App Camp Announced / Next Meetup April 20th, 2014

The next meetup will be held Sunday 3PM March 16th, 2014 at the Technology Cooperative.  No news summary this update, instead here are some photos of what happened at the last meetup:

2014-03-16 23.20.40

We do have some news however – On May 31st, 2014 will be the first Techco AppCamp for teens:

Learn to build an application for your android phone or Tablet in one day. We will use the MIT Android App Inventor system. The App Inventor uses programming “blocks” to teach the concepts of programming. No earlier programming experience required!

If you or someone you know is interested, check out all the details on the TechCo Blog announcement for AppCamp.

Next Meetup March 16th, 2014

Important News! The Technology Cooperative has moved – read below for details!

The next meetup will be held Sunday 3PM March 16th, 2014 at the Technology Cooperative.

Some big news in the world of Raspberry Pi.  First over 2.5 million Pis have shipped world wide.  Following this milestone, Broadcom has released the full documentation for the VideoCore IV graphics core, and a complete source release of the graphics stack under a 3-clause BSD license.  This will make unlocking the power of the Pi easier and lead to the creation of a true open-source graphics driver.

This isn’t without the need for some work however, so as an incentive, a bounty of $10,000 is offered to the first person to demonstrate they can successfully run Quake III at a playable framerate on Raspberry Pi.  Details and rule on the competition here.

Here are a few cool videos celebrating two years of Pi and one rather involved homework desk:

The meetup will be held at the Technology Cooperative located at 13 Emory Place, Knoxville TN.  Parking is available in front of the Technology Cooperative.  As always brining or even owning a Raspberry Pi is not required, everyone is encouraged to come by to see what all the fuss is about!

Pi Pinball Challenge – Next Meetup February 16th

The next meetup will be held Sunday 3PM February 16th at the Technology Cooperative.

This month Eric will kick off a “Pi Pinball Challenge” to make a pinball machine powered by a Raspberry Pi, with the details to be decided on at the meetup.  To get ready I’ve attached some links related to pi pinball machines:

If you have any questions you can ask in the comments below or send an email to the group organizer Michael C. Neel at

Next Meetup January 19th

The next meetup will be held Sunday 3PM January 19th at the Technology Cooperative.

Some Pi Links and Projects:

Next Meetup December 15th

The next meetup will be held Sunday 3PM December 15th at the Technology Cooperative.

Thanks to a donation, we now have three “Pi Workstations” at the TechCo! This not only means we have Pis in permanent residence for special sessions and hands on labs, but we also have all the hookups needed so you don’t need to lug an HDMI monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply, etc. just to show off the cool things you’ve done on your Raspberry pi.

In related news, the Knox Game Design group (which normally meets the second Sunday at the TechCo) will be hosting a local gathering for the Ludum Dare Gam Jam. If you might be interested in participating, or coming down to see what it’s all about, check out the announcements here and here.

Next Meetup October 20th

The next meetup will be held Sunday 3PM October 20th at the Technology Cooperative.

Important Note:  The Technology Cooperative is expanding and we may hold the meetup in the new space.  The new location is in the same building as before, just suite 105 instead of 101.

If you missed the last meetup or want to recap the video is available on the site.

There is a new bundle available for a Model A Pi and a Camera Module for $40 ($45 w/SD card) – anyone looking at a Pi camera project should take a look (the Model A will have a much longer battery life than the more powerful Model B).

Some Pi Projects from around the web:

Last a very interesting project called “Sonic Pi”:

Sonic Pi is an open source programming environment designed to explore and teach programming concepts through the process of creating new sounds. Sonic Pi comes with an associated scheme of work which emphasizes the importance of creativity in the learning process and gives users the control to turn their sonic ideas into reality.

This might be easier to understand seeing it action than reading it, so head over to Geek Gurl Diaries for a tour or Sonic Pi.

If you have any questions you can ask in the comments below or send an email to the group organizer Michael C. Neel at

Welcome to the Knoxville Raspberry Pi Users Group!

Short Version: If you already know what a Raspberry Pi is and live in the Knoxville, TN area then sign up for meetup announcements (form on the right or bottom if you’re on a small screen) and then mark your calendar for Sunday September 15th, 2013 @ 3 PM for the kick off meeting!

Hello and welcome to the new Knoxville Raspberry Pi Users Group website.  Things are still getting started, so it’s a bit sparse at the moment.

What is the Raspberry Pi?  The Raspberry Pi Foundation describes it as:

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.

This is really only the start.  The Raspberry Pi sells for $35 and has been used to power arcade cabinets, home media centers, play and modify Minecraft, make a pool table run on bitcoin, and even make Siri control the weather (inside your house).  It is a great project and experimentation board and easy for anyone regardless of age or computer skill to get started.

The first meetup of the group will be Sunday September 15th, 2013 @ 3 PM at the Technology Cooperative.  For this kickoff meeting we’ll start with a presentation that introduces the Raspberry Pi and some of the projects around this little computer:

As Easy as Raspberry Pi
speaker: Michael C. Neel

The Raspberry Pi is an amazing little ARM based computer the size of a credit card that has the power of a 300 MHz Pentium 2 combined with the graphics horsepower of the original Xbox (that’s 25 GigaFLOPS if you’re curious).  It sports USB ports, ethernet, composite video and HDMI, analogue and digital audio, an SD card reader, and a programmable GPIO port – all for $25.  This tiny, cheap computer is designed for kids and adults alike to experiment and play in the world of computers.

This session will cover the features of the Raspberry Pi, how to get one, and how to set it up once you have it.  We’ll look into some popular uses such as using the Pi as a media center, an arcade cabinet (MAME) simulator, a python game console, and playing a programmable version of Minecraft.  We’ll end with a hands on demonstration including custom programming the using PyGame.

To get reminders of this an upcoming meetups, subscribe to the mailing list (form is on the right of the page, or at the bottom if you’re on a small screen).  The plan right now is meetings once a month, an occasional presentation, show and tell from attendees of their latest Pi creations, and end with questions and hands on play with the Raspberry Pi.  From time to time we’ll plan a special even meeting like a Minecraft night where everyone explores Minecraft on the Pi and experiments with the Minecraft API.

The group openly welcomes children to join in.  Since children develop at different rates, it is up to the parent or guardian to decide if the child is old enough to attend.  If the child is able to focus and stay on task (and interested in the Raspberry Pi!) then they are probably old enough to come to the meetings (children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present at the meetings).  Members of the group will also be available to work one-on-one with the child and parent or guardian to create a customized path for learning the Raspberry Pi at the child’s pace.

On a similar note, even if you don’t (yet) have a Raspberry Pi you are welcome to attend.  The user group is a great place to check out the Raspberry Pi and see what all the fuss is about before getting your own.

If you have any questions you can ask in the comments below or send an email to the group organizer Michael C. Neel at

Hope to see you at the meetup!