Feb 29, 2012

What can you really do with a Raspberry Pi, the new $35 computer?

The Raspberry Pi has generated a lot of excitement, which I suppose is understandable in light of the fact you can buy a new computer for $35. But as one would expect at that price, it isn't exactly a new Mac. What can you actually do with the thing?


One of the things you could do is use Raspberry Pi to teach children to code. Here's how we did it http://fubra.com/blog/2013/11/25/teaching-children-to-code-with-raspberr...


I was tired of getting telemarketing calls and not many telemarketers observe the FDNC list.  I build a telemarketer call blocker.  I got a Raspberry PI B, a Zoon modem used for ~20.00, had a 16 GB SD card, and re-purposed mu Kindle charger for a power supply for RPI.  Downloaded free Rasbian and jcblock software (public domain) anlong with VNC server also free.  Once assembled, I am able to run the raspberry Pi headless and countrol it via my laptop using VNC viewer on the laptop.  The entire cost for me was ~ $65.00 US, because I had some of the parts but one can put the entire project together for ~ $85.00 US.  It works great and when a telemarketer on my blacklist calls, the phone rings once to get the Caller ID and the connected to my RPI, picks up and hangs up.  This is an extreemely low cost, useful project, with very low power consumption.   I would actually buy another Raspberry Pi if I have a use for it.  It is actually a great product but it is not meant for someone who want to buy it and use it as if it were an IPhone.  It requires some DYI incentive and a purpose.


Here are the uses I have found for my Raspberry Pi: http://magnatecha.com/things-i-do-with-my-raspberry-pi/


It's basic. 

I was a little disappointed with the Debian OS they recommend, slow and laggy as hell at the moment. 


I did change tactic on this board and instead installed Raspbmc, using it as a media centre, it takes Apple Airplay, can stream live TV, play catch-up, movies, NAS setups etc. 


Still in beta and buggy as hell, but this thing will be awesome in a few months, have alreadt registered to buy 2 more. 

I haven't used one, but it seems like something that might be good for web browsing and other basic tasks. It's probably not something I'd buy as I have enough computers as it is, but I like the idea of low cost computing being available to everyone. Not everybody has the money or need for a top of the line computer. So hopefully this will be a useful alternative.

I would like to get one and connect it to my shiny new LED TV for use as a dedicated multimedia device.  It looks like it has a pretty decent GPU, and it's so cheap that it would be fun just to play around with it and see what it can do.  I was also thinking about adding a USB drive and using it like a mini media server for my living room.  I think it will be fun just to try to come up with new things to do.  After all, it costs less than a new X360 game, and I'm anticipating it will provide many hours of entertainment just figuring out novel uses for it.   

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