The Locals at 1024 Van Ronkle St. is providing another way for community members to get involved in a new movement sweeping the nation — Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi is a single-board, credit-card-sized computer first created as a learning tool for University of Cambridge students in 2006.
Professors found millennials were entering college without any electronic tinkering skills, unlike the Radio Shack scourging kids from generations before.
The modern PC is packaged in plastic, and with a hefty price tag, most parents didn’t want their teenagers taking them apart for experimentation.
Thus comes the Raspberry Pi at about $35 and totally stripped down to a bare circuit board, the Pi is a blank slate for creativity, enabling students to sharpen basic computer programming skills.
Once the miniature computers hit the market in 2012, hobbyists and tinkerers quickly formed a community that has created countless projects from robotics and gaming to sending weather balloons to the upper atmosphere.
Cyndi Minister, owner of the Twisted Purl Handmade Yarn, won first place at Hendrix College’s Raspberry Pi Bake-Off Friday night with her “RaspberrysPIn,” a Raspberry Pi powered spinning wheel.
“The Raspberry Pi invites you to really put your imagination to it,” said Shawn Goicoechea, board chair of La Lucha Space, the nonprofit that operates The Locals, dedicated to promoting the production and consumption of local food, art and culture in Central Arkansas.
Goicoechea has created a Raspberry Pi laptop using the Motorola Lapdock originally made for Droid smartphone about two years ago. The product has since been discontinued, but can be found on eBay and Amazon.
The Locals have a Raspberry Pi Lapdock available for the community to check out for use in their co-working space and cafe.
“We fully recognize that not everyone is going to get it,” Goicoechea said, “but we’re hoping to make it a little easier for people to test it out and mess around.”
There is no rental fee, Goicoechea said, the Lapdock is available for people to learn basic computer programming skills and potentially build the skills they need to make their own Raspberry Pi creations.
The Locals is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check their website www.laluchaspace.com/events for special events and classes.