My name was on the waiting list for the first batch of Raspberry Pi machines long before I traveled to Cambridge to meet Eben Upton.
Something about the tiny computer sent me back to my childhood days. It could plug into your TV, it could use the same programming language that I used in primary school. It was all very retro.
Only after I got my hands on one did I realize how useful the little thing actually is. At first I was excited about using it as an introduction to Linux and to refresh my dormant programming skills. It was only after I put some media software on it that it really became part of the furniture.
My Raspberry Pi, in its Top Trumps card box finery gets used almost every day now. It has infiltrated the living room in a way that a tablet, Apple TV, laptop, or even the smallest PC never could.
Just like the Acorn Electron computer I had when I was five, it’s silent. That’s probably where the similarities end. For starters, the Pi is just 1/25th the price of my Acorn when adjusted for inflation. It can run without a keyboard or a mouse using just my regular TV remote control, and it can play any music or full HD video file I throw at it.
I’ve set this little wonder to play media from TV catchup services, the computer in my bedroom, the DVD drive in the computer in my bedroom, my smartphone and even the downloads on my flatmate’s PC.
What started with a dream of programming in my bedroom like I did when I was a kid quickly turned into something far less hard work. It’s given me all the entertainment I can eat without having to move from the sofa.
That’s my story on how the Raspberry Pi became one of the must have gadgets in my life. I’m sure there are many others out there, all wildly different.
Incidentally, I had great fun writing that little bit of code in the package. I’ll leave you with this little gem.