I suspect the vast majority of my readers either (a) already know what a Raspberry Pi is or (b) don’t know and wouldn’t care. I’m writing this on the slim chance that a third group exists, a group of people who might be interested in the Raspberry Pi but haven’t looked into them yet. So maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones.
The Raspberry Pi is an ARM-based computer that’s about the size of a credit card (you can tell how small it is in the picture above), which makes it perfect for “projects”. Because it’s ARM-based it runs Linux and not Windows. There are “A” and “B” boards: both come with two USB ports, HDMI out, composite video out, audio out, a network jack, an expansion port, and use SD cards for storage. The A sells for $25 and comes with 256 megabytes of RAM. The B sells for $10 more and has 512 meg.
In the earliest days of home computing, people didn’t ask “what does this computer do?” but rather “what can I do with this computer?” There’s a difference … a big one. Those days were all about coming up with creative uses for computers and using computers to solve problems.
By searching Google for uses for Raspberry Pi you can find all kinds of things people have come up with. The most mainstream (read: “computer-like”) uses include using them for media streaming devices (the build-in HDMI port outputs video in 1080p) and as lot-to-medium end living room PCs (they make great emulation boxes apparently).
Dig around a bit further and you’ll find where people are using them for home automation. And running security systems. And controlling motors and robots. And coffee makers. And baby monitors. And a robot that decorates Easter eggs. You can find some more creative uses for the Pi with this Google search,
Creative uses for Raspberry Pi.
I used to find computers very magical and exciting. Now they’re a tool that I use at work and at home. I don’t “play” with them hardly at all, anymore. I bought two Raspberry Pis, one for me and one for my Dad. I’m hoping that we can get some projects up and running on these and make computing fun again.