Raspberry Pi

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Nov. 21, 2016

Raspberry Pi - the flavors are digital at Michigan State University this holiday season 

Thanksgiving is a great time to think about serving up Raspberry Pi, Pumpkin, or even Boston Cream – this holiday season the flavors are digital at Michigan State University.Kelly Climer, systems administrator in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, brought the mini-server Raspberry Pi into the college to help with homework and a little humor. 

Students in a Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) 320 class at the MSU College of Engineering can now choose their favorite flavor when assigning their homework to one of the university’s newest computer servers. And while the network is electronic, students choose from 22 flavors in all, including raspberry, pumpkin, chocolate, cherry, and apple so they can see how busy their pie is and decide which one to consume. 

“Raspberry Pi is a new credit-card sized technology that uses the same processor as many cell phones,” explained Kelly Climer, systems administrator in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “We treat them like mini-servers that computer science students can access remotely to do their homework,” he explained. “And when the class is done, students aren’t left with something they may never use again.” 

For instance, if a student assigns homework to the pecan system, they can go online to check if it is in use (http://www.cse.msu.edu/pie/kindex.php) or actually visit the colorful, blinking display in the hallway of the Engineering Building to see their project in action. 

“Most computer science students rarely get to see the hardware they are using for homework,” Climer said. 

The Raspberry Pi display is in the third-floor hallway of the Engineering Building, near Room 3320. 

He got the idea after reading about a cost-saving Raspberry Pi server in the United Kingdom. 

He said MSU’s Raspberry Pi mini-server substitutes for an old server that would cost $20,000 to replace. This new technology costs about $2,800, including all support equipment, and it uses the same operating system as the college’s main server, Linux. Homework runs on a system that offers a combined 88 CPU and 22 gigabytes of ram. 

"Most computer science students rarely get to see the hardware they are using for their homework." - Kelly ClimerClimer noted that any CSE student could log in and try their hand at the program, which is similar to technology being used by tech companies around the country. 

“This is a very current technology. It’s like spreading a student’s work out over many small computers. MSU may be the only American institution using it this way,” Climer added, “but it may be making our students hungry when they check on their homework.”



 


Pie flavors:
Raspberry
Blueberry
Cherry
Apple
Chocolate
Lemon
Pumpkin
Pecan
Sweet potato
Key lime
Strawberry
Boston Cream
Spinach
Coconut
Butterscotch
Peach
Blackberry
Banana Cream
Peanut Butter
Mulberry
French Silk
Boysenberry