Pi Diary – Part One – Introduction

Ever since I heard of the Raspberry Pi around four years ago, it’s been one of those pieces of technology that I just wanted to mess around with. When it comes to technology, and computers in general, I’m an inadvertent fiddler – I like messing around with things, not just to see how they work, but how I can make them work better, and the Pi seemed to be a perfect vehicle for this.

However for one reason or another I never picked one up. My work life was busy, and despite my (in hindsight) absolute need for a channelling of my creative (and possibly even destructive) energies, I never believed I had enough time to devote to something with such a wide range of possibilities. When I got made redundant, obviously this was a much better time to get involved, but numerous things stopped me…until now.

In the run up to Christmas, as part of my ongoing attempt to manage my mental health issues, I took part in a seminar ran by the Wellness service, a part of which was looking at those things that you used to do, that were now missing from your life. In considering this, I realised just how long it had been since I’d really undertaken a project (certainly in the realms of computers and technology), and so my interest in all things Pi was rekindled.

My intention is to use my Pi as a vehicle for a number of projects, many of them small, and often replacing things I’ve done or used before in a more streamlined, or productive way. These will hopefully lead to bigger and bigger things dependent on whether I can persuade my wife to let me pick up all my old Lego which is totally not going to be used to build a robot at all…no why-ever would you think that?

I ordered my Pi from Amazon, selecting the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. I bought it as part of the Official Starter Kit in a rather tasteful black. While I probably had all the additional equipment (usb/power cable, SD card), I trust the official kit’s build quality more, especially of SD card than the one I found at the bottom of my cables drawer. Additionally the enclosure was essential for me, as I while I imagine eventually it will become unnecessary, at the start I didn’t want the Pi getting damaged easily. I already had a spare mouse/keyboard lying around, and was planning on using our television as a monitor, for at least initial setup tasks. The SD Card came preloaded with the latest version of Raspbian(more on that later) and was a 16GB version (because oddly enough the 16GB was cheaper than the 8GB.) It arrived a few days later…while I was ill, so once I recovered I got to playing.