NEW GLASGOW – Bruce Fleming doesn't mind the term ‘computer geek.’
In fact, he wants to help others cultivate their inner nerdiness.
The New Glasgow resident, along with his friend Anthony Nelson, started the Raspberry Pi User Group back in November. They hold monthly meetings at New Glasgow Library’s community room.
A Raspberry Pi is a small computer that can help people in group settings learn about computer programming and how to work with electronics.
“It is literally the size of a credit card,” Fleming says.
“It’s a pretty small group – Raspberry Pi is not particularly well-known.”
Its portability and relative power are drawing cards for the Raspberry Pi, now on its third edition.
“Computer programming is the first thing you think of when you think of Raspberry Pis,” Fleming says, “but people who have them are also learning to use electronics. And by that I mean, developing their own electronics.”
They are also inexpensive, which is obviously another plus.
“That is about $50,” Fleming says, before motioning to a laptop computer has set up on a table. “And that is $700.”
The group is meant for people eyeing a career in computer programming, or those who want to approach it as a serious hobby.
“It's a small computer that can allow people to make any kind of project they can think of that involves electronics,” Fleming says.
The Raspberry Pi was developed in the United Kingdom to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. Their low cost allowed them to be mass-produced, enabling schools in the UK to put them in their classrooms at a much more affordable rate.
“I would say that the Raspberry Pi is not in high use in Pictou County. It could definitely stand to be more publicized in schools,” Fleming says. “Whether or not it is used in groups or by individuals is not too important, but it is fun to get together to see what others are doing.”