A Raspberry Pi Christmas

Gray foggy, damp and weirdly warm in Chicago this morning. Christmas coming. The rushing of lesser angels stops cold for a stolen moment and you start missing past times and people you can see, text, email or call up on the phone. Which makes me remember Raspberry Pi.

The idea behind Raspberry Pi is to put the power of computing into everyone’s hands. Literally everyone. In the whole world. This is more like a movement than a foundation and business. Look at their web pages and you’ll see stories and plans like “putting a computer in every school in England.” A proposition which, you figure, would mean that the computers would have to go for around $35 apiece. And they do.

The Raspberry Pi call to action is “teach, learn, make.” There is an old management development cliché that goes “think outside the box.” At Raspberry Pi the more relevant directive would be “Forget the box.”

What I know about Raspberry Pi, and I know relatively little, came from my Dad. And I have no doubt that he knew a lot. With a world class engineering analytical mind recognized at the highest levels of Wall Street, and a heart the size of Lake Michigan, my Dad probably knew as much about the ins and outs of Raspberry Pi than the folks who founded and ran the company. And in the talks with my Dad, just before he passed, he would share his excitement about this computing for everyone idea. Shared it so well that I still get excited thinking about it even though its been years since we talked.

Years since we talked. But it was only last week that I was taking the elevator up to the floor I work on – where a whole lot of engineering goes on. Looking at the advertisement, news and sports scores on the video screen above the elevator buttons. And it flashed for just one tiny golden moment. An ad for Raspberry Pi!

As if my Dad and I were still talking.

And he was saying, “Merry Christmas to All”

13 Responses to “A Raspberry Pi Christmas”

  1. toritto Says:

    Computer chips for All!

    Best wishes for Christmas and 2020! (Hard to believe. Just yesterday it was 2000 with the Y2K crisis just around the corner!)

    Best regards from Florida.


  2. Paul Haider Says:

    Roger, thank you for the great writing in memory of your father. Uncle George and his sister, Jeannie, are reunited for another Christmas together in the spirit world tonight with their loving mother, Edith. I am here in Italy with my wife who is an engineer but functioning at a higher level of math and science skills than her husband. I love the music of the Raspberries and the majority of pies for dessert. Merry Christmas! 🎄Paul

    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      Turns out those chips are pretty cheap! (Don’t tell anyone. . ) Best regards from Chicago and Merry Christmas!

    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      Hey Paul! Glad to hear you are doing well. Not sure if I am replying correctly but if not, Frank (my friend from Florida) Meet my Cousin Paul! One day I will understand Word Press

  3. Tom Cordle Says:

    And a Merry Christmas to you and your dad, and to mine as well. My dad was not well-educated, but he was wise in the ways of the world. In the late Fifties, he told me the American Dream was not going to last . “Rich men,” he said, “can’t have guys like me earning a decent living – we get independent, and they can’t have that. The first thing they’re going to do is get rid of unions.”

    And for the most part, they certainly did, along with all the rest that’s transpired with Voodoo Reaganomics, and all that followed.
    Christmas is supposed to about hope, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep audaciously hoping. But hope we must, for the alternative is too heavy to contemplate.

    May the new year bring glad tidings and better times to you and yours. Mike Royko would have approved of this message.

  4. toritto Says:

    Well its nice to meet the family! My dad has been gone since 1973. He was a “hod carrier” – a common laborer on a construction site. He had an 8th grade education and seizures from a bicycle accident when he was a kid. He had to leave school. No epileptics allowed.

    My mom grew up in a Catholic orphanage. They raised 3 boys in a little house on the out skirts of Coney Island, on a dirt street.

    Poppa was a union man.

    Merry Christmas and all the best for 2020!

    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      Merry Christmas to Paul in Italy!

      • chicagoguy14 Says:

        Frank and Tom–Great to meet the family! My Dad told me the same thing about unions. Dad worked in the financial sector. Got the job of a lifetime when I was a senior in high school. I stayed in Chicago and the rest of the family moved to New Jersey and Dad joined Goldman Sachs. He lasted maybe two years, resigning because the firm was not ethical. Got a job with a small firm that was ethical, did his research on the drug industry and stayed there the rest of his working life. I remember him telling me that we HAVE to have unions because it’s the only control people who work for a living have. Above all else, Dad was ethical.

  5. Tom Dickinson Says:

    I’ll take a big slice of that! Merry Christmas Roger and Maria!

  6. Carol Steinbrecher Says:

    What better time than Christmas to hear those beloved voices still speaking to us! I could see Buddums grinning out from between the lines. Thank you!

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