Earlier this year, I posted a couple of notes here about the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s bare-bones, low cost (ca. $35) single-board Linux computer. The idea behind the Raspberry Pi is to provide a cheap computer that can be used in quantity, particularly in educational settings.
Now PC Pro, a UK computer magazine, reports that the University of Cambridge has made available a free online course on building a basic operating system for the Raspberry Pi. The course has twelve sections, including an Introduction and lessons in three areas:
- Using the OK LED [Beginner] These five lessons focus on basic OS-level programming, controllling the OK LED on the Raspberry Pi board.
- Screen Series [Advanced] These four lessons cover drawing and manipulating text and simple graphics objects on a screen.
- Input Series [Advanced] These two lessons discuss drivers and linking in the context of keyboard input, and the construction of a simple comand-line interface.
The seteup required to take the course is not too elaborate:
In order to complete this course you will need a Raspberry Pi with an SD card and power supply, as well as another computer running a version of linux, Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X, capable of writing to the SD card, and installing software.
The lessons include some theoretical background, exercises, and worked solutions. The site also has other materials on the Raspberry Pi.