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Chewstick hosts Raspberry Pi Day fundraiser

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An entertainment-driven event for Bermuda's budding coders and computer enthusiasts is being held to raise money for the Cheswick Foundation's redevelopment project.

March 14 (3.14.15) has become known as Pi Day on account of the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi and to mark the occasion Chewstick is hosting the Raspberry Pi Day event at its new premises at 81 Front Street from 9am to 10pm.

A Raspberry Pi is a $30 computer that can run off a phone charger and, throughout the event, participants will be able to create videos of performances as well as play retro games. The Pi runs an operating system called Linux which is free and open software.

Organiser John Gill is a mathematician and computer scientist who has been working with open source software for more than 30 years. He will bring with him three Raspberry Pis, one of which he hopes to use for Bermuda content.

Guests are asked to bring their own digital content to share, their cameras and memory cards to help build a Rasberry Pi media centre throughout the day. Mr Gill will be running retro video games consoles and the Raspian operating system.

Mr Gill told The Royal Gazette: “I am passionate about open source software and believe it is the key to turning Bermuda into a centre of technical excellence not only for risk analysis but also for cyber security and environmental research.

“Events like Pi Day are a great way to raise awareness of open source software. The tie with Chewstick is particularly exciting as community building, which is at the heart of Chewstick activities, is a key part of developing open source expertise.

“If you do have Raspberry Pis or related hardware it would be good to bring them along, too.”

Raspberry Pi is the same operating system running on Android phones and powers much of the internet. It is used for super computers, desktops, tablets and embedded devices.

Mr Gill added: “There is a vast body of such software available these days and it can empower not just coders but also anyone who uses computers in their work. Whatever tools you are using there is a good chance there are free and open tools to do the job. In many cases those tools are better than the proprietary alternatives. Since the source code is freely available users are free to change and improve it in any way they want. You can think of the source code as being analogous to a recipe used to cook a dish.”

Sticking with the Raspberry Pi theme, there will be actual raspberry pies served at the event and there will be performances by the Harvard Glee Club. Money raised will go towards the $200,000 needed to develop Chewstick's new premises.

Administration officer Deidra Bean said: “The Chewstick Foundation is still in transition and needs help to be able to once again be a resource for the community to engage with their passions.

“We are struggling to raise funds and need the community to understand that we are far from ready to be open and need their support to enable us to do so.”

Donations can be made on the day at the facility or via The Chewstick Donation Page on www.ptix.bm

Gavin Smith and Deidra Bean of the Chewstick Foundation
John Gill

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Published March 14, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated March 14, 2015 at 2:36 am)

Chewstick hosts Raspberry Pi Day fundraiser

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