The Game of Life

One of the talks at last weeks Raspberry Jamboree was by Amy Mather – 13 years old, talking about her implementation of Conways Game of Life on the Raspberry Pi.


For many reasons – and I think it’s great to see todays young people get enthusiastic by some of this things that I myself got enthusiastic about when I started to learn about computers far too many years ago!

Back then I wrote a program in Applesoft BASIC and patiently watched it do generation after generation… taking about 15-20 seconds per generation too )-: And that was in low-resolution (40×40) graphics. High resolution just wasn’t a consideration unless you had all day to wait. Still faster than doing it on paper though!

So in the past few days when I was testing some GPIO expander chips on the Raspberry Pi for the next release of WiringPi, I was a little stuck for something to test them with – then I remembered, John Jay sent me some MCP23017 expander chips on a board along with a red+green LED matrix board, so it seemed obvious – do the plumbing, use them to test the new version of wiringPi, then implement life on the 8×8 matrix.

life1That’s showing a glider, ready to launch…

So a big thanks to Amy for reminding me that computing needn’t be challenging and sometimes some of those things I did 35 years ago are still relevant (and fun) today! (ie. wasted too much time today on this already!)

Although I have to say, life on an 8×8 matrix is somewhat challenging – (I didn’t quite get a glider and a blinker going at the same time), but in these modern days of huge displays and fast processors it gives me something else to think about!

Comments are closed.