Learning and working with Raspberry Pi

How I learned about Raspberry Pi was not from a way that I would have expected. Struck up a conversation with a service tech that came by to work with some equipment that had decided to to something other than what it was designed for. In talking with the tech, he mentioned Raspberry Pi which is something I hadn’t heard of. That got me to do start some research to learn more about what this was. I was surprised to find it was a little device that had a lot of possibilities. In some of the others posts you have read here, I am already looking at using Linux as a platform for a linux server to serve as a ntp server, ftp server, http test point, etc. With Raspberry Pi, I may be able to do just that in a very compact platform. Clicking on each of the graphics that you see will take you directly to Amazon where you can buy what I have ordered.

This is the foundation piece. All you have to add to Raspberry Pi is a keyboard, mouse, power supply, and SD card to be up and running. For my purposes, I decided to add a case that would allow the case to be safely carried without using an anti-static bag. I began my search by starting with http://www.raspberrypi.org. I found that there are 3 sources in the US. The first one I checked was back ordered 4 to 6 weeks. The other showed stock but I would have to source things from several different sources which left me with Amazon. The reviews I read there were critical of the “high” price of Raspberry Pi. The price really isnt high when you factor in the cost of shipping. The added benefit is that I will be able to find everything else that I want to get with this all from one source and the time savings from being able to do that is worth something when compared with having to place multiple orders from multiple sites and then wait for everything to show up in different packages.

The next piece that I am going to get is a case to put the circuit board in so that I don’t have to keep it on an anti-static mat or other non-conductive surface when having it powered up. Even though it is running on low voltage, I don’t want to take any chances. There are a variety of case colors available but I wanted to go with the clear case so that I could show it off.

The specs for the Raspberry Pi Rev B board indicate a 5v DC 750ma power supply. I was able to find one with the required MicroUSB connect to plug into the power jack to power by board. While I probably have a power supply I can liberate from another use, I wanted to use this as an exercise to buy everything as one package.

The next thing I needed to get is an HDMI connector so that I can hook it up to one of my televisions. I have had very good luck with AmazonBasics cables in the past, so I saw now reason to stray from that path. I have spent more on fancier cables but have yet to see any difference in image to justify the additional cost.

Another piece of the pie that I had to get was a USB keyboard and mouse. While some of the research I did mentioned that a wireless keyboard and mouse were found to work, I decided to stay with the tried and true method. Besides, didnt want to get yet another device at this point that required another battery to keep it running.

This is the last piece of the puzzle that I need to order at this point. I will be ordering both a 4GB and an 8GB SD card. Since the Rasberry Pi boots from and stores its files on the SD card, I want to have a “stock” card that I will work from and another card that I will use for testing different configurations, OS’s, etc.

My next update will be when the parts arrive and I start the process of getting the Linux distro installed and start working with the different tasks that I want to use it for. Initially I will install Linux on the SD card using my MacBook Pro and will also try it using a Windows machine as well.

To see more of my posts about the Raspberry Pi, please go to http://www.ronnutter.com/category/raspberry-pi/

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