Computers and control
Convenor: Peter Normington
This friendly and supportive group started in September 2018, taking forward ideas and suggestions offered by members of the 2017/18 group Logic, mathematical reasoning and programming in Haskell.
The aim of the group is to explore topics in computing and electronics, based largely on the Raspberry Pi, a single-board computer, and the Arduino, a programmable microcontroller. It is very much a hands-on approach: during the first few weeks of last year all members acquired a Raspberry Pi and most use their own laptop to operate their own (and others') remotely.
Members of the group learn about programming, using shell scripts and Python3, client-server computing and networking. Since this is a continuation group, all members now have some familiarity with the Linux command line and filesystem. We have used attached electronic components and other hardware to sense, control and display, including humidity and temperature sensing, control of LED arrays and RFID card reading and writing.
We will move onto other applications in the "Internet of Things" including the MQTT protocol. In general, we follow topics of interest as they emerge.
The meetings are held weekly, on Monday mornings for two hours from 10.30 am, except for those occasions (usually the second Monday of the month) when the Skiddaw U3A Popular Science group meets. Following a Summer break, our first meeting of Autumn 2019 will be on October 7th, and the second on October 21st. Currently, meetings are held in members' houses; a contribution of £1 per head is requested from attendees to cover expenses.
We welcome new members with some basic experience and understanding of the areas covered to date. For more details, please contact the convenor using the form on this website.