The Raspberry Pi

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Just One Byte and You're Hooked

It's not delicious and doesn't go well with whipped cream. But the Raspberry Pi is still pretty amazing. Read on to learn more about this neat little gadget that has attracted major attention all over the world.

What Is the Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi (developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation) is a single-board microcomputer platform the size of your credit card and is designed to run the open-source Debian/Linux operating systems! It is essentially a small personal computer with no screen weighing only 45 grams that you can connect with your television and a keyboard to devise a basic computer out of your TV.

The Raspberry Pi thus enables you to use your TV to run basic computing functions such as word processing and spreadsheets. In addition, it also lets users play hi-definition video as well as video games.

The Pi comes in two models: Model A (256MB RAM, only one USB port, no Ethernet) and Model B (512MB RAM, two USB ports, and Ethernet).

What Will I Need to Run the Raspberry Pi?

For basic setup, you will need a power supply, USB hub, an HDMI monitor (computer or TV), a USB keyboard, and a USB mouse. The Raspberry Pi does not have a solid-state drive or a built-in hard disk. It uses an SD card for data storage and booting which you will have to purchase separately.

Why We Love the Raspberry Pi

Although the Raspberry Pi is widely used to watch movies and play video games, its primary purpose is to enable children to learn basic programming. This amazing little device uses Python as the primary educational language and the Raspberry Pi Foundation is working with partners to use the Pi as a teaching platform for maths as well as various languages. As kids learn to code on the Raspberry Pi, their ‘computer’ becomes a truly personal device and inspires them to keep tinkering with it. The Pi encourages innovation, imagination and a desire to explore. For example, a group of kids integrated the Pi with a wireless keyboard to make a door-answering device for the elderly and disabled.

The user can answer their door or send a message to the visitor without having to physically get to the door. Another student created a home-security device out of the Pi, with the help of her Raspberry Pi; she was able to randomly switch the lights in her house off and on, making a potential intruder think that someone was home!

As you can see, possibilities for what a child can do with the Raspberry Pi are limitless, be it beginner coding, watching videos, learning languages or working on inspirational projects that can really make a difference.

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