The Raspberry Pi
Primary Use: Basic computing and programming
The Raspberry Pi is a small single-board programmable computing board. They’re used for experimenting, prototyping and sometimes even solving real world problems. They’re amazingly cheap as the versions range in prices around $35 – $70. This doesn’t include a display or keyboard, but that’s what makes the RasPi so great — you’re only ever adding what’s necessary. So as you go, you learn the related hardware & computer science, bit by bit 😉
The Raspberry Pi is an exciting and innovative hobby because there are endless imaginable usages. It empowers people of all interests and walks of life to engage and dream with technology in a solution-oriented way. The core values of humanity can be improved by greater access to small single board computers — the arts, health & medicine, environmental research are all benefactors of programmable computers that have cheap ease of access and are highly modular (highly adaptable configuration).
One thing that particularly interests me is that Raspberry Pi’s can be used to respond to visual inputs as well as audio, creating a vast and unexplored terrain of audio visual interactive art. And it only requires a small computing board that is relatively easy to program for hobbyist coders. This adaptability is so wonderful and creative. It can be used in music performance, agricultural research or automation, making your home or media room ridiculously smart or automated, etc etc.
There are a variety of uses
- Hexapod robots that walk around your living room
- Smart Mirror, RasPi w/mirror screen
- Wifi Synced Weather, Time and Calendar updates
- Plotter/Design Tool
- Custom Tablet
By taking away the accessories which don’t do any computing, it’s easier to begin to see how and why large “normal” computers are built. Displays aren’t included but can be attached easily via inputs ports like HDMI, USB / USB-C, etc. which are already soldered to the board. You can find more info on two possible setups for exploring a Pi in my other article.