Raspberry Pi: My new 4 quid computer

I'm a maker. Mostly textiles with recycled materials but I enjoy any opportunity to build something with my hands. I'm part of a community or 'makers club'. It's pretty broad; old school craftspeople, 3D print fabricators, silversmiths, coders, hackers and whittlers. David Hieatt, founder of Hiut Denim, describes what's so great about it, "It's a small club. But a good club... Everyone in it wants it to grow. that's why there's a culture of trying to help each other." Quoted article here.

This characteristic of the makers club allows you to keep trying new stuff, and work with other makers in the process. Which is why, despite having almost no hardware experience, buying Raspberry Pi's new Zero computer to open doors for a new project was a great idea.

Raspberry Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero was everywhere in the news on Thursday, and has already sold out! They have been blazing an amazing trail since 2006 building tiny and affordable computers for kids to learn making, programming and developing. "We want owning a truly personal computer to be normal for children, and we’re looking forward to what the future has in store." You can read their story on their website.

I haven't used kit like this before to make anything functional since high school. I've dismantled some before, but those were broken and being used for a drawing project.

Drawing of circuit boards from my degree show, 2008.

Drawing of circuit boards from my degree show, 2008.

I've also used hardware before in making textiles. You can see some examples of me making fabric with telecom cable on my website here.

When I saw the news breaking this week about Raspberry Pi's new 'Zero' computer for four quid, I couldn't resist. Raspberry Pi computer includes a MiniHDMI port, two MicroUSB ports and a processor at about 40 percent faster than the original full-size Pi. I've bagged myself one and set myself the challenge of making something, using materials I've never worked with before.

The almost limitless possibilities are arresting. Using Raspberry Pi computers some have already made; electronic drum kits, a 'Mini Mac', a live calendar, a tablet, a functioning R2D2 and a you know the talking toy phone from Toy Story 3? This guy built one.

So here I am. Writing this blog, excited as hell, to ask a fellow maker (that can be anyone by the way!) to talk with, bounce some ideas off of and make something. Got cool ideas for this Pi Zero? Lets talk.