Playing with the Raspberry Pi - Part 1

For Christmas, I got a Raspberry Pi. This is a $35 computer that you can do all kinds of interesting things with. I'm just starting to explore the device. Here some of the things I've done, or am thinking about doing:

To start off, I bought four different 8 Gig SD cards so I could put different builds on each card. The first card is currently running Wheezy (the default Linux distribution). It is great to get a feel for the machine. I've added Pianobar and use it as a Pandora Box. I haven't started adding much else yet.

I've been downloading distributions and then installing them using the RPi Easy SD Card Setup. Yes, it is very easy to set up cards this way. The one downside is that you end up using small partitions, depending on the image you start with and whether or not there is any automatic repartitioning.

The second card has OpenELEC. A very nice XBMC distribution. I've used it as my media center, similar to how I use my Roku. Very simple. Works great. A little slow at times.

As I was loading pictures off a camera today, and it struck me that I could probably load OpenElec on an SD card in a camera. Then, when I popped the card out of the camera and into the RPi, I could view the pictures. So, I loaded OpenELEC on a 16 Gig card I have for one of my cameras. Sure enough, the pictures are then viewable in XBMC. The video, which my camera saved in .MOV format, however, did not play, although I could hear the sound. The bigger issue, was that it created an initial partition of 125Meg. I haven't found a nice way of resizing. I'll save that for another day.

However, a better approach may be to use Raspbian. That would allow me to install XBMC as well as GIMP so I could take a card out of the camera, load it in the Raspberry Pi edit the pictures, view them on XBMC or share them via Raspbian to social networks.

I also want to play with other operating systems on the RPi. I have a Nokia N900 and I'd love to get some of the development from that community on the RPi. There are instructions for loading Mer on the Raspberry, which provides a good framework for exploring Tizen as well. Likewise, I'm interested in Android on Rpi, and when Ubuntu mobile comes along, that as well.

I like virtual worlds, so I'm wondering if I can get OpenSim running on an RPi, perhaps even with a viewer loaded as a great game machine. Or, since Scratch seems to be working, can I get Croquet or Open Cobalt running.

I also read about a project to Build Your Own Google Glass-Style Wearable Computer. I started looking around and found a promising looking head mounted display, the Vuzix Corp. Wrap 920. It looks like it should connect easily to the Raspberry. For even more fun, it should be possible to connect the The PEREGRINE Wearable Interface - Medium Glove. This would make a great gaming set up.

A possible related project includes AR, Kinect, Head mounted display project which has led me to OpenKinect

So many great projects possible!

(Categories: )