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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide for all Raspberry Pi Owners
I highly recommend this book to anybody who owns (or plans to buy) a Raspberry Pi.

It is well written, informative and interesting. The introduction gives you a very interesting history of how the R-Pi came to be, the aims of the project and the current state of affairs. There are many helpful guides on using your Pi, right from the basics of installing Raspian...
Published on 13 Sep 2012 by Josh Johnson

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good starting point...
The problem with this book is that it tries to do everything in a very limited number of pages, as a result there are several chapters that seem to stop far to early.

Several of the chapters on setting up the RPi are already out of date due to revisions in the board design and O/S supported, possibly a new version of the text would be appropriate now things...
Published 22 months ago by Mr. David P. Stephenson


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide for all Raspberry Pi Owners, 13 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Raspberry Pi User Guide (Kindle Edition)
I highly recommend this book to anybody who owns (or plans to buy) a Raspberry Pi.

It is well written, informative and interesting. The introduction gives you a very interesting history of how the R-Pi came to be, the aims of the project and the current state of affairs. There are many helpful guides on using your Pi, right from the basics of installing Raspian through to manually overriding memory allocation and overclocking (with suitable warnings of course!)

There are guides on setting up the R-Pi for a variety of common uses, from a desktop environment to a media center and even as a web server.

The tips on getting started with Python programming are great and have some very interesting examples.

It even goes on to explain how some of the currently available add-on boards work and why you might want them.

This book is just too packed full of information for me to possibly comment on every part of it (look at the TOC!), so I'll wrap up by saying, BUY IT!
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raspberry Pi User Guide, 7 Sep 2012
By 
M Darbyshire - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raspberry Pi User Guide (Kindle Edition)
Downloaded the book yesterday morning and having read large chunks of it I can only say it is well worth the money for it. While most of the information that I have read in the book I have seen in various other places either on the Raspberry Pi forums or through other Linux sites, this book explains everything in a much more simple style to help those who are starting out with Linux and want to get programming for the first time (like myself).

With regards to the programming, it gives you a good start in both Scratch and Python and while you may still need to do some trial and error and looking things up when you start your own programming, you have all the skills to program what you want. One of the other things that I am particularly pleased about with this book is that it gives you a basic start to using the GPIO pins of the Raspberry Pi and ideas for where to go next with your electronics projects.

Overall I would say it is a brilliant book to help you out with your Pi should you be just starting out in the world of Linux and electronics and I would happily recommend it to anyone who is thinking of getting or owns a Raspberry Pi.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised, 23 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Raspberry Pi User Guide (Kindle Edition)
Having finally received my RPi I was looking for a `joined up' guide into flexing it to see if all the hype was true. I got started in Electronics and Programming with the original Sinclair ZX80 kit (yes I am that old) which was about all there was around at the time without taking out a second mortgage. From there I progressed through almost every evolution in home computing and ended up doing this stuff (Electronics) for a living. My first outings in the embedded world used machine code before the availability of decent compilers and I never had a reason to get into Linux before, which is one of the reasons I got the RPi and still be able to get at the hardware. I've since added Ubuntu to a few of my older PCs as well.

Unusually I pre-ordered the book, since I normally like to weigh up all the reviews and didn't really have high expectations considering its target market of beginners. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the clear information and coverage. I am still working my way through it in the odd hour or so I am able to get the RPi out of the box, but can definitely recommend the book based on what I've seen so far. I would have liked to have seen more about the hardware but then I must remember the target market. Just at the right level for those just starting out and also a good intro to the capabilities of the RPi and Linux for us older newbies.

In a previous role working for a manufacturer I often had cause to visit Universities and was saddened to see the lack of embedded courses being offered giving hands-on and understanding of hardware. I believe that the likes of the Sinclair and BBC micro got many people started in the Industry but now the vast majority of students going into University are just Application users, which I can only conclude is down to the education system and this I believe is why the RPi was created in order to get the next generation of engineers interested and skilled in programming and subsequently hardware and not just users of sofware packages. I am sure this book will play its own small part in helping that process.
I see the price has increased since I purchased it but even so I still believe its good value.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broad knowledge even for the old hand, 13 Sep 2012
By 
Michael D. Addlesee (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raspberry Pi User Guide (Kindle Edition)
Having recently bought a Raspberry Pi I downloaded the sample of this book onto my Kindle.
I was impressed. The introduction explaining how the RPi came about is interesting and I got a tantalising glimpse of what the RPi can do beyond my original reasons for purchase. I was hooked so bought the full Kindle copy of the book.
The book is aimed at the introductory level but goes into sufficient detail to get things done without referring to other more advanced texts. I've been involved with computers and electronics for decades, but there was stuff in the book that was new to me, mostly relating to new software developments, and the rest of the material was good revision.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good starting point..., 20 Feb 2013
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The problem with this book is that it tries to do everything in a very limited number of pages, as a result there are several chapters that seem to stop far to early.

Several of the chapters on setting up the RPi are already out of date due to revisions in the board design and O/S supported, possibly a new version of the text would be appropriate now things have stabilised somewhat.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to the Pi, 21 Nov 2012
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R. Booth - See all my reviews
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Having been written by one of the designers of the Rasberry Pi you can expect the author to be reasonably knowledgable about his subject! The book is clear and well written and gives you a detailed guide to setting up (getting the s/ware on the SD card, connections to the outside world and peripherals, command line configuration etc etc) and basic over view of using and programming the Pi. This is a good book to read even before your Pi arrives as you will then have the knowledge to get it up and running quickly. It also gives a bit of history and info about how the Pi came around and what it is actually based on, along with some nice configuration info to help you get the best out of it depending on what your intended application is. The third edition of this book even covers the Model B version which is now available. You might need other books once you actually start using (programming) the Pi, but as a introduction/over view and setup guide it's great.

I'm sure a vast amount of the information contained in the book is out there on the web but to have it all in one place and written by the designer I would say makes this book invaluable.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but already out of date, 22 Oct 2012
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If you're reading this review a good while after it was written in October 2012, bear in mind that these comments refer specifically to the first printed (paper) edition of this book. I fully expect that the few issues I mention here will be resolved in the next edition.

--Edit, December 2013. The second printed edition of this book has now been released. All comments below still refer to the first edition, as I have not seen the second edition.

The good: Well written and informative, especially for those for whom the Raspberry Pi is their first taste of Linux.

The bad: It was already out of date on the day of release, in several ways. In the three months after the book was completed and before it was printed, some things changed.

1) One particular Linux distribution (Raspbian) has become quite synonymous with the Pi, due to the fact that it is modified to use the hardware floating-point maths capability of the Pi, which means that it is able to do some things faster than it could when running standard Debian. When the book was written, the recommended version or 'Distro' of Linux for the Pi was Debian 'Wheezy', and the book makes no mention of Raspbian. Fortunately, as Raspbian is essentially a Pi-tweaked version of Debian, there's little difference between using one or the other. Instructions given originally for Debian in the book will work fine in Raspbian.

2) The hardware design of the 'deluxe' model (The Model 'B') has changed slightly so that some of the connections on the GPIO connector are not the same as they were on early (revision 1) boards). If you have a revision 1 Pi then all the information in this book will exactly match your Pi - but if you have a revision 2, you may be disappointed to find that there is no reference to that version at all - no pin diagram of the GPIO connector for the revision 2 board for example. There is also no reference to the fact that the very newest model B Pi now comes with 512MB ram on board, but as this came about after the publication date of the book, that could hardly be helped. The differences in the GPIO connector are the only serious differences between the revision 1 and revision 2 - everything else is much the same, but the book needs to be revised to include a GPIO pin diagram for the revision 2 as well as the revision 1.

The book has sections on:

-History of the Pi - why it was conceived.

-Setting up, including downloading and installing an operating system onto an SD card, and also backing up the card once you have it set up the way you want it. Since the Pi can't do anything without an operating system, you either have to purchase a preloaded SD card or load one with an operating system yourself. The book explains how to do this using Windows, Linux and Mac based PCs.

-Configuring, including comprehensive coverage of the many options in the config.txt file, used to set the graphics modes and system speed and voltage settings among other things.

-Productivity applications: Cloud based office type applications: Local (as in installed on the Pi itself) Office type applications, including a section on GIMP, Linux's image manipulation program. (Sound / Music authoring and editing didn't make it into this section).

-Multimedia - this section focuses on RaspBMC, one of several applications which make the Pi into a fully featured media player.

-Networking - a very good section on getting the Pi to work with wired networking, USB networking (for the model 'A' which doesn't have an ethernet connector) and with wireless networking.

-Pi as a web server - yes, you can even host a website on your Pi. This explains how to do it.

-Programming (in Scratch) - up to and including the use of collision detection, an essential building block in most games.

-Programming (in Python) - a more advanced game example including the use of the 'Pygame' Python module, and then (overlapping with the section on hardware) reading from and writing to the GPIO pins using the GPIO Python module

You might have expected that the 'C' programming language would have been covered, but it is barely mentioned. Nor is there any mention of BASIC, which might disappoint many for whom the Pi evokes fond memories of the 8-bit computer era (although Python has many BASIC-like qualities).

-Hardware section - you could reasonably expect that this section would get as far as introducing the transistor as an output switch or buffer / driver but it doesn't, it's kept at the most basic level possible - switches and LEDs. However, the use of these components is properly shown in a truly practical way, illustrating placement of the components on breadboard. Transferring projects to stripboard and the subsequent need for soldering skills is also discussed.

-Third party add on boards such as the Adafruit, Slice Of Pi and Gertboard are discussed - that is, their existence is discussed and images of them are shown, but there is really no hard information in the book which would actually get you started on using the Gertboard, for example. That is perhaps understandable since the Gertboard is a pretty complex PCB which includes an autonomous Atmega microcontroller - you'd have to devote another whole book just to that.

Everything in this book can be found online on the official Raspberry Pi support website and numerous other fan and community websites - if, that is, you can spare a year or two to sift through it all.

If you're reading through these reviews of this book it's possible that you are doing so because so much of the advice on website forums is written in such intensely nerdy, cryptic shorthand that you find it impossible to understand it even when you find it.

If so, this book, written on the assumption that the reader has never used Linux before, will come as a tremendous relief to you. Absolutely recommended if you have a revision 1 Pi: If you have a revision 2, you will have to bear in mind that the GPIO header diagram in the book does not match your board, but 95 percent of the book is still relevant for all that, and this discrepancy is sure to be updated in the next edition of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RECOMMEND for novices, 2 Feb 2013
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Raspberry Pi Website useful BUT not for absolute beginners. This book is PERFECT for beginners. Assuming no knowledge of Python programming or anything to do with Linux it gives you the confidence to really explore the Raspberry Pi. This sticks to the point whereas there are too many geeks on the website asking questions that a beginner isn't ready for. By the time you've read the book you definately feel ready to use the Raspberry Pi to its full advantage - even using the advice etc on the website.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book, 16 Jan 2013
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If you have a Raspberry Pi buy this book. Not only does it take you right through setup, it has some very useful tips and tricks. I've been 40 years in the computer business, and still learned a lot from this book. A definite must-have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 10 Jan 2013
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This book assumes that you know almost nothing and explains the Raspberry Pi and related topics very clearly and logically. It is the easiest to understand technical book I have ever read and left most all my questions answered. Not being a Linux user I had quite a bit of start-up knowledge to gather but this book has gotten me started. Well done.
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