So, what’s it like in practice? I had a chance to play with the Debian “squeeze” distribution – the official Fedora based image was not yet available. Getting the image written onto an SD card (I recommend 4 GB min as the default image leaves not a lot of empty space to install new software on a 2 GB card) was simple enough following these instructions. I decided that it would be fun to try to get my Neural Network controlled RC car working on Raspberry Pi. The Rasp Pi team are working on an add on “Gertboard” for I/O but since those aren’t available yet and the device already has USB ports, connecting an Arduino UNO board should work great, right? Well, yes, but the debian image doesn’t come with kernel driver support or prebuilt modules for the usb/serial interface Arduino uses. It took quite a bit of digging to find all the info I needed to build these myself, but I’ve made prebuilt modules available at the end of this post if you’d like to repeat this yourself.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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