If you have not heard of the Raspberry Pi by now here is a quick rundown for you explaining what it is and why it was created.
Raspberry Pi was created to provide a really inexpensive computer platform for learning to code and fostering the love of computers and programming that so many of us have. To learn more about how a $35 computer can have a very positive impact on your life read on after the break.
There are two models of the Raspberry Pi known as model A and model B. These two share the following specs.
- Broadcom BCM2835 SoC Full HD Multimedia applications processor
- 700 Mhz low power ARM1176JZ-F Applications Processor
- Dual Core VideoCore IV® MultiMedia Co-Processor
- HDMI (rev 1.3 & 1.4) Composite RCA (PAL and NTSC)
- 3.5 mm jack, HDMI for Audio
- SD, MMC, SDIO card slot
I am working with the Raspberry Pi Model B which has the same specs as the model A with the following improvements.
- 512 MB SDRAM
- Dual USB Connectors
- Onboard 10/100 Ethernet RJ45 Connector
What can you do with the Raspberry Pi?
Honestly, it would be much easier here to discuss the things you cannot do with the Pi. It does not float well, at least not without a waterproof casing of some form, for instance. There are so many possibilities for this credit card sized computer such as learning programing, remote access, small web server, screen shots, streaming media device and on and on. You can use the Pi to control a wide variety of functions with your imagination and patience being the only real limits.
To start off I am going to walk you through the basic connection and setup of the Raspberry Pi including basic physical wiring, some connectivity options, network access and video configuration. If you would like to jump ahead to one of those sections feel free, though for beginners following along would be best.
Necessary Components to Get Started
To get started you will need the following items:
- Your own Raspberry Pi (this one should be obvious by this point)
- Monitor/TV/Display of some form (ideally this will have HDMI connection available)
- HDMI Cable (for this example I will connect directly – you may need an adapter to DVI or VGA)
- USB Keyboard
- USB Mouse
- SD Card (at least 4 GB – I picked up 16 GB at Costco for $30 or so)
- WiFi adapter if you want to connect to wireless network
- Cat5 cable if you prefer hardwire connection
- USB Hub (makes things a bit nicer but not strictly required)
So gather up all your necessaries and check back for the next step where I will walk you through the connections.