the element14 PiFace is an easy way to interface the Raspberry Pi with external I/O: 8 digital input, 4 pushbuttons, 8 digital outputs (open collector) and 2 relays. http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-52857/l/piface-digital-for-raspberry-pi
NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station One in Chicago. (Chicago's oldest and finest hackerspace.) NERP provides a place for learning, discussing, and experimenting with small 32-bit computers like the Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone, and many others. Topics of discussion in past NERP meetings have included
introduction to the Raspberry Pi
introduction to the Beagle Bone Black
introduction to the Teensy, and so on
communication and protocols
Raspberry Pi, etc. as an embedded controllers
electronic circuits for interfacing to the real world
using various kinds of sensors
Open Source Hardware and Software
software development tools
Topics can be of general interest or advanced and highly focused. The NERP wiki lists many resources for learning and using the Pi.
NERP meets every other Monday at Pumping Station:One. The meeting is free and open to the public. Owning a Raspberry Pi is not required to attend. The meeting format is:
The regular meeting from 7-8:30pm.
Tour of Pumping Station One's facilities 8:30-8:45pm.
The after-meeting which goes on until the building closes.
If you would like to show your work or lead a discussion, contact Ed (the meetup organiser) to schedule a day.
We are hosted by Pumping Station One. Pumping Station One is a hackerspace located in Chicago. Its mission is to foster a collaborative environment wherein people can explore and create intersections between technology, science, art, and culture. NERP and other PS1 interests and activities can be seen at the PS1 blog.