originally designed to be a simple computer, that you could plug into any screen. Like the telly.
Under the auspices of hacker and maker culture, Rasberry Pi now comes in a more fandangled version 3, that is more like a microprocessor, which is what an Arduino is, only it can be programmed to do several things, making it more fragile than an Arduino, which just does one thing at a time, really well.
I learn that microprocessors are the backbone of the internet of things (IoT), that the Arduino equivalent to Pi 3.0 is called Particle,and that a mesh network is a form of off web narrowcast network that relays data from sensors to processors do that machines and people can pick up on patterns and anomalies and make decisions about how to optimise things, (anything, but usually some thing specific) and all of the above has made attending totally worthwhile, without further ado.
Raspbian is a 2gig download and when installed it takes up 8 gig. It’s recommended that one saves it to a dedicated 8gb SD card.
There is also a ‘Lite: version.
An Arduino with internet access capabilities is IoT 101.
They do one thing repeatedly, really well
Pi is computational do it does multiple things. This makes Pi more fragile.
My LED circuit is complete and I have just created light on demand.
It’s been a good day!