Looking forward to Voice Control in MacOS 13 (Catalina)

Image of MacBook Pro with the Accessibility settings screen open on MacOS Catalina.

Apple is about to introduce a remarkable new technology to the world with its newest OS update (Catalina) expected this fall. What makes this new technology exciting is that it comes about a year after the industry leader in voice to text and control software, Nuance, announced that it would no longer be releasing the Mac version of its popular Dragon software. WIth out much notice, or reason, it was announced that Dragon Dictate, the Mac version of Dragon Naturally Speaking was being discontinued, and would not be available moving forward.

In the assistive technology community this was a shock. Dragon Dictate for Mac has always seemed the red headed step child for Nuance. It did not keep up with the features built into the Windows version and was updated infrequently. But by eliminating this product, there was about to be a very large hole in the voice to text options available to users of Apple computers.

At the time, the only real available option was to more fully embrace Apple’s own built in Voice Dictation tool. This tool has been around for quite some time, and Apple has continued to provide it to all Apple computer users as a built in free accessibility tool. On the plus side, it has a very simple interface, and works fairly well for simple applications, however, it is lacking in many of the important features that we come to expect from Dragon. You won’t be able to add to its vocabulary which can really limit how much writing you can accomplish with it. And it can’t learn from its mistakes. This is pretty much the deal breaker. For those familiar with Dragon, this is probably its best feature. Lacking this ability really effects the usefulness of this tool.

Now the good news. When Apple demonstrated its new Voice Control system at this years WWDC, it seemed almost too good to be true. Not only does it employ a much more powerfull and intelligent voice to text engine, using advancements in Siri and machine learning, but it would be available across its product line. MacOS, iOS and the new iPadOS will now all include Voice Control.

Another exciting feature is the ability to customize words, just like Dragon. Now we will have the ability to add legal, medical or specific terminology to the Voice Control system that will help it improve its accuracy and usability. This alone is worth the price of admission, and is the key feature of Dragon that has kept it in the lead as far as voice to text goes.

As you can see from the list of commands below, there are a great deal of new commands that really open up the possibilities of using Voice Control for nearly every aspect of using your computer. It’s still early days, but my hope is that Voice Control will be a prefect replacement for the Dragon.

Voice Control Commands

Basic Navigation
Action

Commands
Open Siri       “Open Siri”
“Show Siri”
“Launch Siri”
“Switch Siri”
Open <application name>       “Open <application name>”
“Show <application name>”
“Launch <application name>”
“Switch to <application name>”
Quit <application name> “Quit <application name>”
Hide <application name> “Hide <application name>”
Quit application   “Quit application”
“Quit this application”
Hide application “Hide this application”
New item     “New item”
“Make New item”
“New window”
Open document   “Open document”
“Open a document”
Save document   “Save document”
“Save this document”
Close window   “Close window”
“Close this window”
Minimize window   “Minimize window”
“Minimize this window”
Click <item name>   “Click <item name>”
“Press <item name>”
Click <menu name> menu     “Click <menu name> menu”
“Press <menu name> menu”
“Open <menu name> menu”
Click <menu item name>   “Click <menu item name>”
“Press <menu item name>”
Close menu   “Close menu”
“Cancel menu”
Go to previous field   “Go to previous field”
“Previous field”
Go to next field       “Go to next field”
“Next field”
“Tab key”
“Press Tab key”
Find the text <phrase> “Find the text <phrase>”
Find next “Find next”
Show commands           “Show commands”
“Show commands window”
“Open commands”
“Open commands window”
“Show me what to say”
“What can I say”
Hide commands       “Hide commands”
“Hide commands windows”
“Close commands”
“Close commands window”
How do I <phrase>   “How do I <phrase>”
“Search commands for <phrase>”
Open dictation preferences     “Open dictation preferences”
“Open Speech preferences”
“Open Dictation and Speech preferences”
Go to sleep “Go to sleep”
Wake up “Wake up”
Search Spotlight for <phrase> “Search spotlight for <phrase>”
Search for <phrase> “Search for <phrase>”
Make this speakable         “Make this speakable”
“Create command”
“Create user command”
“Define keyboard command”
“Define a keyboard command”
Turn off Voice Control   “Turn off Voice Control”
“Turn Voice Control off”
Send that   “Send that”
“Send message”
Open result     “Open result”
“Open selection”
“Open that”
Close Spotlight     “Close Spotlight”
“Quit Spotlight”
“Cancel Spotlight”
Previous result       “Previous result”
“Move to Previous search result”
“Previous results”
“Move to Previous search results”
Next result       “Next result”
“Move to Next search result”
“Next results”
“Move to Next search results”
Scroll preview down “Scroll preview down”
Scroll preview up “Scroll preview up”
Search now “Search now”
Go back “Go back”
Go forward “Go forward”
New tab “New tab”
Close tab “Close tab”
Zoom in “Zoom in”
Zoom out“Zoom out”
Close Siri       “Close Siri”
“Quite Siri”
“Cancel Siri”
“Hide Siri”
Overlays & Mouse Controls
Action

Spoken Command & Alternates
Show numbers“Show numbers”
Hide numbers“Hide numbers”
Show grid “Show grid””Show the grid”
Show window grid “Show window grid”
“Show the window grid”
Hide grid “Hide grid””Hide the grid”
Choose <number>“Choose <number>”
Click number <number>    “Click <number>”
“Click at <number>”
“Press <number>”
“<modifier keys> click <number>”
“<modifier keys> click at <number>”
Double click <number>   “Double click <number>”
“Double click at <number>”
“<modifier keys> double click <number>”
“<modifier keys> double click at <number>”
Triple click <number>   “Triple click <number>”
“Triple click at <number>”
“<modifier keys> triple click <number>”
“<modifier keys> triple click at <number>”
Long press <number> “Long press <number>”
“Long press at <number>”
Drag <number> to <number> “Drag <number> to <number>”
“Drag from <number> to <number>”
Start drag <number> “Start drag <number>”
“Start drag at <number>”
Drop <number>       “Drop <number>”
“Drop at <number>”
“Release mouse <number>”
“Release mouse at <number>”
“Release hold <number>”
“Release hold at <number>”
“End drag <number>”
“End drag at <number>”
Click and hold <number>    “Click and hold <number>”
“Click and hold at <number>”
“Press and hold <number>”
“<modifier keys> click and hold <number>”
“<modifier keys> click and hold at <number>”
Zoom in <number> “Zoom in <number>”
“Zoom in at <number>”
Zoom out <number> “Zoom out <number>”
“Zoom out at <number>”
Move cursor left <count> pixels            “Move cursor left <count> pixels”
“Move the cursor to the left <count> pixels”
“Move the mouse left <count> pixels”
“Move the mouse to the left by <count> pixels”
“Move the cursor left one pixel”
“Move the cursor to the left by one pixel”
“Move the mouse left one pixel”
“Move the mouse to the left by one pixel”
“Move cursor left a pixel”
“Move the cursor to the left by a pixel”
“Move mouse left a pixel”
“Move the mouse to the left by a pixel”
Move the cursor right <count> pixels           “Move cursor right <count> pixels”
“Move the cursor to the right <count> pixels”
“Move the mouse right <count> pixels”
“Move the mouse to the right by <count> pixels”
“Move the cursor right one pixel”
“Move the cursor to the right by one pixel”
“Move the mouse right one pixel”
“Move the mouse to the right by one pixel”
“Move cursor right a pixel”
“Move the cursor to the right by a pixel”
“Move mouse right a pixel”
“Move the mouse to the right by a pixel”
Move the cursor up <count> pixels           “Move cursor up <count> pixels”
“Move the cursor up by <count> pixels”
“Move the mouse up <count> pixels”
“Move the mouse up by <count> pixels”
“Move the cursor up one pixel”
“Move the cursor up by one pixel”
“Move the mouse up one pixel”
“Move the mouse up by one pixel”
“Move cursor up a pixel”
“Move the cursor up by a pixel”
“Move mouse up a pixel”
“Move the mouse up by a pixel”
Move the cursor down <count> pixels“Move cursor down <count> pixels”
“Move the cursor down by <count> pixels”
“Move the mouse down <count> pixels”
“Move the mouse down by <count> pixels”
“Move the cursor down one pixel”
“Move the cursor down by one pixel”
“Move the mouse down one pixel”
“Move the mouse down by one pixel”
“Move cursor down a pixel”
“Move the cursor down by a pixel”
“Move mouse down a pixel”
“Move the mouse down by a pixel”
Single Click    “Single click”
“Mouse click”
“Press mouse”
“<modifier keys> click”
“<modifier keys> mouse click”
Double click <number>   “Double click”
“Mouse double click”
“<modifier keys> double click”
“<modifier keys> mouse double click”
Triple click   “Triple click”
“Mouse triple click”
“<modifier keys> triple click”
“<modifier keys> mouse triple click”
Long press“Long press”
Click and hold mouse  “Click and hold mouse”
“Press and hold mouse”
“<modifier keys> click and hold mouse”
Release mouse “Release mouse”
“Release hold”
Dictation
Action

Spoken Command & Alternates
<phrase>“<phrase>”
<phrase> emoji “<phrase> emoji”
“Insert <phrase> emoji”
Type <phrase> “Type <phrase>”
“Literal <phrase>”
Insert date “Insert date”
“Insert today’s date”
Press Return Key “Press Return key”
“Enter that”
Press Escape key“Press Escape key”
Add to vocabulary     “Add to vocabulary”
“Add that word to the vocabulary”
“Add this to vocabulary”
“Add this word to the vocabulary”
“Add selection to vocabulary”
“Add the selection to the vocabulary”
Text Selection
Action

Spoken Command & Alternates
Select that“Select that”
Select all   “Select all”
“Select all the text”
“Select document”
“Select entire document”
Select <phrase> “Select <phrase>”
“Select the word <phrase>”
Select previous“Select previous”
Select next“Select next”
Select character “Select character”
“Select this character”
Select previous character “Select previous character”
“Select the previous character”
Select next character “Select next character”
“Select the next character”
Select word “Select word”
“Select this word”
Select previous word “Select previous word”
“Select the previous word”
Select next word “Select next word”
“Select the next word”
Select sentence “Select sentence”
“Select this sentence”
Select previous sentence “Select previous sentence”
“Select the previous sentence”
Select next sentence “Select next sentence”
“Select the next sentence”
Select paragraph “Select paragraph”
“Select this paragraph”
Select previous paragraph “Select previous paragraph”
“Select the previous paragraph”
Select next paragraph “Select next paragraph”
“Select the next paragraph”
Select line “Select line”
“Select this line”
Select previous line “Select previous line”
“Select the previous line”
Select next line “Select next line”
“Select the next line”
Select previous <count> characters “Select previous <count> characters”
“Select the previous <count> characters”
Select next <count> characters “Select next <count> characters”
“Select the next <count> characters”
Select previous <count> words “Select previous <count> words”
“Select the previous <count> words”
Select next <count> words “Select next <count> words”
“Select the next <count> words”
Select previous <count> sentences “Select previous <count> sentences”
“Select the previous <count> sentences”
Select next <count> sentences “Select next <count> sentences”
“Select the next <count> sentences”
Select previous <count> paragraphs “Select previous <count> paragraphs”
“Select the previous <count> paragraphs”
Select next <count> paragraphs “Select next <count> paragraphs”
“Select the next <count> paragraphs”
Select previous <count> lines “Select previous <count> lines”
“Select the previous <count> lines”
Select next <count> lines “Select next <count> lines”
“Select the next <count> lines”
Extend selection <count> characters   “Extend selection <count> characters”
“Extend the selection forward by <count> characters”
“Extend the selection one character”
“Extend the selection forward by one character”
Extend selection back <count> characters       “Extend selection back <count> characters”
“Extend the selection back by <count> characters”
“Extend the selection backward <count> characters”
“Extend the selection backward by <count> characters”
“Extend selection back one character””Extend the selection back by one character”
“Extend selection backward one character”
“Extend the selection backward by one character”
Extend selection <count> words   “Extend selection <count> words”
“Extend the selection forward by <count> words”
“Extend selection one word”
“Extend the selection forward by one word”
Extend selection back <count> words       “Extend selection back <count> words””Extend the selection back by <count> words”
“Extend selection backward <count> words”
“Extend the selection backward by <count> words””Extend selection back one word”
“Extend the selection back by one word”
“Extend selection backward one word”
“Extend the selection backward by one word”
Extend selection <count> sentences   “Extend selection <count> sentences”
“Extend the selection forward by <count> sentences”
“Extend selection one sentence”
“Extend the selection forward by one sentence”
Extend selection back <count> sentences       “Extend selection back <count> sentences”
“Extend the selection back by <count> sentences”
“Extend selection backward <count> sentences”
“Extend the selection backward by <count> sentences”
“Extend selection back one sentence”
“Extend the selection back by one sentence”
“Extend selection backward one sentence”
“Extend the selection backward by one sentence”
Extend selection <count> paragraphs   “Extend selection <count> paragraphs”
“Extend the selection forward by <count> paragraphs”
“Extend selection one paragraph”
“Extend the selection forward by one paragraph”
Extend selection back <count> paragraphs       “Extend selection back <count> paragraphs”
“Extend the selection back by <count> paragraphs”
“Extend selection backward <count> paragraphs”
“Extend the selection backward by <count> paragraphs”
“Extend selection back one paragraph”
“Extend the selection back by one paragraph”
“Extend selection backward one paragraph”
“Extend the selection backward by one paragraph”
Extend selection <count> lines   “Extend selection <count> lines”
“Extend the selection forward by <count> lines”
“Extend selection one line”
“Extend the selection forward by one line”
Extend selection back <count> lines       “Extend selection back <count> lines”
“Extend the selection back by <count> lines”
“Extend selection backward <count> lines”
“Extend the selection backward by <count> lines”
“Extend selection back one line”
“Extend the selection back by one line”
“Extend selection backward one line”
“Extend the selection backward by one line”
Deselect that   “Deselect that”
“Deselect this”
“Unselect that”
“Unselect this”
Text Navigation
Action

Spoken Command & Alternates
Move down“Move down”
Move up“Move up”
Move left“Move left”
Move right“Move right”
Scroll up “Scroll up”
“Scroll page up”
Scroll down “Scroll down”
“Scroll page down”
Scroll to top   “Scroll to top”
“Scroll to the top”
“Scroll to beginning”
“Scroll to the beginning”
Scroll to bottom   “Scroll to bottom”
“Scroll to the bottom”
“Scroll to end”
“Scroll to the end”
Move to beginning       “Move to beginning”
“Move to the beginning of the document”
“Go to beginning”
“Go to the beginning of the document”
“Move to top”
“Move to the top of the document”
“Go to top”
“Go to top of the document”
Move to end       “Move to end”
“Move to the end of the document”
“Go to end”
“Go to the end of the document”
“Move to bottom”
“Move to the bottom of the document”
“Go to bottom”
“Go to bottom of the document”
Move to beginning of word   “Move to beginning of word”
“Move to the beginning of the word”
“Go to beginning of word”
“Go to the beginning of the word”
Move to end of word   “Move to end of word”
“Move to the end of the word”
“Go to end of word”
“Go to the end of the word”
Move to beginning of sentence   “Move to beginning of sentence”
“Move to the beginning of the sentence”
“Go to beginning of sentence”
“Go to the beginning of the sentence”
Move to end of sentence   “Move to end of sentence”
“Move to the end of sentence”
“Go to end of sentence”
“Go to the end of the sentence”
Move to beginning of paragraph   “Move to beginning of paragraph”
“Move to the beginning of the paragraph”
“Go to beginning of paragraph”
“Go to the beginning of the paragraph”
Move to end of paragraph   “Move to end of paragraph”
“Move to the end of paragraph”
“Go to end of paragraph”
“Go to the end of the paragraph”
Move to beginning of line   “Move to beginning of line”
“Move to the beginning of the line”
“Go to beginning of line”
“Go to the beginning of the line”
Move to end of line   “Move to end of line”
“Move to the end of line”
“Go to end of line”
“Go to the end of the line”
Move to beginning of selection   “Move to beginning of selection”
“Move to the beginning of the selection”
“Go to beginning of selection”
“Go to the beginning of the selection”
Move to end of selection   “Move to end of selection”
“Move to the end of selection”
“Go to end of selection”
“Go to the end of the selection”
Move forward <count> characters     “Move forward <count> characters”
“Move forward by <count> characters”
“Move forward one character”
“Move forward by one character”
“Move forward”
“Move forward by a character”
Move back <count> characters          “Move back <count> characters”
“Move back by <count> characters”
“Move backward <count> characters”
“Move backward by <count> characters”
“Move back one character”
“Move back by one character”
“Move back”
“Move back by a character”
“Move backward by one character”
“Move backward”
“Move backward by a character”
Move forward <count> words     “Move forward <count> words”
“Move forward by <count> words”
“Move forward one word”
“Move forward by one word”
“Move forward word”
“Move forward by a word”
Move back <count> words           “Move back <count> words”
“Move back by <count> words”
“Move backward <count> words”
“Move backward by <count> words”
“Move back one word”
“Move back by one word”
“Move back word”
“Move back by a word”
“Move backward one word”
“Move backward by one word”
“Move backward word”
“Move backward by a word”
Move forward <count> sentences     “Move forward <count> sentences”
“Move forward by <count> sentences”
“Move forward one sentence”
“Move forward by one sentence”
“Move forward sentence”
“Move forward by a sentence”
Move back <count> sentences           “Move back <count> sentences”
“Move back by <count> sentences”
“Move backward <count> sentences”
“Move backward by <count> sentences”
“Move back one sentence”
“Move back by one sentence”
“Move back sentence”
“Move back by a sentence”
“Move backward one sentence”
“Move backward by one sentence”
“Move backward sentence”
“Move backward by a sentence”
Move forward <count> paragraphs     “Move forward <count> paragraphs”
“Move forward by <count> paragraphs”
“Move forward one paragraph”
“Move forward by one paragraph”
“Move forward paragraph”
“Move forward by a paragraph”
Move back <count> paragraphs           “Move back <count> paragraphs”
“Move back by <count> paragraphs”
“Move backward <count> paragraphs”
“Move backward by <count> paragraphs”
“Move back one paragraph”
“Move back by one paragraph”
“Move back paragraph”
“Move back by a paragraph”
“Move backward one paragraph”
“Move backward by one paragraph”
“Move backward paragraph”
“Move backward by a paragraph”
Move forward <count> lines     “Move forward <count> lines”
“Move forward by <count> lines”
“Move forward one line”
“Move forward by one line”
“Move forward line”
“Move forward by a line”
Move back <count> lines           “Move back <count> lines”
“Move back by <count> lines”
“Move backward <count> lines”
“Move backward by <count> lines”
“Move back one line”
“Move back by one line”
“Move back line”
“Move back by a line”
“Move backward one line”
“Move backward by one line”
“Move backward line”
“Move backward by a line”
Move right <count> characters     “Move right <count> characters”
“Move right by <count> characters”
“Move right one character”
“Move right by one character”
“Move right character”
“Move right by a character”
Move left <count> characters     “Move left <count> characters”
“Move left by <count> characters”
“Move left one character”
“Move left by one character”
“Move left character”
“Move left by a character”
Move right <count> sentences     “Move right <count> sentences”
“Move right by <count> sentences”
“Move right one sentence”
“Move right by one sentence”
“Move right sentence”
“Move right by a sentence”
Move left <count> sentences     “Move left <count> sentences”
“Move left by <count> sentences”
“Move left one sentence”
“Move left by one sentence”
“Move left sentence”
“Move left by a sentence”
Move down <count> paragraphs     “Move down <count> paragraphs”
“Move down by <count> paragraphs”
“Move down one paragraph”
“Move down by one paragraph”
“Move down paragraph”
“Move down by a paragraph”
Move up <count> paragraphs     “Move up <count> paragraphs”
“Move up by <count> paragraphs”
“Move up one paragraph”
“Move up by one paragraph”
“Move up paragraph”
“Move up by a paragraph”
Move down <count> lines     “Move down <count> lines”
“Move down by <count> lines”
“Move down one line”
“Move down by one line”
“Move down line”
“Move down by a line”
Move up <count> lines     “Move up <count> lines”
“Move up by <count> lines”
“Move up one line”
“Move up by one line”
“Move up line”
“Move up by a line”
Move after <phrase> “Move after <phrase>”
“Insert after <phrase>”
Move before <phrase> “Move before <phrase>”
“Insert before <phrase>”
Text Editing
Action

Spoken Command & Alternates
Replace <phrase> with <phrase> “Replace <phrase> with <phrase>”
“Change <phrase> to <phrase>”
Insert <phrase> after <phrase>“Insert <phrase> after <phrase>”
Insert <phrase> before <phrase>“Insert <phrase> before <phrase>”
Correct that   “Correct that”
“Correct this”
“Correct selection”
“Correct the selection”
Correct <phrase> “Correct <phrase>”
“Correct the word <phrase>”
Undo that  “Undo that”
“Undo this”
“Scratch that”
Redo that “Redo that”
“Redo this”
Cut that   “Cut that””Cut this”
“Cut selection”
“Cut the selection”
Copy that   “Copy that”
“Copy this”
“Copy selection”
“Copy the selection”
Paste that   “Paste that”
“Paste this”
“Paste here”
“Paste the clipboard here”
Capitalize that   “Capitalize that”
“Capitalize this”
“Capitalize selection”
“Capitalize the selection”
Capitalize <phrase>“Capitalize <phrase>”
Lowercase that   “Lowercase that”
“Lowercase this”
“Lowercase selection”
“Lowercase the selection”
Lowercase <phrase>“Lowercase <phrase>”
Uppercase that   “Uppercase that”
“Uppercase this”
“Uppercase selection”
“Uppercase the selection”
Uppercase <phrase>“Uppercase <phrase>”
Bold that   “Bold that”
“Bold this”
“Bold selection”
“Bold the selection”
Bold <phrase>“Bold <phrase>”
Italicize that   “Italicize that”
“Italicize this”
“Italicize selection”
“Italicize the selection”
Italicize <phrase>“Italicize <phrase>”
Underline that   “Underline that”
“Underline this”
“Underline selection”
“Underline the selection”
Underline <phrase>“Underline <phrase>”
Text Editing
Action

Spoken Command & Alternates
Delete that     “Delete that”
“Delete this”
“Delete selection”
“Delete the selection”
“Press Delete key”
“Press Backspace”
Delete all“Delete all”
Delete <phrase>“Delete <phrase>”
Delete character “Delete character”
“Delete this character”
Delete previous character “Delete previous character”
“Delete the previous character”
Delete next character “Delete previous character”
“Delete the previous character”
Delete word “Delete word”
“Delete this word”
Delete previous word “Delete previous word”
“Delete previous word”
Delete next word “Delete next word”
“Delete the next word”
Delete sentence “Delete sentence”
“Delete this sentence”
Delete previous sentence “Delete previous sentence”
“Delete the previous sentence”
Delete next sentence “Delete next sentence”
“Delete the next sentence”
Delete paragraph “Delete paragraph”
“Delete this paragraph”
Delete previous paragraph “Delete previous paragraph”
“Delete the previous paragraph”
Delete next paragraph “Delete next paragraph”
“Delete the next paragraph”
Delete line “Delete line”
“Delete this line”
Delete previous line “Delete previous line”
“Delete the previous line”
Delete next line “Delete next line”
“Delete the next line”
Delete previous <count> characters “Delete previous <count> characters”
“Delete the previous <count> characters”
Delete next <count> characters “Delete next <count> characters”
“Delete the next <count> characters”
Delete previous <count> words “Delete next previous <count> words”
“Delete the previous <count> words”
Delete next <count> words “Delete next <count> words”
“Delete the next <count> words”
Delete previous <count> sentences “Delete previous <count> sentences”
“Delete the previous <count> sentences”
Delete next <count> sentences “Delete next <count> sentences”
“Delete the next <count> sentences”
Delete previous <count> paragraphs “Delete previous <count> paragraphs”
“Delete the previous <count> paragraphs”
Delete next <count> paragraphs “Delete next <count> paragraphs”
“Delete the next <count> paragraphs”
Delete previous <count> lines “Delete previous <count> lines”
“Delete the previous <count> lines”

So Many Pi’s!

I’ve got an addiction. It’s not too expensive, but it is starting to take over my entire life. I love Pi. Specifically, I love raspberry pi. No, not the kind that you bake, but the tiny SOC computer that can be purchased for a mere $35 USD each. And if you are really into these Pi’s, then you also pick up as many raspberry pi zero w’s as they will sell you too.

Sure, I had to go back three times over the course of a weekend. And yes, I brought my wife in to make some purchases for me as well. The entire time pretending I didn’t know her, while hoping that she would remember EXACTLY what I told her to ask for.

You see, I live in Canada, and, well, it’s a little difficult to pick up all these Pi gear up here. So when my suggested that we could drive to Michigan for a weekend getaway, I jumped at the opportunity. The two and a half hour drive zipped by in no time as I thought about all the new little Pi’s I would soon have to play with. And, of the projects I would plan! The new Raspberry Pi 4 had just come out the week before, so of course I would pick up one or two.

My latest score from Micro Center.

So what am I doing with all these Pi’s? Well, besides completely geeking out having access to all these tiny, fully functional computers, I have several ideas and plans. The first plan involves aliens! Well, technically, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence or SETI, as it’s commonly referred to as. I have been donating my personal computers extra compute power for almost two decades to the SETI@Home project. But now, I can setup clusters of these low power computers to search full time. Now, I know the chances are practically zero when it comes to finding aliens, but it can’t hurt to look. The fun really comes in the configuration and setup. I get to get my Linux geek on, and play with new technologies. I’m still just getting the basic configuration going, but I plan on using Docker to really make these things fly. Watch for updates soon, as I cobble together a variety of projects to make all this work.

Raspberry Pi Zero W SETI@Home cluster 2 with nine nodes. Work in progress.

I have been playing with Pi’s for a couple of years now. One of my first projects was to set up a 4 Pi cluster to search for SETI@Home. I also 3D printed a stackable stand (available on Thingiverse.com) with a custom alien topper. This stack has been running almost non-stop for about 17 months. So far, no aliens found.

3D printed Raspberry Pi stack.
The 3D printed top of my SETI@Home pi cluster.