It is a low cost computer made by Raspberry pi foundation in United Kingdom. They had to make a low cost computer for using in schools for educational and Training purposes.
Raspberry-pi is small in size, just like credit card, single board computer that comes with Broadcom BCM2835 ARM processor working on 700 MHz. The operating system (OS) that would be supported by Raspberry pi is Linux RISC OS. It also comes with a RAM capacity of 256MB,(model a) with options of upgrading it to 512 Mb (Model B) later on. It does not have a built in hard disk drive, so it takes the help of SD card for booting and storage purposes. The first official version of Raspberry Pi was rolled out in February 2012 after doing development and testing for 6 years since the project launch in 2006. This initial model was called Raspberry-pi model A. Now it comes in two versions, model A with 256MB ram and the model B with 512 Mb ram.
Releasing two Models A and B
After the release of the initial model A – a low cost model, another model Raspberry Pi B was recently released. Model B comes with 2 USB port, where as the initial model A had 1 USB port and no Ethernet controller, model B have an Ethernet controller and possibility for Wi-Fi with usb dongle. The initial model was priced at $25 while the later Model B has been priced at $35. Both motherboards can be acquired through Premier Farnell – Element 14. The Model A has also been designed to use less power to make it more suitable for projects involving robotics, remote sensors or which rely on solar power.
Hardware that goes in to the single board Computer
The initial Model A that was released in February 2012 had 1 universal port and no Ethernet controller. An upgraded version of Raspberry A was released in the October 2012, with the Ram upgraded to 512Mb. If you need more USB ports you can always add USB hub. Both model A and model B don’t have system clock installed as part of the system. The operating system that runs on this system should refer to the network time server. User also have option to set the date and time on your Raspberry-pi while booting.
Raspberry Pi is currently working on a camera module for its systems. At the moment, optimization of the drivers and software is taking place. It’s expected that the module will be available within a month or two.
Software for Raspberry Pi
The initial version of Raspberry Pi was using Linux as the operating system till July 2012. From August 2012, a free OS called the raspbian was developed and optimized to be used with the different Raspberry Pi hardware components. The work of supporting system specific hardware is still on going with focus on the development of Light Unix distributions such as Raspberry and XBMC open source digital media center.
About Xbmc Foundation
Xbmc is an open source software and is developed by a not for profit free software community that take up ongoing development projects. The community that runs these projects is the Xbmc Foundation. They encourage many developers to submit their own code patches for adding new functionality to the existing features and also for fixing the bugs found out during testing. Its a perfect home media server in combination with Raspberry-pi.
Opportunity to Learn Python
Developers trying to get the best out of the Raspberry Pi device have found Python to be the most effective language in interacting with the Raspberry hardware components. Even old time programers having very little exposure to python have started embracing it. It provides the developers an opportunity to learn python and get used to the different features of python such as indentation and dynamic typing help option. Python is different from other languages as it doesn’t require a semi colon to indicate end of line. Click here for Python tutorials.
Development of Peripherals
With this single board computer becoming popular, a number of third party suppliers started to develop peripherals that work with it. Gert Board was one such accessory that has the capability to interface and interact with LEDs, Sensors, analog signals and switches.
How was the idea of a cheap, hackable, credit card-sized computer engineered into reality?
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On the picture bellow you can see Pis built in a panel of six — it’s all geared toward manufacturing 3,000 Raspberry Pis a day. The panel provides a a way for the machines to hold the PCBs and minimizes handling; the boards can simply be snapped out of the panel just before test.
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