Talk on coding and practicePosted: January 22, 2015
Today one of our Field tutors, John Counsell spoke to us about the Raspberry Pi, what it can achieve and how we have the potential to program one ourselves.
The raspberry pi is a standalone computer system, which is roughly the size of a credit card, and the fraction of the price of a standard PC or laptop at around £30 each. These then need to be connected to a monitor and keyboard in order to set up and modify, but once set up can work independently as long as it is plugged into mains power or a battery pack. While the Raspberry Pi is in many ways limited and has vastly fewer functions and processing power to a standard PC, the benefit of it is that it can be extremely flexible it its function, as well as stacked with other raspberry pis to complete even more complex tasks. These tasks are generally completed through a series of inputs and outputs attached to the circuit board, however the challenge is in programming them to do what you want.
After much talking today about the importance of programming (although little to no practical guided teaching in the matter) I decided to have a go in my own time. I downloaded Python which is a programming software compatible with the raspberry pi, and is formatted in a “simple and easy to read code”. Having no prior experience with coding, I can’t say I entirely agree with the description of “simple”, but I am thankful that we’re not expected to deal with the most difficult version of programming language as I am finding this daunting enough. So I found a friendly looking guide online through the Python website which I proceeded to follow
Before you point it out, I know I spelt “Function” wrong a few times, but even when I spelt it correctly it didn’t seem to be doing what I wanted to. The only conclusion I can come to is perhaps this is due to the guide I was following is using Python version 3, and I am using Python version 2. I am currently downloading Python 3, and hopefully this will solve the problem, if not, then it’s going to be a long night.
Conclusion: Coding is hard.