The Potential of the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi

Well it seemed a long time coming since my first email registering interest, but today I finally had the tiny Raspberry Pi land on my door mat.

This credit card sized computer was developed not far away from me in Cambridgeshire and was created with the intention of being an aid for teaching computer science in schools. I hope this works and the curious and passionate teachers that are needed to do this are sourced, or those that are perhaps my age are re-inspired as they remember with excitement the BBC computers and ZX spectrums they first learnt to code on. That said, my coding adventure ended with the arrival of the games consoles and my very basic BASIC programming skills disolved when I discovered beer.

The Raspberry Pi is small but bulky at the same time. It seems all the space is taken up by archaic looking interfaces and reminds me how clunky wired interfaces are in general. If we compare it’s thickness to a mobile/cell phone your left feeling like your looking at some 1980’s tech.

It is of course much more than that. On closer inspection the micro usb seems perfectly suited to power this device that equipped with the ARM processor will happily allow you to crunch words and numbers, play games and high definition video via it’s HDMI connector. All this for only £25.

I can of course use a word processor/spreadsheet or video player on my £1000 MacBook Air. That’s not the point though.

By buying the Raspberry Pi I could use it as a media center, run CCTV cameras, create a cheap smart TV or network my hard drives. There’s no end of projects should I be inspired.

Some say that on the whole the kids don’t care though. That ‘Code’ is the new latin. I hope not. This little device has the potential to enable some great software/hardware hacking and has certainly proved there is a market for cheap tiny programmable computers. I am in no doubt we will soon be awash with similar devices and home automation systems and innovative ultra portable computer hacks will crop up all over the place.

Then there’s the experimentation in the developing world. perhaps small solar powered meshed computers connecting communities.

For the next few days mine will no doubt sit in it’s box next to an as yet unused Arduino.

Please send inspiration.. My new Raspberry Pi is filled with potential.

How are you using yours?


Got a Raspberry Pi? Why not add it to the tracker map…

I’m seeing more Raspberry Pi accessories hitting Amazon

Make sure you follow @Documentally on Twitter. Just for the hell of it.



  1. says

    Trying to recall programming skills first attempted in the mid 80s fills me with dread. I too got as far as BASIC then someone mentioned HEX and I ran screaming.

    This is the new frontier. Old folks like me can stay ‘hip’ for a while using ever more sophisticated devices doing stuff FOR us, but the true young, the truly “in touch”, will be programming, building and creating again.

    Shit! I thought I could stay young forever, and now I see the big brick wall of obsolescence in the distance :(

      • says

        True – but that’s already in our culture. We, ourselves, do not often defer to age and experience, so hard to expect it from others. I may be 40+ but I’m still (currently) “in touch” with what is happening more or less. Once it becomes about hack/fix/build/create again, and not connect/network/augment/publish, I’ll be irrelevant

  2. Terry OFee says

    That’s amazing. The moment they make a case for these things, I want to buy one. Having one of those in your collection of gadgets while you travel… I REALLY really like the idea…

  3. says

    I got mine on Saturday… and finally got the chance to fire it up properly yesterday. Check out for a list of known working SD cards, as I had to go raiding cameras to find one that worked!! 

    I recommend installing Chromium, as the standard web browser crashes a lot..  Looking forward to experimenting!! 

    Don’t forget to add yourself here: You're right – the one thing this little device does, is INSPIRE!Cheers, Scott

    • Christian Payne says

       Cheers Scott. I bought mine with the SD included. Thanks for the tracker link. I just added it to the post.

  4. ElApe says


    Have just seen that there are now 4 of us RasPi owners in St Neots, how are you getting on with yours? 

    So far mine has been very successful in its intended aim as my youngest daughter has kidnapped it and has been experimenting with the GPIO ports. Very please with that, just wished I could get some time on it to get on with my home automation project I have planned.


    • says

      Sadly I have been on the road since I got it so not had a play. I bought a new USB keyboard last week which has arrived so as soon as I have a day free I’ll be diving headlong in. So many possibilities I’m not sure where to start. :) thanks for the comment.


  1. […] I still have some of my original bricks. I quite like the idea of using them to build a case for my Raspberry Pi. Share this: Filed Under: Blog · Tagged With: brick, che guevara, documentally, game, lego, […]