A teenage computer enthusiast will give a keynote speech at a world jamboree later this month after his website attracted close to a million views.
Linton Village College (LVC) student Matthew Timmons-Brown has established an online presence as ‘The Raspberry Pi Guy’, providing video tutorials for users of the mini-computer invented in Cambridge.
After speaking at the Raspberry Pi Jamboree in Cambridge in September, the 14 year old from Bartlow has now been invited to speak at ‘Raspberry Jam’, the global jamboree of Pi enthusiasts in Manchester on February 28.
“It all started a couple of years ago when the Raspberry Pi was launched,” he said.
“I was interested in gadgets but knew nothing about programming when I read an article about the Raspberry Pi.
“I was attracted by the name and the fact that it was a credit card-sized computer which you could buy for £20 or £30.”
When the first Raspberry Pi models went on sale in February 2012 they sold out within minutes and Matthew missed out because he was asleep at the time.
However, he soon managed to get his hands on one and searched the internet for advice on how to use it.
“There were a few online tutorials out there but I thought it would make a good project to create some videos and put them on YouTube.”
He styled himself as ‘Raspberry Pi Guy’, created an eye-catching logo and made his first video on preparing a SD card.
“After I uploaded my first video I got 50 views in one night, which was pretty exciting.”
However, that was merely the start and before long, this had risen to 10,000 views and peaked further when he was featured on the main Pi website in November last year.
He now has 30 videos online, covering everything from setting up your Pi to programming robots.
His YouTube channel has 18,000 subscribers and over 800,000 views, which is set to reach a million this year.
“I receive around 50 e-mails a day from all over the world, including the USA and Japan.
“The other day I had an email from a PhD student in computer science who needed some help with his dissertation.
“It takes up a lot of time to answer all of my e-mails but I always put my school work first.”
Raspberry Jam is being held to mark the second anniversary of the Pi and Matthew plans to speak on how it can be used to teach programming in schools.
He has already led workshops for schoolchildren at the Cambridge Centre for Computing History.
In the longer term, Matthew is planning to do work experience at BP and The Raspberry Pi Foundation in Cambridge and hopes to study computer science or engineering at Cambridge University.
LVC principal Caroline Derbyshire said: “Matthew is an able and enterprising young man and he already has quite a following as the Raspberry Pi Guy.
“I can see a very bright future ahead of him.”
To check out Matthew’s site, visit www.theraspberrypiguy.com
For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, February 6) Echo.