Eben Upton at Oxford Geek Night

Earlier this week I went along to the Oxford Geek Night where they had a Raspberry Pi themed night. The Pi is obviously popular in Oxford (despite any possible Oxford – Cambridge rivalry – the Pi was born in Cambridge), and the place was absolutely packed. The only spot I could find to stand wasn’t even in sight of the stage, though it was quite close to the bar, so that balanced things up somewhat.

I only stayed as long as the break, because my main reason for being there was to meet Eben who has been very kind in mentioning my name at every possible opportunity! He is a self-confessed “Space Cadet” so we have that in common, and I saved him from having to eat his hat if nobody put a Pi up into near space under a weather balloon. By coincidence that first Pi flight was the very next day after the publication of that article, so he didn’t have to worry about the long term viability of said hat for long.

I mentioned here before that I intended to retire my model B Pi from active duty after 4 successful flights, and it was about that time that I hatched the plan to present that Pi to Eben. I decided to get it framed and I spent 2-3 hours (about the same time as a flight!) scouring various shops for a suitable (deep, and preferably with 3 sections) frame. In the end Julie remembered that we’d bought such a frame before, from Tesco of all places. I should mention though that no horses were harmed in the making of this frame.


I also decided to present my TARDIS to Eben, after Liz Upton had asked for suitable items for their demo table. Of course I’d removed the Pi, so it wasn’t functional, and I decided to remove the tracker components too (so I can use those again). I did however leave the battery pack in place so the flashing LED could be brought to life anytime.

So, come the break, I made my way forward towards the stage against the flow of people making a break for the bar and/or toilets. Eben was chatting with a few other geeks including Alex Eames of raspi.tv who covered my TARDIS flight, but eventually he spotted the TARDIS and then guessed who I was! So I explained that the TARDIS was his to take away, and I then reached into my bag for the framed, original, “Pi In The Sky”. Here he is holding his new goodies:


We had a brief chat about my progress with my next tracker – a model A Pi with a pre-production Pi camera – and we talked about flying that in a few weeks time so Eben and Liz can see what it’s like to launch and chase a weather balloon flight. I’ll post again soon about the hardware and plans for that flight, but it should be a good one!

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One Response to “Eben Upton at Oxford Geek Night”

  1. […] So far, Akerman has played with form as well as function, bundling his electronic components into latex housings (called payloads) that he’s molded into whimsical shapes. Recently, Akerman launched the pink, cartoonish Raspberry Pi logo itself. “Aerodynamically, that was a disaster,” he admitted. His other creations – including a tongue-in-cheek flying saucer, and a TARDIS from the British TV show Dr. Who – have fared better. […]

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