An introduction to the Raspberry Pi

This page focuses on an introduction to the Raspberry Pi. We’ll briefly cover the history of the Pi, why it’s a great little device, and some of the things you can achieve with it.



The history of the Raspberry Pi


Since launching in 2012, Raspberry Pi has helped computer hobbyists create and design their own programs and hardware projects all over the world. The basic Raspberry Pi model is a single-board computer, which is designed to be easy to code and to program for a variety of different uses.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation, responsible for designing and distributing the boards, is a charity whose focus is helping people learn more about computing and programming. Raspberry Pi boards are commonly used in schools and colleges to teach the very basics of computing, though they can also be used to build custom projects at home.


How does a Raspberry Pi work?


The Raspberry Pi is a computer which runs on Linux. However, it can be manipulated and programmed using a wide array of different operating systems and services. It is built on an open source system, which means that it is entirely flexible with a vast number of publicly available resources. It is seen as the perfect playground for anyone getting to grips with computing for the first time.

There are many different models of Pi, but they all run with a simple SD card as their ‘hard drive’. This means you can load programs and requests from another device before mounting it into your Pi. It is very economical in terms of power, as it is thought to only run on 3 watts. It has USB ports and even the ability for you to connect it via HDMI port for visual means.


What can you do with a Raspberry Pi?


The Pi is famous for being amazingly versatile. This means you can build hardware projects and run your own programs to your heart’s content – there really is no limit. The Pi is great for use in schools as it can help children to understand how programming works, even when it comes to more complex projects.

With a Raspberry Pi, and in a relatively short time, you could:

  • Build a WiFi booster or extender
  • Build a controller for robotics or AI
  • Create home automation devices
  • Install an operating system and create your own desktop PC
  • Create a customer service or social media bot
  • Build a server for online games such as Minecraft
  • Build your own media or entertainment centre
  • Build your own FM radio station
  • Build an automated stop motion camera
  • Build your own Smart TV

These are just a few of the more popular ways in which you can put a Pi unit to use. There are thousands of projects online which you can take inspiration from and use with your own hardware. Why not take a look at these 79 Raspberry Pi projects.


Perfect for Beginners


The Raspberry Pi is popular not just as a result of its flexibility, but as a result of its ease of use. Programming is a skill that is being taught more and more in schools, and it is therefore the perfect platform for beginners to get to grips with. For entertainment, research or for tinkering, a Raspberry Pi is ideal.


This has been an introduction to the Raspberry Pi, now that you have completed it, and have a better understanding of what it can do, why not purchase your own Raspberry Pi and get creative.