Recipe for Success: The Raspberry Pi

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When it comes to computers, there is no computer as fresh as the credit card sized, uncased Raspberry Pi.

I mean it’s amazing if you think about it.. that the image above is small enough to carry around your pocket but also equipped enough to exist as a fully capable PC. Okay, so it might not strike you as beautiful but how often do we have the opportunity to break our iPhones and look at the insides ourselves? Over the course of a generation, technology advancements have improved drastically. So much so, in fact, that the children of the 90’s and onward continue to prance around with our iPads and smartphones– our noses in the air. It seems that we think our sophisticated and refined tech exposure and our ability to work ON these machines have somehow made us MORE advanced than the generation before us — the less fortunate era. We are so, entirely wrong.

The reason these advancements were possible was because of the game hackers, programmers and experienced individuals before us. Yeah, their PC monitors and game consoles were totally lame but that made it okay to mess around with them. How can we learn when our technology is too advanced to hack into, to challenge, to question? That’s where Raspberry Pi comes into play, a computer that kids and adults can learn to program on by fiddling with them.

Oh, and did I mention it’s only $35.00? You still have part of your paycheck to blow on their unbeatable list of awesome accessories. If you’re interested, now or by the end of this article, here are two companies that distribute Raspberry Pi around the world:  Premier Farnell/Element 14 and RS Components. You can also buy the Pi on Amazon but the price is jacked up to $65.00 (I’m assuming this is to account for the expedited shipping).

Here’s what you’ll get when you order one (aka here’s a run down of the components that make up this CPU):

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Although this computer is well under almost anyone’s budget, there are some accessories you’ll need before you can start using it.

Here’s a list of a few other things you’ll need from Engadget:

▪ One SD card
▪ An SD card reader so you can write the OS image to your SD card
▪ A means of supplying power to the unit (we use an old Android phone charger). At the very least, you’ll need a 5v micro-USB adapter.
▪ An HDMI cable and HDMI-to-DVI converter if you’re using a monitor instead of a high-definition television. If you’re just using a TV or a monitor that supports HDMI, you won’t need an adapter.
▪ A USB mouse and keyboard
▪ An Ethernet cable

Optional items:
• A case to hold your Raspberry Pi
• A USB Hub if you plan on using the USB ports for more than just a mouse and keyboard

What we’re using, in case you’re wondering:
▪ A Model B Raspberry Pi
▪ A 16GB Class 10 SanDisk Ultra SDHC card (rated at 300 MB/s)
▪ An old HTC Inspire power charger
▪ A wireless Logitech K260 keyboard and mouse combo. (It only uses one of the two available USB ports.)
▪ An RJ-45 cable

Here’s a quick look at what my shopping cart on Amazon looks like (excluding the Raspberry Pi):

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I’m so excited to get started with my very own Raspberry Pi, and I hope this post encourages all of you to go out there and purchase your own. Best of luck with the programs!

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