First…Err, Second Flight
January 30, 2014
Spring has sprung. Birds are singing. Clearly, winter is over and I’m ready to start grilling burgers outside again.
Err, actually, maybe it’s not time for all of that spring-talk, yet. However, according to RIT and many other institutions of higher learning, it is indeed spring. The Spring Semester at RIT began this past Monday, and with it a class that has never been taught here before. The Advanced FOSS class is a spiritual successor (of sorts) to the Humanitarian FOSS class I experienced last semester. Both classes involve a meshing of programming and philosophy. Less important than the actual code (though that is important), is the reasoning behind the choices we make as software developers. In this new course, more emphasis will be placed on the code, however.
The class involves several small “hacks” or mini-projects to exploit the functionality of the slick little Raspberry Pi. The device is a low-powered, bare-metal computer which runs a specialized version of Debian Linux. Thanks to its cheap cost, abundance of connectivity options, and size, it is easily applied to many different situations. It can be used as an HTPC for viewing all your media. It can act as a home file-server, perhaps in-tandem with another acting as an HTPC. There are many other things that can be done. The aim of this course is to create or improve upon those things. It’s gonna be good!