Welcome

We are living with an embarrassment of choice. Small-board computers (SBCs) are getting smaller and faster, with many inexpensive options for the hobbyist and problem-solvers and more powerful, usually pricier, options for inventors, innovators, and CPU-guzzling consumers. New SBCs are entering the market continuously, it seems.

We are living with an embarrassment of choice. Small-board computers (SBCs) are getting smaller and faster, with many inexpensive options for the hobbyist and problem-solvers and more powerful, usually pricier, options for inventors, innovators, and CPU-guzzling consumers. New SBCs are entering the market continuously, it seems. The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 for embedded systems is expected soon, and we review two boards from NanoPi that seek to serve roughly the same markets as the Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi 3. Also, in New Products, we mention the Teensy boards for hobbyists and a new wireless BeagleBone, as well as a couple of interesting options in the crowdfunding space. A visit to the websites of your favorite electronics outlets will usually introduce yet another new board for the specialty or consumer market.

Here's a situation you might be familiar with: Someone runs into a wall at their job caused by incompatibilities between tried and tested software and an upgraded proprietary operating system. You can read about one person's resolution at a Caribbean meteorological station through the integration of open source software and hardware with proprietary software and hardware. Not only did he save time, money, and aggravation by trying to force a solution with the "official" resources, his organization saved money, and his colleagues are better served.

Another author followed a similar route when he needed economical navigation software for his boat. Again, working with proprietary hardware and software, he was able to merge his open source resources to create a system that he can tweak and repair, if need be, and that should ensure his safety and the safety of his boat.

You'll also find some projects to inspire, such as attaching a sensor to a GPIO pin and putting the data on a web page – where you can access it remotely – with the help of Node.js. In Kid Stop, the twins Leah and Brooke wire the logic of their devices attached to a Raspberry Pi with a visual tool called Node-RED. Creator "drtorq" builds a prototype of a body cam that sends pictures wirelessly to an email address, and the SwitchDoc attaches a sensor to his Pi and delves into the Internet of Things (IoT). If you're in need of computer-to-computer communications, learn about the MQTT message-passing protocol that one of our authors uses to control multiple Raspberry Pi music players from his smartphone, and if you need a small display for your Pi, check out the three-line Display-O-Tron.

On the practical side, you can learn how to install a customized version of Raspbian with Netinstaller and keep track of the processes running on your Linux system with the pgrep utility. If you need to take control of your printing, the article on routing and automating print jobs from the command line with the CUPS print server will serve you well.

If you're ready to relax, install PyChess and hone your skills or compete against your computer or other players online. Finally, we say goodbye to Michael Badger, who has been writing our Scratch column for the last three-and-a-half years, but before he goes, be sure to check out his tips and tricks for troubleshooting Scratch programs.

Rita L Sooby Managing Editor

edit@raspberry-pi-geek.com

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