I finally made it up to the cashier where I could pay for my legos. The guy ringing me up was about my age.
“Did you find some good pieces?” he asked, referring to the small bucket of various a la carte lego pieces I gave him to ring up.
“Oh yeah I did!” I said without a hint of sarcasm. I really did!
I was going to make a case for my Raspberry Pi, the $35 linux computer I purchased a few weeks back. It didn’t come with any cables, a power supply, a keyboard, a monitor, or even an operating system- it’s really a DIY kind of computer. A couple hours after UPS delivered the iphone-sized computer to my doorstep, I’d loaded Raspbian (a variant of the linux operating system Debian) on a 4gb SD card and booted up my Pi.
A few days later I was running tons of open-source/free software on my little tiny computer- a Dropbox-like software called OwnCloud, where you host your own data; a Delicious-like bookmarking site called Scuttle; A web-streaming music player called Subsonic that allows me to stream music from my Pi to my iphone; a simple PHP and jQuery-based todo list; and a bunch of fancy softwares like Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, and Python that make everything work.
I’ve learned a ton playing with this little computer. Although it does have HDMI out, I don’t use that much- I use the Pi through the command line, using SSH. Basically I can login to it from other computers and send it commands, like “hey pi, install this! thanks.”
I’ve learned how to backup files efficiently, which has come in handy when I botched my external hard drive… both times. A quick download later and all my old files were right where they used to be.
I’ve migrated a large amount of my “online stuff” to a server I control; not so much because I’m worried about big brother, but because I can. I like to make my own flies, my own synth patches, and I like to run my own webserver.
But of course the biggest bonus of owning a Raspberry Pi is you get to make a case out of legos!
As soon as we got home I emptied out my lego container all over the coffee table and got to work building the case. With expert assistance from my mechanical-engineer wife, I think it turned out pretty great.
I can’t think of a better place to store my important documents, internet bookmarks, to-do list and music library than inside a colorful assortment of Legos.