Big week for geeks

Posted by Colin on Tue, Sep 8, 2015

It is set to be an exciting week for geeks. Tomorrow sees Apple holding their annual iPhone launch event and the Raspberry Pi foundation just launched their official 7 inch touch display for the Raspberry Pi.

Apple event

It is expected they will release a new iPhone, most likely a 6S, and the main new feature may be the new Force Touch technology first seen in the Apple Watch and the new trackpads on the Macbook and updated Macbook Pro. I am due an upgrade so I will be watching this one with special interest and credit card on hand.

They will also either launch or announce a release date in the near future for iOS 9 for iPhones and iPads. Also WatchOS 2.0 will be released which should see a slew of new exciting watch apps being released as it allows developers much more access to the hardware.

They are also rumoured to be launching a new Apple TV box with potentially huge changes which would change it from being an Apple “hobby project” into a force to be reckoned with in the set top box arena. Many Smart TVs have just awful interfaces and apparently Apple have put their typical attention to detail into this and it will be leaps and bounds ahead of anything currently on the market. Here’s hoping.

There may be other surprises as well ( I am hoping for a super secret One More Thing ).

I usually make a point of making up an ice cold pint of Coke and some of my epic geek sandwiches (ham, lettuce, mayo and Cool Original Doritos) for these keynotes but this time I will be watching this one with my 15 month old son. He needs to learn about technology early so I figure Apple Keynotes are as good a place as any. Let’s hope Tim Cook doesn’t rattle on about sales figures and “Customer Sat.” for too long at the start.

Raspberry Pi Screen

The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched their long awaited official touch screen for the Raspberry Pi mini computer. It runs at 800 x 480 resolution, which isn’t massive, but on a 7 inch screen with 10 points of touch sensing it would be more than capable for a range of projects.

Raspberry Pi Official 7" Touch Screen

It has been very neatly designed to use the DSI port on the Pi, keeping those precious GPIO pins free for other things. The board connects to the back of the screen and stand-offs are supplied so that you can mount the Pi to the back of the screen. Couple it with a wireless keyboard and a battery pack and you have yourself a portable Linux PC!

A few possible project ideas would include:

  • Homebrew tablet PC
  • Control Panel for Home automation systems
  • Portable games emulator
  • Point of Sale device for a shop
  • Mini internet kiosk computer for a museum or library
  • Car PC
  • Weather Station

My head is already buzzing with possibilities for this and can see one being ordered in the near future. It is very reasonably priced at around £50. You can get one from the excellent @pimoroni on their site for £58 with a cool coloured stand.

I can see my wallet getting a bashing this month and any free time I had going down the drain. Should result in a few interesting posts on here though!

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