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    Raspberry Pi, Anyone?

    By Kristen Potter

    In this fast-paced technological world, tablets, computers, and phones seem to be obsolete within mere months after a product’s “unveiling.”  Moreover, the software for such products is becoming less expensive and much more user-friendly.  As a result, those interested in computer or game programming are less versed in how to write software and programs, making the area of computer programming less competitive.

    So, how does one get interested in computer programming, and what kind of platform exists to serve those interests?  Well, up until the development of Raspberry Pi, one had to disassemble old computers or hope for rejected computer parts from friends.  It’s no secret that a home computer is now much less expensive than ever before – but that still doesn’t negate the fact that buying a computer simply to tear it apart can seem a bit counter-productive and expensive.

    To encourage an up-and-coming generation of kids interested in gaming and computers, a group of people at England’s University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory developed something known as Raspberry Pi.  Raspberry Pi is a simple, inexpensive computer that consists of a motherboard with inputs for an Ethernet cable, USB, and an SD card.  The idea behind Raspberry Pi is one of simplicity – without all of the bells and whistles, such as housing and expensive software, Raspberry Pi could be an affordable way for aspiring young programmers to tinker with and write programs – without damaging expensive home computers or spending thousands of dollars for the purpose of experimentation.  For the unit itself – without cables, a display, or a keyboard – the cost is around $35.  The makers of Raspberry Pi boast that the unit is so easy to use, that anyone from the age of eight to eighty can experiment with the computer.

    So what can one do with a Raspberry Pi?  The possibilities truly are endless.  One can create games, an MP3 player, a camera controller, a GPS system, a robotic car, a radon detector, or a remote controller – virtually anything!  If one has the imagination and the patience, he or she can transform a simple motherboard to something complex and original.

    The Daviess County Public Library is hosting an introduction to Raspberry Pi during Teen Tech Week, which is the week of March 9th-15th.  Stay tuned to our website, for more details about the program.  The exploration of Raspberry Pi promises to be an exciting adventure for those involved!


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