Brighton’s First Raspberry Pi Jam

On Tuesday 26th June I attended the first Brighton Pi Jam at Build Brighton.

The Brighton Pi Google Group and this meet up was planned by Peter Hobson after a meeting was held in a small pub in Brighton in which Peter put across the idea of Brighton having a user’s group of Raspberry Pi user’s and non users to help promote it’s use, share ideas, equipment, etc. Also try to answer that  frequently asked question “What is this?” and “What can I do with it?”.

A good turn out of people arrived at the Hack Space, after passing the test of finding the entrance to the space, (not set by us) just something which was caused by things beyond our control.

There was 3 people on the speaker’s list to introduce us to the wonders of the Raspberry Pi.
First up was

Neil C Ford – Show Notes http://www.neilcford.co.uk/2012/06/brightonpi-raspberry-jam-the-show-notes/

He came up to the front and gave a very passion filled talk about his work with the Rewired State, his Raspberry Pi, a Raspberry Jam, Young Rewired State. Explained about Hack Days, as he had been involved in The Field Studies Council hack day in Devon, enjoying every minute of his 2 day trip on the Devon coast in beautiful sunshine using the Pi as a portable web server. You can get further details by clicking the link above. You can also follow him on Twitter @neilcford . This talk helped get the group together and discuss what to do with the Pi during the short break for refueling with tea, coffee, etc

Next Up was
Chris EvansManager and Owner of CJE Micro’s and Fourth Dimension. 
CJE Micro’s http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/index.shtml

First off he stated that he also bought a model B back in the days of the BBC Micro . A computer which was placed in my primary school the year I left for secondary school which had Commodore Pet computers. Ahh the joys of typing in 3+ pages of code from a text book with no errors.

Chris also showed off a pre-alpha version of  RISC OS running on the Raspberry Pi. I was not aware of this being developed for the Pi, which sparked more discussion during the breaks as the OS has a low footprint so could  be run/installed on smaller SD cards rather than larger ones required by the official Pi build of Debian. 

He also came to show off and promote some of the hardware that the store had developed for the Raspberry Pi device. One major device which was showed and a world first was the development of a Real Time Clock module which plugs into the Pi and stays within the contours of the Raspberry Pi. Linux and RISC OS is partly implemented with full implementation due soon. A fully made up PCB of this is available from the store above, also you have the option of a temperature sensor which will give you piece of mind when you Pi is running, though is not going to run that hot anyway to worry about it being melted.

Showed the various cases that are available from the shop and for the Raspberry Pi, even showing that you could place a Pi within a ATX or Mini ITX case to make smooth looking device. Also supplies cable to make a Raspberry Pi look neater and control the cables coming from the device. Further work that the company is carrying out is how to power a cluster (known as a Bramble) of Pi from one power source.

Next Up was
Peter Hobson – Founder of the Brighton Pi Group on Twitter @BrightonPi

Peter was going to show some examples of using the Scratch programing language, this is also the foundation’s main choice which will be placed on the education release of the Pi. Aimed at getting young people involved and interested in coding, learning what is possible when using a computer but it was deiced to let the attendees have a chance to talk about their projects and plans for their Pi, also to test or tryout any of the hardware which Chris had brought along.

A good evening was had by all and the Raspberry Pi is going to be huge and has great potential, lets carry this into the next month’s meeting. 

If you are interested in joining the Brighton Pi Group please visit the group’s google group all updates and information about the group will be posted to this group. You need to be approved before your able to post. (don’t worry about this, it keeps out the Spam Bots (machines) from posting to group.)

Brighton Hack Space are up for letting us use the space on an monthly basis. So we need ideas for speakers, discussion about what to do at each of those monthly meetings.
Any further ideas, errors, updates just drop a comment below or post in the google group and I will update this blog.

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