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Ten pi-fect projects for your new Raspberry Pi

Set the cig-pack sized micro to work doing something useful

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Cloud server

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Is he having a laugh? Nope, thanks to apps like OwnCloud and BarracudaDrive, you too can jump on the latest bandwagon for under £30. Yes, you really can run a cloud server from your RPi. Why would you want to? The sales pitch is that it avoids the possible privacy issues of Box, Dropbox, iCloud and their ilk, but it also helps to get around over-enthusiastic firewalls at work. Plus, turns out a cloud server on the local network is really just a self-important NAS server. Who knew?

Raspberry Pi ARM PC

Difficulty Level (1-10)
2-5 - some compiling, fiddly disk formatting and network config required, possibly

Extra cost
Dependent on your approach

Shopping List
Powered external USB drive, a fixed IP address and a properly configurable router are both 'useful to haves'.

Approach
BarracudaDrive has a pre-built image to download, and clear instructions for getting things up and running. OwnCloud needs some fiddling with the innards of PHP to get the best out of it.

Take it further
Set up RSync over SSH to provide secure offsite backup of your data to another RPi setup at a friend's house.

Online Help
Both sites mentioned in the Approach section offer the usual setup workthroughs, plus there are forums available.

Pi scales

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As someone clearly on the mortally-wounded side of morbidly obese, I have found it personally upsetting that one can't as yet purchase a set of speak-your-weight bathroom scales featuring a choice of 'No coach parties, please'-style repartee. A niche market missed, I think. No matter. It is but the work of a moment (ahem) to whip up a RPi connected set of scales, and some Python scripts to play and display the appropriate (health warning) message.

Raspberry Pi ARM PC

I speak your weight

Difficulty Level (1-10)
5-8 - yep, you'll at least need a soldering iron or possible some carpentry skills for this one

Extra cost
Approach dependent

Shopping List
Approach dependent, but certainly a post-success cream tea

Approach
Homebrew: (hard) tie some load sensors via a Wheatstone Bridge to your GPIOs and write some code; (easier) canabalise an existing set of digital scales and use the guts from that; (easiest) get some cheap USB postage scales, and employ the law of levers to build a mechanical multiplier.

Take it further
Script a Facebook update for your daily weigh-in, or take up bee-keeping.

Online Help
Help comes from strange places: tracking weight over time (as well as the weather) is important to bee-keepers.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Pi-BX

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