December 2018
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The Microbit Foundation

Camara Education


Pimoroni Shop

Slua on Flickr

Free counters!

UCD CoderDojo Raspberry Pi Demo

Three queries arose after my Raspberry Pi demo at the first session of the UCD CoderDojo for the 2017/18 academic year at the UCD Innovation Academy. The first question related to the cost and availability of the Pi 3 “in the shops”. The second query/discussion was about the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s alliance with the CoderDojo Foundation and what it would mean for volunteers and members of the dojos. And finally, the third inquiry took place when the session finished and I was putting my gear away. One very enthusiastic father wanted to know where he could buy an AstroPi case. 

As far as I am aware the cases are not available for sale from any source. But I could be wrong. I have only seen two homemade cases in the flesh and both of them bore no resemblance to the unit in use on the space station. The unit manufactured for the space mission was custom-made to the highest tolerances. I did attempt to have the ESA Pi 3 model featured in the above video 3D printed but it was far too expensive. However, I will investigate the possibility of having one run off at the UCD Innovation Academy. The above video goes through all the steps to 3D print the case in various forms for models 2 and 3. Enjoy!


BBC Micro:bit boards Irish Resellers


I have been in conversation over the last few days with 4 teachers who are experiencing back-to-school misery and frustration with their efforts to source and purchase BBC micro:bits in Ireland.   

Maplin is the only listed BBC micro:bit reseller in the Republic of Ireland on the micro:bit website. I have purchased from Maplin Shops in Dublin since they were established. However, I would not order the BBC Micro:bit board through the Maplin Irish website. The UK listed price of £12.99 is now advertised at €19.45 on the Irish Maplin site.  I can only presume that the VAT difference and the Irish so called “FREE “Delivery is in fact a next day courier service to merit the inflated Irish price. We live on an island – not on the moon.

Farnell element14 seemed to have dropped the ball in Ireland. Apparently, they are only interested in bulk orders and refer the would-be customer to CPC Ireland Farnell which is based in Preston. CPC Ireland Farnell charge for handling for every item instead of one charge when the shopping cart is processed. They also push multiples on certain products but the final insult is the notice above the invoice which reads  . . . 

  • For international orders please contact our Export Coordinator at . . . 
  • Export orders cannot be processed on the website. All Export deliveries are subject to freight and restrictions.

Check out for a comprehensive stock list of STEAM products for the Irish market.

Radionics Ireland  is based in Dublin 12 since I was a child. Unfortunately, they do not have the BBC micro:bit agency but they do offer a small discount to schools for multiple purchase of the same item. They have an excellent Raspberry Pi range of accessories in stock.

All trade marks are acknowledged.


WordCamp Dublin is coming soon!

WordCamp Dublin is coming soon!

The event is happening on October 14-15 2017

The venue is DCU Business School, Dublin, Ireland


WordCamp tickets are on sale here

Wanna speak? Apply here

Learn more about sponsoring here

Want to help us? Apply as a volunteer

Social Media and Contacts






Whizzkids DCU Week 5

Whizzkids DCU Week 5 was great fun and a mix of nationalities and abilities. The group consisted of novices, old hands and a very able hacker. Besides learning HTML, CSS and Javascript as they constructed their webpages the coders also got to work the BBC Micro:bit board. They were also introduced to the Raspberry Pi 3 and its various uses. Both boards were received with great enthusiasm. The predictable run failures resulted in code debugging by tutors and coders alike. The culprits were usually misspells and/or absent colons of brackets. It was a great experience over the last 5 weeks to work with children who were personally motivated and actually wanted to be there. 

Radio Caroline outlawed at midnight 50 years ago


Archive black and white photographs of Radio Caroline being kitted out in Greenore Harbour, County Louth in the Republic of Ireland.


50 years ago while I was on holidays in Skerries in north county Dublin I stayed awake with my hand size Panasonic transistor radio jammed to my ear to listen to what I thought were the dying hours of Radio Caroline.

Whizzkids at DCU 2017

Another week at Whizzkids DCU 2017 Summer Camp has come to an end and a great time was had by all. The standard was very high and new national and international friendships were forged during the week. The other images will be published in the gallery on the right sidebar over the weekend.