Changing the name of my blog – broadening out to a wider audience

Hi everyone – hope you’re well in these weird, difficult times.

Over the past few months, I’ve come to the conclusion that many of the people who are interested in the Raspberry Pi are also interested in other single board computers, in particular the BBC micro:bit, a micro-controller that has become very popular in the UK. In order to allow myself to blog about both Pi and micro:bit news and projects, I’ve changed the branding on my blog to include the micro:bit.

My first love will always be the Raspberry Pi: I owe it and the Raspberry Pi Foundation so much in terms of my learning, my friendship group and my hobbies. However, there are times when I think that a micro:bit is the better answer, particularly when it comes to those first steps into computing. Please note: I am not saying that the Pi in any way has issues in terms of what it sets out to do, and the way it does it; just that sometimes a family or child just wants to plug something into their laptop and “get on with it” rather than burn an SD card and come to terms with the finer points of Linux/Raspbian.

I guess what I’m saying is: There is room for both, and there is a point to both.

That explains the change in name and header image, I hope! This blog is now called “Raspberry Pi Pod and micro:bit base”. I like a bit of alliteration! πŸ™‚

I’m also planning on blogging aΒ little more than in recent months. I’ve had to re-evaluate how I spend my time – there are plenty of projects I’d like to get on with, house stuff, family stuff, theatre stuff. It all takes time. But there is room for blogging, too, and I do enjoy it!

Until next time!

12 comments for “Changing the name of my blog – broadening out to a wider audience

  1. I look forward to the blogs, I agree with you about the microbit, I have found in my codeclub’s and video lessons with my grand children that the Microbit is easier to get started with than the PI.
    Although like you I love the PI.

    Just a thought, if you are rebranding your blog, are you rebranding PI Wars to Micro-wars πŸ˜€

    • Hiya Steve. That’s what I’m hearing from a lot of the “old guard” (of which I count myself a proud member). Working with the grandchildren at the age they are requires a nuanced approach, and micro:bit is far more appropriate than the Pi for that age range πŸ™‚

    • As for micro:wars – No, but that doesn’t mean someone else can’t do it! πŸ˜‰

  2. Empire Building 😁
    Personally, I don’t mind if you include Arduino, Beaglebone etc. Just not Windows please πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    • I use Windows all-day, every-day. But it just doesn’t have the ‘fun factor’ πŸ™‚

  3. Since I use only the Arduino + Raspberry pi, the micro:bit does not really interest me – but that is simply my preference.
    I tend to use the Arduino and an IO port connected to the Rpi. If I use servos I always use an extra servo board – dispite the Arduin offering some PWM.

    • I reckon it’s very much swings-and-roundabouts and finding the appropriate device for your age range and experience. Arduinos are terrific – I particularly like things like the ESP boards which use the Arduino IDE and language. I wanted to expand the blog without taking every single controller on-board – but who knows… I may just do that in future! πŸ™‚

  4. I’m now using CircuitPython on Adafruit boards such as the ItsyBitsy series and CircuitPlaygrounds as well as Raspberry Pis and Arduinos. The new Adafruit CLUE is a much more powerful device with the same connection footprint as the Micro:bit, a screen and loads of sensors. It’s a pity this virus in New York has temporally stopped its production.
    I’ve been surprised at the lack of uptake of the Mu Python editor and Python on micro:bit, perhaps because of its meagre memory and producers of add-ons only supplying block code examples. Flashing the Python code to the micro:bit from Mu is so much easier. I’ve put up several projects here:
    Best wishes for your extension of the blog and I hope it helps move readers on to wider things.
    Best of luck with

    • Thanks for your comment, Tony. I’ll take a look at those projects on Instructables! πŸ™‚

  5. I welcome the addition of the BBC Micro:bit to your blog Michael. Just as it was back in the 1980’s with the original BBC Micro when, for many of us, this was our first introduction to using a computing device to control external devices. There was a considerable amount of support for the platform and one was able to move swiftly along the learning curve. This is also very much the case for the Micro:bit, it is a brilliant platform to start from for β€˜children’ of all ages. Starting off using the Microsoft MakeCode block programming method to actually really learn about coding and then toggling between this and the Javascript version of the code is a perfect way to move forward to using the textual programming platforms. There is a huge array of peripheral devices that can be controlled by the surprisingly powerful Micro:bit and these are available from all over the globe. I have been able to teach my grandchildren to program the device to play accurate and elaborate music, to control traffic light sequences at a pedestrian crossing, control several buggies that I own to drive them with a second Micro:bit controller using its Radio function (the Maqueen Buggy being my favourite), also to make them avoid obstacles and follow lines on the floor. The list of available peripherals is endless. I know this is also the case for the Raspberry Pi, I also use these but not with my grandchildren just yet. I suspect, like myself, many of your followers also use the Arduino platform from your current replies. Each has its benefits and are all excellent learning tools, my own order of preference to teach others is to start with the Micro:bit, after the initial learning period use this alongside the Arduino and then move on to the very powerful Raspberry Pi platform. I use all three all of the time, at the age of 71 years it keeps my brain very active indeed. I very much look forward to reading reports on your blog about how pleasantly surprised first time users of the BBC Micro:bit are of its capabilities and ease of use. Microsoft Makecode is constantly evolving for both the Micro:bit and Arduino platforms, it is all very exciting to be honest. Good luck with your new format!

  6. Absolutly – as always use right tool for right job
    Some applications do not the resources of a Raspberry and don’t need a full blown OS which then simply gets in the way.

    For others the ability to make use of the additional performance & the benefits of a full Linux OS are unbeatable.
    Example as simple line follower using light sensors Is ideal microbit territory, the same task using image recognition & a camera needs the Raspberry.

    Keep up the good work mike & hopefully see you soon

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