On day 2, I realized that I can put Linux on the raspbpi and get a computer that looks kind of like Windows when I connect to the TV. All I had to do was format a memory card (right click it and then click “format), download a version of Linux (I used Wheezy), and then burn the image onto the memory card using a program called win32diskimager (also free online). It took me a while to figure out, but when I turn on the raspbpi and it goes into non-graphical Linux, I type “startx” to get into the graphical Linux. Now, I can play games, get on the internet, program python using the mouse and keyboard instead of typing commands.
Then, I went online and downloaded an emulator that would let me play old Atari games. I played reversi, moon patrol, pacman, and baseball. The graphics were really cheesy compared to my wii, but it was fun to do. I used an emulator called Stella. As part of this, I learned about a unix command called apt-get. To install Stella, I just connected the raspbpi to the internet and typed “sudo apt–get install stella”.
After a while, the graphical Linux stopped working. Startx just didn’t do anything anymore, so I had to format the memory card again and again and again and reinstall Linux before it would work. It’s working ok now, but vi doesn’t work on this memory card. I don’t know why. I’ll just put my uncle’s memory card back in if I need vi.
I copied a program from someone online called adafruit that lights up an LED when a gmail comes in. It didn’t work when I typed it exactly like hers, but my dad and I figured out how to fix it (we removed the first line and the exclamation mark at the end and fixed some of the indentations). We tried to change the program so that it would do different number of lights the more emails that came in, but we couldn’t figure it out. Tomorrow, I’m going to the library to get a Python book.
Today, I also played with a program called “Scratch” a little bit. It’s supposed to teach kids how to program computers by dragging commands instead of typing them. You can program a cat to move around the screen and things like that. Pretty fun, but I want to learn Python. Here’s a video that shows more about Scratch:
Here’s a link to adafruit’s page about the gmail notifier project: http://learn.adafruit.com/raspberry-pi-e-mail-notifier-using-leds/overview