Ipswich Raspberry Jam

As I’m from that part of the world originally, I thought I’d make a journey over to the inaugural raspberry jam taking place in Ipswich library.  I had noticed that the programme still listed 2 slots as ‘TBA’ so I contacted the organisers offering to do a talk about using the Pi Camera for beginners.  Andy Proctor came back to me and said I should contact Jim Darby as he had mentioned something similar.  Following some really great email conversations with Jim, we said we’d put our heads together.

So Saturday morning arrives and I throw together a suitcase of lovely Pi toys and my Pi Camera rig and set off to the jam.  92 miles later (:-o) I am parked outside Ipswich football ground, at Portman Road car park, the only car park around which offered more than 3 hours parking.  Something told me that I needed more than 3 hours at this event, and how true it was!  Trundling for 15 minutes through the streets of Ipswich, with my travel case, I just had time to sign in and find my ‘pitch’ when Clive Beale started his talk.

Having set up my toy table, I think I was then enthusing for a good hour and a half about the kind of things the Raspberry Pi is good at and showing some of the ways people could get started with a Raspberry Pi.  Needless to say my slow-mo videos of a chip pan fire being extinguished with water, a bottle of alcohol burning, exploding icing sugar creating a six foot ring of fire proved popular!  I was really pleased with the amusement created at my Yoda/Lego/Cress time-lapse video.

Other head-turners were the Piano Hat from Pimoroni and the Pi Camera Robot from Dawn Robotics.  People also liked the attachment that I had to suspend my Pi Camera above my Pi.  It is called the Scorpi and is made by Grasping Hand.  It makes positioning the Pi Camera soooooo much easier and is available for Pi B as well as B+/Pi 2 formats.  It works a bit like a Sat Nav holder-arm and can quickly be bent into whatever position you need.

It was good to meet people in the morning session who had rocked up not possessing a Raspberry Pi, but having heard how good it was and wanted to learn more, all the way through to some people who had got one turned on a few times but wanted to get serious about actually doing something constructive with their Pi.  I think it was a stroke of genius of the organisers to split the day in the way that they did.  I know that if I was setting out on the Pi journey again, I would be anxious about coming along to an event where everyone seemed to know so much more than me.  Well done to the planning team.

It was also great to do a bit of networking too.  I was so pleased to have caught up briefly with Andy Proctor who had been so busy, but saw me heading off but still made a point of seeing me to thank me for making the long-haul over to Ipswich, James Hargrave (who said to me, “What we need is a copy of you in every school.”  That’s praise indeed from the head of Suffolk Libraries IT :-)) It was also so great to spend some time with Jason Alexander who I have known for quite a few years.  I’m looking forward to doing more with him in the near future.  It was great to put a face to the name, when I met Jim Darby.  Only one disappointment, as yet again I managed to miss my chance to meet Clive Beale, as he disappeared whilst I was ‘mid-enthuse.’  At least I know he was off to do something mega!

Thanks again to all the organisers for a wonderful first Jam.

Links to Photos

I got so busy, not even finding time to get a drink or eat anything for 4 hours, I forgot to take any photos, but thanks to the wonders of twitter, I have found some with my stuff on show, or me lurking in the background!

Lurking in the background

The point I realised that my Pi-TFT 2.8″ screen did not survive the journey intact Photo 3 😦

Ah-ha! my table of goodies

My time-lapse of cress growing (with a little help from Yoda and a lego duck)


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