Preparing for Raspberry Pi

There has been much talk and chatter about the long awaited Raspberry Pi and I can’t wait to get my hands on at least one of them!  However, researching and dreaming of Pi can be almost as good as having some in my opinion. I have been dreaming and researching about many aspects of the Raspberry Pi and reading the blog and forum articles daily like many of a geek has been doing.

To give you a flavour of some of my thoughts, I thought I’d do a post on “Preparing for Pi” in case you are at a loss of things to consider and research.

Researching your extended hardware

Ok, so w all know that you need more than a Raspberry Pi to get the thing to work.  First, you will need:

  • A mobile phone charger 700mA with a micro USB connector (and one which will make your Pi explode)
  • A SD Card, I’ve checked out the wiki and have decided to settle on some class 4 cards as these seem to have the greatest chance of success judging by the limited information their.  Again, I’ve decided on SanDisk cards and have bought them from Amazon in 16gb and 32 gb capacities. I ‘ll let you know how I get on with them. Incidentally, Amazon we’re about half the price of the main supermarkets and PCWorld etc.  They even beat eBay. If they work I’ll update the wiki information.20120425-214405.jpgAnd if you haven’t watched the tutorials by Liam Fraser in YouTube search for RaspberryPiTutorials> then you should do so.  He will show you how to put an operating system on your card.
  • Keyboards, em!  you’d think that choosing a keyboard would be a no brainer!  Well it can be or, if you prefer, then you can spend days trying to decide the right keyboard.  Me? I’ve spent days trying to decide the correct keyboard.  The quandary that faces me is – if you spend £31 (inc VAT and delivery) on a RaspberryPi then should you then spend fortune on the peripherals.  I don’t believe that this is in the spirit of the project.  So, instead I’d like to spend a small amount but still choose the right device.  I’ve looked extensively at amazon and like a number of different keyboards are more then suitable.  But again, choices, choices, choices! I like the idea on a mini keyboard without the numerical keypad verses a full keypad which is far more functional when entering data particularly when programming.The keyboard must be useable and preferably unbranded after all should a Raspberry Pi be branded by it’s Microsoft Keyboard?I’ve been looking at keyboards in Amazon and I’ve seen some which I like from:

    Accuratus – these keyboards are packaged with our school computers and have a really good response without breaking the bank!

    Accuratus 260 Mini USB
    20120425-224738.jpg

    or Full Size

    Accuratus 260 USB HUB

    <a href=”http://blog.eduk8.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/20120425-225740.jpg”><img src=”http://blog.eduk8.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/20120425-225740.jpg” alt=”20120425-225740.jpg” class=”alignnone size-full” /></a>

     

    Logitech – again packaged with some of our school computers.  I used to like these lots but now prefer the Accuratus Keyboards

     

    Microsoft – some Microsoft keyboards are better than others. some have a great response others not so great. I visited PCWorld and tried every keyboard on show.

     

    <a href=”http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emprex-6310U-Chiclet-Desktop-Keyboard/dp/B002T9U7Y4/ref=sr_1_2?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1335391815&sr=1-2″>Emprex</a> – The Apple style keyboards are obviously in vogue.  You easily get used to the flat low profile of the keyboards and the stylish looks. some of the copies are very plastic looking with horrible keys. The worry is you get what you pay for and that you waste money on a poor quality device.

     

    <a href=”http://blog.eduk8.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/20120425-231146.jpg”><img src=”http://blog.eduk8.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/20120425-231146.jpg” alt=”20120425-231146.jpg” class=”alignnone size-full” /></a>

     

    A further quandary is that some keyboards can include USB hubs which may be invaluable when using a Rasberry Pi however will they work given the limited power available from the motherboard’s buses.</li>

     

    I’ve decided to go for one of the Accuratus 260 USB keyboards with a built in hub to see if they work. hopefully to at least power my mouse and allow my to use a powered USB hub on the other port for other devices.  Again, when I get my set up running I’ll post my findings.

     

    I’ve also bought one of the cheaper Emprex keyboards and look forward to trying that too!

     

    <li>Mice – I happen to have USB optical mice so I’ll be a thrifty scotsman and save my pennies just now. That takes this decision away from just now and again is in the spirit of my Pi project.</li>

     

    </ul>

     

    Many of the ambiguities of setting up the Raspberry Pi will hopefully disappear as we learn from early adopters as they report on their setup. I’m happy to share my progress and look forward to seeing from others as they do the same.

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