Table of Contents
What is The Raspberry Pi?
- A full-blown computer capable of running a desktop
- Based on a different processor (brains) than a typical laptop or desktop
- Performs well enough to be useful but less powerful than a typical desktop, laptop, or high-end mobile device (expensive cell phones, tablets, etc)
- Designed to be easy to use with electronics projects
- Created by a U.K. non-profit Rasbperry Pi Foundation
- Intended to an inexpensive way to learn computing and electronics and especially the combination of those (including robotics)
What does the Raspberry Pi 3 Have?
- Reasonably powerful (4 core x 1 GHz) ARM processor — runs the actual code that has been converted to machine instructions.
- 1 GB RAM — Scratchpad (goes away when power is turned off)
- microSD card support — permanent storage (slower than RAM)
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports — for peripherals, like keyboards, mice, and external storage
- HDMI out — video / graphics
- Audio out — sound / music
- Wifi — wireless network
- Ethernet — wired network
- Camera (with extra Pi module or USB)
- LCD (with extra Pi module or USB or GPIO or I2C or SPI controlled)
- GPIOs: Do on/off (digital) electronics including interfacing to other boards, controlling LED, listen to buttons, etc.
- Interface with I2C or SPI bus electronics — advanced
- Communicate with serial port devices (RX/TX/GND) — not in this workshop
Raspberry Pi hardware setup
- Put the Pi in its case and put the case together.
- Next, plug your keyboard and mouse into the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi.
- Make sure that your monitor or TV is turned on, and that you have selected the right input (e.g. HDMI 1, DVI, etc).
- Connect your HDMI cable from your Raspberry Pi to your monitor or TV.
- If you intend to connect your Raspberry Pi to the internet, plug an Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port, or connect a WiFi dongle to one of the USB ports (unless you have a Raspberry Pi 3, 4 or Zero in which case it has built in wifi).
- When you're happy that you have plugged all the cables and SD card in correctly, connect the micro USB power supply. This action will turn on and boot your Raspberry Pi.
The Pi desktop
Once your Pi is booted, you should see a desktop that looks similar to older Windows® with the taskbar at the top instead of bottom.
TBD: Screenshots of Pi with Applications menu open
The ‘Application’ menu in the top left (which has a Raspberry icon) is the primary way to launch programs on the desktop.
- On the top right is a clock, and an icon for the network connection (wireless in the case of those at the MakerPlace bots & bytes program).
- For now we're not doing anything with the Pi desktop, except launching the ‘Mu’ editor from the ‘Programming’ menu in the Application menu (often this type of location is written in the same form as Applications|Programming|Mu).