I recently turned in my last assignment of graduate school and finally found myself with time to get back to projects and tinkering. My boyfriend gave me an ASUS netbook a while back. His best guess is that it's somewhere between 10 and 15 years old, so he isn't going to be upset if I completely destroy it in my tinkering. After looking into a number of ways to repurpose functional netbooks and other obsolete devices, I decided the weight, small size, and 32-bit processor of this particular netbook made it a prime candidate for guilt-free deconstruction.
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My initial idea for a project that could utilize parts from this deconstructions was a "magic mirror" - setting the screen behind one-way glass and programming a microcontroller to display dynamic content. Which reminded me that I hadn't had time to turn on and configure my Rasperry Pi! Two major project moves in one day? Heaven.
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The main reason it had taken me so long to get started with the Raspberry Pi was that I hadn't wanted to experiment with my boyfriend's wireless mouse & keyboard, since I didn't have a wired keyboard. However, this was the push I needed to do a quick search and find that, indeed, that would not be an issue. I plugged in the dongle and fired up the pi.
My first impressions were largely positive: configuration has gotten comically simple, the pre-loaded software all seems to be useful (even the games), and it really does feel like the fully functional computer center I'd always heard it was. Due to recent developments in my job prospects, I have not been able to make progress on this specific project yet. But the tinkering possibilities really do feel limitless and I'm hopeful about working up to tinkering together some hardware that can help people. Bring on the unknown future!