In with the New

I am new in the seat of editor-in-chief here at RPG, but I’ve been hanging around in the wings for some time now.

Hi, I'm new here… Sort of.

My name's Paul. You may have read some of the articles I've written on how to connect off-the-shelf inexpensive chips to the Raspberry Pi and to the Arduino to expand their features (there's one in this issue too). I have also hacked old toys, written code using block-based programming languages, and harped on about Minetest, a blocky sandbox, world-building game similar to Minecraft, but Minetest is open source and works waaay better on the Pi than the proprietary original. I also edit this true-blue Linux magazine called Ubuntu User [1] which is geared towards end users and people who discover Linux for the first time.

So, yes, I am new in the seat of editor-in-chief here, at RPG, but I've been hanging around in the wings for some time now.

Even if I were completely new, this wouldn't faze you, would it? The very fact you are even reading this means you embrace the new. After all, as a Raspberry Pi user, you must love everything new. How couldn't you? The original Raspberry Pi 1 only came out in 2012. That's a paltry five years ago, just half a decade. And every year since then, there has been a new version that the community, people like you and I, have embraced, switched to, and adopted.

Many users come from the very conventional and very stifling Windows or Mac-based PC worlds. But you have voluntarily decided to purchase a computer with modest hardware, running this thing called Linux. Linux has millions of users worldwide, true. It is used on phones, supercomputers and most internet servers. But where it is not prevalent, is on personal computers. On laptops and desktops it is still a rarity; its users, to some extent, are still pioneers. The fact that you have decided to use the Pi and adopted Linux as a desktop system makes you a tech-trailblazer if ever there has been one.

Speaking of which, something else that's new is the desktop that comes with the latest versions of Raspbian. The Pixel desktop is a beaut [2]. It is simple and crisp, and it makes managing the configuration of your Pi easier to no end. What's more, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has jumped into the mainstream computing arena and ported the Pixel desktop to x86 platforms [3]. This means that you can now run the Raspbian desktop on regular PCs and Macs as well.

More software changes: our DVD this issue comes with a new – or, I should say, "newly adapted" distribution for the Raspberry Pi. openSUSE [4] is a classic in the Linux world. It is the second oldest surviving Linux distribution, but a newcomer to the Pi. We've tried openSUSE 42.2 on our Pis and it is snappy, elegant and packed with awesome features. It is also the only distribution that takes full advantage of the Pi 3's 64-bit chipset. So, yes, openSUSE will only run on a Pi 3, but it is faster, more efficient and has generally better performance than any other operating system out there, precisely due to the fact it is a 64-bit OS. We want to make this something regular and include more interesting and novel free operating systems on the DVD each month along with the classics.

We've also started a YouTube channel [5]. There's not much up there yet, but that's because, you know, it's new. But we felt that many of the projects we do in the magazine, especially those that have moving parts, can be better understood with video and sound. For every issue we will have a video-summary, showing films of the some of the projects and helping you understand better how they work. We will also be recommending videos from other channels and whatever our readers want to show us, so please show us what you can do with your Pi.

At least in our corner of the tech world, new is good, so I have no qualms in wishing you all a Happy NEW Year.

Paul Brown

Editor in Chief

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