Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Digital Menu

So I'm sitting at work today, engineering my butt off. Doing an amazing job as usual. Then a link pops up from a friend. The link contained something amazing. The kind of thing that gets me all excited inside.

What? Not what you were expecting? Get your mind out of the gutter. I was at work people!

First lets introduce you to Raspberry Pi. No, it's not a nerdy version of a baking recipe. It's a tiny open source computer that's taking the programming and DIY open source community by storm. Yeah Arduino is pretty cool, but the Raspberry Pi is a whole computer... for only $35. The stats on the computer are not out of this world, at 512 MB of memory and a 700 MHZ processor, it's still faster than something you might have paid over $1,000 in the late nineties. The idea is that it's cheap, and you can program it however you want. The only limit is your imagination (as long as you're not trying to create some supercomputer mega-cluster). Projects include time lapse photography devices, a web server, a digital frame, and an arcade cabinet to name a few (source). 

So why NOT apply it to beer? I've been wanting one of these things for a while. I didn't even know what I'd use it for. I know it's something I could spend hundreds of my DIY hours diving in to. But now... Now it has a purpose! ShrodingersDrunk over at Reddit has created his own Raspberry Pi device for his fancy kegerator that provides a list of beers on tap. Like a true do it yourself-er however, the project is never finished. While he's cleaning up the interface of the current program he has future goals. Step one, be able to touch a beer and pull up the recipe and tasting notes. Step two, to be able to tell how many beers are left in the keg (weight measuring? maybe).

I must do it. I will do it. First, acquire screen. From time to time my company gives away some of their old hardware. I've never been in the market, but I know a few people who will take any free technology available to them. I imagine I can hit up one of these guys for a cheap monitor.

Second, get Pi. Then learn Pi. Learn the programming. Learn how to plug the little %@#* in.

Third, hook up monitor. Stare blankly at the monitor while the monitor blankly stares back. Figure out how to make awesome.

After a few weeks of this, attempt to sleep.

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