I was recently asked by someone what interesting things I had done with a Raspberry Pi. I remember a day when I could have rambled off a full list of experience, cautions and advice based on my own tinkering. I was usually the first to play with new tech or, when I wasn’t, was very often the first to exploit it to do interesting and meaningful things within the scope of my job. My peers and I would tinker and share in ways that have been popularized by the Maker movement in recent years…and it was fun. But alas, I could answer only with a, “No, I haven’t really had time…but I’ve been following it for a while and it looks cool”.
As my career has matured and responsibilities have changed, I don’t get to tinker with hardware and software quite as much as I’d like anymore. When I do, it is usually very focused on projects related to work. I don’t play much anymore. The desire is still there, but the time very often is not. So, when technologies like Arduino and the Raspberry Pi came to the forefront of DIY electronics projects, I was only able to admire them from afar; knowing that stepping even a foot into that electronic-tinker-toy-wonderland would likely suck in me and most of my time for quite a while. Ideas of useful projects or enhancements to what others have done would float through my mind as I read articles, but I could always resist the urge. That is, until the recent release of the Raspberry Pi 2…a faster, smaller, more versatile version of the popular low-cost computing platform.
That’s right, I’ve bought one. Something about the new hardware, being asked a question to which I didn’t like my answer and a flood of interesting articles in my news feeds finally reeled me in. I should have my first slice of Pi in-hand soon and with it I expect to begin looking at ways to leverage the platform as a privacy router, security appliance and network monitor or as a compute cluster node…to say nothing doing fun projects in home automation, communication, media playback, or automotive computing. My first set of projects will likely be centered around marrying my experience in security operations with my current role in threat intelligence…leveraging the Raspberry Pi as a data gatherer and reporter for validating, extending and refining threat data. We’ll see where it goes, but regardless, it will be nice to be able to consider myself a proper hacker again. Even if I am showing up a bit late to this party.
If you have any projects underway or stuck in your head and want to share, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line or comment on this post.