Raspberry Preserve

The Mason Jar that preserves family memories.

Matt Reed
3 min readMay 6, 2015


History of preservatives

Mason jars from 830 A.D.

For thousands of years people have put things into Mason jars to preserve them literally forever. Scientists have even found actual dinosaurs in jars unearthed from Detroit perfectly preserved. I thought the other day how awesome it would be to do the same thing with my family’s pictures and videos. Just stuff them into a Mason jar and put’em on a shelf until the end of time.

Building a digital memory Mason Jar

Base of the Preserve

Well obviously first off, you need a rounded rectangle to put your stuff on. I used a wooden apple tv I found at a garage sale a few weekends ago.

A bunch of things happening here

Next, mount a mason jar lid and drill a bunch of holes in it and get some sweet glass (plastic?) vintage drawer pulls from the Home Depot and some little white rubber feet and screw them together. Plug a Raspberry Pi in and wire up some of the GPIO pins for hooking up LEDs.

Next, knock it over.

Glue is fun, when it’s not all over you

Next, glue those LEDs I was talking about earlier into 4 of those holes you drilled. Just fill up the holes with the glue until it’s full or you are covered in little glue strings from the #$@% glue gun. Whichever comes first.

See, the LEDs work now.

Now plug it in and see if it doesn’t blow up.

Install BitTorrent Sync on the Raspberry Pi computer inside. Write a little Node.js script to constantly check to see if BitTorrent Sync is transferring any data and if it is blink the LEDs so it looks cool. If no data is being transferred just glow the LEDs solid red so it looks like Raspberry Jam inside or something.


Now that everything is done, just put it on a shelf somewhere so you can look at it whenever you want. Plug it into the internet and now whenever you put any photo or video into a special folder called “Preserve” on any of your devices it will automagically sync a copy to the Raspberry Preserve from anywhere in the world and store it forever safely.

Whenever you drop something in this folder an exact replica copy is sent to the Raspberry Preserve.
Hey, it looks like you dropped something in that folder above.
Here’s what it looks like when it’s copying files to itself and blinking. Definitely not as red as I was hoping.
Break Glass in case of emergency to recover all of your files and view them with your family.

Thanks and I hope you like this little jar of memories.
Have a good day and stuff!