The new event runner for CamJam is an old face in the community. This #MagPiMonday, we get to know him a little better.
Brian Corteil has been in The MagPi many times – over the years we’ve both shared his projects as showcases or screenshots in #MagPiMonday, and he’s even written a few articles. He’s a long-term member of the community who has taken on a new role recently.
“I am part of the team that has taking over organising CamJam from Mike Horne and Tim Richardson,” Brian tells us. “[They] organised the last couple of CamJams before 2020. Early this year, I had realized that it had been over three years since the last CamJam and I decided to it was time for CamJam to return, and the only way it would happen is if I organised it. So, I pitched the idea to hold the jam at Cambridge’s Makespace to both Mike, Tim, and Makespace. Luckily, everyone thought it was a great idea.”
You can see some pictures from the success of the new CamJam on page 88 of The MagPi #130.
What is your history with making?
I’ve really been making all my life; I have always enjoyed the journey of making something. I have been making since I was a child, starting off with wooden building blocks, then Meccano and LEGO. One of the earliest things I remember making was a zip wire for my Action Man, and I made a retrieval system from garden wire to rescue him. Star Wars: A New Hope came out when I was about 8-years-old. It jump-started a love of robots and computers. I started programming when my dad brought me a ZX80, then various other 1980s computers including an Acorn Electron. I returned to programming in the early 2000s when I started an OU Computer studies degree. The last 15 years, I have been making projects with Arduinos and Raspberry Pi. I got into digital making via the video console hacking scene where I first heard about Arduinos.
What was your first Raspberry Pi project?
The first project I can remember making was an internet-connected Giraffe Mood Lamp. It was built on top of a Raspberry Pi model A, way back in 2012. I removed the base of a LED night light, mounted it on top of an array of RGB LEDs, and it could be controlled over the internet.
What are some of your favourite projects you’ve made?
My ‘Naughty or Nice’ Machine – it scans your hand and gives you a naughtiness rating. It tips the scales so little kids are less naughty than their parents. Tiny 4WD robot, which I designed for a robotics feature I wrote for The MagPi (magpi.cc/51) and have taken to events like Micro Pi Noon (I nicked the idea for Micro Pi Noon from the Pi Wars Pi Noon challenge). Face-plant, my Pi Wars balance bot, and Zoey, a zoetrope made from 15 Pimoroni Badgers, two Raspberry Pi, six USB hubs, a flat bed scanner to scan in cell sheets, and a Pico.
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