Thursday, 4 June 2020

Raspberry Pi …


Who can resist knowing more about something called Raspberry Pi … one of my favourite summer fruits is the raspberry – fresh from the canes, and reminding me of those early cookery years, when I used to make raspberry parfait as my ‘go to dessert’ …



Raspberry Parfait
 … sorry – deviated away from this ‘little’ computer with a huge heart (actually a processor I gather – as I was informed yesterday by a girlfriend!) - that’s become one of the entrepreneurial essentials during the Covid 19 crisis.




The name, Raspberry Pi, always fascinated me when it first hit my little grey cells about 10 years ago … the media explaining it was such a simple ‘processor’ for all of $35 or £20 (entry level cost), but which can easily be enhanced to increase its processing abilities …



Raspberry Pi 2 Bare BR

Its history started at Cambridge University where it was noted, at the start of this century, that there was a decline in numbers and skills of students applying for Computer Science, which needed to be addressed …




… the Raspberry Pi Foundation was born and as you can gather has taken the world by storm … the name derives from a homage to early computer companies being named after fruit, e.g. Apple, Tangerine Computer Systems, Apricot Computers, and Acorn (promoted by the BBC) which then inspired this microcomputer’s design. 



Raspberry Pi
Logo
The “Pi” derives from the original idea to make a small computer to run using Python, one of the first popular general-purpose programming languages … now easily, and cheaply available for anyone wanting to start their programming journey.




NASA Open Source
Rover
When the 2012 Raspberry Pi upgrade (basic) was first launched … their aim was to sell 1,000 … but as the BBC highlighted it … a hundred thousand units were sold the first day!



So recently when I saw Marco Mascarro, a robotics engineer in California, had posted details of his ventilator developed using a Raspberry Pi – I was really interested, and wanted to write about it ... 



Bogota - the capital of Colombia
… he made the code open source … available to anyone to use or modify, without charge – sharing information … to help others.



The University hospital and institutes in Bogota, Colombia latched on to it, as their need for easily accessible and cheap (or recyclable) components was essential for their Covid patients … they are now adapting Mascarro’s ventilator for their needs in South America.


Raspberry canes with fruits
I had noticed as we became more aware of how appalling this disease is – that entrepreneurs, small manufacturing businesses, one wo/man workers … are being creative and turning their hands to immediate needs (be it ventilators, PPE, gowns, masks,) with incredible speed of achievement.



The Raspberry Pi a small low-cost computer board, originally created to help teach computer coding … but which over the past eight years has been embraced by enthusiasts to form the brains of a wide range of electronics projects, including NASA ... 


 
The logo for how the Raspberry Pi
and its Foundation, established
near Cambridge came about
Incredibly over 30 million of them have been manufactured since their launch … and Raspberry Pi is now the 3rd best-selling general purpose computer platform following the MAC and the PC …



The badge ... for when we post articles
about the good things in life - that others
do and that we see ... it's a monthly hop


As you know I love different stories and I’d wanted to use this for a #WATWB post … but decided it needed to be a little longer … and there’s another aspect – but that will appear when I update about our seafront, the fires at the hotel and bookshop …



Fresh, fresh berries ... 
‘Tis the season of raspberries … moving on from asparagus: another love, rhubarb and the early seasonal vegetables, for example broad beans … all needed for those little grey cells to take on board the uses for Raspberry Pi …



The PiHut – explains Raspberry Pi’s development and how the first prototype came about …




Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

50 comments:

Hels said...

Who knew? What had been a sweet little luxury became a dire health necessity in Bogota, Colombia. Hopefully they will successfully adapt the ventilator in South America, and win a Nobel Prize :)

I am not sure about Brazil, however. Their so-called leader is nasty.

Elephant's Child said...

How absolutely fascinating.
Huge thanks for continuing my education - and I am a big, big fan of the fruit too. I think raspberries are my favourite berry.

Pradeep Nair said...

An interesting post, Hilary - connecting computers with fruit.
Though raspberries are more common in cooler European climes, there are varieties that grow in India too. I am not sure how different they are in taste from the European ones. There is a variety called Mysore Raspberry. Mysore is a tourist city about 150 km from Bangalore, where I live.

Patsy said...

I'd vaguely heard the term raspberry pi, but had no idea what it was (I did realise it wasn't a pie and that it quite possibly didn't involve raspberries!)

Thanks for making me a little better informed.

Susan Scott said...

How interesting Hilary thank you! I had no idea ... Terrific that Marco Mascarro allowed open code by anyone for making ventilators. Clearly the Raspberry Pi is a power house ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Hels - I just love this little processor - probably because of the name that bemused me! I too hope the medics and engineers in Bogota have managed to produce/adapt the equipment for their patients ...

I really feel for Brazilians ...

@ EC - something very different to post about - as you say I learnt a bit writing the post up. I agree I think raspberries are my favourite berries ...

@ Pradeep - just something I wanted to write up ... so I'm glad it's amusing you all. It makes sense that your Mysore raspberries grow ... the Mysore district is high up and thus cooler ... they are probably similar berries. Interesting to learn about.

@ Patsy - I bet you realised it wasn't a pie - and I didn't have the energy to go into 'Pi' as 'Pi' - stretched my brain too much! I'm happy you enjoyed the post ...

@ Susan - I'm just glad it's amusing commenters. Yes it's great how many philanthropic acts are releasing code that will help others ... another reason why the raspberry pi is cheap ... and as you say it is a power house.

Thanks for your visits - so pleased it's proving to be a 'different post' ... stay safe and take care - Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

Fascinating post, Hilary. I always enjoy learning when I vist you. Funny, I've never been a big fan of Raspberries but now a Raspberry Parfait sounds delicious.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

As the sun is shining through my window, I live and learn. Raspberry Pi is completely new to me, but it is very encouraging that it can be so easily used during this pandemic. As for the real fruit, I am a great fan of raspberry pie, or even better just plain raspberries, with a little yogurt perhaps. This is one fruit of which Miriam is not fond. She claims it is gritty. We have strawberries, pears and bananas in the house so we will not be deprived of fruit. More than that actually, in the freezer we have frozen black cherries and frozen blueberries. Maybe smoothies for lunch!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Essentially, what Ebon Upton did was the same as Sinclair did in the 1980s - created an accessible unit for the 'common folk' (remember the ZX80? I had one and learned BASIC programming language - the start of a (1st)career that progressed through room-size mainframes and watched as the processors got ever-smaller!) Only this time, 'proper' power, competitive and functional (though bear in mind that Apollo 11 flew on a computer with power not much bigger than the ZX80!) Don't you just love technology?!! YAM xx

Rhonda Albom said...

Thanks for the story on the Raspberry Pi. I have heard of them but never knew why they seem to be so popular. It's great that they are finding use to help resolve some of the effects of this horrendous pandemic.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's key to success is being cheap and easy to adapt. Might not have the power of the top two, but it's provided so many opportunities for those who can't afford the others.

Joanne said...

very interesting and amazing what comes out of technology and sharing knowledge. Saving lives and improving the world. Plus, I now want a raspberry parfait - sounds yummy.

Deborah Weber said...

What a fabulous story Hilary - I had no idea about Raspberry Pi at all. This pandemic is offering all sorts of opportunities for evolution isn't it?!

I imagine I'll think of this the next time I have raspberries, which I hope is soon. Your parfait idea has me thinking about a traditional raspberry dessert my mother made which was rather like raspberry pie in a graham cracker crust. Served with an abundance of whipped cream of course.

Jo said...

New one on me Hilary, but wonderful that it can be adapted and used in places like Bogota to help during the pandemic.

Raspberries used to be my favourites, but they don't seem to be as sweet these days as when I was a child. A little sugar remedies that, but once I never had to use sugar with either strawberries or raspberries. David mentioned yoghurt, me I like a good dollop of cream

Fil said...

Gosh, I never heard of it before and I thought I was pretty clued in tech wise - mind you, programming wouldn't be a skill I want to develop :). It is fabulous to see all the good work that is being done to help in the Covid crisis and all the wonderful simple ideas that all the brilliant computer and engineering people are quickly coming up with. Fabulous.
The other kind of raspberries are more up my street :)

Jacqui Murray said...

I don't use Raspberry Pi myself but lots of educators do in computer science and coding classes. It is quite popular. I enjoyed reading your summary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason – that’s great … I’m just glad I keep everyone entertained in some way. I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t like raspberries! – but yes, parfait is just delicious …

@ David – so happy everyone hasn’t really heard about Raspberry Pi – makes it more fun for me! It’s been a great success for enthusiasts – and seems to be offering different ways forward for entrepreneurs. Miriam - another non lover of raspberries – but it’s good you enjoy them. Freezers are handy tools … your smoothies sound a good idea …

@ Yam – yes … you’re right re Ebon Upton and his co-professionals at Cambridge. I do remember the ZX80 – my brother gave me something similar – I never did get to grips with it … I should have done. I do remember working with rooms full of mainframes … amazing what could be done – now of course it’s relatively commonplace ... but when I think of those early computer rooms … and the tape …

It is incredible how much can be done using ‘a chip’ – Apollo launches etc ! I’d rather eat raspberry parfait though … but I do love technology …

@ Rhonda – I’m just glad I learnt a bit more about it – as I wrote this post up … but am staggered at what’s being done to try and work out how to stop this virus … learning lots in the process too …

@ Alex – yes … cheap and easy and very adaptable. As you say it’s given so many the leg-up to get on and develop new things …

@ Joanne – so pleased everyone’s interested … the shared knowledge is the best; while saving lives is so important. Raspberry parfait would have been delicious during May – it’s now cold in June – the vagaries of English weather …

@ Deborah – yes … Raspberry Pi was developed to help those Cambridge students who needed to learn more; while the pandemic is creating opportunities for many, yet diminishing others way of life – I hope we can pick the pieces up …

A sort of raspberry cheese cake – I think your graham cracker is like our digestive biscuit – which we use as a base for cheese cakes … lots of cream – for me … preferably Cornish clotted!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo – it’s been picked up in education circles – schools etc … and within ten years has really progressed – I just loved the name!!

Raspberries … I think it’s like most things – so much nicer when picked straight off the bush, hopefully just before eating, but very soon afterwards. I still can’t resist adding cream and a sprinkling of sugar to bring out the taste – and to eat them at room temperature …

@ Fil – I really wouldn’t mind knowing more – but suspect it’s not going to happen! Perhaps I’ll get to a lecture one day where someone gives a talk on Raspberry Pi …

Lots happening in the creative world – with people turning their hands to something completely new – I too admire them … again I think I’d have loved to have an engineering father …

However I’ll make do with fresh raspberries now-a-days!

@ Jacqui – well I’m glad you had heard of Raspberry Pi – I guessed you would have done … and glad to see it’s popular in your part of the world …

Thanks so much … I managed to find some raspberries when I was in town today … so I’ll be having some later on with some runny cream – not as good as Cornish … but summer fruits are here! Take care, stay safe and thanks for your visit and comments - Hilary

Rhodesia said...

You never cease to surprise me with the info you come up with. Neither Nigel or I have ever heard of The Rosemary Pi Foundation, I just always learn from your blogs. As for raspberries we both love them but the pips give me chronic guts ache. Nigel is a star at making Raspberry coulis for me well sieved.

Keep well and have a great weekend which is just around the corner. Cheers Diane

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Well, Hilary, I have to say that I had no idea. Again! Fascinating stuff. And you are right to note the creativity of folk during this crisis. Unfortunately, I think many of us are going to need to be creative in order to survive a much smaller job market.

John Holton said...

Nowadays Python comes preinstalled on Linux and Mac OS machines, and you can download the executables on Windows for free. It's a very powerful language that's simple to learn, even without any programming background, and it's been extended to perform very complex tasks. I had heard of the Raspberry Pi, but have never had any reason to get involved with it. I have a friend who's an engineer and she uses it freaquently. It's amazing that the more powerful computers have become, the easier it is to work with them.

bazza said...

I can't remember a technical post from you before Hilary (apologies if I'm wrong!). I worked in technology for many years but I still learned things from this fascinating post.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s absentmindedly adroit Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

diedre Knight said...

Hi Hilary!

This was delightful - now I've got to have a Rasberry Parfait - and informative. Well done!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've never heard of it before, but I love the name as I love raspberries.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Hilary,

I honestly have never heard of it. Amazing. How incredible that something so simple is helping thousands, maybe millions of people!
Once again, I so enjoy your diversity in sharing information on all levels to us...THANKS. I hope all is well with you. Be careful when you start your traveling again. Our only weapon against this virus is keeping a clear head and taking the necessary precautions.

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - You caught my interest at 'Raspberry Pi' (which I first read as 'Pie'). This is a fascinating story. I contine to learn a great deal from this blog!

Anabel Marsh said...

I had heard of this, but didn’t really know what it was. Thanks, Hilary.

Liz A. said...

I've heard of the device, but I didn't know its origins. Interesting.

Janie Junebug said...

I wondered about the pi part. It's a good thing you explained it or I'd wonder all night.

Love,
Janie

Botanist said...

Fascinating post, Hilary. The bare-bones nature of this little board reminds me of the excitement of home computing back in the 70s that got me interested in the field.

Keith's Ramblings said...

Well, that's something I've learned today. And how clever of you to make a technical matter sound interesting! Well done Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane – I just noted probably (almost certainly) the name … which then stayed in my memory bank, so whenever the processor is mentioned in the media I noted it … this just seemed the right time to write it up.

Re the raspberry pips – I never used to sieve them out – and I think I should have done … as I never suffered, it never worried me: selfish me, I’m afraid. Lucky you having Nigel there to help … especially for raspberry coulis – sounds delicious.

@ Mike – I’m just thrilled the post is resonating so well … while how creative so many are being just fascinates me. What happens next is going to be challenging – I agree … and we, particularly younger workers, need to think of choices beyond the norm … I sincerely hope people can step out and think of other alternatives …

@ John – oh great you’ve come over to comment and tell us more about Python … thank you for expanding our knowledge about Python. Also good to know about your friend frequently using Raspberry Pi.

You’ve made a good comment about ‘technology’ in some ways becoming much easier … we just need to be prepared to learn, and try to understand that learning …

@ Bazza – I’m sure you’re right about this being the first technical post … I try and include facts maybe, but I’m not that technical … though perhaps more so than I give myself credit for. I didn’t know you were in this field …

@ Diedre – thanks so much … so pleased and enjoy that Raspberry Parfait or similar when you find one …

@ Diane – I’m glad I’m spreading the word about the Raspberry Pi … and aren’t raspberries delicious …

@ Michael – yes it’s an incredible little processor and is helping thousands re Covid, as well as giving the opportunity to others to develop their skills.

Thanks for the complement … I just enjoy the sharing, while at the same time the learning …

Don’t worry – I’m not going anywhere soon … and I’ve loads of posts to write up – so will take the ‘withdrawl time’ to continue posting … and reading all the books I can …

@ Donna – so happy … I just thought the name is so enticing … while the subject/s interesting …

@ Anabel – many thanks … it’s been in our media hasn’t it …

@ Liz – glad you were interested in the post – thanks …

@ Janie – it’s fascinating how names come about isn’t it … while the Pi – has another connotation for me: more anon …

@ Ian – I can understand your interest back in the day … my brother took up his interest at that time … and tried to interest me – but I never quite got it … in some ways I wish I had …

@ Keith – great: thanks for the compliment about making this little ‘mother board’ of interest bearing in mind your foodie knowledge …

Lovely to hear from you all … I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed the post letting you into the secrets and thus use of Raspberry Pi … all the best for the coming week and enjoy some raspberries when you can! - Hilary

Elsie Amata said...

My son is an avid user of the Raspberry Pi. So are his coworkers. The things they can do with those things are amazing. When he tells me, I'm in absolute awe!

Elsie

A Cuban In London said...

I have a funny relationship with raspberries. Give them to me in ice-creams but in desserts, no, they leave me cold. :-)

Greetings from London.

Liza said...

I am so happy when someone uses their intellect and then shares it, or allows it to be used with others, rather than keeping it to themselves and hording all the earnings.

Sandra Cox said...

I blush to admit I've never heard of Raspberry Pi. Very interesting.

Sherry Ellis said...

I'd never heard of Raspberry Pi. Interesting. I'm learning coding right now. Something to keep my brain moving! There's a lot to it!

bookworm said...

I didn't know about Raspberry Pi. Wow. Right now I'm on information overload living in the United States, but I will be revisiting this when I can concentrate. It's fascinating. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

D.G. Kaye said...

Beautiful share Hilary. Love that coders are spreading the love. Oh, and ]strawberry Pi <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elsie – how great someone else who knows about the Raspberry Pi …and your son is an avid user – excellent! Gosh I’d love to be around to hear his projects … sounds so interesting … thanks for letting me know: I’d be in awe too.

@ ACIL – it always amazes me how different our tastes are … thanks for this insight!

@ Liza – there’s a lot of open source coding out there … sharing is just so important. Thankfully there are selfless people out there …

@ Sandra – so glad you enjoyed the post …

@ Sherry – that’s amazing if you’re learning coding – perhaps this post will open new doors for you … I expect there’ll be a link somewhere. Congratulations on taking the opportunity to learn something new at this time …

@ Alana – yes I can understand … there’s a lot going on – and I have to filter out so much – we’ve got Brexit too … I’m delighted to read you’ll be back …

@ Debby – thanks … it’s been a fabulous entrepreneurial spin off. I love strawberries especially straight from the plant … when warmed by the sun.

Take care and stay safe all of you – all the best too - Hilary

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Open source is so handy!

Jz said...

Anything that combines fruit and computers has my vote!

Deniz Bevan said...

Wow, I hadn't known about this at all! Very glad to have found out. I'm always intrigued by open source projects, it seems like such a helpful, exciting thing, to have people collaborating on inventions and improvements.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Cool how people are responding to the pandemic the world over. I always learn something new from visits here. Hope things are under control at your end. Stay safe and well, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynda - I gather open source is a great idea ... wish I was a bit more techie savvy ...

@ Jz - that's a good combination ... fruits and technology ... all good especially at the moment ...

@ Deniz - oh great ... I too just so enjoy this sort of thing as I'm always intrigued ... while the open source aspects is just great - the internet is also an amazing open source idea! Today if we can share and collaborate - we'll all be better off ...

@ Nila - it is isn't it ... and I love that people from all walks of life are getting together to develop ideas and new technologies ...

All well here - just on a go slow apparently ... taking my time -but fine ... a post going up shortly - when connectivity decides to cooperate ... take care all of you - and thanks for commentin ... Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Such a great idea - sharing the code so others can be helped. Never heard of Raspberry Pi, but love the name!

Lisa said...

I have never heard of Raspberry Pi! Thanks so much for the introduction. Sounds amazing, and useful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Denise - it's a brilliant little machine I gather ... as some commenters have noted ... but I've been longing to write up an article about Raspberry Pi - great isn't it ...

@ Lisa - yes ... it does seem to have taken the world by storm ... as a start up - as you mention ... amazing and useful.

Thanks for the two of you ... lovely to see you - all the best - Hilary

DMS said...

I absolutely love raspberries and they remind me of summer. So delicious. I had never heard of Raspberry Pi- so I learned a ton here. Lots to think about. Thanks for enlightening me. :)

Stay safe!

~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jess - raspberries are definitely my favourite fruit - but anything straight from the garden.

Delighted Raspberry Pi - gave you something other than food for thought! It's great to know everyone's been interested and enlightened about this little computer board ...

Take care - and you too ... stay safe - Hilary