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Education Linux Hardware

First Steps With the Raspberry Pi 241

Posted by timothy
from the free-in-cracker-jacks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Raspberry Pi received an extraordinary amount of pre-launch coverage. It truly went viral with major news corporations such as the BBC giving extensive coverage. Not without reason, it is groundbreaking to have a small, capable computer retailing at less than the price of a new console game. There have been a number of ventures that have tried to produce a cheap computer such as a laptop and a tablet but which never materialised at these price points. Nothing comes close to the Raspberry Pi in terms of affordability, which is even more important in the current economic climate. Producing a PC capable of running Linux, Quake III-quality games, and 1080p video is worthy of praise." Beyond praise, though, this article details the hooking-up and mucking-about phases, and offers some ideas of what it's useful for.
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First Steps With the Raspberry Pi

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  • Re:The point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2012 @07:28PM (#40204817)

    A "cheap china-sourced device" smartphone would not do these things for me:

    - Media Centre PC.
    - MAME box capable of hooking up to my TV.
    - Learning tool for programming, networking, and other computing stuffs (that is also incredibly easy to reformat if you balls anything up).
    - Have GPIO ports so I can use it for some silly robotics/mechatronics projects.

  • by bunratty (545641) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @07:30PM (#40204831)

    The Raspberry Pi's creators, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, want to spark children's interest in computer programming and encourage students to apply for computing degrees.

    Why not install Python on whatever computer is already around the house? Or Scratch? Or have them write JavaScript in the browsers they already use? I think that would be a more effective way to introduce them to computer programming.

  • Re:The point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @07:34PM (#40204857) Homepage Journal

    Except for the last point ( thus my statement about external usb ) you can get all the above. HDMI output to your tv, bluetooth keyboards and mice. I am assuming you get an android phone here, and not a chinaOS type.

    Now space might be an issue for your 'media' since you are limited to flash cards, but you can always stream from a file server over wifi..

    Restoring firmware is pretty trivial too.

  • Cloud computing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cpicon92 (1157705) <kristianpicon@gmail.com> on Sunday June 03, 2012 @07:44PM (#40204917)

    Make your own secure file repository, joining the cloud computing revolution?

    Last I checked, that's called a file server. Not the "cloud computing revolution."

  • by SiggyTheViking (890997) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @08:13PM (#40205039)
    A flavor of Android 2.3 is better then Debian???
  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @08:21PM (#40205089)

    For hobbiest devices we have Arduino on the low end and PandaBoard on the high end. Where does Raspberry Pi fit into the hobbiest space? I suppose I can understand why someone would choose Raspberry Pi over PandaBoard -- the price is over $100 less! Why would I want to build my latest project with a Raspberry Pi instead of Arduino?

    I'm thinking of 1080p video out for my next project, how's that work on Arduinos?

  • by bunratty (545641) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @08:27PM (#40205119)

    No need to be rude -- I'm only asking what's the draw for Raspberry Pi. So it's the video? That's the point -- it's a cheap system with decent video capabilities? Help me out here. The APC [apc.io] is coming out next month and it has higher specs, but only 720p video and it's $49.

    So what kind of project do you need a cheap system and 1080p video for? I'm really only asking because I'm curious. What sort of project is it?

  • by sirsnork (530512) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @08:42PM (#40205179)

    For a lot of people it will be about the community. You know the Pi will have a huge community that will offer a lot of additional options.

  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @08:55PM (#40205245)

    When I was growing up, I had access to labs full of TRS-80 computers, for a couple of hours a week. One summer, I had access to an HP something or other with a nice 320x240 graphic display for a couple of hours a day for a few weeks.

    When I got my own computer, I had access during every hour of free time I cared to spend with it for several years.

    It's the difference between exposure and immersion. Lance Armstrong probably wouldn't have developed into as strong a cyclist as he is if he could only ride for one hour once a week during school.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @09:06PM (#40205311) Homepage Journal

    Do you want Networking?
    http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9026 [sparkfun.com] It is more expensive than a Pi.
    Wifi? Bluetooth? Well USB dongles can add that to the Pi.
    Want to do your development on the board without a PC? A Pi with a Keyboard and Monitor will do that.
    Want to play Audio? Here is a kit for you.
    http://www.adafruit.com/products/94 [adafruit.com]
    Want to develop using Python, Ruby, Basic, Smalltalk, Lua, Perl, Lisp Scheme, Erlang, or Haskell? If it is an interpreted language then it may just be a compile away for the Pi.
    There are all sorts of options the pi opens up.
    The Arduino is great because of the broad support and community. It is early days with the Pi still but the idea of using Smalltalk for an embedded device interests me a lot.

  • by Ford Prefect (8777) on Sunday June 03, 2012 @09:37PM (#40205433) Homepage

    Absolutely this. The point of the Pi isn't that computers are inaccessible to these children, it's that they can have one each to play around with at their own speed.

    While most of the devices will probably just collect dust, there'll be some kids who'll go crazy with the things. Break the OS? Really quick to reimage the SD card. Break the device? Cheap enough to get a new one. Its theirs to play with, and theirs to break.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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