I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m a serial hobbyist. There are some hobbies I’ll try for awhile and then abandon, but there are others that stick around for years. Some are likely to remain in my life for the remainder of it.
Coding is a former hobby. We’re talking early years here. When I was about 10 years old, I learned a bit of BASIC programming and used to spend hours typing out pre-packaged programs into my Coleco ADAM (yes, really), playing with them, tweaking them and then, eventually, turning off the system and coming back another day to do it all over again. Y’see, the ADAM didn’t exactly have an easy way to store such data, so whenever I wanted to try my hand at coding, I was starting from a blank screen.
In high school, I learned a bit more BASIC before being introduced to the Turing programming language, which I dabbled in even after I dropped computer science class following Grade 11. I even remember tutoring a non-geeky friend who had to learn Turing as part of a university business program a few years later. That’s when I was an early twentysomething; and it was the last time I did any programming.
That’s a bit of a rambling intro to what I’m beginning to do now. Ever since February, when I became editor of FierceDevOps (subscribe, please!), I’ve been wondering about some of the rapid application development (RAD) tools available. And more and more, I see press releases in my inbox about coding for non-coders. Some of the tools have apparently become so simple that people with even less coding experience than me can create business applications.
I’ve been toying with the idea of playing with RAD tools, but the idea of learning to code a bit has also crossed my mind. And then, somewhere along the way, I learned about Raspberry Pi, the lightweight and affordable computer originally created to provide students with a chance to learn coding (of Python, really).
A starter kit got ordered and arrived last week (that’s it in the picture). The original purchasing intent was to create a multimedia centre of sorts to watch videos, but as I’m reading more and more, I suspect that may only be the start.
My RPi isn’t up and running yet. I’m doing some reading first, but I’ll soon be tinkering. I’m now reading Eben Upton’s and Gareth Halfacree’s Raspberry Pi User Guide and beginning to (virtually) leaf through The MagPi.
Got any suggestions for me? Please, comment below or drop me a line.