Monday, July 09, 2012

the Raspberry Pi - beginnings

The Raspberry Pi computer arrived today!

What’s a Raspberry Pi? go to The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.
The idea behind a tiny and cheap computer for kids came in 2006, when Eben Upton and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, including Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft, became concerned about the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skills levels of the A Level students applying to read Computer Science in each academic year. From a situation in the 1990s where most of the kids applying were coming to interview as experienced hobbyist programmers, the landscape in the 2000s was very different; a typical applicant might only have done a little web design.
Something had changed the way kids were interacting with computers. A number of problems were identified: the colonisation of the ICT curriculum with lessons on using Word and Excel, or writing webpages; the end of the dot-com boom; and the rise of the home PC and games console to replace the Amigas, BBC Micros, Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 machines that people of an earlier generation learned to program on.
This little thing, the size of a credit card, costs under £50 produces full HD output, and is a powerful as an Intel dual core computer.
After the launch, hundreds of thousands were ordered, and after a couple of months wait; mine is here.
Here's the first steps:

the size of a credit card - but with full HD graphics, and equivalent to an intel dual core processor. That's an HDMI cable at the back to give an idea of the scale

the underside. The SD card holds the operating system (Linux Debian Squeeze)  downloaded free

all the connections made: clockwise from top; HDMI; USB power: USB mouse and keyboard; network

power up - successful boot first time!

it's plugged into the TV via HDMI, but could use a monitor just as well


all lights blazing!

the user interface

right out of the box - internet access

some of the pre installed programs - many more to download from the Linux community

simple word processing

in full swing!
This is mental training, a chance to learn computing, logic, robotics, hardware and software, all as part of the wider Linux and raspberry pi community

A way to ward off mental senility, and have a bit of fun!

Check out the community site for some real positive thinking!

More to follow (when I get the time!)


TC said...

Okay - so let's see how long it takes to get you to do something useful with it then - how about watering the garden, no, silly me, strike that, no need for that this year!

Um - program it to monitor how much electricity Turnip House uses! :-)


John & Elaine McCombe said...

Ha Ha! not sure when useful will apply - other than keeping my neurons healthy!

Will keep you posted...