The Raspberry Pi is a cheap, programmable credit-card sized computer. It wasn’t created by Apple. In fact, it wasn’t created by any business, but by a charitable foundation. Its goal? To make learning computer science accessible once more to everyone, especially young people. It costs approx £25/$35 and you’ll need to add your own keyboard, mouse and monitor. For storage, it uses an SD card, similar to those found in digital cameras. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like browsing the internet, spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video.
In January we will be publishing a new title on this subject: Raspberry Pi in easy steps. The author, Mike McGrath, has just received our Raspberry Pi and set it up. Here he writes about his experiences so far:
“The Raspbian “wheezy” Linux image is currently recommended for beginners at raspberrypi.org. While downloading the Raspbian image I connected a USB mouse and a USB keyboard to the Raspberry Pi. I then connected my TV to the Raspberry Pi’s HDMI socket to use as a display. I also connected my modem to its Ethernet socket for a wired internet connection.
When the download finished I wrote the Raspbian image onto an SD card with Win32DiskImager. Next I inserted the SD card into the Raspberry Pi then connected my Kindle charger to its MicroUSB slot.
Eagerly I switched on the power and was soon being asked to login – on my TV! Typing the default login “pi” and default password “raspberry” then placed me at a command prompt.
There typing the command “startx” quickly loaded a familiar looking desktop screen. Instinctively I clicked the “Start” button in the bottom left corner of the desktop and up popped menus. Choosing the “Internet” menu I then clicked on “NetSurf Web Browser” and there I was, surfing the web.
Given the limited capabilities of the Raspberry Pi the appearance of the desktop is surprisingly good. But remember that the Raspberry Pi is primarily intended as a learning device.
It is a great fun way to learn how to use the powerful Linux command-line shell. And how to create programs in the C/C++ languages, and how to create scripts in the Python language.”
Here you can see Mike has our Raspberry Pi running the Raspbian operating system
Keep checking our website for updates on this forthcoming title.