Things to do with your Raspberry Pi

If you were a good boy or girl this year (like me), you may have been lucky enough to get a Raspberry Pi under the Christmas tree. Which is awesome, but (like me) you may be wondering what on earth you’re going to do with it!

Raspberry Pi in a PiBow case

My new Raspberry Pi, in a PiBow case

The choices are limited only by your imagination, but as per usual – the more choice you have, the harder it is to choose! I’m still deciding what to do with mine, but here are a few links which might inspire you:

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Plans for Next Year

The last few days have seen me thinking about some of the things I want to do next year. Not so much New Years’ Resolutions as much as a kind of master “to-do” list.

Travel Somewhere New

Even if it’s not very far away, or for more than a long weekend, I hope to see somewhere new next year. Ideal places would be New York, Paris or Florence/Rome, but I suspect I’m more likely going to have to stick to somewhere in the UK.

Start Writing A Book

I’ve put off starting any of the novels I’ve had bouncing around in my head for years. That needs to stop. There’s nothing really stopping me, really, other than procrastination. With it being so easy to self-publish now (especially as an eBook), there’s no longer any real reason for me not to.

Release More Projects

I used to write and release a lot of code; the first XML-RPC interface for Textpattern was mine; plugins and themes for various blogging and CMS systems; CSS/HTML experiments… and then, at some point, for some reason I stopped. Hopefully I can turn this around again.

Model and Paint At Least One (small) Warhammer 40,000 Collection

Yeah, this is the nerdiest item on the list. Before starting university I had a huge W40K collection which I was quite proud of. Then Girls and Booze got in the way (oh, and some studying too), and I stopped the hobby. I’ve kind of kept in touch with things over the years since; the Dawn of War series of games provided some connection, while the Horus Heresy series of books fleshed out what was always my favourite part of the hobby: the background “fluff”. I picked up a couple of the new codex books this year, along with the latest rulebook – not that I plan on playing any games – and I’ve been inspired by several things over the last few months such as Armies on Parade and some of the cool stuff available from Forge World. So my plan is to build at least one small, well modeled and painted collection in a similar style to AoP. After a 12 year break, how hard could it be??

Miscellaneous

Other plans include the usual suspects of [continue to] lose weight/get fit, and be smarter with money. I’m thinking of getting a couple more tattoos as well…

So what’s everyone else got planned for 2012?

The Five Megabyte Web Developer | Benjamin Atkin

The Five Megabyte Web Developer | Benjamin Atkin.

An interesting perspective on Heroku. As regular readers will have guessed, I recently started using Heroku for small experiments. So far I love it for being a low-friction way to try out something, and how I have the potential to quickly, easily, and relative cheaply scale any of these experiments which become popular. The article above did point out some limitations which I wasn’t clear on before, and which I’ll bear in mind. I wrote something similar in a comment to this blog post, this morning, but at the time of writing my comment is still awaiting moderation.

Like the author above, I looked into getting a VPS to have a “place of my own” to house such little projects, but ultimately decided against it. While it may offer you more control over configuration, resources, and fixed costs, ultimately you’re paying (or have paid) for the server even when you’re not using it. If you have several projects which all get regular traffic, then yes, it’s probably worth getting a VPS. But if you’re just testing the waters with a small idea every once in a while then I think it’s best to take advantage of platoforms like Heroku, App Harbor, PHP Fog, etc.

Ideas

What do you do with all the ideas you come up with but for one reason or another are unable to follow through on? I’m thinking along the lines of those projects we all like to fill our time with – in my case it’s usually programming/computer related. It could be a lack of time, resource, or ability – it doesn’t matter; we all have ideas for projects which we think would be great but never take-off. Continue reading