The little thingy in the black circle is the whole computer!


For over 30 years this section of my desk had one or another Apple computer sitting on it. I bought my first Apple, an Apple II+ computer in 1979. Later I replaced it with an Apple II GS, a machine I upgraded, changed modified and used for many years. Somewhere in the 80s I replaced it with a Macintosh II followed by later models over the years. The last Mac to sit here was a Mac mini.


So! Where that over $400 minimac used it sit I have a $40 Raspberrypi Linux computer now.


Late last year my quarter century plus love affair with Apple started to sour and I began a transition from Mac OS systems in to the Linux world. Yesterday I moved my last Mac off in to a corner to gather dust. I'm doing most of my work on a Dell inspiron 660s, from which I deleted the Windows 8 operating system and replaced it with Ubuntu linux.


So! Why am I giving the Raspberrypi center stage here?


Back when I started playing with my Apple II GS, after the first Macintosh came out, I'd often end up explaining to folks the differences between the Apple II, Mac and MS DOS environments:


The DOS (windows) world was the place to be if you wanted specific programs, Word, Excell, etc.


The Mac system was an office in a box, very intuitive; Where are your files? -Behind that little icon that looks like a filing cabinet, you wanna get rid of something, throw it in the trash basket icon.


Now the Apple IIs had built in Basic, a verbose but powerful programming language, with that you could make the machine do just about anything you want! I did/do my own income taxes, for example. Before I had the Apple II , it would usually be close to the 15 April deadline before I had all my financial data sorted, tabulated and entered on the tax forms. Then I wrote my 1st finance program, in Basic and that year everything was ready to send to the IRS in February.


I like playing with numbers. I, due to job requirements, spent many many hours sitting in airports waiting for flights. To pass the time I'd calculated that my phone number consists of 3 prime numbers (numbers evenly divisible only by themselves and 1) but... I wasn't sure if I'd made any mistakes in my calculations. So I wrote a simple Basic program, only a few lines of code, and let my Apple II check my calculations (I found yes I could express my phone number as 3 primes multiplied!), it took a number of hours to work it out, but I could do other things while it was chugging away.


Now after that long winded explanation, that's why the Raspberrypi is there on center stage, it's really a fun toy designed for kids (of all ages) where you can jump behind the pretty shell and enjoy the fun of programming it to do whatever you want! :-)