|Item Weight||1.6 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||3.4 x 0.8 x 2.2 inches|
|Item model number||RASPBRRY-PCBA512|
|Color||Case could be clear or black, depends on the stock a the time I order|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
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Raspberry Pi Model B 756-8308 Motherboard (RASPBRRYPCBA512)
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- Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM1176JZFS processor with FPU and Videocore 4 GPU
- GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode, GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
- 512MB RAM
- Additional specs: 10/100 BaseT Ethernet, HDMI, (2) USB 2.0, RCA video, SD card socket, Powered from microUSB socket, 3.5 mm audio out jack, boots from SD card, Size: 85.6 x 56 x 21 mm
- Model B Revision 2.0 Board-only (no SD card, case, or cables)
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The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. 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, as well as plays high-definition video. The design is based around a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 512 Megabytes of RAM. This revision 2.0 board features two mounting holes for easy installation, a built-in reset circuit, and can be powered via the USB data ports. The design does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, instead relying on an SD card (not included) for booting and long-term storage. The Raspberry Pi is intended to run Linux kernel based operating systems. Component colors may vary. Not all units manufactured in the UK.
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1. Power supply. You need a power supply MICRO USB connector and at least .7 amps. A Kindle fast charger works fine.
2. Display cable. a regular HDMI cable works fine if your monitor supports it. The composite connector works, but it is *very* difficult to get a usable picture on a TV this way. You'll need to edit a configuration file to change resolution.
3. Keyboard and pointing device. Because you only have 2 USB ports and a wired ethernet port, you'll have to juggle whether you want to use a wireless USB, a keyboard/touch pad combo, etc. Most standard keyboards will work on it.
4. Internet connection (if you want internet connectivity). This can be wired or wireless. I used the edimax 7811 adapter which worked right out of the box.
5. Operating System on an SD card (minimum 4GB, class 4 - Amazon has a Sony 16GB class 10 for $11-$12 - that's what I would use). There are a number of different ways to go. The Rasberry Pi foundation uses a Debian implementation of Linux called "Wheezy" which works well. This is a free download.
6. powered USB hub. If you want more peripherals or do not have a keyboard/touchpad combo you might want one of these.
HINTS: How-to-geek has an excellent step-by-step guide to setting it up. But here's what you do. On a Windows machine, download Wheezy (free), use imgwriter(free) to write the image file to your SD Card (you can't just copy the file to the card). Assemble everything you plug into the machine except the power first, slide in the SD card (it will stick out of the machine a 1/2 inch) then plug-in the power cord (a cell phone adapter with a minimum .700 amps and a micro USB , NOT a micro B, connector) in and it should fire up to a configuration screen. The only options you'll probably need to use are A) expand the file system to take the whole card B) set your time zone and C) set the machine to boot into the graphical interface. (if you have a good power supply - 1 amp - you can overclock at this point to make the machine faster). Re-boot and you're in a very windows-esque operating environment. If you have internet, connect using the icon on the starting desktop.
Suggestion: replace the midori browser which seems very wonky with Chromium (the open-source version of Google Chrome) Open a terminal (also on the starting desktop) and type without quotes "sudo apt-get install chromium-browser"
It will browse, it will get Email it will NOT use flash (even the Chromium "built-in" is not there) because flash is not compatible with the CPU. You can *try* to use the open-source (free) "gnash" but frankly...it's not going to be very workable. If you set the machine up as a XBMC machine it will do some of this, but it is a totally different installation process.
It's fun! try it. Lots of things you can do with this. It's about the size (if you put it in a case) of a cigarette box.
What it is:
- A small and cheap linux computer.
- Runs several distros that are made specifically for it's ARM processor.
- Has 512mb ram and uses an SD card for the hdd essentially.
- Small enough to fit into an altoids tin.
- $35 (sort of, more on that later)
What it is NOT:
- A replacement for your Windows desktop. (Can do this in some ways but that is not its purpose)
-- This is where some people get tripped up. Yes this object on Amazon is $35, but without other components (Sd card, power cord, monitor, mouse, keyboard, ethernet connection or wifi dongle) it is just a paper weight, and a light one at that. I would say realistically you could get a mouse, keyboard, and power supply for another $30 which makes this more like 60$-$70. Using that config would also mean you are using your TV or existing monitor, and are hardwired to your router. Still even at that extra price it is a pretty good value.
The value of this board is that it allows for the young "Maker's" imagination to run wild. I have used it for a retro emulator and a file server with an attached HDD. It worked wonderfully for these things. I also see a popular use of it as a home media center. Now, all of this being said, you do need to know a little linux to use it, or be willing to learn. I had some experience so I was not completely lost, but if you have never used linux but think "Hey I work on my home PC pretty well, i should be able to do this" think again.
I am not trying to say that using a linux based OS is difficult, but I am saying that it is different. Far different than Windows. I only give this warning because if you are not prepared to learn a lot and google the heck out of how to do something, you will be disappointed in the product. It is something that requires some time to get going and become useful, but it has nearly limitless potential.
It's small form factor and lower power consumption make it ideal for so many different projects that it is impossible to count.
This is FOR:
- People that want to tinker with a small computer for various projects.
- People who want to learn more about linux or computing in general.
- People that are looking for a possible alternative to other devices (can be a streaming device, a firewall, a vpn access point, a security camera, etc)
I would say that although this is a niche product I like the marketing that it can be for education and as a cheap PC alternative. I think that the latter is a little bit of an exaggeration for the average user, but I can see the merit in the concept. I have a raspberry pi and it has grown my love of and ability to use linux. For the price, even the extra peripherals, it is worth buying if you are one of the people I mentioned above. I do think it could be good for kids, but not kids looking for quick satisfaction. If you know a child that has at least some patience and likes to tinker, than I think they would like it.