Bristol Jam spreads the Raspberry Pi love: Photos

Bristol Jam spreads the Raspberry Pi love: Photos

Summary: Fans of the cheap, Linux-based computer met up in Bristol to show off devices based on the Raspberry Pi, one of a number of events intended to bring enthusiasts together.

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  • More than 100 people of all ages turned out at the Bristol Raspberry Pi Jam, which was supported by the Bristol and Bath Science Park (BBSP), electronic device maker Heber, and Broadcom, which supplies the chipset in the device.

    "We had people from industry, teachers — we even had people who up to this point had no interest in this kind of thing, but were attracted by this whole buzz about the Raspberry Pi," said Alan O'Donohoe, compere of the event and an ICT teacher from Preston.

    Other talks included a demonstration of RISC OS running on Raspberry Pi; the Django Pi Project, a website-building framework built on Python; and a word from Rob Bishop about the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

    The Bristol Raspberry Jam group is hoping to stage further events soon. "When the schools start back, I think we can expect to see local jams springing up, with people perhaps attending larger events at BBSP (and possibly a city centre venue too) to share what they're doing locally," organiser Trevor Johnson told ZDNet.

    Image credit: Richard Pitkin/BB Science Park

  • IT consultant Gordon Henderson gave a demonstration of his Lego PiTrak Mk1.

    Henderson's device began life as a Big Trak, a programmable six-wheeled toy from the 1980s. The project calls for the original control board to be replaced with a Raspberry Pi and for the addition of remote control and sensors.

    The car uses a Raspberry Pi mounted on an Adafruit Prototyping Pi Plate, with sides built out of Lego.

    Image credit: John Honniboll

  • When it launched in February, supply of the Raspberry Pi failed to keep up with demand. O'Donohoe began setting up Jams as a way for people who hadn't yet managed to get their hands on a Raspberry Pi to see the device in action.

    O'Donohoe is now leading efforts to set up an international network of Raspberry Pi groups and Jams. The network has about 35 groups in countries around the world, including the UK, US, Europe, Singapore, Australia and Canada.

    "The thing about the Raspberry Jam is that all you need is a space and some people to come together, and I'm just encouraging people to go out and hold one themselves," O'Donohoe told ZDNet. "If people need some guidance, talk to somebody else near them, or go to a Raspberry Jam, see what it's like and then hold one. You could even hold one in your kitchen!"

    O'Donohoe is also keen to see more young people and families involved in the Jams, and cited the example of a nine-year-old presenter at an event in Cardiff and a 15-year-old who organised another Jam in Wales.

    "We've had some really inspirational settings. And the people bring so much along to these things — hopes and ideas and projects that they've developed."

    Image credit: Richard Pitkin/BB Science Park

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Topics: Emerging Tech, Linux, Open Source, After Hours

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2 comments
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  • Pi is nice but...

    Pi is nice but I prefer a bone, the BeagleBone, gives a lot more for its ~2X price and is readily available and easy to get your hands on.
    wally_333
  • Its a sign of the times

    Back in the good old days, me and some of my friends would descend on Brighton for the day for a computer show, or congregate round one of our houses to fiddle with 6502 and Z80 based boards and play very basic games that we'd typed into them from buggy magazine listings.
    Later it was 68000 - Amigas, making music and demos and posting on the BBS, then LAN parties playing Doom and the explosion of Teh Internets, followed by well, nothing really.

    Sitting in front of an Xbox on my own, playing games with my friends, or sitting in front of the PC posting endless bollocks on Faceplant. On my own...

    I'm really glad to see the Pi doing what it was meant to do, even though the foundation has had to cater to its customers and provide codecs so it can play [pirated] Windows media... But it would be nice to actually meet someone who'd heard of one outside my usual circle, I might put on a jam myself... Old school lol.
    SiO2