What is a Raspberry Pi?

If you have not yet heard of a Raspberry Pi, it is a tiny single board computer that just might be your first Linux computer.
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It is considered by many to be a hobby computer that would not really be capable of meeting the needs of the average computer user. The latest Raspberry Pi 4 does come with some impressive features including dual HDMI monitor output. You can browse the web, watch videos, run Libre Office and maybe the most important thing; you can learn how to install and run Linux. The hard drive for this little thing is a Micro SD card. Just like installing operating systems on other computers, you can download the Raspberry Pi operating system and flash it to the SD card with a program like Balena Etcher.
This little giant does have one super power that all other computers lack; it has General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) pins. These can be programmed to do things like running your automatic sprinkler system, reading the local weather conditions, home automation and even controlling robots.

CanaKit sells some nice Raspbery Pi kits that come with everything you need to get started. All you will need in addition to these kits is a monitor or TV with HDMI input.

They also have a nice Pi 400 kit which comes embedded into a keyboard. This makes a nice Desktop computer.

I recently installed a Raspberry Pi into a Raspad tablet kit for my son. This makes a nice touch-screen computer/tablet that has no vendor lock-in software whatsoever.

Here is a great video that will get you started with the Pi:

Want to relive the glory days on your Nintendo or Atari 2600? Learn how to install RetroPi:

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The back side of many TVs and monitors have mounting screws. You can use these to attach a Raspberry Pi to the back for playing media, videos, games, etc. I use this one to host my security camera views.

There is even a special operating system for the Raspberry Pi called Kodi. It is specifically designed to turn your Pi into a media center.

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I am considering getting Raspberry Pi’s for two grandsons, age 13 (not sure of their computer skills, but they are sharp). Is the Raspberry Pi Kit appropriate for that age? It would be so fun to see them learning about this realm of FOSS!! (Great stuff here!! I want one now!!)

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Yes, there are some great projects for kids. It will depend on their interests. If they like computer techy things then they will probably have some fun with it. They will probably need an adult to help them out with it but maybe not.

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I think I’ll learn a little more first… I’m pretty sure I’m the first Linux user in the family. Thanks for the feedback!

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i knew nothing about Linux before buying my first PI a few weeks ago. it’s very easy to use and to learn on. the hardest part was learning how to flash the memory card, but that wasn’t even that hard. you do want to make sure you use the right distro on it. i’m running Ubuntu, and it runs great. i just bought another one that i’m going to use to teach my mom, and then set it up for my own email and cloud server.

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First RP4 (128gb microSD/8gb RAM) extreme starter kit plus a 7" monitor = perfect boot up first time go, and a completely fun and simple device!

Buying more for the kids for Christmas, pretty hard to beat price on these things for what they can do.

I’m sharing this forum and JP’s Telegram with everyone I can to join the fight for privacy and regain control of our digital stuff.

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I bought the Raspberry Pi 400 kit. The Internet is “ON” but for wlan0 it says “Not associated”. I can’t figure out the fix. Any help would be appreciated.

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I’m very excited to have a brand new Raspberry Pi 4 with an Argon One M.2 case and 1T SATA SSD. I want to put it to work as a NextCloud personal cloud server. My question is: I don’t have a computer that has an SD card reader, and all the instructional videos I’ve seen seem to require one to put the OS on the Pi. If I put the OS on a thumb drive, could I use that to format the SSD on the Pi?

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The micoSD card on the Pi is the OS boot drive, so you cannot use its SD slot to install th OS onto the card.

My Pi (Canakit) came with a USB device that you plug the microSD card into that basically turns it into a USB thumb drive. You can then install the OS onto it using another computer or the Pi itself connected to a USB port.

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You will need a little adapter. If you bought a kit, it may come with one.
Multifunction Smart OTG Card Reader High speed USB 2.0 SD Micro SD Card Reader USB Adapter for Android Phone Computer - Newegg.ca-9SIAV84FH90983--Product

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My Raspberry Pi 4 just suddenly started lagging. The mouse is slow to move around, programs take awhile to open, web pages take time to load. Not sure why this suddenly started happening. Can anyone please point me to anything I can do to troubleshoot this? Thank you :grinning:

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Other users that had the same issues got it resolved by opening up a terminal and typing in:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

A full system upgrade solved their problem. I hope it does the same for you! :slight_smile:

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Thank you Vasileios, that did seem to help!!!

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I’m glad it did! And you’re very welcome! :slight_smile:

I’m really interested in your setup, (128gb microSD/8gb RAM) extreme starter kit plus a 7" monitor. May I ask where you found this Pi? All I see is the 4gb. Is yours the keyboard?

Canakit.com has some left, but for quicker access to RP4’s (especially the 8gb ram ones) Amazon may be the best bet; I purchased several more from both of those sources, and am happy so far with the new ones. Building NAS devices out of them right now!

GG

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Thank you [GrapheneGoat] … I’ll go check them out. Still researching.

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@Will,
I have questions about your camera setup. I have a several year old Samsung 16 port CCTV setup that I’m wanting to replace with a Pi setup. I have a Pi-4 8Gb and love it. I know I don’t need that much Pi for a webcam. I’m thinking PoE hats and a PoE switch. I have Cat5&6 where I had a webcam setup on a Mac server.
What Pi do you recommend? And what do you use to view? Do you have remote access? I have KODI on the Pi right now but haven’t put much time into figuring it out.