Raspberry Pi nightmare - can anyone help

(10 Posts)
ChasingSquirrels Mon 06-Jan-14 08:22:15

Oh, book seems good but bits on lots rather than in depth on anything I think.
Ds started off with Scratch, which he has used a very little before, and has now moved onto the Python chapter - which talks you through programming a simple game, I think we will need to get a specific Python book for him to take it further.
But then the Dummies book will be referred back to for other sections.

ChasingSquirrels Mon 06-Jan-14 08:18:18

Thats great smile
We went to ds1's friend's yesterday and they have got one and can't get it working. We tried our sd card and it worked. He tried copying our noobs over but nada. When I got home I looked in our book and it talks about flashing the sd card first - dont know what that means but passed the info on.
They did say that one of the blokes who invented it lived across the road next to the pub (and two other friends had interviewed him for Scouts!!). They should go and ask him to sort it out.

Ferguson Sun 05-Jan-14 22:40:55

Glad to hear you are making progress!

Probably best to start programming with something really simple, like a "loop" that counts up to a specific number, and prints out each number as it goes along; by PRINT I mean to display on the screen, not printed on paper.

You will need to learn about VARIABLES (a value that changes), and STRINGS, which is a series of characters, that don't in themselves, have a value, but can convey information (such as lines in a postal address.)

To my surprise, I've just come across this Risc OS for Pi article. Risc OS (Reduced Instruction Set Computer Operating System) was used on the BBC Archimedes range of computers (A3000, A4000, A5000, RiscPC and others), used in many schools 20 years ago. It is probably the easiest language to start in, and there are still many enthusiasts using it, and on-line sites to help the novice. There are even meet-up sessions in some places.

After the "loop", a good thing to find out about would be how the display handles locations, so you can place characters on the screen where you want them. It may be done rather like X / Y coordinates for a graph, with X being the horizontal axis, Y the vertical axis - but I'm only guessing at that, as there may be more modern ways I don't know about.

I'll give you this link, and come back in a day or two to see if any of it has made sense, and how you are getting on:

www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=22093

LeonardWentToTheOfficeChristma Sun 05-Jan-14 21:43:40

Our Pi is now working grin

We bought a new sd card today (Sandisk ultra class 10) and we successfully downloaded Noobs onto it. It all fired up as it should do plugged into the tv with hdmi. was a slight heart attack moment when the rainbow flashed up for a second!!

So for now all is right with the world :-) Would you recommend the Raspberry Pi for Dummies Squirrels? We could do with something to get us started with the programming side.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 05-Jan-14 08:41:04

How annoying.
My Ds is yr 6 aswell, he now has a syntax problem with the programme he is learning from the Raspberry Pi for Dummies book, and I am damned if I can see what it is.
My computing knowledge is basically Spectrum 82, so 30 years out of date. Plus general use over the years, but you don't have to understand it any more to use it.

LeonardWentToTheOfficeChristma Sun 05-Jan-14 02:11:08

We tried various tvs and monitor via hdmi and yellow cable too.

LeonardWentToTheOfficeChristma Sun 05-Jan-14 02:08:42

Many thanks for replying squirrels and Ferguson. I just feel gutted that I pursuaded him to get something for Christmas that we now cannot get to work. Yes we did connect everything before powering on but I really don't know what he's been doing with it while not with me. He knows more than me about this stuff anyway so I kind of left him to it but now I feel it's up to me to sort.

We plucked up the courage to reformat our (supplied) Noobs sd card. Struggled to do but finally managed it by formatting it in my camera so it's now blank. We should be able to download noobs and put it back onto card but having waited a blimmin hour to download noobs we were unable to write it onto sd card as, I think it said it's copy protected or something. So, tomorrow plan to go out and get a new sd card and try that. ARGHHHH!!

I suppose the consolation is that really all the bits are relatively cheap to replace - new pi about £30, card around £7 but don't want to be throwing good money after bad. Besides. He's only just got the thing so it's such a shame we can't just get it to work sad

Yes they do it at some sec schools. DS is in y6, was so excited as his computer chap at school was going to be running a rasp pi club but sadly that was about a year ago and so far hasn't happened. We picked up a Raspberry Pi for kids book and it all looked relatively simple so thought we'd have a go ourselves. Ds is incredibly geeky in the IT area so thought it would help him to progress.

It's really getting to me sad

ChasingSquirrels Sat 04-Jan-14 23:27:22

Have you connected everything BEFORE turning the power on, v obvious I know but ds was so keen to get his going that he didn't and it did various things, including the rainbow screen, until I made him turn it all off, plug it all in properly, then turn the power on.

I also took a copy of the sd card before he did anything with it, but that is a horse/stable door comment that doesn't really help.

Is it just hdmi? When I was reading about using a monitor that talked about modifying the code to display but not for a straight forward hdmi connection.

Ferguson Sat 04-Jan-14 23:20:45

Although I worked in computing a long time ago it was mostly as a keyboard operator, and my technical knowledge is very limited. I had recommended Pi to a few people, as an inexpensive way into programming, and I know there are one or two Pi owners in MN, though don't know names, but you might find by an MN 'search'.

There are Pi user groups all over the country, so you may be lucky and find one near you (via the Pi website).

How old is DS? Some secondary schools have them I believe. I see Noobs is SUPPOSED to make it easier, but not in your case!

I'll add a couple of links; Pi one you may already have looked at, but other is a bit disconcerting (though not read it all yet):

www.raspberrypi.org/archives/4100

www.computerweekly.com/news/2240211977/ARM-developer-Raspberry-Pi-not-enough-to-get-kids-coding

You may not know, but ARM was a spin-off from the Acorn computers of twenty years ago, and ARM chips are in the vast majority of mobile phones.

Our DS got a First Hons in computer science ten years ago, and has had good jobs in IT. But at some job interviews he has realised the boss doing the interviewing hardly knows anything about it. Some of the computer disasters in banking in the past couple of years have been when programming has been done in India to save money, then the mess has to be sorted out in UK, making it more expensive.

The recent BBC waste of £40 million (or whatever it was) over a scheme doomed to failure, should never have been allowed to happen. And the government Single Benefit programs have been riddled with problems.

So, Yes - computers are complicated, and you are not alone in having problems!

I hope someone can come to your rescue.

LeonardWentToTheOfficeChristma Sat 04-Jan-14 01:10:49

Hi!! DS got a Pi for Xmas. Model B with Noobs sd card. He 1st set it up with his projector with yellow video cable as he was at grandparents and all worked fine. Projector is now out of order so we need to display it on something else.

We've tried to connect it by HDMI cable but all we get is a rainbow screen of colours (enlarged pixel I believe) this happened whether we connected it to various TVs and or via HDMI/vga cable to my monitor.

Have tried to connect it to tv via yellow video cable but nothing at all.

I am now at a loss. I've tried the raspberry pi websites forums etc but I'm afraid a lot of it goes over my head. DS is the tech wizz in our house but this sadly is up to me to sort out!! confused

Does anyone have any helpful hints they can suggest - we did find tips where it suggested going into the text of the sd card via a pc and adding a bit of code in the configure txt or something but noobs doesn't actually reveal this configure txt bit so I am completely at a loss.

I don't know if we've corrupted the card and to get another noobs card or will the problem still be the same?????

I'm also slightly scared of trying to reformat my current sd card. If I just buy a blank one and download do we get noobs or will same problem happen....?

Pleeeeeeeeeeeease help!! sad

Please be gentle. I know very little.

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