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April 2017 Talk

Saturday 15th April, 1pm to 6pm at Broad Oak Social Club

Raspberry Pi Fest at the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Linux User Group meeting on Saturday 15 April 2017, Easter Saturday.

Short notes by Lisi Reisz

We had a lively and enjoyable session. Four people demonstrated various projects on various Pi's.

Ian Bowden had travelled from Richmond, Surrey with a complete Raspberry Pi repair toolkit, and repaired Chris Aubrey-Smith's broken SD card holder. It was fascinating to watch anything so small being removed, by melting and cleaning up solder; and then being replaced: even though I personally practically had to put my nose in the solder to see it all!

Ian also showed us a TimePeace clock for dementia, powered by a Raspberry Pi, that he had made for his late mother, to remind her of the time, day, date, her name and location etc. It was someone else's design, so he did not claim credit, but he showed us how it could be programmed to suit the individual for whom it was intended.

In addition Ian showed us a Raspberry Pi powered system, designed and made by him, that is installed on Teddington Lock to catch and protect elvers (baby eels) as they travel up stream though the lock.

Chris Aubrey-Smith was the repairee in the above “case”. The SD card holder on his early model Pi is now fully functional again.

Chris also showed us his completed all-in-one general purpose computer, assembled from a Raspberry Pi mounted on the back of a small second hand television, with HDMI input. This - HDMI - is apparently rare!

Chris tells me further: “The brand name is 'Luxor', but I've seen a near-identical example with a different brand name. A label tells me that it was supplied by Asda in Leeds. I think I gave them £20; I seem to remember giving them a bit more than they were asking. Yesterday I installed it on my bed-side table, where it serves as TV or computer at the press of a button.... (I doubt that it will stay there as it's too useful as a portable, general-purpose display for Pi experiments.)”

Peter Rose showed us his RuneAudio music system. It produced an impressive noise with a Raspberry Pi with a Cirrus Logic Audio Card connected to a Gear4 docking station, with the aid of a small (dimensions – not capacity) hard drive containing the music data files.. It was hard to believe that something so small could produce so impressive a sound.

Peter had brought two Raspberry Pi's, one working, one broken. As tends to be the way on these occasions, when the working one resolutely refused to work, Peter connected up the broken one and it worked perfectly!

The Pi that Peter believed to be working arrived in quite the most appealing little wooden case that I have seen for a Pi. It was basically held together and ventilated by its own tension.

John Spragg demonstrated his MAGIC MIRROR.

It gave information on the time, and on the weather, which I could see being very useful while trying to decide what to wear in the morning. But I was slighly bemused by the other messages it was giving out. Do I really want to be addressed as “Hey! Sexy!” first thing in the morning – or ever????

Jon had also brought his impressive “Lego box”, with a Pi inside it.. In addition, clearly, to being able to be stacked one on top of the other, the “Lego” boards on the top (convex) and bottom (concave) looked as though they would click correctly into genuine Lego. For ventilation between stacked Pi's? For feet? For some kind of decoration? I felt deprived of any Lego to test it out!

Finally, Aidan Cole gave us a very interesting talk on sshfs.

The slides are available here.

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