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A beginner’s guide to the Raspberry PI

If you’re new to the Raspberry Pi, you might be wondering how to set up the device and where to start. Well fret no more as everything you need to know about the Raspberry Pi is mentioned below.

Things you may need

If you haven’t already purchased the below items, you should need to before you can utilize the device for the first time.

  • SD(HC) card
  • SD card reader
  • HDMI cable
  • USB mouse & keyboard
  • Ethernet cable

Firstly, you’ll have to install the Raspbian image on to your SD or SDHC card. Please see the online source below for efficient and reliable setup instructions.

Next you’ll have to configure your Raspberry Pi. Upon first boot-up, the device will ask the user for various configurations and settings. Among others, you will be able to add a password, set over scan settings and set a time zone and country.

The Raspberry Pi comes with a built-in OS called LXDE Window Manager. If you would like to try a different OS, you can try a Linux distro highlighted below.

Installing an operating system

If you just bought a Raspberry Pi, congrats! First step should be to install an operating system, a Linux distro. I would advise against using Windows OS as its features are very demanding. On the other hand, a Linux distro such as Xubuntu or Arch would work more smoothly without advanced hardware. What is more is that you can still perform most of the tasks that you would on a regular Windows computer such as internet browsing and spreadsheet creation. Some of the Linux distros you can install are,

  • Android
  • Debian
  • Raspbian
  • Moebius
  • PwnPi
  • XBian
  • Gentoo
  • RISC OS
  • Plan 9
  • Fedora Remix

Common uses of the Raspberry Pi

One of the most common uses of the Raspberry Pi is TV connection. It can be plugged into a television easily and the user will be able to watch movies off the device. It supports multiple video players such as XBMC making it one of the best cheap portable devices for playing shows and movies. It supports the most popular video codecs allowing you to play practically all kinds of video files.

There are a variety of games you can play on the Raspberry Pi provided you have a Linux distro installed. Most distros come with built-in games such as Sudoku and Minesweeper ensuring that you’ll have no shortage of casual games to play.

Lastly, another common use of the Raspberry Pi is to use it as a device to practice programming. The Raspberry Pi comes built in with Python but if that doesn’t float your boat, you can always try different programming languages as there are IDEs for C++, Lua, Eclipse and Java.

Overall

In summary, there is a lot you can do with your Raspberry Pi. Whether it’s watching movies, listening to music or learning how to program, there is always something for you to do on the nifty device.

Sources:

http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup#Copying_the_image_to_an_SD_card_on_Windows

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