A Tiny Computer to Power Big Ideas
A couple of years ago I came across an article describing a tiny computer with the power to do amazing things. With a funny and hunger-inspiring name, the Raspberry Pi (shown below) is intended to inspire creativity and tinkering by providing a powerful, flexible computer that's so small they included a free one on the cover of their magazine! Not surprisingly, a package this size also comes with a pretty small price tag. I'll dig into the technical details of how to set one up in other blog posts but for now, I'd like to share a couple of the fascinating things that people around the world have made with this mini computing marvel.
Figure 1: The Raspberry Pi - a seriously small by powerful computer.
To serve as inspiration for all of the great things we'll attempt with the Raspberry Pi (Pi for short) I've made a short list of my go-to sites for Pi-related info.
This is a great site that I visit all the time to see the cool and crazy things that people are creating. Contributors write How-To's for amazing things you might never have even dreamed of. The site has helped me build a 3D printer, a waist-high planter box and other fun and imaginative things. I highly recommended it!
The home of the UK-based non-profit that is responsible for this amazing little computer. With millions of units sold, they've definitely helped unleash a global wave of tech driven creativity. The site is a also a great place to go if you're just starting out with the Pi. Some of the crazy things you'll see here include:
Robot Cat that even purrs
A wildlife watcher made for the outdoors
A great magazine chock full of great projects
Great on-line training
A whole lot more...
There's a ton of other projects I could reference here but I think you get the idea. This tiny computer has been used in many different ways since it was first released. With a vibrant community behind it and regular hardware updates, it's exciting to think about where it will go.
In my next blog post, I'll take you through the details of how I setup my Pi step-by-step. My overall goal with this project is to build a weatherproof GPS-enabled camera unit that I can take with me wherever I go. I'll post a Basic Setup next week to get you started.
By the way, if you're like me, you're probably curious about how the raspberry pi got its name. Seems like it had something to do with the Python scripting language and a tradition of naming computer companies after fruit....