Attending a 5 year old’s birthday party
Over the weekend Pete went to the Raspberry Pi Big Birthday Weekend. Rather larger than previous years, they booked out the whole of the Cambridge Junction allowing them to have far more guests.
Eben Upton started the day with a keynote about how Raspberry Pi is doing. In short, they’ve made a lot of computers. Raspberry Pi Trading (the company that makes and sells computers) has generated several million pounds of profit that’s been returned to the Raspberry Pi Foundation (the charity that educates people). This makes them a very unusual startup compared to the current Silicon Valley competition of trying to lose money as fast as possible. Pi Zero W, the newest member of the family has sold over 100,000 units in the four days since launch.
Pete joined David Honess for his Astro-Pi workshop, programming the Sense HAT and writing code that could eventually end up running on the International Space Station. One girl ran away with one of the examples, turning the black and white X into a full colour Raspberry Pi logo using the Sense HAT.
We were particularly interested in the presentation by Gwiddle as it’s a project that we sponsor, and the Pi Party was first opportunity we had to meet the founders in person. Gwiddle provide free Web hosting for people in full time education and are having significant success supporting nearly 1,000 students. Yasmin and Joshua fielded their questions well. We’re massively proud of what Gwiddle have achieved so far and their plans for future expansion into a full multi-national with world domination look exciting.
Pete gave a talk on Raspberry Pi in the data centre and how we’ve built a Raspberry Pi Cloud. We’ve put the slides up at the request of the Japanese Raspberry Pi Users Group who’d flown over to be at the Party. We’d love it if you translate the slides Japanese and put them on your website!
Sam Aaron demonstrated new features in Sonic Pi in a live performance. Pete was particularly impressed by the distortion guitar amp effect from the Pi, and also the details of the new Erlang back-end to reduce timing jitter around a millisecond. Somebody needs to take the library and implement an easy real-time mode for the Pi Zero W to ease building Internet of Things applications.
A fantastic, but incredibly tiring weekend. We’re already looking forward to the 6th birthday party!