What is a Raspberry Pi?



The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer, with a few connections (more on this in a minute) on board that allow it to be used as a normal computer, or really cool electronic projects – you are limited only by your imagination.

The Pi project originally started in 2006, with the first boards publicly available through Ebay in early 2012. The Pi runs variations of Linux based on Debian, with tools available to make Python as the main programming language – perfect for beginners and even seasoned veterans.

As you can see by the diagram below, it’s got pretty much everything you need – Memory, USB ports for keyboard and mouse, LAN for network connectivity, HMDI/RCA for connecting it to your monitor or TV.


Originally intended for kids at school to learn basic programming (and very much still are!), the Pi has a huge following from hobbyists to IT specialists because of their versatility.

Google ‘raspberry pi project ideas’ and see what comes up. There are some great ideas out there.

For the technically minded, the Raspberry Pi has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip,which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and was originally shipped with 256 megabytes of RAM, later upgraded to 512 MB.It does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, but it uses an SD card for booting and persistent storage taken straight from Wikipedia as I could not of said it better myself!).

There are plenty of resources out on the net, so you should be able to find what you’re looking for (or even some inspiration) quite easily.

First of all is the Rasperry Pi’s FAQ page!

Another great page is the Raspberry Pi beginners page. There are some great short video tutorials here that will help you greatly if you are new to the Pi and the Linux operating system.


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