If you’re not familiar with the Raspberry Pi, you should consider investigating it because it packs a great deal of power in a package the size of a credit card, all for $35 (or $25 without Ethernet):
- 700 MHz ARM A processor
- 512MB of RAM
- HDMI & composite video outputs
- Stereo output
- 10/100 Mbps Ethernet jack
- 2 USB ports
- GPIO port (standard 0.1″ pins, 3v3 tolerant only)
- SD card reader (required for booting)
Amazing, isn’t it? We think so too.
The Raspberry Pi is an actual computer, capable of running an Operating System, may it be Linux, Unix, RISC OS, Plan 9 or yet something else altogether. Some folks even run emulated PDP-11 and IBM mainframes on it, just because they can :). But the best part about the Raspberry Pi is the huge community of users and ‘Friends of Pi’ who have rallied around it, who support it, who contribute daily fixes. Above all, what sets the Raspberry Pi apart, is the commitment of the Raspberry Pi Foundation to educate and empower kids about what computing can be about: a tool for creating, not just consuming content, a tool for shaping ideas, one line of code at a time, one shell command at a time. Hopefully, it will be a tool for making the world a more open and better place. In many ways, the effervescent energy level around the Raspberry Pi reminds me of the early days of Arduino and it feels great to be a small part of it and contributing to it.
One of my personal projects for the Raspberry Pi involves building and automating a small hydroponic herb and vegetable green house for my wife and documenting every step of the process along the way. Here’s the very first piece of it, composed of a Raspberry Pi, a Nwazet Pi power supply, a prototype Nwazet relay board (6 x 16 Amp relays), a custom gang of 6 independent outlets and two always-on outlets. I’ll describe the project and this specific piece in details next time.