Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rasperry Pi and Minecraft Pi, My Oh My!

Over the past few months I have not been very active with this blog. I apologize to all 3 of you! Haha, joking aside, I will be the first to admit; I was discouraged that my lists kept getting rejected, that my blog was not getting as many visitors as I would like, not to mention it was a lot of work. Then I got a new "toy", a Raspberry Pi, that kept me nice and distracted (and gave me an idea for a new blog series).

Raspberry Pi 3

The Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. In my particular case, my wife had read an article about it and decided it would be fun gift for my birthday so she got me a Raspberry Pi 3. I didn't know what to think or do with it but as soon as the box showed up on our doorstep, my 5 year-old's curiosity peaked. Then I read that it came with a version of Minecraft Pi already installed on it and when my son found this out, he had to try this Raspberry Pi thing. 

Raising kids this day in age is different that when I was growing up. We didn't necessarily have to worry about computer's taking over many of the world's jobs by the time we were ready to enter the workforce. Recently, on November 13th, 2017, Former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee went on CNBC's Squawk Box and said that half of all human jobs will be taken over by AI within the next decade, making it the fastest period of disruption in history. While I was growing up, my parents didn't approve of us playing computer games and encouraged us to play outside with friends. While I believe that is still important for kids to do today, I also believe some amount of time spent playing video games, computers, etc. can be beneficial to a child's development as well. Computers certainly aren't going anywhere and are only going to continue to become a bigger part of our lives.

It's alive! Our Raspberry Pi 3 up and running :)

Out of the box, the Raspberry Pi does not come with a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. Which is also why it only costs $35. You can purchase kits on Amazon that come with everything you need. Once I got those all of those things, we watched a few YouTube tutorial video's on how to get us started. As soon as the Raspberry Pi was booted up and running (pictured above), we started off using the Raspberry Pi to "play" Minecraft Pi. Not that I had much of a choice. My son had already been playing Minecraft on his iPad for months and absolutely loves it! My wife and I had determined it was a "harmless" game that actually teaches kids some good, interesting things. However we currently do not let him play with other people online since he is so young. It creeps us out not knowing who could be online, playing with our son. Minecraft Pi is a very rudimentary version of the standard Minecraft game and in certain cases, the only way to do certain functions (like blow up TNT blocks) was to do some coding. My son was almost instantly frustrated as he couldn't do a lot of the functions he was used to in the other versions. We both had to learn! 

Coding!? Going into this Raspberry Pi "project" I knew at some point I would come across the need to do some coding. I think it is important to state here that up to this point in my life, I done a grand total of ZERO coding my entire life. In my next blog entry I will go into detail how I taught myself (and my son) the basics of coding in the Python language, point out some resources, and how we were able to use it to play Minecraft. Stay tuned! 

Post after Next Post: Google Voice Kit - AIY Project


  1. It's awesome! Welcome to the tribe!

    1. Thank you, I agree! We have since done a few other projects that I can't wait to share. There is just so much you can do with this little computers, what a learning experience for my son (and myself!).

  2. i wonder why the buyers rejected these great list,you wote very well,dont bother someone and keep posting and keep of luck for future.

    1. Thank you very much for the support!