I mentioned earlier that I have a plan to build a Raspberry Pi project, and I’m often haunting sites with articles like What I’ve Learned From Tinkering With the Raspberry Pi for Five Years. I like LifeHacker as a site generally, although I can’t follow it completely — it’s like drinking from a firehose if I subscribe to its RSS feed. Back in March (14th, to be exact i.e. Pi Day — get it? 3.14?), they published the above linked article, and I loved it.
Before hobbyists latched onto the Raspberry Pi, it was a computer for learning how to code targeted mainly at kids. Since then, the appeal has broadened, but it’s still impossible for a project to “just work” out of the box. You will have to tweak something, dig into the command line, or spend a few hours buried in an obscure internet forum to find solutions to problems that only you seem to be having. You will slam your head against the wall, yell a little, and throw your Raspberry Pi at least once for every project you attempt to make.
In just about every other hobby, that would be a buzzkill for me from the word go. I feel that way every time I have to assemble Ikea furniture or build a shelving unit in my garage. It’s not something I have a knack for (home repair), but as a project for a hobby that lets me build my only little computer? I’m willing to give it a go.
I suspect I saved the article mostly because it talks about his experience building a retro game console, which is part of my desire. But it’s a good metaphor for why I want to do a project at all — troubleshooting, a little bit of gaming, and maybe some Linux. Following the path of those who have gone before.