Programming the Raspberry Pi webinar with Eben, April 4

I can’t believe I’ve just typed the word “webinar”. It’s a horrible neologism – right up there with “mentee” and “edutainment”. Still, a webinar is what Eben’s* doing, so that’s what we’re having to call it. We hope all you mentees will find it edutaining.

A monster hand attached to a tiny person.

Eben’s hosting this (deep breath) webinar with Element 14 on April 4 at 2pm GMT. (Edit – as people are mentioning in the comments, you may be thrown off here by daylight saving. 2pm GMT is 3pm BST, and 10am EST for our friends who want to work the time out using a standard closer to home.) The subject matter will suit beginners, and should be pretty interesting for those of you who are hardened hackers too. He’ll be showing you how to:

  • download and install the Operating System on the SD card
  • run the boot up script
  • use the script editor and begin to create applications using the presupplied Python scripts

If you want to attend, you’ll need to sign up for the event at Element 14’s website. We hope to see you there – we’re looking forward to it!

Edited to add: We’ve checked with Element14, and a video of the webinar will be made available for those of you who can’t attend because you’re at work, it’s 2am where you live, etc. etc. You’ll have to be an Element14 member to watch, but we’ll make sure you have instructions on how to sign up and view when it’s released.

*If you are wondering: “Who the hell is Eben?”, we suggest a visit to the About page.


Lynbarn avatar

Hmmm, I don’t think I’ve ever been called a mentee before, but I’ve signed up now, so I guess now I am one! (mentee? sounds like some sort of marine mammal that, when mixed with coke (cola, that is!) causes a massive gaseous expansion – or am I barking up the wrong crossed wires here?)

MarshallBanana avatar

*lol* yeah, hearing (ok reading *g*) mentee the first thing that popped into my mind was manatee too :-D

MarshallBanana avatar

followed closely by… “hmmm, tea for men”

liz avatar

It’s somebody who has a mentor. I worked on a government-sponsored basic skills project for adults a few years ago, where all those with mentors were called “mentees”. I pointed out what the etymology of the word “mentor” is, and suggested that it was a horrible bastardisation which comes across as shudder-inducingly awful to anyone with a moderately sized vocabulary, but was made to use it anyway.

I do like the fact that no civil servants get to stick their oars into what I write these days.

Kevin Mulder avatar

Hey, geeks are here! Just simply use the word, “padawan”. All will get a grip …

linker3000 avatar

Brings back memories! I wrote a series of customer service / IT support training manuals and one section had a footnote explaining the origin of the word ‘mentor’ and thus how wrong ‘mentee’ is. The correct word for one under the guidance of a mentor is a protégé – so there!

foxt avatar

I think you can use protegé instead of mentee …

MarshallBanana avatar

a webinar? woot, sounds shpactangular! :-P

Don avatar

Make sure to record the webin…eerr you know what so everyone who misses it can watch it later \o/

liz avatar

I’m pretty sure it will be recorded – I need to check with Element14 (who are all tucked up in bed on the other side of the Atlantic at the moment) first to be sure, but I’m near-certain it will be.

Daniel Ferreira avatar

Please, please, please (pretty please!) don’t leave it up to somebody else…. Just take a camera there yourselves! Any video camera will do. A tripod mounted one, if possible, would help, but if not then even a somewhat recent smartphone is fine.

BTW: Anyone who, at this point, doesn’t know who Eben is should be denied the right to get a Pi !!

Joe avatar

I agree, it must be recorded.

But I hope you are joking on your second point Daniel. The target audience for the device should have no idea who he is until now.

UncleDave avatar

Will anybody have a Pi by then?

mahjongg avatar

You must be a “the glass is half full” type of guy .

MartyG avatar

It’s a valid question.

JamesH avatar

I’ve got one, so yes.

MartyG avatar

Then it was definitely a successful launch :)

John Beetem avatar

I like the term “symposium”, especially its classical definition: a meeting for the purpose of drinking together.

I suggest the term “cacologism” for awful-sounding buzzwords like “webinar” and “mentee”.

Rich avatar

people who invent terms like “webinar” also like to say things like “at this point in time” instead of just saying, “now.”

Oli avatar

Really risking another event with Premier Farnell? They handled the launch amazingly well. My prediction – site falls over five minutes before this starts.

What I’m really getting at is: why aren’t you using something that regularly takes on hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people, like UStream. Hell, I’m sure if you asked, Google would let you use their YouTube live-streaming service (invite only).

das_coach avatar

something like bittorrent (there are approaches to use that for streaming) would be the best: the more watchers, the less lag=P

EagleOfDeath13 avatar

I think that using the Hangout would be better!
This feature is really nice :D

bodgyuk avatar

The Farnell web broadcasts are through Webex (Cisco own them), bandwidth is pretty large, I’ve used it in digital pathology slide demonstrations (each image 2TB in size).

Audio can be a bit hit and miss though, depends on if a phone is used or direct to web.

SN avatar

I can confirm ustream does this kind of thing really well

Dan avatar

Will a recording be available at a later date?

Dan avatar

Sorry, should’ve read the previous comments first.

Mike avatar

Bless. You must be new here – tradition demands you skip the comments that answer your question and jump straight in, ideally with a question about shipping dates or whether it has built in wi-fi.

Simon Beirnaert avatar

Troll :D

Newbie avatar

“Webinar” sounds like something a spider uses to detect incoming flies … ;)

Newbie avatar

A “mentee” sounds like someone who’s been committed to a mental institution … or at least should be, e.g., the aforementioned government dullards … ;)

“Edutainment” – well, that pretty much sums up the current state of ICT “edumuckation” … :(

Sean Clitheroe avatar

Isn’t a Mentee the victim of the committed person? i.e. the one they went mental at :D

bodgyuk avatar

Isn’t it a brand of peppermints?

Jeremy Freudberg avatar

Why is he holding an alpha board?

liz avatar

Because it’s a photo from last year.

cnxsoft avatar

I like webinars, cool stuff. But I did not know I was a mentee for attending one.

Jesse avatar

Oooh, it sounds edutastic!

…Sorry, sorry. >_>

Dustin avatar

Is there a way that this can be recorded and posted as a video or podcast and posted somewhere? I will not be able to attend but I am very interested in the content.

99guspuppet avatar

Please make a copy of this webinairoo that can be accessed after April 4th Tnaks

Wahyu Juniawan avatar

How can i use this in my country Indonesia. I mean, how can i get this coolest tiny computer? :)

aditsu avatar

Oh, why must you taunt us? “Sorry, you can’t get a Pi yet, but look at all the cool things you could do with it!” Sadistic webdumentors…
Still love ya though :) Just give us the Pi already, before we turn into zombies (Piiiiiiiiis… Piiiiiiiiis…)

critter avatar

Do any of you lot bother to read terms of use, privacy, etc?
eg Content that you contribute:

We do not claim ownership of any content you contribute to element14 but by posting your content you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free right and licence to use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, process, publish, distribute, transmit, host on our servers and resell/sell/rent any such content.
There goes any bright ideas from the bright young kids A marketers picnic!
I wouldnt let any kid near this website.

MartyG avatar

That’s absolutely shocking tbh – does R-Pi really support this practice?

JamesH avatar

So what information are people posting to the Element 14 site that may be of any interest to them in this respect? If you don’t want tit used, don;t post there.

I don’t think that agreement is particularly unusual – read the Facebook one recently? Pretty much the same if not ‘worse’.

As to us supporting it? It’s not our website…..

Abishur avatar

*shudder* facebook owns everything you put on it. It makes me really sad when some aspiring photographer uploads all their photos to the site. Oops, can’t use those pictures anymore facebook owns them!

critter avatar

“its not our website” is a pathetic copout to kids who WILL get their ideas ripped off

Because a bunch of websites do it doesnt make it right!

I don’t use facebook because of their infringements

If R-Pi consider the kids they are supposedly helping they will do something

I chose long ago to not open a business account with element14 I’d soonerfind a more ethical business

Lynbarn avatar

Neither RS nor Farnell are really geared up for dealing with retail customers yet, let alone the children for whom the ‘Pi is primarily aimed, and this is reflected in the discussion forums at the moment. With some of the language that has been seen on the RPF forum, that isn’t really suitable either. Many schools’ internet content filters would actually restrict access to much of what is available about the ‘Pi online today. I do hope that, by the time the “education release” is available in schools, (which I don’t expect to happen in significant numbers before the 2013/14 academic year) there will be suitable websites set up for the students and pupils to get the information they require, and discuss the Raspberry Pi among themselves in a safe environment.

JamesH avatar

I’m still not sure what children will be putting on the Element 14 website that will be of value to Element 14. If you don’t like their T&C’s DON’T USE THEM. (or any other of the wyriad websites with similar T&C’s). And, as I said before, that is Element 14’s website. Not the Foundations. It’s not a cop out. it’s the truth. The only influence the Foundation has over Element 14 and their website is to withdraw the device from them, which would mean less children getting it. Not a good trade.

Skygod avatar

A Webinar attended by mentees being given factoids? Will there be any announcement regarding the fabject? :-)

Seriously, hope it goes well, but as I’ll be in throes of a house move, I’ll have to wait to see the video.

Bikko avatar


My Pi is still taking 30 days to cook

Sander avatar

Will the webinar on the 14th (as stated in the text) or on the 4th (as stated in the title)?
Or perhaps there will be two ;-)

Stuart Lea avatar

For the life of me I cannot see a reference to the 14th. Although I am due for an eye test this afternoon.

JLPicard2 avatar

“Element 14 on April 4”, not Element 4 on April 14th. :)

Stuart Lea avatar

It says it’s at 2:00pm GMT. Which is great for everyone around the world to know when it is. Should just point out to the UK people that the short hand will be pointing at 3 then as the clocks go forward this weekend. Probably could so with adding to the text that it’s at 3pm for UK people otherwise their could be a few irate people getting out of their pram.

Jongoleur avatar

At least thats failsafe.

If you turn up at 2pm BST and find its not happened yet, then all you do is have another cup of tea! :-)

Stuart Lea avatar

True, but some of us (with a grumpy disposition) would start cursing and realise that they’ll have to reschedule what they’d planned for 3pm.

Barnaby Walters avatar

It hurts me when people say the education / entertainment one.

walney avatar

What? Educainment sounds fine to me.

Christian Treczoks avatar

Thats still better than the Educanement they used to use in schools…

bodgyuk avatar

Luckily I was never educated by a cane nor was I caned by an educator – I hate the term educator it’s all the rage where I’m currently living.

Barnaby avatar

Another one which annoys me is ‘student body’. It’s not as annoying as… the other one, though.

Stevie B avatar

I would love to be a ‘mentee’ but won’t be around that day. Will the ‘webinar’ be available to view/download later?

Thomas Costick avatar

Some clarification is required, I think. The event details on the Element14 web site say “Start Time: 4/4/12 3:00 PM GMT (Europe/Dublin)”

Stuart Lea avatar

Yup, the element 14 website says:
Time: (2.00pm GMT) (3:00 pm BST) (10.00am EST)

and then…..

Start Time: 4/4/12 3:00 PM GMT (Europe/Dublin)”

a few lines further down….

(I’ve been using Farnell for over 25 years and the bigger they’ve got the more they seem to screw up on delivering the basics. Shame, as they used to be spot on.)

bodgyuk avatar

To get the correct time for your planet, you have to be logged in to the E-14 website after ensuring you have the correct time zone set up in your account.

I found that out when Australia appeared GMT.

Stuart Lea avatar

That may all be fine and dandy, but they state within a few lines 2:00pm GMT and 3:00pm GMT.

Abishur avatar

This is why I can’t stand daylight savings time.

Tass avatar

I think the 14th is because people are mis-reading “element 14” ;-)

Thomas avatar

I share the concern of others: Hopefully this Webinar is available when RPIs are actually available. Until now, the club of owners is quite exclusive :-(.

Stuart Lea avatar

OK, OK……it’s at 1333548000 seconds since 1/1/1970. Surely that ends the matter.

Lynbarn avatar

… but from what time on 1/1/1970? You need to be more precise! :) IIRC, it is 00:00:01, but it may have been 00:00:00

Stuart Lea avatar

Sorry…from GMT: Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT. Apologies for the further confusion. I will deprive myself of that 4th large Plymouth Gin and tonic tonight as punishment.

domble avatar

(I registered just to say…) Leap seconds?

Stuart Lea avatar

You really are driving me to that 4th G&T

Rick avatar

Hey Liz,

Could you confirm if the webinar (you’re right…horrible word!!) will be available as a video after its been on, as I wont be able to attend.

Thanks :)

alex avatar

I can confirm you’re not the first to ask.

Rick avatar

I can confirm that you didnt need to be an ass.

Daniel avatar

Why not call it an Ebenar? See what I did there :)


Stuart Lea avatar

Oh you’re good, very good.

Chris Thomas avatar

I was just going to suggest that it should be a webenar?

Montala avatar

I haven’t ‘attended’ a webinar event before, but wondered if it is dependant on a high speed broadband connection, which I don’t have?
It should be interesting anyway.

Richard Leiser avatar

would be a bit more interested if I actually had a Pi in my hand. Initial adrenaline boost is fading. Like watching a party through the outside window.

reader avatar

I wonder what the hell means “mentee”

Abishur avatar

First hit when googling mentee “One who is mentored”

reader avatar

There are the right words, so better to use then. I dislike neologisms, overall when in foreign language as English is. Maybe it could be incredible to someone, but outside here not all of us are English mother language, uh?

Abishur avatar

Does a word that’s been in use for 50 years count as a neologism?

wooly_sammoth avatar

Edutainment? That’s so two thousand and late.
All the cool kids are calling it Entercation!

Burngate avatar

I thought it was called Play School

Ricky avatar

Will this “webinar” be recorded and put on this page / youtube to download / watch? I think that will be a great idea since not everybody (including me) owns a pi. Anyway will it be nice to watch in future…

Ben avatar

But… RS haven’t yet told me when they’re shipping my RPi!!

romilly avatar

If you’re wondering ‘Who the hell is Eben?’, you’re probably on the wrong site.

And Liz, don’t you think ‘neologism’ is a neologism?

You can tell it’s Friday. I’ll shut up now.

bretmac avatar

This is a surprising e-mail just received from RS. Are they telling us the first 10,000 boards were not ready to be sold? Does this explain the delay? This is the first time I’ve seen any mention of this subject…

Email follows:

Welcome to the latest Raspberry Pi update from RS Components!

Much has been happening behind the scenes since you received our last update, not least the start of compliance testing on the Raspberry Pi.

Why are we doing this? Compliance testing is an essential part of bringing any electronic product to market. The Raspberry Pi is being tested to make sure it conforms to all the regulations that apply to electronic devices around the world. This means that we can be sure the Raspberry Pi we deliver to you meets the correct standards and is as safe as you would expect any electronic device you purchase to be.

We’re working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to manage the testing process as quickly as possible, while ensuring all tests are carried out to guarantee safety. More information is being posted on the Raspberry Pi website , as well as on our own FAQ pages or DesignSpark. We’re also regularly tweeting updates on progress. Follow @RSElectronics on twitter to catch the latest news.

Alongside this, we’ve also been contacting the first group of people who registered for a Raspberry Pi from RS, to help us plan delivery of the initial batch of boards. In next week’s update, we’ll provide more information on how we’re managing the queue and the order process.

liz avatar

I’m going to have to put a statement out about this later: in short, once a certain number of orders were in, RS decided they didn’t want to sell the boards as dev boards (which was what we’d planned for the first, uncased units – dev boards don’t require CE marking – see Arduino, Beagleboard etc.) because the sales volumes were so big they were worried someone with a similar or competing product might try to cause some legal trouble over the definition of development board. We’re still trying to work out if we can get some out earlier without CE marks to developers. We’re rushing through compliance as fast as is humanly possible at the moment.

bretmac avatar

All interesting stuff – yes an announcement would be beneficial as you could read the RS e-mail negatively. Thanks for the clarification, and a belated Happy Birthday & Get Well Soon. Thank you.

Lynbarn avatar

[email protected] | IP Intel
Submitted on 2012/03/23 at 7:28 pm

There is a discussion on the forum regarding this: please see;

Nick G avatar

“Webinar” is not a neologism, strictly speaking. It is a portmanteau. I know I’m being nitpicky, but a neologism is a uniquely-generated word, and a portmanteau is a combination of two already-existing words–in this case, “web” and “seminar,” as you said.

In any case I’ve signed up because this looks great. And thanks for the opportunity!

John S. avatar

Is the foundation planning to push Python as a “default” language for the education launch? Python is becoming a pretty bloated, quirky language. Lua seems like a much cleaner teaching language and is also much better suited to resource-constrained systems.

Don avatar

Liz, it’s true that 2pm GMT is 10am Eastern Time (east coast US), but that’s EDT (Eastern Daylight), not EST (Eastern Standard). There’s no telling how much time/money/effort is wasted dealing with Daylight Stupid^H^H^H^H^H^HStandard Time.

Don avatar

Oops, I meant to say “dealing with Daylight Saving Time” (it’s 2am here, ).

Randy avatar

True. 2pm GMT is 10am EDT or 9am EST.
(EST is year-round for a handful of communities in Canada, plus a few Caribbean, Central American, and South American countries).

Olaf avatar

Will Eben also make a webinar for C / C++ programming?

Potted Avocado avatar

Liz – Why in FSM’s noodly name are you using a ‘word’ that you don’t like? I’ve seen your gastronomy work and you’re perfectly able to express yourself in language that the Queen would recognize. Give yourself a respite from the company of ill-shaven engineers and marketing people, your vocabulary will thank you handsomely.

If one who is mentored is a protégé or a padawan (preferred,) why can’t an internet-distributed lecture be called a lecture, a presentation, or a workshop?

Abishur avatar

But if she called it a lecture, wouldn’t that create a difficult in people searching for it? I mean if the organizers have called it a webinar, it’s kinda bad form to call it something else as that will just lead to confusion (we’re having enough troubles with the Daylight Savings time issue! ;-))

Potted Avocado avatar

I’m sure that people would be searching for Raspberry Pi before ‘webinar,’ so no worries… or Eben will have an audience of people smart enough to find the presentation. ;)

Chris avatar

Quit showing off the “Beta” and give me my Pi already!

Alex Mnatzaganian avatar

Lookin’ forward to it!

Montala avatar

Is a fast broadband connection necessary for those wishing to join the webinar, please?

Markus avatar

Great news about eben teaching this.. but… Where are our hardwares?! WE NEED THEM…

Leon avatar

Why not create your own YouTube channel and keep your content and open and accessible as possible?

I’m not going to sign up to yet another website just to watch a single video. Honestly this whole restrictive approach seems… weird and out of place given your project’s stated goals.

Live events on the Internet are a nasty impedance mismatch…

Abishur avatar

I believe the core issue is that Element 14 are the ones hosting it. There’s no point in declining the opportunity to teach their board in an interactive environment just because people have to create a (free) account especially since so many people on the board have already created an account with them (tough I confess I’m with you, I don’t want to create an account on their board :-P).

Ideally, the RPF will be allowed to reproduce the video on this site though (It’s what I’m hoping for) for those of us who either don’t want to create an account over there or don’t have the time to attend the event.

Jon Schneider avatar

Element 14 as in the name the remains of Acorn had for a while before Broadcom bought them ? Or as I suspect Farnell’s Element 14 ?

liz avatar

Both the Broadcom and the Farnell Element 14s come out of the remains of Acorn, hence the names. (And yes, it’s the Farnell one – the one that became part of Broadcom doesn’t exist any more.)

Jon Schneider avatar

If I put a Pi next to my Marvell Sheevaplug will they fight ?

Not that’s in danger of happening while I only have one participant.

Abishur avatar
Mick Dann avatar

Easy way to sort out time zones:

John Winters avatar

I tried to attend the webinar but the software failed. It just kept saying “You do not have the necessary audio capability…”, which was quite simply incorrect. The webex help pages are useless so I wasted the whole time trying to work out what was wrong with their software and missed it. I tried dialling in on a phone and getting the audio only, but without the pictures it wasn’t a lot of use.

Is there any chance of the webinar being made available in a sensible format after the event for viewing?


liz avatar

I’ve spoken to element14, and yes, a video will be available afterwards to element14 member – of course, it does mean you won’t be able to ask live questions, but there are so many people either at work or in parts of the world where it’s not at a convenient time to watch live that there’s a big demand for video!

petere avatar

The webinar software failed for me also…
Is the video now available?
can you provide a link?

jack avatar

wow, this is a revolutioin, but how do you conect an external cd drive or floppy drive? PLEASE reply ASAP

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