Earlier this month, I spoke on the Python track at FOSDEM 2017. My talk introduced the Raspberry Pi as a tool for physical computing and IoT to Python programmers in the free & open-source software community.
I talked about the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission, our education programmes, introduced the GPIO pinout, HATs, GPIO Zero, Remote GPIO, Picamera, Energenie, Sense HAT, Astro Pi and more. You can view the slides, and watch the video here:
I recently attended All Things Open, an open-source conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, run by Red Hat. I was invited by my friends at opensource.com – and it was a great opportunity to meet the team and some of the moderators, columnists and contributors.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation began with the purpose to find a way to get more students at Cambridge University to study Computer Science. A small, cheap Linux computer called the Raspberry Pi was created as the solution, and since the first product in 2012, educators, hobbyists, and industrial users have been creating amazing projects with it.
I also got the opportunity to visit Red Hat Towers, and meet their CEO Jim Whitehurst to talk about why I contribute to opensource.com. And for the conference social afterparty, they’d booked nerdcore artist MC Frontalot!
Here’s the video of my talk on Physical computing with Python and Raspberry Pi. I spoke about the Raspberry Pi, the Foundation and its mission, and lots of technical detail about the GPIO Zero library:
Today the MagPi team released a new publication: Simple Electronics with GPIO Zero.
This 100-page book takes you from the basics, like lighting an LED, all the way to building projects like an Internet radio using the GPIO Zero Python library.
This book is available as a free PDF, but you can also pay to get it for your iPad or Android device with the MagPi app. Soon it will also be released in print. It’s now available in print. All proceeds go towards the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s education programmes.
I’ve been amazed with how the GPIO Zero project has grown. There have been three major releases (a fourth due later this year), and it has been featured in The MagPi many times, and in three Kickstarter projects: the RasPiO Pro HAT; Analog Zero; and GPIO Zero Ruler.
Back in 2013, inspired by PyCoders Weekly, a great Python email newsletter, I created Pi Weekly, the same sort of thing for Raspberry Pi. Each week I curated a collection of links to news, projects and articles from the Raspberry Pi community. Its subscriber base grew steadily and within a few weeks it was featured on the Raspberry Pi blog. Towards the end of that year I was given the opportunity to go and work for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and I continued to run the newsletter in the same format.
I created a simple system for the newsletter generation. The whole thing is based within in a WordPress site, and issues are just posts with a set of custom fields, a repeater for the links, and a post template to show the issue as a web page. Then a plugin I wrote generates a full document of the same content in email-friendly HTML. For Pi Weekly, this was just a bog standard Mailchimp email template with my content in it, but for the official Raspberry Pi Weekly, I created a custom template made by our designer Sam Alder. The code for Pi Weekly is available on GitHub, it just requires the ACF plugin and the appropriate custom fields created. It would be fairly easy to create such a system in another CMS or web framework.