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Getting Started with Raspberry Pi - Basics and Tips

Getting Started with Raspberry Pi – Basics and Tips

Getting started early with Raspberry Pi is the perfect way to learn how to code! After all, mini computers are very popular and have long been at the heart of many coding projects. The guide covers the most important basics to get your PCB up and running with ease. The first step guarantees success!


  1. Raspberry Pi Getting Started Model
  2. Raspberry Pi Getting Started Specifications
  3. Mini PC Circuit Board
  4. Don't Be Afraid of Linux
  5. Entering the World of Raspberry Pi Programming
  6. Technology Projects
  7. Game Consoles and Media Centers

1. Model for getting started with Raspberry Pi

Before getting started with your Raspberry Pi, you should definitely think about the right model. Because after more than 10 years, the range is wide. Finding the right model here is sometimes not easy. The name of the product is known, but a closer look at the subject quickly reveals that the Raspberry Pi doesn't even exist. In the meantime, this is a whole series of models.

Fig. 1: Raspberry Pi entry - the different models

A standard model with the deck size of the same name is currently available in version 4. That's why the board is also called Raspberry Pi 4. You can buy a computer for about 35 euros in specialized stores. In addition to the current minicomputers, there are also Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi Zero W models that are half the size but not as powerful. However, they are sure to have an unbeatable price. Depending on the equipment, you can get it for about 5 euros. Again, these are "real computers" running operating systems. So if you're looking for a particularly small board with average performance, the Zero is the right choice.

Another new product from 2020, the Raspberry Pi Pico, has been added to the family. It is a microcontroller board without an operating system. This board is similar to Arduino. Because all three are suitable for purely electronic projects. Therefore, you cannot use it to customize your Raspberry Pi desktop.As you can see, the range of products is very diverse. However, this guide focuses on newer models. Because the Raspberry Pi 4 is the best place to start. It also greatly simplifies coding.

2. Getting Started with Raspberry Pi Specifications

To get started with Raspberry Pi, you must know the technical basics. This greatly simplifies coding. The Raspberry Pi 4 is a single board computer. This means that all electronic components required for operation are mounted on a single printed circuit board. If you've ever looked inside a typical computer, you know there are many components inside. The Pi has everything grouped together to save space and money. However, everything that makes up a computer is on a printed circuit board. The most important components are:
  • Processor
  • Graphics processor (GPU)
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)
All of these components are combined on a single chip, about the size of a fingernail. If you happen to know how big modern PC graphics cards are, you might be amazed. But admittedly, the board is not a real gaming computer. A special feature of the Pi is the black bar with the many metal pins. It 's called the General Purpose Input/output Bar (GPIO). Originally, the circuit board was a handicraft calculator for electronic tinkerers. Hence the GPIO bar. They can be used to connect the Pi to sensors, motors and many other electronic components. If you look at the back, you'll find another peculiarity. There is a holder for a microSD card here. My mini computer won't boot from the hard drive. Instead, the operating system is installed on a microSD card.

Of course, the Raspi also has standard connections such as Ethernet, USB, and HDMI. You can connect a mouse, keyboard or monitor here. All you need to get started is the right USB power supply and a high-performance microSD card. Of course, there are other accessories for the Raspberry Pi as well. However, this only plays a role in very specific projects. Now you need to know what a printed circuit board is made of. But what can you really do about it?

3. Mini PC Circuit Board

Getting started with the Raspberry Pi is worth it in many ways. Since the Pi 4 model hit the market, the PCB is fast enough to be used as a computer. However, you can use it to surf the Internet, do homework, or send emails. With the right operating system and Raspberry Pi terminal, this shouldn't be a problem at all. A computer that fits in your pocket is cool, right? Your programmer friends will definitely be impressed!

4. Don't Be Afraid of Linux

Almost all operating systems available for the Pi are based on Linux. As such, computers are particularly well-suited for scrutinizing operating systems. This is by no means a question only for open source fans. Linux is on its way to replacing Unix and Windows as a server operating system. So the work world welcomes good coding skills. However, Ubuntu is also becoming more and more popular. Meanwhile, specialized distributions like Kali-Linux provide insight into the world of hacking and security. Would you like to learn more about the subject? The University of Wuppertal has also clearly outlined additional information on how to get started with the Raspberry Pi.

5. Entering the World of Raspberry Pi Programming

The Pi is a great computer to learn programming from. Common visual languages ​​such as Java and Python are either already installed in the operating system or can be easily modified. There are many free editors and development environments such as IDLE, Thonny, BlueJ or Visual Studio Code. Of course, databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL or MongoDB and the popular Apache and NGINX web servers can also be run on Raspi. This list may be extended. It is highly unlikely that your wish will not come true here. As you can see, there are several ways to get started with the Raspberry Pi.

6. Technology Projects

The GPIO interface is the Pi's connection to the outside world. Pins support technical projects and can be controlled by self-written programs in the coding language of your choice. Raspberry Pi supports common I2C, SPI and UART interfaces. So it's very easy to use the board to turn an LED on and off or read a temperature or humidity sensor. However, more complex projects such as smart home centers or robots can also be implemented. No other mini computer offers this feature. But the best thing about working with the Pi is its huge community. There are many projects on the internet with illustrated instructions or videos. We can also help with questions about robotics and other topics.

7. Game Consoles and Media Centers

Small circuit boards are not only great for cool electronic projects, but also a lot of fun in the game room. You can turn your Pi into a gaming console in a few simple steps. So you can play many classic games with your fellow programmers. But that's not all. With the help of the open source software RetroPie, you can instantly turn a single board computer into a home computer or gaming machine. Just replace the SD card. Couldn't be easier than this, right? You can also save another SD card for your Kodi media center. You can stream videos, view slideshows, consolidate media libraries, and play TV shows.

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