Raspberry Pi 

The starting point for this project is the utterly astonishing Raspberry Pi server produced by the wonderful people at the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

From their own FAQ page...

What’s a Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.


Especially note the size (credit card), its power and the price ($25 - use the link on the left to learn more).

Now with all shiny and desirable tech objects like this there must be a million uses from a simple web enabled desktop device you can duct tape to the back of your TV to a complex, unattended control system for a telescope or as a device to allow kids to teach themselves about programming.

Amstrad CPC 6128

I grew up in an era when quite a few households had computers (those with teenagers anyway) but very few were IBM PC's. We are talking of the 8-bit era of the early to mid eighties when the mighty giants of Sinclair, Commodore, Acorn and many others held sway. Ah, nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Anyway, back to the present. I got given a dead Amstrad CPC 6128 (rescued from the landfill in effect). Now I never owned one of these before but I did once have a CPC 464 with its own green CRT screen and a tapedeck that decided - unilaterally - whether it's tape heads were aligned properly and I could load and run KWAH!

This is an ongoing task as the Pi hasn't even been produced yet (as of today 17/01/12 anyway). So I'm going to arrange the pages as discrete mini projects to address things like mapping the keyboard to a usb interface, modifying the case itself and installing linux and having a sutiable CPC emulator as well as the normal desktop features.



8:03 a.m., 29 Feb 2012
Well, I've got mine ordered. The mass DDOS attack on Farnell and RS components worldwide worked a treat but after only two hours I got through.

Later that day I got an order confirmation email with an estimated delivery of the w/c 12th March. Great! Or so I thought. After ringing up Farnell on the 5th March I was a little crushed to be told it would be more likely to be the end of April even though I'd "gotten my order in quite early". Oh well, as long as it does arrive.

13th April 2012
Still waiting. However, everybodies in the same oat so it's not too bad. In the hiatus I've been intrigued by all the DIY computers I've found that exist on the market. So much so, in fact, that I  impulse purchased a FIGnition. A very splendid 8 bit built-it-yourself computer with built in Forth. Now, I thought, I wonder if I can hook up the keyboard of the CPC to double up as the keyboard to this as well?  I don't know the dimensions but it looks like even smaller than the Pi. Could this be the words first multi hardware home computer case? I could simply flick a switch and swap between both systems. More investigation needed!

28th June 2012
Second Pi ordered from RS. I did this so I could actually play with the hardware GPIO. I've also stocked up on breadboards, jumpers, LEDs and resistors. Now to build myself a breakout board!

For more info see Curious Frog