An Introduction to Raspberry Pi

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Ever had that awkward moment when you are among a bunch of people talking about something that you have absolutely no idea about, so you just keep nodding your head randomly, all the while thinking about whether you can squeeze in a pizza for lunch? I’m just assuming here that we all do.
I like to log in the topic somewhere in my mind (not taken up by food) and then Google it. One of those few topics is Raspberry Pi (love the name!). A sizable portion of the people today are not aware of the Raspberry Pi and what it can do. Ergo, this article.

So what is the Raspberry Pi?

It’s basically a mini computer that can fit in your hand, your pocket or somewhere equally small. This is what it looks like:

an-introduction-to-raspberry-pi

Source: Wikimedia

Of course there’re different models out there, with slight modifications. It’s all your basic computer needs in one credit card sized circuit board. It has inbuilt ports for hooking up your monitor, keyboard, USB and other I/O devices and you are good to go.

What you get is a caseless computer with HDMI and analog composite video output. There are varying number of USB ports according to the model. For example, the Raspberry Pi 1 A+has only a single USB port while the Raspberry Pi 2  model B has four USB ports! And don’t worry, your most important requirement is taken care of- you can connect it to the internet via wired Ethernet. The absence of a Wi-Fi adapter is a bit of a bummer, but the Raspberry Pi is essentially designed to let students to explore and learn computing, and to learn how to program in languages such as Scratch and Python.

The Raspberry Pi is quite powerful; enabling you to do everything a normal computer can do – create a home media center, browse the internet, word processing or even your own VPN server. However, it’s not so smooth. You need to set up the OS and hook it up with several other basic devices to get it running, namely a monitor, an SD card, a keyboard, a mouse, a micro USB power supply etc.

Raspberry Pi is widely used in the field of Robotics. It makes an excellent hacking tool and can be used as an embedded system as well. There’re a lot of projects and uses for this little guy. All you need to do is find out which model suits your needs and then get started. Here’s some of the basic details to give you an idea:

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+ Compute Module Dev Kit Raspberry Pi Zero
Processor Chipset Broadcom BCM2836 ARMv7 Quad Core Processor powered Single Board Computer running at 900 MHz Broadcom BCM2835 ARMv6 SoC full HD multimedia applications processor Broadcom BCM2835 ARMv6 SoC full HD multimedia applications processor Broadcom BCM2835 ARMv6 SoC full HD multimedia applications processor Broadcom BCM2835 ARMv6 SoC full HD multimedia applications processor
Processor Speed QUAD Core @900 MHz
Single Core @700 MHz

Single Core @700 MHz

Single Core @700 MHz
Single Core @1 GHz
RAM 1GB SDRAM @ 400 MHz 512 MB SDRAM @ 400 MHz 256 MB SDRAM @ 400 MHz 512 MB SDRAM @ 400 MHz 512 MB SDRAM @ 400 MHz
Storage MicroSD MicroSD MicroSD 4GB eMMC MicroSD
USB 2.0 4x USB Ports
4x USB Ports

1x USB Ports

1x USB Port
1x Micro USD Port
Power 5V micro USB input. 800mA rating 5V micro USB input. 600mA rating 5V micro USB input. 200mA rating
5V micro USB input. 300mA rating
5V micro USB input. 160mA rating
GPIO 40 pin 40 pin 26 pin
120 pin
40 pin (unpopulated)

Source: www.element14.com

SEE ALSO 7 Differences Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

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Self-proclaimed foodie! In a relationship-with my laptop. Still waiting for my Hogwarts letter.

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