Book Review : Raspberry Pi Server Essentials

This is a book review for Packt Publishing‘s Raspberry Pi Server Essentials.


Raspberry Pi is often touted as a boon for classroom computing. I have often seen scenarios where several folks have purchased a Raspberry Pi and after a few sessions with it have not utilized it much. Well sure the hobbyists are busy building sensor networks but most people need to understand how to employ their Pi for tasks that are likely to be more useful to them, in and around their computing needs.

This is where “Raspberry Pi Server Essentials” book comes in. It contains several chapters that help you to use your Pi for a specific purpose.

The initial chapters focus on the basics of setting up your Pi, Operating System installation/updates and setting up the networking. This forms a good base to then explore the remaining chapters.

The next set of chapter focus on a specific use of the Pi. The chapters range from:

  • Using the Pi as a Web Application Server
  • Setting up a File Server
  • Setting up a Game Server
  • Media Center
  • and even a Bit Coin mining machine (Hope you get lucky with that one!)

For households that have multiple devices, setting up a File Server or Game Server powered by your Pi is a great way to streamline things. In fact, you could jump to any chapter, if the specific purpose of that chapter is what you want to use your Pi with.

The instructions in each of the chapters are very precise. Right from downloading the software, configuring and running it, the instructions are good and focus just on the task, which is how it should be for a book of this kind.

Overall, this is a good book to explore practical uses that you could put to use immediately for your Pi.

Dive into HP IDOL OnDemand APIs

The future lies in processing data and deriving some value from it. Often, the process is tedious and could involve multiple sources of data, images, videos and more to link together.


HP IDOL On Demand is a great set of APIs that is made available by the HP Cloud Platform that make things much easier for the developer.

Check out my article at ProgrammableWeb that goes into the details of the HP IDOL OnDemand APIs and code snippets to get started on them today.

Tech-4-Kids @ Xoriant

I was delighted to conduct another Introduction to Computer Programming for 20 kids today. Our goal was to introduce the kids to programming in a fun way and what better way, than to introduce them to Scratch.


There are 3 topics that I typically cover in any introduction to programming, especially when the kids have never been introduced to programming and are in the specific age group of 7-11 years. We start off with what can computers do, what is a language and then we dissect a game (Angry Birds … no points for guessing that!). We proceed then with basic animation and cap it off with story boarding. That is sufficient enough to kick off the creative juices in the kids and they simply take off from there. After that, there is a good chance that they are not even listening to you. And that means, you did a good job !

The session went off well. It was great to see the twinkle in the eyes of the kids, when they got the basic programs working in Scratch.

0724OSSpecial thanks to PacktPub for allowing me to distribute 3 copies of their excellent book, Scratch 2.0 : A Beginners Guide. I am sure the winners will love to take their Scratch adventure to greater heights with this book.

In case you live in India and want your kids (Class 5 – 10) to have  dose of healthy competition while till having fun, check out the Google India Code To Learn contest. Google India invites school students from classes 5 to 10 from all over India to explore Scratch and develop projects on it. Students in classes 9 and 10 can develop their projects in Scratch but are also welcome to choose Java or C++. Check out the site for more details including registration/submission.