Issue 12

May 2013


Welcome to issue 12 of The MagPi magazine, our 1st birthday celebratory issue.

What a year it has been! To mark this incredible achievement Liz Upton from the Raspberry Pi Foundation has kindly agreed to be a guest writer for the magazine and has produced an article documenting our first year of publication. Thank you Liz.

To celebrate a year of The MagPi, in this issue we are proud to be able to hold our first massive birthday give-away. In this competition we are giving readers the opportunity to win over £1,000 of Raspberry Pi goodies! Thank you to all the companies who have supported us with this… you are amazing.

We also take this opportunity to include articles covering some of the less published start up questions in the ‘Beginner’s Guide’ article and we review some of the operating systems which were produced over the last year for the Raspberry Pi. The MagPi’s very own Ian McAlpine provides us with a fantastic insight into the mind of Pete Lomas plus more from our great authors on coding.

Thank you to those who supported our Kickstarter campaign. We have a special update on page 17. Expect your printed copies very soon!

I hope you continue to enjoy The MagPi into our next year of production. If you have an article you wish us to include, or have some free time you could spare to help our cause, please email us at

Issue Contents

  1. Year Of The MagPi

    Looking back at the first year of The MagPi with Liz Upton4
  2. Beginners guide – Where can I get help

    There are numerous guides to getting started with a Raspberry Pi that cover the basics of setting up your new computer with the recommended Raspbian Wheezy operating system, running through raspi-config etc. However,  most setup guides stop once the system … Continued6
  3. Sweetbox II – How to make a case for the Raspberry Pi in 314 steps

    Like so many impatient technology junkies the world over, the wait to hold our first Raspberry Pi seemed like it would never end. But when we finally had it in our hands, our plan for it was quite different from … Continued10
  4. Raspberry Pi Operating Systems – All you can eat Raspberry Pi

    In only a year the number of operating systems for the Raspberry Pi has grown tremendously. In addition to various flavours of Linux and Unix, builds of RISC OS, Plan 9 and even an Amiga compatible offering are now available. … Continued12
  5. Star Letter – A note of thanks from the ZX generation

    I was 23 when I saw a full page advertisement in the Sunday Times advertising Clive Sinclair’s £70 ZX81. I had no idea what a computer was but convinced my father to fork out the money to buy me one. … Continued16
  6. Printing with CUPS – Printing from Python

    Last month, we added CUPS printing onto the Raspberry Pi. Now that you have got your printer up and working we can look at how to print from within our own applications. We are going to be using the Python … Continued18
  7. Interview – Pete Lomas

    Pete Lomas shares his thoughts on Raspberry Pi design challenges and the future. Pete Lomas is one of the trustees of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. He is also the man responsible for the final hardware design of the Raspberry Pi. … Continued20
  8. Creating music using the Raspberry Pi – Part2

                Welcome back folks. If you missed part 1 of this article please go and check it out in The MagPi issue #2. Above is a quick reference sheet for the Schism Tracker function keys … Continued26
  9. Bash gaffer tape (Part 2) – Embedding text and programs

    Challenge solution How did you get on with the challenge problem in Issue 10? Here is a solution to the problem, #!/bin/bash # A script to gzip all of the files in the present working # directory. The script does … Continued32
  10. The Scratch Patch – Pretty poor privacy

    This program shows you how to implement a “simple substitution” cipher with a reciprocal key. In a reciprocal key, pairs of characters are mapped to each other. This makes life easier as we can use the same key to encipher … Continued34