Coventry #RaspberryJam – Saturday 22.09.12

Mohammed writes about Coventry Raspberry Jam, 22nd Sept. “Participants came early and enjoyed light refreshments including Samosas, Crisps, biscuits, chocolates and drinks were served and made available throughout the event.

We started the event with introduction of myself and our host and sponsor, Matt and CoventryPrinting.com. We went round the room introducing each person and answering why were here and what we would like to achieve today.

We had an interesting crowd of people. A couple and their kids who teach music education in a secondary school, a programmer with 20 years Microsoft experience and a retired ex-army engineer.

Initially, Matt introduced the Pi and went through the Raspi’s ports and how to get the basics setup of the Pi to get to a GUI stage. He discussed the various programming languages it supports and the difference between the server version of Linux and the GUI. All parties were highly interested in understanding the Terminal and not just the GUI side of Linux.

I then discussed my personal experience with the Pi, the various issues I had, installing Linux and getting the group to understand the Asterisk Open Source Telephony System.

I then went ahead and demonstrated some basic home automation, controlling lighting using a simple web page as seen in my blog (moishtech.blogspot.com). For the second part of the demonstration, I displayed Asterisk running on the PI and went ahead to show the group how I simply control home lighting using the Telephony Application using just the PI and a simple relay circuit.

One of the group members had their PI with them and wanted to understand how to set up the SD card using a Apple iMac. A set of instructions were given to all users on how to get started with the PI and getting the image on to an SD card using a Mac. We then split the group up. Matt took a couple into his office where an install and setup of the SD image was done using an iMac whilst I discussed with the more technical people the working of server based Linux.

The event started at 4:30pm although people arrived and snacked earlier. We left an open time to end and people chose to leave at different times, the last two people left around 7pm.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience and having a small group of people in this initial event allowed us to understand how to handle the diverse requirements of people getting hold of the Raspi and will allow us going forward to manage a larger groups expectations.

Durham RaspberryJam 12.09.12

On Wednesday 12th September, Durham Johnstone school hosted the first Durham RaspberryJam event. Mark Thornber a teacher at the school has written a review of the evening here. They are planning to host the next one on Wednesday 14th November.

Mark was a little nervous about hosting the event in the first place. Mark says “A very informal event seemed to go smoothly.¬† We had about 45 in attendance at the peak with a wide variety of expertise and experience.¬†Lots of contacts were made and there were opportunities to experiment with some kit already set up and swap tips in between some (slightly) more formal presentations.”