Raspberry Pi roundup: Happy 5th birthday, baby! Also, new software, a tough piano, and, well, Windows 98

A belated birthday party for Raspberry Pi is just as good, right?

I am a shameful forgetter of important dates, as family and ex-girlfriends will be happy to tell you. They can detail the brainless “duh?” expression, with tinges of dawning comprehension, that I make when I am reminded that, yes, it’s today, and yes, I have forgotten.

It’s a different story, professionally – I did remember that the Raspberry Pi’s fifth birthday took place this weekend, but I was traveling to cover a wireless company’s annual conference for work, and I simply couldn’t fit it in. So, to the little tiny computer that was one of the very first stories I covered for Network World, I’m sorry. I really did have other stuff to do.

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Of course, the Raspberry Pi Foundation didn’t miss anything, rolling out a brand-new model of Raspberry Pi Zero with built-in wireless LAN capability and Bluetooth. It’s called the Raspberry Pi Zero W, and while it costs twice what a regular Pi Zero does, that’s still only $10.

That makes it a pretty excellent way to do IoT experiments and opens the doors even wider to the endlessly creative maker community, who will doubtless build the Pi Zero W into drones, remote controls, Nest knock-offs and much, much more.

People – including Chicago Sun-Times tech journalist Andy Ihnatko – are pretty excited:

And why not? It’s a $10 computer that can replace a desktop for a huge range of basic functions, in addition to the breadth of its maker-osity. As Ihnatko notes in the video above, it’s likely to be sold out for a considerable amount of time, of course, so if this is the first you’re hearing about it, you might not get your hands on one for a while. Still, this does mean that the next five years promise to be as interesting as the first five.

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In this installment of “nice people doing nice things with Raspberry Pi,” engineer Brian McEvoy has created a Tough Pi-ano – a piano with heavy-duty construction and no sharp edges for use in his aunt and uncle’s center for kids with learning and developmental disabilities.

Sure, it’s not the kind of piano where you can just sit down and thunder out some Beethoven, but most people can’t do it anyway. McEvoy said that it’s designed for childhood musical therapy, and you can read more about it here.

(H/T: Raspberry Pi Foundation blog)

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IT people who work desperately to get people off old versions of Windows may want to look away – someone has gotten Windows 98 working on a Raspberry Pi-powered homebrew smartwatch. Yeah.

It uses QEMU, which obviously means that it’s virtualized, and a Raspberry Pi A+. The second time you start it up, it apparently tries to run scandisk because it’s deeply confused. And you thought your legacy enterprise apps were clunky.

(H/T: Slashgear)

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The father of the Raspberri Pi, Eben Upton, gave an interesting interview to Wired just before the roll-out of the Pi Zero W. Among other things, he noted that the emphasis for Raspberry Pi development in the immediate future will rest on software, and not new hardware.

The foundation has set a pretty strenuous pace in terms of new gadgets, so it’s not entirely surprising to see the focus shift toward software. There’s already a huge array of software you can run on a Raspberry Pi, but Upton suggested that working on the Pixel operating system – which also works on platforms that aren’t Pis – could be the priority, heading toward a broader Pi-based ecosystem.

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