How well do Mathematica examples run on the RPi?
Wolfram Research is pushing for the increased use of their software on the RPi, and recently published a space-themed blog entry at Rasbperrypi.org. The format of the post is very similar to ones on their own blog: long and full of code snippets that result in some visually appealing output. Personally, I don't know many people who find the Wolfram Language straightforward and easy-to-read, and as a proponent of using the language in education, I fear that these posts are meant more for advertising than for instructing. Therefore, I decided it might be worthwhile to work through one of the blog posts, on a Raspberry Pi, to see if the functionality described is really possible on this platform, and to tease out some elements of the post that can serve as teachable moments. For this experiment, I'm using an RPi v2 with the February 3, 2015 build of Mathematica.
So I bought a 3D printer kit from MakerFarm a few weeks ago. It got shipped to my apartment while I was on vacation, so I spent the last week[^not really] putting it together. It's a Prussa i3v with 8" bed and a 0.4 mm hexagon hot end that should be capable of extruding some interesting filaments.
Back in the day when we didn't have mobile devices to occupy our time on the trip to our family vacation destination, we had to entertain ourselves with pen and paper. I liked Mad Libs back then, and have recently been thinking about how we can use the same idea to teach kids about science projects.
I frequently use public transportation, and one of my pet peeves is leaving my apartment, turning the corner and noticing that the bus I want to take is just leaving the stop. The bus company recently started real-time tracking of their buses, so if I remember to check the website, I'll be more prepared. Since that if often becomes an unlikely, I needed a less user-interactive solution. Enter the Raspberry Pi, an Adafruit LCD Plate and a little bit of web crawling with Python.
I'm interested in determining some of the specifications of my home-made digital microscope. I got a hold of a microscope reference slide and thought that I'd use a little bit of Mathematica to learn something about my instrument.
I published this article on the Wolfram Community site a while back since I was running in to problems with publishing here. I've since fixed those issues (with the help of a new Markdown editor) so I've reposted the article here just for fun - and to try out the new Markdown editor.
There are a number of websites out there that take advantage of the lens of a low-end laser pointer, using it as a macro lens for phone cameras and such. None that I found, however, mentioned that the lens is just the right size to fit inside a Lego...
I wanted to see if it would be possible to create a makeshift remote sensing device using Wolfram on the Raspberry Pi. Toss in VNC and some earlier code that I've written and here's what I came up with.
In part 2 of this series, I demonstrated the basic use of custom defined characters. Now I want to exploit the custom characters to make a fully customized display. It isn't going to be easy because we've got 8 custom characters and 32 character spaces to fill. In the end, we see the limitations of this setup (or more precisely, the limitations of me writing the code for this setup), but hopefully end up with some useful tools.
I've been having some problems configuring the optimal fan speeds on my computer. Part of the issue is that I have no way of seeing temperature changes while I'm using full-screen applications. A little help from Wolfram, a Raspberry Pi and Adafruit's LCDPiPlate got me the information I needed.
The Raspberry Pi (model B) has only 2 USB ports, which makes connecting a mouse, keyboard and WiFi dongle challenging. In the end, many folks go for the powered USB hub solution, but I find that there are times I want to slim down the wires and components that I'm carrying, and I'm always carrying my iPod touch, so why not take advantage of that?
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