A Beginner’s Guide to Raspberry Pi

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Raspberry Pi, the cost-effective, credit card-sized computer, was first released in 2012. Since its launch, it’s become renowned for being the best-selling British computer according to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and a real success story for Pencoed in Wales, where most are made.

If you have been wanting to code your own Raspberry Pi for a while now but haven’t known where to start, you’re in the right place. Here’s a guide for novices hoping to start their Raspberry Pi journey.

What is It?

Raspberry Pi is a small computer that echoes the work your laptop does. It has the makeup of a typical computer, but in tiny form. This includes a graphics chip, a processor, RAM and USB ports. You’ll also find it has space for an HDMI connection and an Ethernet port. The current versions have been upgraded to include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

What Software Does it Need?

As this is a stripped-back computer, the Raspberry Pi can run basic software. For example, you can install Linux and a very bare-bones version of Windows 10.

The reason for it being so rudimentary is that it has been created to teach coding and computer skills. With this in mind, you can start coding on your own Raspberry Pi relatively easily.

What Does it Do?

Understanding your Raspberry Pi’s abilities is key to getting started with coding it. In general, you can leave out any additions in order to set it up as a simple camera, or you can introduce inputs and outputs to set it up to run a film or play games.

Once you have your Raspberry Pi, you can opt to purchase some additional items, such as a case to technical tools like the selection from RS Components that allow you to play around with its composition.

How Does it Work?

It won’t do anything until you input commands and instructions, so hook it up to a keyboard, monitor and mouse like you would with a typical computer. Next, use a power adapter to power up your Pi and purchase a memory card.

Once you have everything you need, you will see a loading screen. This is a typical desktop and from there, you can use the default web browser, to help you install the software you want to start coding with.

Try the ‘apt-get- command on Linux to help install available software. One of the most popular programmes that is regularly seen in the classroom in Raspberry Pi is Scratch, a simple introduction to coding aimed at children. You can use the apt-get command here to fetch Scratch to your Pi.

The type of coding you do will depend upon the software you opt to download and the accessories you buy. For example, you can purchase an LED sensor and explore the concept of randomness. Or you could go all-out and create a secure door lock.

There are lots of possibilities when it comes to coding your Pi. Using this small computer as a springboard, you can create some impressive and useful features for everything from classroom resources to everyday items.