More than just a Raspberry
Picture a Raspberry. Not the bare circuit board with some bits in it that I’m going to talk about in this article, but the humble raspberry. They’re delicious and they’re versatile! You can eat them raw, you can use them to perk up a plain-old fruit salad, you can blend them in a smoothie for your morning boost and you can even turn them into a jam using Aunty Hilda’s award-winning secret recipe! You might think that this sounds a little bit silly and that I don’t need to tell you what you can or can’t do with a raspberry, but, my point is that you don’t need to be a gourmet chef to make something pretty spectacular out of a simple Raspberry Pi.
You also don’t need to be a Software Architect or a Systems Engineer to cook up your very own Raspberry Pi masterpiece – one that would probably leave your friends asking for the recipe!
What is a Raspberry Pi?
A Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized circuit board with a built in processor, RAM, graphics and a couple of sockets. Basically, a cheap and ugly little computer! Its basic design is specifically meant to prompt you to tinker with it and push its boundaries. Best of all, unlike your more expensive smartphone or laptop, you might be less upset if you break it (but only a little less!). The Raspberry Pi 3 comes with some upgraded features, from its predecessors, like integrated Bluetooth, an upgraded processor, built-in WiFi and an improved power supply. Want to win a Pi? Enter our Raspberry Pi Giveaway and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to explore the world of possibility that comes with this little device yourself!
In this article, I’ll touch on what you’ll need to get started on your own Pi project. What you’ll need in terms of ingredients to get you on your way, cooking techniques, as well as an endless plethora of dishes that you can end up with.
1x Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
1x 8GB (or larger) microSD Card
1x Raspberry Pi Power Adapter
1x Wireless Mouse & Keyboard
1x HDMI Cable
1x Monitor with HDMI Input
1. Unbox your Pi and pop the microSD card* into the slot located at the back of the device.
2. Next, hook up your wireless keyboard & mouse by slotting the receiver into one of the 4 USB ports.
3. For added flavour, clip a LAN cable into the ethernet port (the other end into your internet router, of course).
4. Preheat your monitor by plugging it into a power source and connect it to your Pi with an HDMI cable.
5. Lastly, connect your Pi to a power source via the micro USB adapter and simmer. You’ll notice your Pi boot up immediately!
No further configuration is required and you should be able to surf the web immediately. The Raspberry Pi 3 is capable of browsing effortlessly and streaming YouTube in HD without a hitch!
* If you’re using a microSD card that did not come with your Raspberry Pi, you’ll have to download and install Raspbian OS using this link.
Raspbian OS is only one of many different Operating Systems that can be installed on your Pi. OpenELEC, Pidora, OpenWrt, RISC OS, Chromium OS and even Windows 10 IoT Core are just a small example of the others that you can choose from – by tinkering with these the potential of your Pi grows exponentially!
This is my Top 5 list of Awesome things that you can do with your Pi:
Being a 90’s kid, avid gamer and amateur DIYer, I’ll be tackling a retro game machine and will attempt to build a full sized arcade machine which I could leave in the Afrihost break room! Don’t worry, pics or it didn’t happen! 🙂
Check out our awesome Unboxing the Raspberry Pi 3 blog post for a killer real-life video of the Pi in action.
If you would like to see step by step blog posts, or make suggestions and submit some personal input for The Arcade Project, leave a comment below. If you have your own Pi and have completed an awesome project, we’d love to hear about it too!