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It’s the holidays and MEDL received an early present. A CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit! Small as a deck of cards, this low-cost, high-performance, mini device demonstrates the dawning of a new technological age. Thanks to the folks at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, for $35, virtually anyone can now learn how to code and build a computer. As a QA tester this was my first introduction to the Pi. At first glance, I thought it was a modest DIY project; a motherboard, power supply, USB MircroSD card reader, and branded case, but when I saw the wide-eyed look on the team, I knew that it was something worthwhile.
What makes 8 million people go ga-ga for this gadget? It allows for any noob or novice to challenge expensive products and services on the market such as media centers, streaming services, computers, virtual home assistants, and gaming systems, with homemade Pi equivalents. For engineers, the sky’s is the limit. Literally. With weather balloons and the precise calculations, the Pi 3 can soar to great heights with astrophotography. Having explored outside the known box with the Raspberry Pi 1 and Pi 2; we decided to immediately retire them to the land of Sony Walkmans and Tamagotchis.
Producers, project managers, QA testers, designers, and of course…engineers united for an office-wide brainstorm where we channeled our inner mad scientists. How will we leverage the Pi 3’s enhanced configuration? We’re talking better graphics, faster CPU, newly introduced smartphone processor, WiFi and Bluetooth integration. Within 15 minutes, Geoff our Associate Creative Director and James, one of our engineers (aka our MEDL DJs ) had the room filled with bells, drums, and trance music galore as they transformed the Pi 3 into a programmable synthesizer. Putting our glow sticks aside, Julian, our lead QA tester (and classically trained gamer) spearheaded the second project. Coupled with a USB catalog brimming with hundreds of classic games and his homemade arcade stick, the Pi 3 became a rad, retro game emulator, allowing us 80s and 90s kids to delve back into the nostalgic world of Mario Brothers, Pac- Man and Mortal Kombat. Like the numeric value of Pi, we discovered the endless ways the Raspberry can transform.
With each project, our curiosity and passion have helped us stay at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. We love what we do! Maybe the next stop for the Pi at MEDL will be a Raspberry Pi Beet Box with percussion performing vegetables? Whatever it is, I’m grateful to call this dynamic team my family. Bring on the new year…HELLO FUTURE!