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Videos / Raspberry Pi Workshop - Chapter 1 - What is a Raspberry Pi

The full Raspberry Pi Workshop in step-by-step format can be found here http://coreelec.io/piworkshop In this section we're going to discuss what a Raspberry Pi is, the different models that are available and their qualities.

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In general the phrase ‘Raspberry Pi’ refers to a credit card sized computer, there are many different models in the Raspberry Pi ecosystem, let’s take a look at some now.

First up we have the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and this is the latest and greatest really. It has the peripheries that you would expect to find on a full sized computer. It has a HDMI port, audio, ethernet, four USB ports and it even has Bluetooth and WiFi on board. These pins at the back are the general purpose input and output and it’s how your Pi can connect to the world around it and interact with it. The 3 Model B has a 1.2 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM.

Next up is the Raspberry Pi 2 Model, which is still around for legacy reasons. It has a slightly slower processor - 900 MHz and 1 GB of RAM also, it does not have Wifi and Bluetooth also.

A smaller footprint is the Raspberry Pi Model A+. It has fewer peripheries so fewer USB ports and doesn’t have WiFi and Bluetooth either and it has about half the power of the Raspberry Pi Model 3 B.

Getting into the miniatures we have the Raspberry Pi Zero which is like a really stripped back version of the Raspberry Pi. It has only the bare essentials. The Raspberry Pi Zero W, which stands for wireless does have WiFi and Bluetooth on board. These are great for miniature projects or as an installed project or if you want to keep power consumption quite low.

Finally we have the Raspberry Pi Computer Module  - these are in a SODIMM package much like a RAM stick for a computer. These are definitely more for more engineered solutions rather than having all the peripheries hardware on the board the Compute Module breaks out the pins of the processor into the SODIMM card edge connector so that engineers can create custom boards and use exactly the peripheries that they need. This fellow has 2 GHz Quad Core Processor and 1 GB of RAM.

Because of its versatility, power and low price Raspberry Pi’s are attractive to hobbyists, makers, artists and students. This popularity means that there is a huge Raspberry Pi community online and plenty of resources to help if you get stuck. The Raspberry Pi is a computer and this means it needs an operating system to run. An operating system is the basic set of programs and utilities that make your computer run. There are plenty of options for the Raspberry Pi and lets take a look at some.

First up we have Raspian by far the most popular general purpose and stable, we’ve got the Windows 10 IoT Core which is like a stripped back version of Windows 10. RetroPie which is an operating system dedicated to turning your Raspberry Pi into a Retro gaming console, like an Atari or Nintendo 64 etc.  And open elec which is used to turn your Pi into a media server so you can browse either local or online media on your television using the Raspberry Pi as the media server.

In the next video we’re going to download an operating system and copy it onto our SD card.