Roundup of CPC catalogue Spring Deals for Raspberry Pi users

I’ve just received the CPC Spring Deals catalogue through the post and thought I would share the deals that are of relevance to Raspberry Pi users and makers. These prices are all without VAT, so you’ll need to add the 20% on. You’ll also need to make sure you use the links provided to these items as they have special sales codes.

You can access the ‘latest’ brochures here although it should be noted the March ones aren’t up yet.

Celebrate Pi Day with pi-top in London – 14th March

On Wednesday, 14th March, pi-top is holding a Coding Evening/get-together for educators and community members to celebrate Pi Day. The venue is The Draft House on Old Street, London and the event runs from 6.30-8.30pm. pi-top are providing some food and drink for the evening and you are encouraged to bring your own project to show off as inspiration, if you’d like to (a quick message to pi-top would be handy, just to make sure of space). The event is completely free and you can sign up here.

Make your own LED sand simulator toy with Adafruit and a Raspberry Pi Zero

The Ruiz Brothers over at Adafruit have created a really lovely sand simulator using a Raspberry Pi Zero, an accelerometer, an RGB LED matrix display, some small items and 3D-printed parts. Philip Burgess wrote the code which “simulates physics by calculating collisions and terminal velocity”. The 3D-printed handles border the LED display and two buttons switch mode and reset the simulation. You can read a tutorial here which explains how to make your own and see a video of it in action below:

Happy 6th Birthday to the Raspberry Pi – a retrospective

5.30am on 1st March… closest I could get to the non-existent leap-day this year 🙂

It’s been 6 years since the Raspberry Pi first went on sale. Since 2012, many millions of the family of boards have been sold. We’ve seen a lot of change in that time in terms of both the Pi’s form factor and power and also a change in the Foundation’s mission from focusing on getting more kids into programming and electronics to a more general move towards getting “digital making” into the hands of everyone.

The Pi has gone from an early computer-on-a-stick:

all the way to the powerful Raspberry Pi 3:

via the cheap-as-a-very-cheap-thing Pi Zero and Zero-W:

…becoming, in the case of the original Zero, the first computer to be given away on the front of a magazine in December 2015!

I received my first Pi in July 2012 and since then I’ve learned about electronics, soldering, Python programming, making and, just along the way, a whole lot about event management through my work with CamJam and the Raspberry Pi Big Birthday Weekend. It’s been quite a journey. However, the most valuable and most important aspect of the Pi which I’ve experienced is the community. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way, both virtual and in-person, which was an amazing thing for me, and for that I’m very grateful!

Where will Raspberry Pi go from here? Who knows? I’m sure there are more iterations of the board in the pipeline and I still believe that the Foundation has a long way to go in both it’s original mission and the newer idea of “digital making” and I’m still very much looking forward to being part of that mission, although perhaps in a different way (5 years of organising events is rather a long time!). No-one can tell when the future will take us. For now, I’ve got Pi Wars to think about and also the small matter of the next Jam, which is Potton Pi and Pints this weekend.

As always, if you fancy getting in contact, leave a comment on the blog post or contact me through the form.

Read what Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, had to say about the birthday and the evolution of the Pi here.

The MagPi issue 67 – Important safety announcement and re-print

The MagPi have put out a safety alert following publication of an article called “Make a WiFi Desk Lamp” in the latest issue, number 67. The article featured the hook-up of a desk lamp to a relay but no protection was provided for the mains electricity supply in the shape of an enclosure. No warning was provided with the article and The MagPi were concerned that there would be potentially lethal accidents.

“The tutorial didn’t meet our editorial standards, and because of the nature of the guide we have decided to remove it from circulation.”

They thanked the members of the community who brought it to their attention.

The issue is now being re-printed for sale and new copies will be sent out to new subscribers, though not to existing subscribers (which is a bit odd, but never mind).

You can download the replacement issue here which has been edited to remove the article. The replacement article is about installing and using a web browser which reads content back to you if you’re visually impaired.

Good on them for admitting the mistake and taking swift action. Pardon for the huge warning symbol – just wanted to make sure it stood out against the previous mention of the issue!

Raspberry Pi Zero used to help a cat get even more attention with facial recognition

Amsterdam-based software engineer Arkaitz Garro has taken a Raspberry Pi Zero and a camera module and fixed it, using what looks like a Pi Hut Zero View, to a window. The window is located near to his back door. When the camera recognises his cat (and no-one else’s), it sends him a message via Slack to open the door to admit his cat, Bobit, to the house. The Pi uses MotionEyeOS to detect movement and then sends the image to Amazon Web Services’ Rekognition AI software to identify the specific cat. I do wonder how many times a day the cat just sits there, getting recognised and then fails to come in when the door is opened, just to get attention!