School of Information and Communications Technology Professor
Chris Tyler (centre) holds up a prototype of the Raspberry Pi.
Pictured with him are President David Agnew and Mark Adler,
Member of Parliament, Riding of York Centre
The raspberry pi could make your own private world into a green, more earth-conscious paradise; programming it to manage your houses appliances and keep energy usage in check. But students and faculty from Seneca College in Toronto are working diligently to apply the Pi’s low-power ARM processor for widespread use as servers, making internet communication more earth-friendly.
In order to get the RPi to the level of an Intel server, lots of software must be written. The team at Seneca College started by writing a Fedora Linux package to be run on the Pi’s ARM processor. This task is just the beginning, and the team is still learning about what software can be run on the RPi. The team uses a build farm made up of around 60 ARM devices to develop and debug Fedora-based software for ARM. In the future, these efforts may lead to high-density, low-power servers that could revolutionize web-based communications with the ARM’s high performance, low-power processing at the core of data centers.
The Seneca team is confident that the ARM and Linux programming community will contribute greatly to these efforts as this is a gargantuan coding project. Along with the open source platform, the low-cost of the Raspberry Pi makes the project attainable to everyone, particularly students.
The team has already developed a useful Fedora environment for the RPi called the Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix 14, which includes word processors, HD video players, gaming capabilities and other applications that make it comparable to a desktop computer. The team has also adapted Apache and Firefox, other open source applications, to run on the Raspberry Pi’s processor.
The Raspberry Pi is still a young piece of hardware. I cannot wait to see what the open source method and community does with it; like using it to help humans coexist with the balance of nature.
Old video from Seneca on the early form of the project