Raspberry Pi

A handy page to collect some resources for the Raspberry Pi single board computer.

If you want to know how to get started on the Raspberry Pi, there is a handy Start-Here page.

You can get it from Farnell or RS Components. Farnell seems to be shipping immediately, but RS has a significant backlog. That's a pity, since I prefer to do business with RS, but both companies are international with many years experience in distributing electronics components to businesses. It seems they had a significant learning curve with the massive demand that the Raspberry Pi engendered, and the requirements of dealing with the public. Hopefully they should be coming out of that now.

There has been some worry expressed about whether these companies would sell to private individuals. Rest assured that they will. I have been dealing with them for years. Only last week I ordered £30 worth of stuff from RS Components to upgrade my desk power supply ready for the Raspberry Pi.1

What It IS

  • It is a real computer for under £25.
  • It plugs into your television like computers used to.
  • You can learn to program on it.
  • It can replace a computer used for email, web browsing and letter-writing.
  • If you mess it up, just take the SD card out and flash it again with your PC.
  • It has some hardware interfacing capability
  • It will take many USB peripherals
  • It has networking
  • It can display 1080p videos.
  • It is very small
  • It draws a tiny amount of power
  • It uses an ARMv7 processor
  • Cases and Power-supplies are available
  • Pre-programmed SD cards are available
  • Many educational resources are available
  • Support structures are in place over of http://raspberrypi.org

What It Is NOT

  • It is not a replacement for a Windows PC
  • It only has a quad-core 900MHz CPU so it will be slower than most laptops and desktop PCs.
  • It only has 1GB of RAM
  • It cannot run Windows
  • It cannot execute Windows applications
  • It cannot play Windows games
  • It cannot play many video encodings (although you can buy licenses2 for many more, very cheaply)
  • Hardware interfacing requires electronic know-how
  • You have to learn Linux

For more information, see the Raspberry Pi web pages and forum here.

The published pictures of the beta board are just a little bit non-square, so they would be misleading to take measurements from. I imported them into the Gimp and corrected for perspective. You can find the result here. These are for the original Pi B and are now out of date.

Then I have a minimalised case both in terms of cost and content. It looks rather natty though.

I have a page of information on power supplies for the Raspberry Pi.

In honour of the Raspberry Pi I also have a program you can type in and try out here and in honour of the hard work the Raspberry Pi Foundation put in to get the Raspberry Pi out, here is a release-day song.

And here is an arrangement of two relays to provide a safe power switch.

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