Raspberry Pi Basics

The Raspberry Pi is a wonderful little computer that fits in the palm of your hand, yet packs enough power to run your home media center, a VPN, and a lot more. This article attempts to cover the basics of this great little prototyping tool.

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The Raspberry Pi may be a computer all on its own, but you’ll still need a lot of other things to make it work:

A monitor: For the purposes of our course we’ll be working with an HDMI-capable monitor because it offers better resolution and built-in sound. But you could however use any composite video-capable television.

HDMI cable: You’ll need this cable to connect your Raspberry Pi to your monitor or alternatively composite video cable if you’re using a television.

SD card: RPi uses an SD card for its hard drive. Almost all cards will work, but some aren’t compatible and will therefore cause issues. You can find out which cards are compatible, or locate a place to buy a compatible card with an operating system pre-installed here.

A keyboard and mouse: Any standard USB keyboard or mouse will do. Wireless (non-Bluetooth) peripherals worked for me, but I had to unplug them and plug them back in after the Raspberry Pi booted. You’ll have fewer issues with fully wired keyboards and mouses.

An ethernet cable: Any standard ethernet cable will do. You only need this to connect to your network and the internet, however, so you can leave this item out if desired.

A power supply: Most micro USB smartphone chargers supply 700mA at 5V, but not all do. Check the bottom of your charger and look for a block of text. You’ll see its output values in that text which may read 0.7A instead of 700mA). If it offers at least that much power, you’re probably good to go.

Now that you’ve got all the hardware, it’s time to create the operating system for RaspberryPi on your SD card.

Check out the following articles on setting up Raspberry Pi:
1. Preparing Raspian SD Card

2. Booting up Raspberry Pi

3. Connecting to RPi with Ethernet Cable

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