It’s not often, but sometimes things just turn up at your doorstep when you least expect it. Earlier this week, I received this mysterious envelope all the way from element14’s UK office. I wonder what it is …
As you can see, I wasted no time in finding out – tearing the envelope apart before I had even scanned it in.
As it turns out, it is a hard-copy edition of the official Raspberry Pi magazine, cunningly named, The MagPi.
For those who don’t already know, The MagPi is the one and only official Raspberry Pi magazine. Released on a monthly basis since May 2012, it is a sort of “community” fan-zine turned semi-professional. Unlike traditional magazines, The MagPi started life in electronic form, licensed under Creative Commons (BY-SA-NC 3.0), meaning that the contents of the magazine are essentially “free” to read and reproduce.
From there, Issue 36 (August 2015) marks a milestone for The MagPi and The Raspberry Pi Foundation, as it is the first copy to go out in hard copy print form. The hard copy magazines have an issue price of GBP 5.99, and is available in newsagents and WH Smiths in the UK only, with expansion to US soon. Subscriptions are also being sold at this time, for six months or 1 year, costing GBP 55 for UK, GBP 80 for EU and GBP 90 for “rest of the world” for a one year subscription. Funds raised will go towards supporting the foundation in its goals.
It was definitely quite exciting to have a hard copy in my hand, knowing that very few others on this side of the world would have the luxury of feeling a nice matte and selective-gloss cover and being able to flip through the pages.
In all, I found The MagPi to contain a good assortment of projects and be quite readable, with different levels of finish and difficulty, and a good way to inspire yourself and educate yourself about the possibilities already existing when it comes to using the Raspberry Pi. Not every project will appeal to every reader, but within its 100 pages, it’s not a “lightweight” by any measure. It doesn’t leave the newcomers out in the cold, with tutorials and FAQ sections, as well as “features” which cover some of the more mundane topics. There are also reviews of hardware, which are always interesting to see, as well as relevant advertising (although many of them UK based) which shows you just what sort of whacky expansion “hats” are being produced, many I wasn’t even aware of. It is quite a substantial effort, and the print itself is of very good quality.
It’s worth a read if you have some down-time, run out of ideas entirely or you’re just interested in learning more about the Raspberry Pi. Best of all, you can always read it free – you can’t beat the low, low price of free! Of course, if you would like to support the foundation, it’s always a good idea to subscribe.
The back cover ad did give me a little bit of a laugh though. I’m sure they mean 192kHz, not 192Mhz, otherwise these boards would make a pretty good oscilloscope …
I congratulate The Raspberry Pi Foundation and The MagPi for reaching the milestone of releasing their first print edition (#36) – it really shows just how popular and useful the Raspberry Pi has become to “everyday” people and engineers alike. I really hope this works out well for them, and I think the hard copy will bring awareness to a whole different audience of people – even if just to get people talking about it. I will definitely treasure this physical copy – thanks element14!