My progress up to this point

Nothing exists in a vacuum, and desires don’t spring out of nowhere, so it’s surely obvious that prior to spending £126.58 on components, I must have engaged in some toe dipping, right?

My interest in this whole arena started with issue 40 of The MagPi magazine, an issue which made history by being the first to give a computer away for free: the Pi Zero.

I had looked at the original Raspberry Pi when it was released four years ago, but at the time lacked any imagination of what to do with the two which I had acquired, so before long they ended up gathering dust in a drawer.

Fast forward to early 2016, and although (at the time) I had failed to obtain a copy of Issue 40, that didn’t stop me spending lots of money on other Raspberry Pi goodies, and before long I had built up quite a collection, using them to power things like a wireless printer and ad-blocking DNS servers, and started researching their potential for use in home automation systems.

Due to its popularity as a teaching aid the best-supported language for the Pi is Python, but because I’m stubborn I decided that I wanted to stick with what I knew, so instead I focused on using Ruby. I’ve had some limited success with Ruby on the Pi, but the more I use it, the more I realise that I can’t avoid Python, plus I see no harm in learning another language, I mean, at least it’s not C – talking of C…

You can’t talk about the Raspberry Pi without someone mentioning the Arduino. I had learned that an Arduino was a microcontroller (whereas the Pi was a computer), but didn’t actually know what this meant, so last month I treated myself an Arduino Starter Kit, and over the past month have been completing all the tutorials within it.

As alluded to above, the Arduino uses a modified version of C, and C is a horrible, horrible language. It’s very powerful (I assume), but for for someone that was used to friendly languages like Ruby, it’s a right beast to conquer.

Anyway, so that about brings me up to date. With some luck,my next post will be all about the successful building of the first project from the book, the solar panel recharger.

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