Raspberry Pi 3 What is it? What can it do? Why do I want one?

Greetings to all from Malice-Corp.com.  Well my Nerdy friends let us now take a look at the Raspberry Pi 3.  No, it is not a delicious pastry stuffed with raspberry goodness.  The Raspberry Pi 3 is the newest model of SBC (Single Blade Computer) released by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity that was founded back in 2009, whose goal is to further the study of basic computing.  Their biggest tool was the creation of the Raspberry Pi, a small credit card sized SBC for home and educational use.  The Foundation has a wonderfully simple mission statement and purpose.  They are a worthwhile cause and you can support them through donations or just buying a Pi.

Raspberry Pi Foundation mission statement:

“To further the advancement of education of adults and children, particularly in the field of computers, computer science and related subjects.”

That is right the Raspberry Pi is a complete integrated computer the size of a credit card.  In one of the small protective cases it is no larger than an average men’s wallet.

Some of you may already be aware of these little guys, those that have not heard of them please read on. Hell if you have read on anyways.  Might as well get your clicks worth.  In this article I am just going to talk about what the Raspberry Pi is and some of its capabilities.  In future articles we will talk more about the hows, give some walkthrough, and dare I say some tutorials and Linux tips.  We will be focusing on Raspbian Linux to be exact.

The newest release Raspberry Pi 3 is a much beefier version of the first release and still maintains the same price point; $35 US.  There are several different kits that are slightly more expensive for Raspberry Pi 3.

Let’s talk about the Raspberry Pi specifications first, then we will talk about kits and options.

Raspberry Pi 3 B Specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Quad Core Broadcom BCM2837 64-bit ARMv8 processor
    • 32kB Level 1 cache Memory
    • 512kB Level 2 cache memory
  • GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
  • Ram: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)
  • Storage: microSD card (Size varies, 8 GB minimum recommended)
  • Networking: 10/100 Ethernet or the huge new addition of 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless built directly into the board
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy, another huge new additon built directly into the board.
  • Ports and peripherals:
    • QTY: 4 USB 2.0
    • HDMI
    • 3.5mm analog audio-video jack (headphone jack)
    • Camera Serial Interface (CSI)
    • Display Serial Interface (DSI)
    • 40 pin GPIO

Raspberry Pi 3 Kits

This kit is purchasable from Amazon and ready to get you started. ‘I thought you said they were about $35 Jack?’ Well they are for just the Pi, but if you grab one of them up you will be running around looking for more stuff that might also run up the cost.  This nice little kit and kits like it can come with a pre-formatted 16 GB microSD card with a copy of NOOB (New Out Of the Box) already on it.  This is a nice piece of software that will help you load your first operating system onto the Pi.  I will have future articles talking about that process.  This one comes with a case and power cord.  To get started though you will need a monitor or TV that is HDMI capable, a HDMI cable, USB Keyboard, and mouse.  Things every self respecting nerd has in their closets right?

Raspberry Pi 3 Projects

So what can I do with a Raspberry Pi 3?  Well for one you can have a small inexpensive Linux box in your home to learn with.  Maybe you want to learn web hosting, PhP, Python, or just about any application you can think of but don’t want to risk your home PC or have the cash to purchase a dedicated server, but that is just the start.

How about a retro gaming system, an in expensive wi-fi extender, a media streaming server, your own NAS (Network Access Storage) device for your home? If you can dream of an application there is most likely a way to do it.

Malice-Corp will plan future articles on set-up of your new Pi and some of our favorite projects. So with that I will leave you to ponder the possibilities of expanding your own Nerdology and stay tuned for more on the Raspberry Pi 3.

Jack Malice; contributor and founder.

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