So I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Raspberry Pi. I was hardly quick to jump on the bandwagon as the first model of the Pi came out in Feb last year (2012). I managed to get my hands on the model B version for only £30 from Amazon, quite a bargain even though they’re designed to be dirt cheap.
Here she is, absolutely tiny, much smaller than I was expecting too.
Not sure what a Raspberry Pi is?
A Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer that is roughly the same size as a credit card and runs a Linux distribution. They were created to promote learning of computer sciences and programming skills, but were quickly picked up by hobbyist and techies for their near limitless potential and great value for money. The model B Raspberry Pi runs off of 5V (so you can power a computer off of your phone’s USB charger!), has 512MB of RAM, two USB ports, can connect to the Internet and output at full HDMI.
By great value for money I mean you can easily get a Raspberry Pi ModelB with 512MB of RAM for £30. At that kind of price its no wonder you can see all kind of DIY projects on the Internet using them.
So the point of this article (and probably a few to follow), is to write up what steps I’ve done, what worked and what failed with regard to the Pi.
Some ideas of grandeur may have snuck in as the imagination ran away…
However I know the first few challenges are likely to be along the lines of turning a light bulb on and off. One step at a time, I’m sure Skynet can wait for another day.
What programming languages are needed for the Pi
The Pi can be programmed in pretty much any language you want, with the Raspberry foundation guys pushing Python as their main ‘educational’ language.
I use PHP everyday in my job, with Bash shell scripting coming in a close second too. Now PHP isn’t ideal for hardware manipulation, so I’m thinking I’ll probably attempt to pick up either Python or some variant of C as I start my Pi journey.
The Pi future
So hopefully follow me on my journey as I meddle, stress-out and explore the world of Raspberry Pi development. Maybe it’ll end up in a Pi powered submarine, autonomous drone or some Pi security system… who knows.