We’ve all heard of the Raspberry Pi, but not many of us know what exactly is, where it comes from and what has caused the need and development of such a device. We’ve put together an article to summarise its history and its different uses.
What is Raspberry Pi?
Designed and manufactured by the Raspberry Foundation in the UK, Raspberry Pi is a type of circuit board, a single-board computer made for educational use. It is a small device that helps students better explore computing and learn programming languages.
These types of products are often called “boards” (not “circuit boards”) and are designed in smaller sizes than a regular computer device, they have lower costs and most importantly, their power consumption focuses only on the components that are necessary to function as a PC.
How Raspberry PI Was Created?
Since it was released, it grew far beyond the sphere of academia.
The need for a cheap and accessible device to help schools teach concepts as the programming is, that will help students better understand how computing works, has made the Raspberry foundation appear to the market and that’s how the Raspberry Pi was born.
Evan Upton and his team which has founded The Raspberry Foundation have worked six years to develop this educational board for many schools and students happy to learn more about computing, and the teaching and learning process of it couldn’t be possible without using computing devices.
The whole process when this product has been designed and developed wasn’t smooth at all. In the beginning, the team has gone through many revisions, before Raspberry Pi was commercially released.
You are probably wondering why the name of the single-board computer appears as ‘Raspberry Pi’.
We’ve already met some fruits’ names in the technology products and companies, such as Apple and Apricot. The name is derived from a fruit pie, The Raspberry Pie. The ‘Pi’ does not just refer to the fruit pie, but the programming language – Python.
The Raspberry Pi was created to help promote the study of computer science in school environments back in 2009. However, in recent years we have seen the Raspberry Pi skyrocket into one of the most popular “general-purpose computers”, selling 12.5 million units by 2017. With over 19 million computers now sold, how did the Raspberry Pi become so successful?
The Raspberry Pi 1 Model B launched in 2012 and used a processor for graphics. The lower-cost Model A was then released; however, this model had less storage and USB ports to work with but was still a powerful piece of kit.
With a low price point of £35, this made computing extremely affordable whilst still having enough power and capability behind it to make something truly incredible. Hobbyists and professionals alike were able to program different settings onto their Raspberry Pi and use it to create new technology.
The Pi Zero was then launched in 2015, setting a new benchmark of low-cost computing priced at only £5. This much smaller device was equally as powerful and able to expand the possibilities of coding and programming even further.
In 2018, we saw the release of the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+. This model is an amped-up version of its predecessors with increased ethernet speed (up to 300 Mbit/s), wireless and Bluetooth functionality, and an increased CPU speed.
The Raspberry Pi has continued to stay ahead of competitors in the market due to its ease of use, incredible performance, and reasonable price point.
What Are Raspberry Pi Best Uses?
With a Raspberry Pi, the uses are limitless. It’s not only a great educational computer tool but also a device that can be used in many different ways.
People all over the world, use Raspberry Pi to replace their desktop and it is the simplest use of the Raspberry.
With an HMDI connector and a suitable display, you can do the same tasks you would with your normal desktop. You will still need a keyboard and mouse that can be plugged in via USB, however.
Newer models have even Bluetooth and WiFi built-in, which will allow you to easily replace this board with your computer desktop. You shouldn’t worry if you prefer using Ethernet, since all Raspberry Pi models are equipped with Ethernet ports.
Did you know you can use your Raspberry Pi for printing? If you have an old printer that cannot be connected wirelessly, and you really like to use it, all you need to do is to connect Raspberry to your home network and a printing server software. You can even configure your Pi to ensure any computers in your home network access the printer.
You could even turn your Raspberry Pi into a retro-gaming machine due to it being powerful enough to run the right software and programs. This device is ideal as a retro gaming machine and this is its most popular use.
For retro gaming, there are two options available, Retro Pie and Recalbox. Many platforms can be emulated, such as classic PC games, and some popular games can be revived with the use of Raspberry Pi.
Another great use of the Raspberry Pi is to program robots and AI. Turn it into an even larger product and design your AI or robot from scratch. There are many robot-controller projects you can use as an example.
You can either rely on a dedicated robotics package, with a battery-powered and used to control and communicate your robot, or you could go with your preferred design, built from components you own.
Building a stop motion camera is also a very fun use of this circuit board. This is a time-consuming process when using a Python language, a suitable mount, and a well-lit area. All you need is some practice for good results and don’t forget to add a soundtrack.
Since the list is long we have only mentioned a few of the most popular uses of the Raspberry Pi. Its other uses are including:
- Building a game server,
- Build a Raspberry Pi webserver
- Build a motion capture security system
- Building a network monitoring tool
- Control a model railroad
- Learn how to code
- Build a smart mirror