My work from home would be impossible without computers. They have democratized video production. Ten years ago my garage would have been a million dollar plus studio. Now the cost is a teeny sliver.
I’m always looking for ways to harness technology in new ways. That’s what I’m working on now.
The Raspberry Pi I bought a few weeks ago continues to listen for airplanes and plot them on a map.
The Raspberry Pi is impressive because $35 buys a full fledged computer. And, at $35 (around $60 actually when you add WiFi, keyboard, mouse (Bluetooth), power, cables and a memory card) it’s perfect as a dedicated machine–a headless computer that silently does the same things over-and-over 24/7.
So, I bought a second Pi. My intended task is GrADS.
The Grid Analysis and Display System (GrADS) is an interactive desktop tool that is used for easy access, manipulation, and visualization of earth science data.
That means it makes custom weather maps and charts. I have ideas. This fits in.
GrADS is pretty mature. It doesn’t take much horsepower to run and I’ll only be running a small subset of what websites often do. Most of what it will produce will be done on a schedule and left waiting for me.
The Raspberry Pi OS is “Raspbian,” an offshoot of Debian Linux. Grads 2.0 (a “.1” behind the current main version) has been ported to Raspbian.
If (and it’s a big if) I can get this running it will produce maps and other weather graphics around the clock and on-demand. Its work will be hidden from sight. I’ll just pluck the fruit.
Here’s the trouble with all this. I desperately tried to learn GrADS before and failed miserably. It’s hard. It’s another new language with new syntax and peculiarities. For some reason it doesn’t like me.
My hope is having a dedicated machine for dev work will help me be more focused. Programs won’t have to be shut down to run something else. I can pick up exactly where I left off.
These very small, very cheap computers are a big deal.