I got wind of another translation of my book, the Raspberry Pi User Guide, today – this time, into Japanese. It’s the latest in a series of translations that will see the title published in English (obviously,) Dutch, French, Portuguese, Chinese – Traditional and Simplified – and German, and there appears to be no end to translation requests coming in to the publisher.
The Japanese translation has come as something of a surprise: my publisher emailed me late last year, saying that Wiley was in the process of negotiating translation rights for a Japanese edition of the book. Apparently, in Japan, it’s common to have the author’s photograph on the rear cover, so he asked myself and my co-author Eben for mugshots – but, once provided, that was the last I heard about the deal.
The deal, however, appears to have gone through – and it’s now possible to buy the Japanese edition, published and translated by Impress Japan, directly from Amazon.jp. It’s also available in bricks and mortar stores throughout Japan, and numerous other outlets. If your local bookshop doesn’t have a copy, you can ask them to order it in: it’s available under ISBN 978-4844333746.
So far, I haven’t received a complimentary copy as I did with the German translation, but hopefully that’s something my publisher can arrange – because, let’s face it, that’s an awesome cover.
This is the first of a series of translations that will hopefully bring the book to a wider audience. While certainly popular – topping best-seller lists in several countries – there’s no denying that it has sold better in the UK than anywhere else.
If you’re still waiting on a translation into your native language, let me know: agreements have been made for several other languages, and still more are in the negotiation stage, so with luck I’ll have some good news for you.
I’m pleased to be able to announce the publication of my first book, Meet the Raspberry Pi. Co-written with Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the book is a cut-down version of the Raspberry Pi User Guide – 114 pages to ~240 pages. It leaves out the sections on learning to program in Scratch and Python, along with some other nice-to-have specificities, but retains the most important sections for a newcomer to the Pi.
Topics covered in the book include setting up the Pi for the first time, including physical connections, network configuration and flashing the SD card, an introduction to using Linux – both at the command line and in the GUI – and a section on using the Pi’s general-purpose input/output (GPIO) port in Python.
The magazine work has been, you may have noticed, slow of late. There’s a very good reason for this: I’ve been working on a semi-secret project which can now be officially unveiled. That project is the Raspberry Pi User Guide. (That’s a rough draft cover, by the way.)
Written in collaboration with Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and inventor of the device itself, it’s a 240-page manual which aims to gently introduce the user into the world of the Raspberry Pi. No real technical knowledge is assumed – although by the time you get to to the sections on the GPIO port, it probably helps – and it aims to allow those without Linux experience to get up and running quickly on the remarkably sub-$35 single-board computer.
Subjects covered in the book include a quick introduction to Linux including system administration and maintenance, flashing the SD card, programming the Pi in Scratch and Python, making use of the 26-pin GPIO port, using the Pi as a home theatre system or general-purpose PC, and even a beginner’s guide to soldering.
The book is being published by Wiley & Sons in the UK and US in dead-tree and eBook formats, alongside an eBook-only introductory guide called Meet the Raspberry Pi. This slimmed-down version includes the first six chapters of the full-size book – which cover getting started and practical uses for the Pi – along with an extract from the ‘Hardware Hacking’ chapter. For those who just want to get started, it’s a cut-price alternative to the dead-tree release.
The book is undergoing final review and production now, with a view to getting Meet the Raspberry Pi out in the coming weeks and the Raspberry Pi User Guide whenever the printing presses can churn copies out fast enough. The electronic versions will be available in ePub, Kindle and PDF formats.
Having finally got my hands on a Raspberry Pi Model B, my first published work on the subject is an in-depth review for Dennis Publishing’s technology enthusiast site Bit-Tech.
Designed to cover the most commonly asked questions – computing performance, graphical performance, software compatibility and suitability as a general purpose PC – the review spans nine pages, and is based on the retail Model B which started shipping to customers at the end of last week.
The section which has proven the most popular is ‘Overclocking,’ a look at whether it’s possible to boost the Broadcom BCM2835 at the heart of the Pi to something above its default 700MHz clockspeed. In short: yes, it is, but by ‘eck it’s risky.
The review, the first to appear on a mainstream site rather than engineering publications allied to production partners Element14 and RS Components, has generated a substantial amount of traffic and comment. Following its publication, the review was re-tweeted by the official @Raspberry_Pi account (56,201 followers at the time of writing,) fellow technology journalist and Gruaniad technology editor Charles Arthur (33,614 followers) and digital trouble-stirrers @YourAnonNews (569,649 followers.) The review was also linked from the Gruaniad, with a fairly hefty extract, and front-paged on Digg and reddit.
Given the popularity of the Pi, this is far from the last piece I’ll be writing about it. A Linux-oriented review for Imagine Publishing’s Linux User & Developer Magazine is due to appear in the next issue, while pieces in Dennis Publishing’s Custom PC, Micro Mart and on the IT Pro website are planned.
There’s also a secret project in the works – but more about that I cannot say…
This month’s issue of Linux User & Developer features the full publication of my interview with Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton, an extract of which has been quite happily sat at the top of the ‘Most Read’ category on the Linux User website for the past month. Additionally, my regular group test takes a look at project management apps and there’s also a review of internet kiosk distribution WebConverger in there too.
The interview with Eben was, as always, great fun. He’s a busy man, but he’s also a great guy to talk to; never afraid to make his true opinions known, he’s a brilliant interview subject and a scarily clever engineer to boot. He’s also good at giving credit where credit is due, including in his shout-outs to people like fellow Broadcom engineer and creator of the Raspberry Pi Gertboard add-on Gert van Loo.
The group test picks four of the most popular Linux-based project management tools and pits them Gantt-to-Gantt in an attempt to find the one most useful for the majority of people. It was a fairly close-run competition this time round, but sure enough one did raise its head above the others and win the coveted group test winner medal for its efforts.
Finally, the WebConverger review looks at an interesting distribution which aims to make it easy to turn old hardware into a single-use internet kiosk, complete with protections from users and a neat customisation feature. It’s also suitable for digital signage, although as I found during testing it’s not without its issues.
Linux User & Developer Magazine has just published a hefty extract from my interview with Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton. Due for full publication in the upcoming Linux User & Developer Issue 112, the interview covers the reason behind forming the Raspberry Pi charitable foundation, the foundation’s relationship with Upton’s employer Broadcom and more.
Eben’s a really great guy, and I’m massively appreciative of the time he took for this interview. Coming so close to launch, and while he was working on a dozen other things simultaneously, I know the demands on his time are legion.
Hopefully Linux User’s readers will find it an interesting insight into some of the behind-the-scenes matters relating to the Raspberry Pi single-board computer. I know I did.
While the magazine won’t be out for another couple of months, Imagine Publishing’s Linux User & Developer is running a teaser of my interview with Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton on its website.
Despite being merely a small extract of two points raised in the interview, it’s proving popular: the article has shot to the top of the ‘most read’ list and looks to be staying there for the duration. Another teaser is planned in the coming weeks, while the full interview will be found in the pages of Linux User & Developer Magazine Issue 111.
Following an interview with Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton last week, the first of two confirmed features: a look at the project, which has created a 700MHz ARM-based credit-card size computer costing just $35, from a modder’s perspective.
Will it take off? Where are the mounting holes? Is it possible to overclock the Broadcom system-on-chip at the heart of the system? What software does it run? Can it play games? Does it support 1080p video playback? Will I ever stop asking these stupid questions?
All this and more answered over on Dennis Publishing’s computing enthusiast site, Bit-Tech.
The second feature to come out of the interview, a more Linux-focused Q&A-style transcription, is scheduled to appear in Imagine Publishing’s Linux User & Developer Magazine, Issue 111.
"The nicest documentation I've seen with any hardware, possibly ever." - WIRED Magazine "This guide is amazing, very on point with relevant and updated information for all ages." "Excellent! A+!" "Well done. This is what I like most in Raspberry Pi. The documentation." "The book and the hardware would be a great Christmas present for the clever kid (of any age) in your family." "10/10" - OpenLibra
"Not only should it be an essential purchase with the micro:bit, I would recommend getting the book before getting the micro:bit. Definitely recommended." "This is an amazing educational tool." "For a newcomer I would recommend this book and the BBC micro:bit. Together, they will make an excellent coder/DIY enthusiast out of you or your child." "This is definitely the book to get you started." "The best book on micro:bit I've found so far." "A wealth of information on micro:bit and it's easy to read." "Just started reading your book, and it's exactly what I was looking for."
"I'm constantly reading tech manuals. This book is above and beyond ANY tech manual I have ever read! It is readable, understandable and a fine companion for the Pi." "I have been using computer manuals for 40 years and this is one of the best I have ever read." "All I was looking for is combined in this fantastic book." "I bought this book on my Kindle and it has transformed my understanding." "A brilliant book to help you out." "This book is a must have and works very well on my Kindle - thank you so much for writing it."
I hate that companies incentivise disloyalty. Rang @SkyUK to cancel after 13 years as a customer, was immediately told my bill could be slashed by 50% if I stayed. So... why was I paying twice as much as I needed to?
(I cancelled anyway, thus saving 100%. Even better!)