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Ruby, raspberries and real-world recreations

updated over 7 years ago; latest suggestion over 7 years ago

The Raspberry PI is a $40 arm/linux computer which... can run ruby and has a useful GPIO breakout that allows it to easily connect to the real world of resistors, capacitors and other electronics.

So, we can use it as a useful, cheap internet hub for sensors, readouts, and other hardware hackery. And, we can run ruby on it.

Hopefully, this talk will inspire and empower you to get hold of a PI, install ruby and start making things blink, beep and squeal in the real world.

Maybe you'd like to build your own Little Printer-like, or get the temperature in your greenhouse uploaded to 'the internet', make your own weather station, monitor your household electricity use. Maybe you just want a big wireless upgrade-and-deploy-rails button for those pesky rails security panics. I'll give you some clues as to how to proceed here.

I'll be talking about making fun electronics for toddlers, a little bit about 'making' as a moral imperative and some war stories about the various electronics gizmos that I've managed to set on fire, explode or otherwise incapacitate; lego mindstorms and light dependent resistors, building killer robots, defeating said killer robot with ruby DSLs, etc.

I'm not an expert in this stuff by any means, but I think that's probably an advantage since I won't assume too much or talk about complicated electron-thingy stuff. I'm sure there will be people in the audience who'll pick me up if I accidentally suggest something that's likely to burn your house down.


  • Be3698f145a80c1230fd667c87d0f0c8 Tom Stuart suggests over 7 years ago

    As I’ve said in other proposals, I find live demos a bit stressful as an audience member because of the risk that something’ll go wrong and cause timewasting/embarrassment.

    As you say, the thing’s pretty tiny, so if you did anything live it would need to be projected on the big screen to be useful anyway. Why not do some “live demos” in the comfort of your home and show us the video?

  • The proposal author responds over 7 years ago

    I deliberately didn't mention live demos because I thought it might be difficult to do a compelling demo of this stuff to a big audience - these things are pretty small and fiddly.

    I'll give it some thought though, any ideas really appreciated.

  • 119cb52ad847056b618b6ec1196f8411 Steve Tooke suggests over 7 years ago

    I'm very interested in this, sounds like lots of fun.

    Will you have some 'live' demos?