Building Our $35 Raspberry Pi Computer

Raspberry Pi computer being assembled.

Raspberry Pi computer being assembled.

The quest continues…

A week ago, we purchased our Raspberry Pi computer, a $35 computer targeted at kids. We bought it for my daughter, who’d expressed interest in making her own video games.

The official Raspberry Pi store was sold out of these affordable little computers. I hunted around and found sellers on eBay offering them for $47. My daughter was excited to spend $35 of her own money to buy her own computer. I bit the bullet and paid the extra $12 to get the Pi.

Then the fun begins. It comes in a package with no cords, hard drive, or instructions. You get the manual as a PDF at the Raspberry Pi website.  Easy enough.

If you’re like me, you also discover that you don’t have all the cables you need. So instead of plugging it in and booting up, I had to order some cables and adapters. It wasn’t very expensive, but it did sort of strip away the mystique of a $35 computer. No biggie, I had most of the things I needed, including a cellphone charger (for the power source) and an SD card (for the hard drive). Continue reading

Dad’s Tech Quest – Introduction

TechQuest LogoWhen my kids were born, I decided that they would have access to technology. Real tech, not just games.

So before they could speak, their hands were slapping and clacking on the keyboard. This isn’t so unusual these days, as many modern American families have access to similar technology.

But I wanted to go one step further.

I believe my career in technology is due primarily to my early exposure to computers. My high school exposed us early in the 1980s to simple programming using the Commodore 64, a machine that was a gateway for thousands of tech-curious minds.

Then, in a move that would prove formative, my father bought me a used Apple IIc computer. It was a basic machine, but it was mine. I could tinker and explore at home, rather than in a computer lab. I used it primarily as a word processor, but it gave me the confidence to use technology as a tool.

And, like many before me, I was completely and utterly blown away the first time I saw my first classic Macintosh computer. Unlike many of my fellow students who walked past, I couldn’t wait to put my hands on it. Continue reading