Raspberry Pi – Computer for the Internet of Things Age

Raspberry Pi
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In an era of mobile computing, Internet of things and collapsing PC sales, one computer keeps surprising its competitors by outselling many established brands. Raspberry Pi, is a credit card sized single board minuscule computer which has sold well over 2 million in its first 20 months of launch and still going strong.

The devices are loved by not only computer geeks who are building amazing products out of it, but are also found on college campuses, school labs, home automation and even powering websites and supercomputers of sort out there. It seems only our imagination is the limit.

Google itself donated over 15,000 of these devices to UK schools for kids to play and learn computing. And has also open source developed software development kit for children to learn programming.

RaspberryPi computers are powered by ARM processors, the same found in the early generations of our smart cell phones (Android, iPhone etc). And run various versions (Debian, Fedora etc have special ports for Raspberry Pi) of Linux, making it easy to adopt for hardcore geeks.

It has a built in Ethernet port and two USB ports to add accessories including keyboard and mouse. The computer can be connected to a standard RCA video out as well as HDMI. In case if you plan to watch full HD movies, it supports full HD without jitters. Trust me, it does!

Since it runs most of all popular versions of Linux, most of the stuff that a computer can do, it can do too. Including host websites, run databases, develop applications in Java, Python, Perl, and C. Browse the internet, edit documents, listen to music or watch full HD movies. And don’t forget, it can play games too.

Currently, it is available in two models, namely A and B. Model A is a basic version with 256MB of RAM, and supports one USB, while Model B boasts 512MB of RAM with an Ethernet and two USB ports. And oh, it runs off an SD card, preferably at least 4GB only. And uses the power of a standard smart cell phone.

It might seem minuscule but it has not stopped thousands from churning out creative projects based on it. Besides, what computer can we buy for US$25 (Model A) or US$35 (Model B) today? Yep, the prices are so low that it is a no brainer.

Raspberry Pi

The popularity and runaway success of Raspberry Pi has had a positive effect with competitors and clones of the device popping up everywhere. Intel has been pushing its own versions of minuscule computers, so have clones like Banana Pi which boasts a dual core ARM processor and 1GB of RAM. These awesome specs not only BananaPi twice as powerful but also fully backward compatible. Thus, our Raspberry Pi code and hardware will work without any glitches.

Raspberry Pi has definitely jump started a whole new category of computers that fit into our palm. As we go forward, we will only see these devices further shrink in sizes and at the same time, will see a ten fold increase in computing power. And as the prices fall (US$10 dollar computer?), we will see them everywhere, from controlling our coffee machines, to running our cars. An ambitious goal, I know.

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Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

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