Friday, February 27, 2015


Did you know?
 The Raspberry Pi sprang out of a desire by colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory to see a return to the days of kids programming inexpensive computers. The rise of expensive PCs and games consoles put paid to the BBC B, Spectrum and C64 generation of home programmers, leading to applicants for computer studies courses lacking the necessary skills.
The basic concepts behind the Raspberry Pi were to make it as affordable as possible, supply only the basics and provide it with a programming environment and hardware connections for electronics projects. The Pi is a series of credit card-sized single-board computers, which runs a modified version of Linux called Raspian with Wheezy Raspian being the preferred option for newcomers to the device. Raspian runs directly on an SD card and provides a command-line interface for using the operating system.

The original Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi 2 are manufactured in several board configurations through licensed manufacturing agreements with Newark element14 (Premier Farnell), RS Components and Egoman.

Fig: Raspberry Pi (Model B)

Programming the Pi
There are two programming languages supplied by default with the Pi: Scratch v1.4 and Python. They both have shortcut icons on the graphical desktop. Scratch was designed by Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab as a firststep in programming. It uses tile-based language commands that can be strung together without having to worry about syntax. Commands are split up into easy-to-understand groups and dragged onto the scripting area. Sounds, graphics and animation can be added. Projects can be saved or uploaded to the Scratch website and shared for remixing by other users.
The other language is Python v3.2.3 which starts with a Python Shell. Python is an interpreted language, where commands are read and implemented one line at a time. The high level commands and data structures make it ideal for scripting. The previous version of Python is still quite popular and has more development aids, so is also supplied. The icons for these are IDLE 3 and IDLE, which stands for Integrated Development Language for Python.

The Pi Store
The Pi Store isn’t just home to apps and tools to help you use your Raspberry Pi. There’s also a selection of home-grown video games to get your teeth into, that are developed by the Raspberry Pi community.

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