Help convince LEGO to produce "Lovelace and Babbage" play set / Raspberry Pi case


This delightful Lovelace & Babbage Analytical Engine is gathering support on LEGO Ideas (formerly CUUSOO) where the community can up-vote fan-made play sets into consideration for production.

Featuring Lada Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, this set pays beautiful, Victorian tribute to their collaboration on the mechanical general-purpose computer of his design, including her pioneering work in creating the algorithm that would be used to program it.


What's more, the lovely, monochromatic Analytical Engine model can be used to house a Raspberry Pi Linux computer. Swoon.

Creator Stewart Lamb Cromar also proposes two bonus sets, an "Ada Junior Classroom" and a "Babbage Tea Party".

If you're interested in making this set a reality, please head to LEGO Ideas and support the project. Currently at around 3000 votes, they require 10,000 to be reviewed by LEGO for possible production.

Lovelace ande LEGO Ideas set  Read the rest

Official case for your Raspberry Pi

For three years, makers have hacked together some terrific and janky DIY Raspberry Pi cases (like these). Finally, Ebon Upton and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have produced their own official Raspberry Pi case. Read the rest

Adventure Time's BMO made from Raspberry Pi

From MAKE: this cute BMO replica with a Raspberry Pi brain. Read the rest

Kids send Maker projects to space

If the whole Potter franchise didn't already seem to give UK kids special powers, now this: primary and secondary schoolers can enter a contest by April 5 to program a Raspberry Pi for the International Space Station. Astronauts will upload kids' software to the newest credit-card-sized $35 computer for projects. That happens in November.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to think of a way to pass as a high school kid and also use the gyroscope, magnetometer, temperature probe, and infrared cameras on the Pi to do something cool 300 miles over the planet. Read the rest

Massive guide to new Raspberry Pi B+

There's a new Raspberry Pi model out, the B+, and the nice folks at Adafruit have delivered a massive guide to working with the technology (just in time!). Read the rest

Getting started with the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a $35 Linux computer the size of a credit card. I'm running a Minecraft server on one (above photo). In observance of today's holiday, MAKE is running an excerpt from Matt Richardson and Shawn Wallace’s excellent book, Getting Started with Raspberry Pi.

As makers, we have a lot of choices when it comes to platforms on which to build technology-based projects. Lately, microcontroller development boards like the Arduino have been a popular choice because they’ve become very easy to work with. But System on a Chip platforms like the Raspberry Pi are a lot different than traditional microcontrollers in many ways. In fact, the Raspberry Pi has more in common with your computer than it does with an Arduino.

This is not to say that a Raspberry Pi is better than a traditional microcontroller; it’s just different. For instance, if you want to make a basic thermostat, you’re probably better off using an Arduino Uno or similar microcontroller for purposes of simplicity. But if you want to be able to remotely access the thermostat via the web to change its settings and download temperature log files, you should consider using the Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi 101: What is the Pi Anyway? Read the rest

Gweek podcast 134: Minecraft Raspberry Pi

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In each episode of Gweek, I invite a guest or two to join me in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. This time my guests were Clive Thompson, a science and technology journalist, whose new book is Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better, and Ruben Bolling, author of the weekly comic strip Tom the Dancing Bug, which premieres each week on Boing Boing, and pre-premiers for members of his Inner Hive.

This episode of Gweek is brought to you by:

Hover, the best way to buy and manage domain names. Get a 10% discount when you go to Hover and use the code TREASUREMAP.

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Show Notes:

Clives's picks:

The Gorgeous Nothings, a book that reprints 52 of Emily Dickinson’s poems that she wrote on the backs of used envelopes.

Read the rest

DIY tablet computer made from Raspberry Pi

I love that individuals now have the tools and technology to affordably make their own consumer electronics. Michael Caster built a tablet with a Raspberry Pi (a credit card sized Linux computer) that he calls the PiPad. It has a wood and carbon fiber case and looks great!

How I built a Raspberry Pi Tablet Read the rest

Raspberry Pi, the $35 computer, in New York Times

The Raspberry Pi is a computer the size of a credit card. To use it, you need a keyboard and mouse, a monitor, and an SD card with Linux. The Raspberry Pi is powered by USB. The creator, Eben Upton at the University of Cambridge in Britain, is surprised at how popular the Pi has become in the few short months it's been available.

From John Bigg's New York Times story about Eben and his computer:

The Raspberry Pi Foundation began selling the computers in February of last year. They soon could not keep them in stock.

“We honestly were thinking of this as a 1,000- to 5,000-unit opportunity,” Mr. Upton said. “The thing we didn’t anticipate was this whole other market of technically competent adults who wanted to use it. We’re selling to hobbyists.”

Mr. Upton said he was “blown away” by the reception the Pi had gotten online.

“I’m not aware of a company that has gone from a standing start to a million in a year,” he said. “It’s quite a wild ride. I don’t get a lot of sleep at the moment.”

Matt Richardson, a frequent contributor to Boing Boing and a MAKE staffer, co-wrote this excellent introduction, called Getting Started with Raspberry Pi. Read the rest

Keyboard made from beer-cans

Here's a cute way to gimmick a keyboard out of a grid of beercans, using Raspberry Pis and Arduinos.

Supercomputer built from Raspberry Pis and Lego

A team of computer scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK created a supercomputer out of 64 Raspberry Pi matchbox Linux-on-a-chip computers and Lego. The team included six year old James Cox, the son of project lead Professor Simon Cox, "who provided specialist support on Lego and system testing."

Here's a PDF with instructions for making your own Raspberry Pi/Lego supercomputer.

Professor Cox comments: “As soon as we were able to source sufficient Raspberry Pi computers we wanted to see if it was possible to link them together into a supercomputer. We installed and built all of the necessary software on the Pi starting from a standard Debian Wheezy system image and we have published a guide so you can build your own supercomputer.”

The racking was built using Lego with a design developed by Simon and James, who has also been testing the Raspberry Pi by programming it using free computer programming software Python and Scratch over the summer. The machine, named “Iridis-Pi” after the University’s Iridis supercomputer, runs off a single 13 Amp mains socket and uses MPI (Message Passing Interface) to communicate between nodes using Ethernet. The whole system cost under £2,500 (excluding switches) and has a total of 64 processors and 1Tb of memory (16Gb SD cards for each Raspberry Pi). Professor Cox uses the free plug-in ‘Python Tools for Visual Studio’ to develop code for the Raspberry Pi.

Professor Cox adds: “The first test we ran – well obviously we calculated Pi on the Raspberry Pi using MPI, which is a well-known first test for any new supercomputer.”

Engineers Build Supercomputer Using Raspberry Pi, Lego [Parity News]

Southampton engineers a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer [Press release]

(Images: Simon J Cox 2012) Read the rest