I have been traveling about the Faire catching what talks and panels I can that I think will offer useful tips and tricks for the Adafruit community. Right after the Ebon Upton‘s Make: Live talk, I stumbled on this Raspberry Pi 101 in the MakerShed, taught by O’Reilly author and editor Shawn Wallace.
He shared a few protips I appreciated, including using the Chicken of the VNC app to connect via VNC into his Raspberry Pi. That way, he can patch his Raspberry Pi via ethernet to his macbook pro (creating a local network), making his laptop’s monitor, keyboard, and trackpad available to the Pi so that he can do work on it out in the field without additional outboard gear. (There are solid Linux and PC VNC and RDP tools as well for those not able to use Chicken of the VNC, mac only.)
Other things to watch for: check to make sure you take the effort to get a compatible sd card and keyboard/mouse, as you can damage your Pi. Also, as the Pi is more physically fragile than an Arduino — given the density of its layers of routing and sensitive components — getting a case is a good idea for decoration for more than decoration. (Might I suggest our lovely and functional Pibows?)
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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, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, 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.