Sunday, 25 August 2013

Raspberry Jam @ Bletchley Park

This morning I arrived at Bletchley Park


The National Museum of Computing was holding their 14th, and one year's anniversary Raspberry Jam.  Special guest was Eben Upton, and for those who don't know - he's the guy who invented Raspberry Pi

The morning started with introductions, followed by an informative presentation by Eben :


It was great to hear about what's happening in the Raspberry Pi Eco-system, and achievements made in terms of shipment volumes over the past year...  A few hints was made about what to expect in future, and hopefully we'll be seeing more add-on modules to follow.

I personally liked hearing about how the Education world is starting to find these devices into class rooms, and what the teachers are doing with them.

During the break-out session, I managed to spend around 15mins chatting to Eben about how the projected all started, and why Raspberry Pi as the name was chosen...  Seems the computer industry just likes fruity names!

He was originally a software engineer at IBM Warwick... What a small world this is !!


People brought their Raspberry Pi based projects along...


Believe it or not... This is a Raspberry Pi internet enabled Enigma machine.  It's a faithful rendition of the original, expect encoded messages are transmitted over the internet for decoding elsewhere

Based on German Naval Enigma with 4 rotors - one of Bletchely Park's own working rebuilt Bombe machines has previously been used to crack a coded message produced from this machine.

This is one project that particularly interested me...


Sure did taste great, and compliments to the chef !

Next, we have an internet enabled environmental monitoring station - includes a bunch of digital and analog sensors to measure things like temperature, humidity, UV and light levels, which is then published onto a website...


Daniel brought along his Astro Blaster arcade machine restoration / conversion to table top form - seen here standing on side showing the internals through observation windows in the base:



A Raspberry Pi hidden inside is running MAME (multiple arcade machine emulation) which means he'll have literally hundreds of games at hand to choose from.



I was having Berry IO demonstrated here - a browser based GPIO controller for the Raspberry Pi.   Actually, this has given me an idea to try this out when the Armdroid is ready to be hooked up.


The arcade was connected to a large monitor in the room, and proved to be very popular with everybody... 

Space Invaders... You can't beat the old ones!

The Raspberry Pies certainly was going down well...


I didn't eat them all, honestly !


Enjoyed meeting everybody, and hopefully will see again sometime...  Discussing my project with the experts, was soon pointed out I might have some challenges generating those clock pulses reliably on these little devices...

Information on Milton Keynes Raspberry Jams can be found at their Forum

This inspired me to go home, and get on with my Armdroid project...  Hopefully,  we'll have something to demonstrate soon!  The house redecorating is nearly finished, so more time will soon be allocated to getting things sorted here.

Enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday....