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Owning a Raspberry Pi

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I’ve gone through about three topic ideas. This is the last time I am changing my mind. When I get tired, I lose the energy to think of great topics. This is my blog. Sometimes I’ll write posts on a whim because I want to keep writing. I just thought that buying a Raspberry Pi may be one of the best investments I’ve made this year. I feel good about this because I was initially hesitant to purchase a Pi. If I had not have went through with the decision, I’d have not been able to build some of the projects I have worked on over the last few weeks.

The Raspberry Pi is a maker’s dream. I have played around with Raspberry Pis for years. Back maybe four or five years ago, a friend showed me this computer they had at their house. It was unlike any other computer I had seen. It came in a case. The case was really small. I could see the actual computer. The motherboard was exposed. What drew me in was not the aesthetics of the computer. It was the desktop.

I can’t remember the first moment I was exposed to Linux. I do remember looking at my friend’s desktop and thinking to myself “this looks cool.” As is so often the case, coolness drove my interest in the Raspberry Pi. My friend had their Pi configured to play retro games. That was somewhat cool. I was much more interested in the programs that could be built. Minecraft Pi was intriguing. I could interact with a virtual world using code.

I tinkered with the Raspberry Pi in many ways. I set up my first Pi as an alternative computer. I did some programming. I played around with Minecraft Pi and Sonic Pi. Then, at some point, I stopped. I guess I found other things to do. I’m not sure why I stopped playing with my Pis but I did. It was clear that I had lost interest some time ago because when I tried to boot up my old Pis earlier this year, none of them would work. Whether or not the issue was to do with an SD card is unclear, but I expect the way in which they were stored (without being cleaned) did not help.

I purchased a new Raspberry Pi earlier this year. It sat in a drawer for months. I felt somewhat guilty about leaving a computer in my drawer. I knew there was potential. I was not sure what to build. I only like working on projects when I come up with the idea myself. This puts me under pressure at times because I feel like I need to be working on something. I’m presently trying to work my way through this tendency.

It was during last week’s Homebrew Website Club (HWC) meeting that I got an urge to use my Pi again. I’d turned it on a few times. I had configured the operating system. I was not hosting any significant projects on my Pi. I heard about people who were self-hosting their websites and personal infrastructure and my curiosity was piqued. The Pi is so powerful. I just needed to figure out how to use it effectively.

In the time since the HWC meeting, I have experimented with my Pi to various degrees. I built a simple weather station that uses my old Sense HAT to monitor the temperature and environment in my room. I built a program that changes the colors of my Sense HAT when I receive a webmention. I may document this project at some point. I’ve been busy with life. I feel good about what I have worked on.

I am unsure what I will build next. I’ve scratched all of my itches for now. I do know that I’m going to keep building with my Raspberry Pi. The device is very powerful. I have learned that while the initial setup can be time consuming it is worth the investment. My concerns about the heat of a Raspberry Pi 4 have not come to fruition. Nonetheless, I have ordered a heat sink for my Pi. As I write this post, my Pi is sitting on my desk. The Pi is plugged in but I have not turned it on. It is just waiting to be used again.

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