Cambridge Raspberry Jam

Blimey, that was good. We spent Saturday with just under 300 of you at the Cambridge Raspberry Jam. After an afternoon of talks and demos, we staged a takeover of West Cambridge’s pubs; there were enough Raspberry Pis spread out on the tables at The Punter to drive the robotics for a fairly large factory. Actually, there’s an idea…

We’d brought some Raspberry Pis to sell to the crowd; a few teachers bought classroom-sized sets. I’m still not used to the idea that 200 of the things fit on the front seat of the car. (Each of the large cardboard boxes here holds 50 Raspberry Pis.)

Andrew Edney from Connected Digital World brought his camera again (thanks to Andrew for all the pictures in this post); he’s got a blog post with more pictures you should go and read as soon as you’ve finished this, and recorded the video below from the question and answer session the members of the Foundation did at the end of the Jam. (You’ll need to turn your speakers up.)

People kept asking us to sign stuff, which is nearly as weird as the way people keep sticking microphones up our noses.

Rory Cellan-Jones from the BBC did a quick interview with Eben, in which Eben’s arm got sore.

We watched a presentation from Manchester University’s Pi Face team, who are making an interfacing board for education with the Raspberry Pi. London Zoo sent some technologists along to talk about their EyesPi project, which will be using Raspberry Pis to power camera networks spotting and recognising animals in the wild (we’re going to be talking to them some more about the camera add-on we’re working on at the moment). RISC OS came and did a demo of their port, currently in alpha, running on a Raspberry Pi, which we’re excited about not just for reasons of nostalgia.

I’m particularly pleased to have seen so many teachers in the audience; we love that teachers who are familiar with the Raspberry Pi are sharing their knowledge and experience with teachers who want to become familiar with it. The Teach Meet after the presentations was packed; we’re very grateful to all the teachers who are taking the Raspberry Pi and running with it.

And we finally got to meet Liam Fraser in the flesh. Liam, as many of you will know, is the 18-year-old giant brain who runs our downloads server, who runs the Raspberry Pi Tutorials YouTube channel (he’s recording new tutorials now his A Level exams are finished), and who now has a monthly column about the Raspberry Pi in Linux User magazine. We feel we know Liam really well; Eben and I have been talking to him regularly for over a year now, and I feel I know him well enough that I’d trust my handbag (or, for that matter, my downloads server) to him. It felt like it couldn’t possibly be the first time we’d actually shared physical space: but it was, and it was a real pleasure to grasp him by the paw and thank him in person for all the work he’s been doing (and continues to do) for us. Yes, I recycle a joke from the first video here. Must try harder.

As Alan O’Donohoe, the central Raspberry Jam organiser says: please spread this Jam. There are now Raspberry Jams taking place all over the world, from Portland, Oregon; to Athens; to Melbourne, Australia. They’re a really great way to meet other Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, get to grips with a Raspberry Pi if you’re a bit daunted by the whole thing, learn what you can do with one, share other people’s projects, and boast about what you’re doing with your own Raspberry Pi. You can learn what’s involved in setting a Raspberry Jam up yourself here. Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks to James Abela and Alan for organising it all; let’s do it again soon!

Edit 1900h, Jul 15: The official organisers’ blog has just been updated with the presentations and video from the day; head on over!


Jim Manley avatar

Ha! First dibs, for once! ;)

Congrats on all the fun! No fair bringing 200 Pi boards, though – at least you were selling them, as rumor had it they were being given away.

We will be hosting the first monthly Silicon Valley Jam in six all-too-short days, 1 – 5 PM, on Saturday, July 21st, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. We’re just blocks from the Googleplex and since those folks work all sorts of odd hours, we expect some to stop by, in addition to at least 300 members of the public coming to the museum that day. We look forward to a shipment of 200 “boards” to our Jam – and fully expect them to be made of wood! ;)

Keep up the great work … don’t worry, we’ll sign stuff for you here! :D

Kong avatar

My 10 year-old son and I hope to attend, Jim. He’s spent the last few weeks getting up before his late rising dad so he can work on lessons from Sweigart’s “Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python” on his Pi, then we sit down together later in the day to review what he’s done. I know I’ll be impressed with the demos you’re working on, but he’s a tough audience, so use these next six days well. Just kidding. He probably won’t stop talking about his Pi.

Anthony Hoffmann avatar

Yes, and I hope it was one pi per person restricted sale! ; )

Got mine after 3 months – a happy wait. Quite the fun toy. Hope to get another.

Alan O'Donohoe avatar

Can you please tell me more about the Silicon Valley RaspberryJam? My email is alan[AT]odonohoe[DOT]org[DOT]uk

fm avatar

When is the next one in Cambridge?

Andrew Edney avatar

Thanks for the link and using the video and pics Liz :-)

It was a good day!

James Abela avatar

Just to let everybody know that I’ve put links to all the presentations here:

I am glad everybody had fun!


Lily avatar

I wanted to go so badly, but I had to work :( I hope another is organised soon!

m0ntala avatar

It was indeed a most enjoyable and informative afternoon, and I would also like to add my thanks to the organisers, and to all the ‘background workers’ who kept the wheels turning… as it were!

I am sure that I am not the only one who felt that by just being there I was somehow part of something which is just going to grow and grow, but that this particular event was ‘just a bit special’…. and it was great to have Eben & Liz there also!

Clive Rixson avatar

Brilliant day – came with my 15-year old son Matthew. Many thanks to the organisers, and many thanks to the Foundation for all their efforts. Matthew is now teaching himself Python on the Pi. Wonderful to meet so many other enthusiasts!

David avatar

Awww man! I totally would have gone if I had known, not least to actually get a pi.

Mod edit to remove some angry language about one of the distributors.

ChrisMc avatar

What’s it like being rock stars?

If I wasn’t working at the time I may have braved the dreaded bridge to steal the Gert board :)

Alan O'Donohoe avatar

Thanks for all the positive comments, the feedback from others make it all worth while. When I said it was the best place to be in the World at that moment, I genuinely meant it.
With help from friends, I’ve started to help spread our jam. There are lots more events in the planing stages that will be announced soon, there will be lots more in Cambridge, with the possibility of a future one like the 14th July was.
This is just one place you can track other events from

Mark Pearson avatar

I attended with my 13 year old son Doug, we couldn’t stay for the informal meetings at the pub(s) afterwards, but we had a great time at the main meeting. The enthusiasm was obvious and really infectious – it was clear that we are all part of something special.

I just wanted to add my thanks to the organisers for a well run event. We’ll certainly be coming along to future Cambridge meetings.

Michael avatar

I wonder if the person to the left on that first video who was also recording a the q&a also uploaded hers to youtube because for me(with my lowly headset!) the poor audio makes that session pretty pointless. :(

Andrew Edney avatar

Unfortunately it was a pretty loud room and while the presenters were miked up it wasnt for the room, it was for the live stream.

Lee Preston avatar

It was indeed a most enjoyable and informative afternoon, and I would also like to add my thanks to all those involved.

Keep up the great work !!

Patrick avatar

I came with my son and his friend Tom. They were really inspired and today they’ve gone to see their headmaster to see if they can set up a Jam in their school and work towards getting a Peterborough Jam organised. My son is was so pleased he could get his Pi earlier than planned so that he has it now for the summer holidays. Great event – thanks to everyone who organised it.

PS Alan we were so inspired by your call to arms i.e blog about it that we’re set up our own blog as the some of the best jammin will be at home!

liz avatar

That’s terrific – and see, folks? People like Patrick’s son were the reason we had those Raspberry Pis with us to sell on Saturday. Thanks for coming!

m0ntala avatar

If that had been common knowledge beforehand I am sure there would have been even more applications for tickets, although I believe the event was actually oversubscribed anyway!
It was a great afternoon though!

liz avatar

Unfortunately we weren’t completely sure we’d be able to secure enough units on the day to sell until after the event was oversubscribed, so we kept quiet about it!

Edwin avatar

Is there another one of these soon, or in Surrey at all? I didn’t even know this was happening, I’m gutted I didn’t go!

stevepdp avatar

I think the plan is to have monthly events in Cambridge.

I would advise keeping an eye on Alan O’Donohoe’s Twitter feed, the Raspberry Jam website and perhaps this Eventbrite page.

Feel free to set one up in Surrey too :-)

Guilherme de Sousa avatar

Not sure if you’re reading this Liz, but I think this deserves a post here.

PIE1 – Raspberry Pi Sends Live Images from Near Space
On the end of the pages are links to movies and galleries.
(this one is AMAZING

best regards,


Gabriel avatar

Great !
I’m AMAZED by the camera, it’s price and resolution…
We could use 3*[r-pi + camera] to take a giant picture every 10 seconds and then every week all the pictures would be transformed into a (very)HD video :D

Spencer avatar


quick question regarding the Raspberry Jam sessions…are you planning on attending any other sessions soon? I have a number of friends who would like to attend, if only to get their hands on a Pi!


JamesH avatar

There’s no guarantee other Jam’s will have Pi’s for sale, even if Foundation people are there. In fact its pretty unlikely!

Spencer avatar

Thanks James.

I have mine, though thinking about getting another, ‘just in case’ :-), and it’s sparked interest from a couple of work colleagues. I guess they’ll just have to wait.


reiuyi avatar

The raspberries are still selling like warm bread

reiuyi avatar

It is also amazing you can put 200 of them in your car’s front seat

Imagine trying to put 200 regular computers in a people’s car at all!

Jerry Harper avatar

Photos of the Cambridge #RaspberryJam available here:

Higher resolution images freely available for promoting either the Raspberry Pi or #RaspberryJam – contact me on @JerryDHarper

Jaseman avatar

‘ we finally got to meet Liam Fraser in the flesh… and it was a real pleasure to grasp him’

Leave the poor lad alone!

Garry Lowther avatar

Hi Liz

We would very much like to work with you to bring a Pi inspired ‘box’ to our customers for a new concept we have called the Web PC which is a cloud hosted remote desktop/IT platform all accessible from an HTML5 browser on the Pi.

As we are in Cambridge, I thought perhaps we could meet up to discuss?

Kind Regards


Haddon Davies avatar

I read the article in the Sunday Times about adapting London Zoo using the Pi to support cameras for wildlife surveillance. There is an amazing guy called Andre Brink, , helping to run a wildlife camp/ sanctuary/ eco-tourism project in coordination with the Maasai in southern Kenya on a financial shoe-string. How developed is the camera project – are they viable? There is a huge problem with poaching elephants around the camp but the cameras would also be invaluable for enriching the experience of visitors to the camp. Look forward to hearing from you, Haddon Davies [email protected]

liz avatar

We’re having a meeting this week – yes, it’s viable, and it’s well under development. I’ll be posting about it here when it’s in the field.

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