About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

June 25, 2013

Raspberry Pie?

Hey, it is summer time and I do not know about you but I love a good, hot slice of apple pie any old time.  Yes, with ice cream too! 

Back in the first quarter of 2012 they came up with another type of pie in the UK; a Raspberry Pi.  But this one you do not eat.  You plug it in and use it as a computer.

You might think, "Oh well, here he goes talking about another new desktop or notebook computer."  But you would be wrong.  Raspberry Pis are different, really different.

piFirst we will look at the physical description of the Raspberries.  They weigh in at about one and one half ounces, about the same as eight quarters.  Next the dimensions are 3.4 inches long x 2.2 wide inches and 0.83 inches thick.  Mine is a slightly larger since I bought a case to put mine in, so yes, they come stripped down without a case or much else.  My case cost me $7 so that part is not much to worry about.


Now, sit down and relax.  The price may overwhelm you.  There are two versions.  The A version sells for $25 and the B for only $35.  That is pretty much the total price and there is no bigger, better more expensive version to upgrade to.  Now you do need a couple of other things to run it but most likely you have them lying around the house.

Sales first started in February, 2012 and are still going pretty strong.  They were originally created for kids in the UK to learn how to write programs and be creative with computers while investing little money.  I read in the past they originally thought they would sell about 10,000 of the units.  By May, 2012 there were over 40,000 in sales.  By May of this year there were well over 1.2 million in sales worldwide, with India taking the lead.

They have no hard drive so you need to run it off of a SD card, and a 4GB size is recommended.  I run mine on an old 8GB I had left over from an old Android phone.  Speaking of Android, that is what you use to power a Raspberry Pi, your regular old Android phone charger, wire and all.  This is good since they are cheap or usually laying around somewhere and the Pis do not come with a power supply.  Next you need a mouse, keyboard and monitor.  Then you are ready to go.

Now beware, these are not for entry level computer users but more for entry level geeks or higher.  It is a gadget that you cannot just plug in and use because it takes a little bit of setup.  The SD card must first be set up on a regular computer and then it is plugged into the Raspberry Pi to "make it go."

Ron's Pi in the caseWhat can you do with one?  Go to your favorite search engine and look for "What are people doing with Raspberry Pi" or something similar.  You will find that they are using them for cameras, some are using them to experiment with new human prosthetics, many (like me) use theirs hooked up to their TV to watch streaming video, listen to music, surf the net, etc. It is a much smaller, less expensive computer which also uses very little power. 

Check out this video ( where one creative dad launched his son’s favorite toy into space, got video of the ride, and the return to earth. They even found the toy later.  

Obviously the sky is the limit.

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