Once upon a time in the Olden Dayes of Yore (ie, before I bought an airplane kit), I had other hobbies. Electronics, ham radio, programming, photography, shooting, 4-wheel-drives. And every once in a great while (usually either by accident, or in some way related to building a plane), I go back to those hobbies, if only for a day or so. Many months ago, I ordered a Raspberry Pi. The demand for these little buggers was so huge that mine just now showed up on my doorstep. I had almost forgotten I had ordered it. The Raspberry Pi is a tiny $35 ARM-based 32-bit PC that runs linux. I installed a variant of Debian on mine. Then I had to figure out what I was going to do with the darned thing. Being a GPS and map nut, I decided to build a GPS tracker. I added an 8gig thumb drive, a cigarette lighter USB plug, a BU-353 SiRFStar III USB GPS receiver, installed gpsd (which, way back in the days when I worked at The Google and I had spare time, used to be one of the developers/maintainers of), and wrote a little bit of glue code in bash and ruby (yeah, I know python is the “official” scripting language for the Pi, but I detest python). Anyway, now I can track everywhere I go in full 3D goodness. Undoubtedly, this thing will end up installed in the plane once it’s done. But in the mean time, it goes with me wherever I drive, and keeps track of everywhere my pickup has been. I wrote some code to export the data points to KML so I can load them into Google Earth and plot them in 3D. 2D is adequate for the car, but I wanted to be able to take it on the plane with me, as well. I fly commercially about once a week for work, so I’ll give it a try on Monday morning on my flight to Spokane (running off of AA batteries). I just checked TripIt and made sure I have a window seat. Well, assuming the Tub-Stacking Agency airport weenies don’t decide my computer is a nuclear bomb and confiscate it. You know, ’cause it’s got wires and stuff. Might confuse their tiny brains.