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‘It’s like the seventies all over again,’ Arkwood enthused. I asked him what he meant. He told me that the Raspberry Pi was spawning a new breed of hackers, on the cusp of a technological tsunami. I asked him not to use so many metaphors in one sentence.

‘But, dude. The orange is ripe for squeezing,’ he continued. Apparently the nineties and the noughties had been a corporate whorehouse, the orange nothing but a husk. ‘We’re clawing it back, man. We’ve got ourselves a fruity harvest.’

We discussed the merits of an automated world, one in which you could not tell if the kettle was watching you. The toilet judging. ‘What if it pigeonholes me, this ubiquitous intangible machine. What if it stunts my growth?’ Arkwood, as always, was vague. ‘Oh, you’ll flower, sir. You’ll flower.’

Now, my little friend was busy on the Pi. A huge Minecraft fanatic (23 hours in the nude without an official toilet break), he began programming the free version for the minicomputer.

He opened a new python file minecraft-api-demo.py in the LeafPad text editor and began typing…

Import minecraft.minecraft as minecraft
Import minecraft.block as block
Import time

If __name__ == “__main__”:

mc = minecraft.Minecraft.create()
mc.postToChat(“My shirts are synthetic”)

playerPos = mc.player.getPos()
playerPos = minecraft.Vec3(int(playerPos.x), int(playerPos.y), int(playerPos.z))

‘So, what’s happening here?’ I enquired. He rolled his eyes. ‘We’re getting the coordinates of the player’s position, sir.’

for towerBlocks in [1,2,3,4,5]:

mc.setBlock(playerPos.x, playerPos.y + towerBlocks, playerPos.z +5, block.DIAMOND_BLOCK)

‘This’ll add a five block tower near to the player. Actually, let’s make it block.GOLD_BLOCK,’ and the tiny fellow licked his lips.


True enough, after entering python minecraft-api-demo.py into the LXTerminal and then clicking back into the Minecraft game, the gold tower stood proud a few yards from his avatar. ‘Nice work! It even shows the message about your blouse fabric.’

I left him to it, busy perfecting an algorithm that would build a stone harem on the pixelated grassy coast. I put the kettle on and waited for its whistle, telling a servant to pour.