How can you not love a tiny computer? I posted about Top 10 Raspberry Pi Myths and Truths and since then I'm up to four Raspberry Pi devices. The most recent is the new Raspberry Pi "Model B" that includes 512 megs of RAM.
Sure, Raspberry Pis aren't fast, but what they lack in performance they make up for with chutzpah. They have a nice GPU as well which will decode 1080p MP4 video in hardware and play it just fine. Even better, for about $4 you can get a license to unlock MPEG-2 or VC-1 decoding in hardware.
I also have a Netduino and Netduino Plus as well as an Arduino that I use with the greatest FPS Controller in history, the SpaceTec SpaceOrb along with a custom OrbShield that provides a bridge between the RS-232 Serial Port and the Arduino.
All these devices are very reasonably priced and a great fun for kids or adults. Next I'm looking at the PIX-6T4 "game console" that lets you write tiny games in C# on a Netduino Mini or perhaps a Netduino Go.
Don't listen to the folks who write negative headlines about the Raspberry Pi. Sure, it's the wild west but with a little patience you'll do fine. There's an amazing community around the Raspberry Pi.
The amount of excitement around these tiny machines is amazing. There's even a Kickstarter for a "Picade" tiny arcade cabinet.
To make things easier once you get your Pi, I do recommend the Adafruit Raspberry Pi Budget Pack if you don't want to go hunting for parts. This kit includes a great little clear case, a 4 gig SD Card (actually a mini with an adapter, which is great since the Netduino Plus has a mini SD slot), cables and power, but best of all, a breadboard, wires and a lovely little ribbon cable and "cobbler" that makes it super easy to keep things tidy while still messing with the Raspberry Pi's GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) connections.
What's great about the Raspberry Pi and small devices like it isn't the price -although that's great - it's that the Raspberry Pi has a GPIO and HDMI. This means it's the easiest and cheapest little PC that can talk to the outside world's many hardware devices. Having the combination of HDMI out (for your TV) and GPIO (for everything else) means it's extremely accessible to the beginner.
That GPIO port along with its ease of programming gives rise to such fun as as the RetroPie GPIO Adapter that let you hook up your old Super Nintendo (SNES) controllers to a Pi! You can order a RetroPie GPIO Adapter here. Here is Video of the RetroPie in action. I am not affiliated with this creative person at all, I just dig the idea.
So I've got four now. Some friends have tweeted me saying that they bought one Raspberry Pi and haven't gotten around to doing antyhing with it, usually because they aren't sure WHAT to use it for.
Here's what my Pi's are currently doing:
I'm sure there are more reasons to buy more Raspberry Pis. Here's a few.
These are some exciting and fun projects for you to explore with Raspberry Pi that might make your Pi feel more useful and get you playing today!
Be sure to check out the Element 14 Community Site for Raspberry Pi. I also love AdaFruit and their Pi-related products like the Adafruit Pi Box (I have 2) or the Budget Pack (I have 1).
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
OpenROV is a DIY community centered around underwater robots for exploration & adventure.We're a group of amateur and professional ROV builders and operators from over 50 countries who have a passion for exploring the deep.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.