Raspberry Pi Projects

Andrew Robinson & Mike Cook

Published by

Wiley

ISBN

978-1-118-55543-9

RRP

£14.99

Reviewed by

Danny Williams MBCS CITP

Score

8 out of 10

I’ve been looking for a reason to buy a Raspberry Pi for ages but wasn’t entirely sure what I’d do with it. So I jumped at the opportunity to review this book and immediately placed an order for a Raspberry Pi kit - including preloaded SD card, case and power supply.

I have a decent Unix and Linux background, which gave me some confidence with the platform. However, as I’m not a programmer I knew I’d be hacking my way through the book rather than producing any elegant code!

The first project was to write an insult generator in Python. I’d never used this language before so fortunately the authors introduce you to it gently. You build the program in stages, learning new concepts step by step, with code snippets provided as you progress. As well as introducing you to Python they also help you understand the IDLE programming environment.

If you just want to learn to program then you don’t need a Raspberry Pi - although it is certainly a low-cost entry point. So with enthusiasm I skipped forward to the hardware projects. Many of the projects require a PiFace board, which I had not purchased.

So I decided to create a webcam motion detector. Fortunately I had a webcam that worked out of the box with the Pi so I embarked on my first home security project. In a matter of hours I was receiving an email any time somebody came to my front door, with their picture attached.

This project inspired me to go further, and I was soon uploading videos of the visitor to a private cloud storage area, and receiving a link to the video by email. A while later I had installed Node-RED and was receiving a tweet with a photo every time someone appeared at my house. It just took some very simple wiring together of my Pi, motion detection software, Dropbox and Twitter and a little Javascript hacking.

The Raspberry Pi was created to inspire kids to experiment with computers. Sometimes people don’t know where to start. This book provides a great entry into the world of the Raspberry Pi. It has a wide range of different projects - something for everyone. If you’re considering buying a Pi for yourself or someone else then you might want to consider buying this book to go with it.

Further information: Wiley

September 2014