Friday grab bag


The November edition of the MagPi is out! The MagPi is a community magazine produced by Raspberry Pi owners, and is now available in print as well as as a free download. If you’d like to see the MagPi have a future in print, please buy a copy. They’re not expensive at £2.49, and if the team are to raise enough cash to be able to offer the back issues in print as well (which I know many schools have expressed an interest in), they need your support.

The MagPi, issue 7

This month’s issue has an interview with Mike Thompson, the man behind Raspbian, a tutorial on getting your Pi talking to an Arduino, a really nice piece from Jaseman on the evolution of the Pi since February, an introduction to C++, a competition, and plenty of hardware and software projects for you to get your teeth into. Download a PDF at the MagPi’s site, or buy a printed copy at Mod My Pi (not available at the time of posting, but it should be soon – I’ll amend this post when it is).


After less than two days on Kickstarter, the Picade project, which was set up to build a gorgeous arcade cabinet around the Raspberry Pi, has reached its initial funding goal! There’s still time to jump on the funding wagon so the boys at Pimoroni can reach their stretch goals if you’d like to be part of the UK’s first ever Kickstarter (and happen to like retro games, slammin’ style and Raspberry Pi); head on over if you’d like to take part.

Ken (Jon) and Ryu (Paul) realise that they are perfectly matched. This could be the start of a long session.


If you’re in a pledging mood, we’d also encourage you to take a look at this book by Dr Sue Black, a Friend of Pi and an exceptional educator and advocate for women in tech. It’s on a subject very dear to us – saving Bletchley Park – and we’re really pleased to see it’s reached its funding goals too (like Picade, it got to its goal blisteringly fast). You can still donate, and importantly, a proportion of profits go to Bletchley Park. Sadly, the donation tier that involved Sue knitting a pair of socks for the donor has now sold out. But there’s still some good stuff left.


We won another award! Raspberry Pi won Innovation of the Year at the Stuff Gadget Awards last night, and Alex B went along to the ceremony to pick it up. At the moment, our search for offices involves careful consideration of just how much shelving we need for these things.


Adafruit, who carry a lot of Raspberry Pi-related gear as well as selling Raspberry Pis themselves, have been unfortunate enough to find themselves right in the middle of Hurricane Sandy. I had mail from PT and Lady Ada earlier this week and an update this morning: they’re in the part of NYC which was hit the hardest and are still without power. UPS haven’t been sending anything in or out of Manhattan since the storm, but Adafruit hope to be able to start stocking and shipping again this weekend or early next week. It’s a pretty rough time for them; this happened right in the middle of a move to new premises, and we’ve been thinking about them a lot this week. We hope you can support them by ordering some cool Pi stuff from Adafruit the next time you feel like tinkering with something new.

Limor “Lady Ada” Fried in a Manhattan that looks as if it ought to be populated by zombies.

Guest posts

We’ve had a lot of interest from our call for guest posts. We’d like to see even more! If you’d like to write a post for this blog about your adventures with Raspberry Pi, your ideas about computing education, your project ideas, or your thoughts on low-cost computing, please email [email protected]. I’m away for a couple of weeks from Monday, and this blog will be being curated by the lovely Clive, who will be selecting the very best articles and posting them here.



Rich Shumaker avatar

You can also now purchase Adafruit Raspberry Pi stuff from Newark / Element 14. The partnership was announced last week.

Darren avatar

But why would anyone want to buy from Newark / Element 14 with their pretty average service when you can get great service direct from Adafruit ?

Peter Green avatar

The obvious reason would be that you want other stuff (e.g. components) that adafruit don’t sell but newark do.

Jim Manley avatar

For those who may not be aware, your organization can become an AdaFruit distributor, which entitles members to a 30% discount on most items (minimum order for any item is only ONE!) as long as each total order is at least $250 (not including shipping). Orders for 50+ of one item entitles you to a 40% discount for that item. You only need to meet the following simple requirements:

– Be an on-line store, a physical store, or a hackerspace (a link is required). I believe well-organized Raspberry Jams would fit the bill if they can demonstrate that they’re providing hands-on access and educational services at a consistent location on an ongoing basis (e.g., not just a bunch of old farts gathering once a month to talk gibberish to each other without educating kids at the same time ;) ). Hey, it couldn’t hurt to apply, and it would be yet-another great reason for people to join your Jam!

– Place minimum orders of $250 (not including shipping) with all items to be delivered to the organization’s physical address in one shipment

– Pay via PayPal or credit card. Large international large orders can be paid via wire transfer


The $250 order minimum helps AdaFruit increase its volume buying power and reduce its costs substantially, so in the long run, they won’t lose money, they’ll actually make more.

For more details, see:

Rich Kavanagh avatar

Can we get a picture of all the (very well deserved) trophies and awards??

tzj avatar

+1 to that!

Jim Manley avatar

I grew up in the affected area and my sister still lives there with her family. They have been forced to buy a generator for electrical power and people are having to drive up to 100 miles to find a gas/petrol station with electrical power so that it can pump gas to vehicles.

This is the most densely-populated part of the U.S., but 60% of gas stations in New Jersey are closed, and 70% in Long Island (East of NYC) are also out of commission. 13 of the 49 gas/petrol distribution centers that pump fuel into the delivery tanker trucks in the Northeast U.S. are shut down due to power loss. It’s starting to get down into the 40s F (single-digits C) at night with no residential heating in many areas. There is sewage, petroleum residue, and debris pretty much everywhere within a few miles of all waterways that flow to the ocean, even tens of miles in from the coast. 35 miles of road and subway/tube tunnels in/around NYC are flooded with seawater and it’s going to take months to pump out, inspect, and repair many of them. Any submerged electrical equipment is going to be badly corroded and need to be replaced.

Current estimates are $20 billion in direct damage costs and over $50 billion in economic loss, but I believe those numbers are going to prove low. Direct damage from Hurricane Katrina was $108 billion, and they’re still counting the economic loss, since 20% of the population left and will never return.

You might want to check a terrain map with those squiggly concentric lines on it that represent elevation and see how many 10-foot/3-meter lines there are between you and sea level, or the nearest river. 95% of the world’s population lives within about 50 miles of an ocean. The ice caps aren’t getting any bigger for a while – we are within about 1,000 years of the beginning of the next ice age, but there’s a +/- 1,000 year variation, so it may have already started (not much evidence), or it may not start for upwards of another 2,000 years from now. There could be a lot more events like this in large coastal urban areas (and even tiny ones) before the icebergs stop becoming an endangered species.

Forewarned is forearmed …

psergiu avatar

Mod My Pi should make available for sale all the back numbers of MagPi

liz avatar

In order to do that, the MagPi guys need to raise more money by selling more of the ones which are already available in print form. So if you want to see the whole back catalogue in print, buy the new one!

psergiu avatar

Shipping was unexpectedly cheap – only 50p to the other side of Europe

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