Last Monday, Kieran, our lecturer for Multimedia Human Computer Interaction brought in a trolley packed full of monitors, keyboards and mice. Naturally I wondered where the computer was? Kieran told us that we would be using a very small computer, much like an arduino board called Raspberry Pi. This tiny little computer was fitted with an 8Gb SD card that served as it’s internal memory and had multiple USB ports for mice and keyboards, also featuring an output for a monitor. Once all this was set up, the ‘computer’ was ready to be turned on. After booting and installing the software on the SD card the computer loaded up a very simple GUI that give us a few options, one of which was to load up a more familiar user interface much like Windows or Mac. This was the option that we chose and after booting up thins interface we then opened up a program called Scratch which is a programming language that lets you manipulate graphics and text much like Flash. We experimented with a few of Scratches built in examples, changing different values to produce different results in small games. Once we had completed all of this we then dismantled the tiny computer and put away all of it’s different components.
Reflecting on the experience I feel that it was nice to use something that wasn’t Windows or Macintosh for a change. While the set up and boot of Raspberry Pi may have been simple, I can tell that it is a very powerful operating system and is capable of great things. It reminds me very much of Linux in the way that it uses X-line to initiate commands within the computer. Overall it was a very fun experience and offered a nice break from the usual tutorial session.