In your past old days you may have planned to have a computer that are easy on your pockets. Few of you today also think of having this type of computer for very basics tasks. Most of you want to have this computer for educational purpose where you want to perform very basic programming like C, C++ or Python. But still a very basic computer costs beyond your budget. This is where a very mini computer comes into play Raspberry Pi. It is feature packed and portable because it can be as small as your smart phones and also easy on your pockets.
So what is Raspberry Pi ??
Raspberry Pi is a series of computers that is developed to promote the teaching basics of computer science in schools and colleges. Schools and colleges does not need full fledged computer with high end specifications to teach the basics of programming. This is because the basics generally starts with C, C++ or Python which are not very resource hungry. Raspberry Pi are single-board based computers with all the ports available that are found in a general computer.
Raspberry Pi became very popular and its usage have gone past general educational purpose to robotics and many other scientific fields.
Since Raspberry Pi is a small computer it is not loaded with high end specifications and since it is a computer you must have to install an operating system on it. Let us see what operating systems are available today for our computers. There are many flavours of Linux like Ubuntu, Kali, Lubuntu, Debian and many more. We also have flavours of Windows like Win 7, Win 8 and Win 10 and apple based Mac is also there. But can you install these operating systems be installed on Raspberry Pi ?? Before answering the question let me show you the hardware specification of the latest Raspberry Pi available today that is Raspberry Pi 3 model B.
- Quad Core 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837 64bit CPU
- 1GB RAM
- BCM43438 wireless LAN and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board
- 40-pin extended GPIO
- 4 USB 2 ports
- 4 Pole stereo output and composite video port
- Full size HDMI
- CSI camera port for connecting a Raspberry Pi camera
- DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi touchscreen display
- Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data
- Upgraded switched Micro USB power source up to 2.5A
Now what do you think ? Can the operating systems we discussed can be installed in this hardware ? The answer is No, we can not install them in this mini computer. There are few operating systems available that are developed specially for this mini computers.
- Windows 10 IoT Core
- Snappy Ubuntu
- RISC OS
- Retro Pi
- Arch Linux ARM
Things you need to know about Raspberry Pi
- First point we have already discussed that it is a mini computer with ARM processor, memory, RAM and graphical capabilities.
- It does not comes with a Hard Disk to store files. You have to use SD card class 10 to load operating system and store files.
- Raspberry Pi is powered by a Micro USB port like most of the smart phones used nowadays. You can run it will a wall charger or a power bank.
- Video output is done by two ways “Analog RCA” for old screens and “HDMI” for new new screens available today.
- Since Raspberry Pi comes in the form a single board you must be needing a case for it protect a fall or from other things. You can buy a case out of many cases available according to the model you are having.
- Comes with 2 USB ports to connect with mouse and keyboards to control the operations.
Some Practical usage of Raspberry Pi
- Raspberry Pi Tablet : You can use Raspberry Pi touch screen to build yourself a simple tablet.
- Weather Monitor : By using Sense HAT you can build a weather monitor which will collect the raise & fall of temperature, wind, humidity etc.
- Low Cost Desktop : You need a screen, mouse and a keyboard to make yourself a computer which you can use to learn computer science.
- Media Centre : Kodi is the software that you have to use with Raspberry Pi to make yourself a media centre to store and manage images, media and musics.
- Web Server : You can use Raspberry Pi to create a light weight web server for yourself. This can handle a small amount of traffic. You can learn web development programming languages like HTML, CSS, PHP, WordPress etc.
- Robotics : Nowadays Raspberry Pi are used in various lightweight robotics projects like a small robot which can slide or move its arms etc. You can also use it to create a drone for yourself.
- Retro Gaming : In today modern world if you are a fan of playing games like Super Mario, Pac-Man etc then you can build yourself a Retro Gaming kit using Raspberry Pi with RetroPie.
As you can see these are just only few of the possibilities out of many fields where you can use it in your daily life. There are hundreds of projects out there build on it Just google once and you can find plenty of such projects.
What you will be building with your Raspberry Pi ? Are you going to learn computer science with this or are you having any projects in hand that you can build with it. Or do you have an idea that you can bring to existence to this world ? Let me know !!