BBC Wales Science Cafe broadcast from the Pi factory

BBC Radio Wales’ Science Cafe programme this week came from the Sony factory in Pencoed, Wales, that makes the Raspberry Pi for us under licence. It’s only available for UK listeners (my mistake – the BBC’s territorial thingbat doesn’t extend to radio broadcasts, so you can listen anywhere in the world – as long as you aren’t Gert, who is still having problems), and only for the next five days.

It’s a half hour’s broadcast well worth listening to. Listen out for the dulcet tones of the inestimable Gareth Jones, who is in charge of things Pi at the factory. He gives an in-depth explanation of what’s going on on the factory floor; you’ll learn details about the production process that we haven’t talked about here on the blog before.

You’ll also hear from Eben (who was interviewed on the phone from a hotel room in the US last week at about four in the morning, which explains why he sounds so tired), and Gerald Kelly, the General Manager of the facility, who talks about how the Pi came to be made in Wales, and who is awfully tactful and nice about stuff like last year’s near-disaster with the mag jacks that got swapped out without our knowledge in China. Tom Crick, from CAS Wales, also pops up to talk about Pi in schools – and best of all, the broadcast team visits the Machynlleth Raspberry Jam, which is set up by school pupils Luke and Robert. It’s a great programme, and worth putting on for half an hour in the background while you get on with the rest of your day.

Here’s a link to listen to it: let us know what you think in the comments!


Andy avatar

“Raspberry Dai”

Lactobacillus avatar

It is possible to listen to it in Germany (without proxy etc.).

ukscone avatar

yes. as it’s radio you are allowed to listen to it everywhere, i just listened in the states & a friend listened to it in france

liz avatar

Thank you! I’ve changed the post. Super-annoyed, actually, by the various territory broadcasting thingies today; PT from Adafruit just sent me an ABC/Yahoo News bit about us – and of course I can’t watch it because I’m not in the US.

alex avatar

You can also grab the whole thing with Get-iplayer as well. Installation on the Pi is super-easy these days.
sudo apt-get install get-iplayer ffmpeg atomicparsley libmp3-info-perl

Leo Leibovici avatar

Liz look at VPN software such as HMA you can “pretend to be in another Country”.

ukscone avatar

you should be you should be only mildly annoyed by now. for others the video is at

Gert van Loo avatar

“as long as you aren’t Gert, who is still having problems”
Oooopps, sorry, my bad. I quoted the wrong post. Should have been the Yahoo news one…
I will correct it.

Davespice avatar

I love the Welsh accent :)

Ton van Overbeek avatar

Listening to it right now here in Austria. No problems.

Montekuri avatar

Listening here in Brazil.
I can recognize Eben voice on the phone :)

Jason Birch avatar

I was so impressed with all the work you have done producing the product in the first place. I am completely overwhelmed by the excellent work you are all doing as ambassadors for you product now it is released.

You truly are inspirational, thank you.

Jim Manley avatar

I can’t seem to play this on a Windows 7 PC, an iPad, or an Android phone from California. Anyone know what kind of player is used and a direct URL to the (undoubtedly encrypted) audio file? A Show Page Source in a browser displays more than the usual amount of HTML, CSS, and Javascript gibberish that only machines are meant to digest, although it appears that severe indigestion is all the my devices are experiencing trying to consume this errant code.

Sometimes I pine for the good ol’ days of HTML 1.0 and static file links, even if the dreaded tag hadn’t been deprecated yet :( Flash and all of the other content mismanagement dreck are just completely worthless. grrrRRR!!!

Montekuri avatar

I use a Windows 7 PC and it’s Ok. And I use Mozilla Firefox.

Jim Manley avatar

That was supposed to be “dreaded BLINK tag”, but the tag was ignored and filtered out … because it’s deprecated … DOH! Am I blinking?

liz avatar

Hmm – odd. It’s working on my PC, iPad and Mac.

JBeale avatar

The link to the audio works OK for me in Firefox 18.0.1 under Windows XP. Sorry if this is a silly question but… is there a plain old text transcript available ?

Kokoro avatar

I didnt know they made Raspberry Pis in Bridgend. I dont have one yet, seeing as the factory isnt far from me at all, could i pop around there and pick one up?

Jim Manley avatar

I tried again after I got home from working at the school and on a PC on our “high-speed” Internet service (a few Mbps, at best) the black rectangle where the Pi photo was finally showed the spinning red fading circular widget, but eventually timed out with an error message about the content not being available and try again later.

I was able to see that they’re using Flash, so how are you able to run this on an iPad? Mine still just shows a black rectangle where the Pi photo was on the BBC page, and nothing else. When I try the pop-out player on the iPad, it eventually displays an error saying that Flash Player needs to be installed. ERRRRNT, wrong answer.

I was finally able to run the pop-out Flash player on the PC and it loaded and has started playing the program(me).

The executive director of the Computer History Museum arrived here from being in charge of the on-line services at the BBC, and the same job at our national Public Broadcasting System (PBS – he presided over the transitions to current technology, e.g., streaming audio and video of most, and now all programs). I will have to needle him mercilessly about these problems the next time I see him (probably Saturday when we will be holding our Jam at the museum).

Just finished hearing Eben talking in his sleep while out here on the Best Coast – I don’t know how you two are able to drag yourselves away from here, eight time zones in the right direction from that ridiculous rat race :D

Andrew avatar

I had the same problem on an iPad and an android tablet. Raspbmc works great though!

liz avatar

Ah – I’m in the UK using the iPlayer app. Something you can’t do from the Best Coast. ;)

Stephen Taylforth avatar

Let’s get ALL the b*ggers made in Wales….

Mike avatar

The best bit of the ‘Science Cafe’ programme was hearing the 6 and three-quarters (don’t forget those quarters!) programmer tell us about his ‘Angry Birds’ game. If the name belongs to Apple, I hope they don’t listen to the broadcast :-)

liz avatar

Unequivocally my favourite bit too! We’d love to meet him (and Dad) – if you’re reading, folks, please get in touch!

Bernie avatar

“Dim problem” (no problem) as they say in these parts, I’m sure he’d love to show you his robot arm and the various scratch games he has made. I should maybe mention that he mostly works on the “creative” side, that is, he likes drawing the sprites, but it is a start. I’m afraid Fergus is 7 now (yes, he was more like 6 and 51/52ths for the broadcast!) so maybe not so cute any more? I thought they might cut his mention of his “Angry Birds” game, but I guess you can get away with that when you’re 6??

Mathew Keegan avatar

I was at the Machynlleth Raspberry Jam and wanted to say how inspirational these kids really are. Robert’s enthusiasm for computing and engineering is clear, and he even came to talk at the Raspberry Pi Bootcamp run by Technocamps. We need more people like him!

Hannah Dee avatar

Hiya – I’m Hannah who was also interviewed at the Mach Raspberry Jam. Fergus is my friends’ kid, I can put you in touch with him easily, he’s a lovely boy. He’s also super cute. It was a lovely day out. If you want to see more from Mach, the video I put together of the previous Machynlleth raspberry jam (complete with tip from Robert on how to pronounce Machynlleth) is here:

liz avatar

Oh, please do! Would you mind asking Fergus’s mum or dad to drop me an email?

nobody avatar

That was so enjoyable I captured a copy for my archives. :)

I love how the six-and-three-quarter-year-old had no problem pronouncing “Angry Birds” but took great care in pronouncing “Raspberry Pi” afterwards. :-)

Can someone explain the significance of “Raspberry Dai” to us Canadians?

Cheers :)

liz avatar

It’s a very common name in Wales; it’s the shortened form of Dafydd (so, basically, “Dave”).

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