While Freshmen Start New Computer Project
Published : Wednesday, March 30, 2016 | 12:14 PM
While freshmen in Bosco Tech’s Computer Science & Electrical Engineering (CSEE) program have been busy building their own computers, senior Donovan Gonzalez has taken the project a quantum leap further and, by programming one of the wallet-sized kits, has created a working mini-console reminiscent of arcade gaming units introduced in the early 1980s.
The Raspberry Pi kit project, introduced this year to CSEE freshmen in their Computer & Electronics Basics class, allows them to explore computing and learn programming while customizing their own fully functional but tiny motherboards. The finished unit communicates with monitors, cameras and USB-enabled peripheral devices, while accessing the internet via the campus’ WiFi signal. The entire unit can be held in the palm of your hand.
And now Donovan, who currently is taking Advanced Placement Computer Science, has provided inspiration to the freshmen by creating a gaming console built around a Raspberry Pi. His working arcade-style console looks like a miniature Asteroids unit, a la 1980, and plays hundreds of popular and retro video games. With a hand from his father who is a skilled finish carpenter, Donovan created the realistic looking scaled-down housing and has already had requests from teachers and friends to build them similar units. He says he will leave one in the CSEE lab for future students to enjoy when he continues his computer science studies at the university level in the fall.
His AP Computer Science instructor, Mr. Ed Sepulveda, a 1996 Tech alumnus, is understandably proud.
“Donovan’s project is a great example of what our students can accomplish. We know that by establishing the basic knowledge of computer hardware in them at an early point, they have the opportunity to build on that knowledge and, adding their own creativity and imagination, develop projects far beyond the average consumer’s understanding of technology,” he says. “This rare understanding of how computers actually work will put these students, young men like Donovan, well ahead of their peers in their grasp of and confidence with technology.”
Don Bosco Technical Institute, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead, (626) 940-2000 or visit www.boscotech.edu.