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4.6 out of 5 stars621
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 December 2012
The Raspberry Pi is an amazing device that packs a lot into a small space. It's simplicity has amazed me at the same time as I have been hit the frustration of the minutia of configuring some of the detail of its Linux system. However, I am having fun, learning a lot of new things and rediscovering skills that I thought I had lost many years ago.

The Raspberry Pi is a learning machine. That does not mean low quality, for example the choice of HDMI as the main AV output is inspired. I plugged my Raspberry Pi into my flat screen TV and was amazed by the clarity of the image. I get equally good results from a monitor with a DVI-D port using an HDMI to DVI cable. However, I've not been able to get the same monitor to detect the VGA output from a HDMI to VGA adapter.

You are going to need some other bits with your Raspberry Pi. It has connectors on all four sides and you are going to be plugging things in on at least three of them. Get a case to protect your Raspberry Pi while you are handling it. You are also almost certain to need a powered USB hub. The Raspberry Pi has to restrict the power to the USB ports to protect itself so your USB devices will need to be powered from another source.

If you have a smart phone or tablet device then you may not need to purchase a power supply. If you do then the power supply needs to be a good quality one. To my surprise I found that the power supply from my Kindle 3G rated at 500mA actually works better than the 1 Amp power adaptor I purchased with my Pi!

I also discovered the hard way that a wireless mouse and keyboard are to be recommended with your Raspberry Pi. The Logitech MK260 Wireless Desktop is a Linux compatible wireless mouse and keyboard set that works well for me.

Be warned that you may well need to start with a wired Internet connection to your Raspberry Pi. Make sure that you have a patch cable to hand. My major frustration has been configuring a wireless network connection that has turned out to be not as simple as I expected.

Be prepared to flash your SDHC memory card as and when needed. This is part of the philosophy behind the Raspberry Pi. When you mess your computer up you simply flash the memory card to restore the system, run an update to get the latest versions of the packages that you are using and start over again.

Remember, this is not a production machine. The Raspberry Pi is a device that is intended for experimentation. You might want to use it to build a media centre to service your TV. You could use it to convert your TV in to a giant photo frame. You might even use it to index your stamp collection. The possibilities are almost endless. The point is that you have the chance to give it a try and if it all goes wrong, then you just flash the memory card and start over on something new.
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on 13 April 2013
The raspberry pi is an incredible affordable pc for everyone. It was built for education but can be bought by anyone its purpose is to engages people to be more involved in programming and electronics.

There are two versions model A, and model B, Model A has 256mb of ram, one usb slot and no network interface, Model B, has 512mb of ram, two usb slots and a network interface.

Out of the box you receive a circuit board which for Model B provides 2x usb, a network socket, audio out, component and hdmi, and sd-card slot, and GPIO interface. Other than a few cables and some equipment you probably already have thats all you need to get going.

If you have a DVI monitor, then all you need is a HDMI to DVI cable - for VGA make sure you find the right type of adaptor - either way its pretty simple.

For the cost the rasperry Pi gives you a ARM11 processor, running at 700Mhz, and a videocore 4 GPU capable of 1080p at 30 frames per sec. To get this running you need an OS for a standard linux build go to raspberry pi dot org. Separate to this there are plenty of pre-configured builds for a media player (running xbmc) google raspbmc or openelec

To get started all you need is a 1A micro usb power supply such as the Nokia AC-10c, a SD-Card (which you'll need to copy the OS on to) - i'd recommend a class 10 or higher (the higher the class the faster they are), a HDMI cable (or other video cable), plus a keyboard and mouse :). Case is optional !

If you, your family or children have an interest in programming and/or electronics get one, play with it, at this affordable price its easier than fiddling with your main computer!
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on 6 December 2012
This Raspberry Pi is a bargain for any enthusiast wishing to do a little tinkering with a mini PC and possibly learn some coding. I was no expert when I brought one and certainly aren't now either so I won't try to pretend I am.

I bought this because as soon as I heard about it I thought it would be a very interesting purchase for entertainment purposes. I had many ideas about what I wanted to use it for and it has provided a lot of fun to play around with. Ideas that I have tried so far are using it as a fun mini-desktop and also as a home-theatre PC. Both were fun to set up and play around with though I never expected it to be as good as my actually desktop. The home-theatre option was very interesting though, by far the best use in my household. The model I purchased has 512MB of RAM which makes it seem quite responsive to a 256MB Ram edition I have tried. I loaded XBMC to my SD card and slipped it into the Pi and I was away. As well as this it also has 2 x USB 2.0 ports, RCA Video Out, 3.5mm Jack Out, Ethernet and obviously the HDMI out. Although the speed of the startup isn't as lightning fast as we're used to these days it certainly suffices - and sure enough when all is set up and running it can smoothly play back 1080p movies for your enjoyment.

Some of the accessories I use with my Pi is a Logitech Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Set,SanDisk 16Gb SD Card and a standard Micro-USB power adaptor as well as A small Raspberry Pi case. All of these complete my experience as I already had a large USB stick to put my movies on. I haven't tried any live TV services or anything like that but I can recommend this fully for a HTPC to anyone! Such low power consumption and silent activity for a mere £35!

- Cheap
- Fun!
- Great Gift
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on 8 January 2013
This is a remarkable piece of kit, and even though I had to wait 6 months for mine,
which sort of took the excitement of getting it down a peg ot two, but more than made up
by plugging it in and watching it burst into life.
The six month wait was not wasted, I put together all the bits I would need to give it life.
A small wireless keyborad and mouse, a nice platic case that clipped together an ethernet cable,
an HDMI to DVI for my monitor, so I could run my PC alongside the Pi, a mains power source and
of course the SD card with the system (Debain Wheezy) installed on it.
Putting all this together took all of 5 minutes. A slight pause and I switched it on.
All I got was a red led and nothing else. Six months and nothing!
It took a few moments for me to see the SD card laying on the top of my desk. Who's a clever boy?
I put the SD card into the slot and screens full of text whizzed past my eyes.
It meant little to me except it seemed to be working. I logged on using the default user name and password,
now changed of course, would want anything to happen to my little friend now would I?
I started X windows up to see a more familiar desktop environment, I saw a browser and fired it up.
I was on the net, nothing could stop me now.
It is a brilliant little computer and I am now learning Linux and having lots of fun doing things that
take me back to my days of a DOS environment, Albeit a little bit more powerful.
I've set up WINSCP so I can tranfer file from PC to Pi and Pi to PC and Putty so I can run it from Windows.

I can only say GET ONE.
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on 29 February 2016
Prompt delivery and OK for the price, I guess. Resolution is better than a cheap USB webcam, but I'm not sure that makes a whole lot of difference to the overall picture quality. Unless you want to use it with one of the stock utilities that come with various Pi Linux distributions, beware -- it's absolutely horrible to program. The documentation (what little there is) suggests that it supports the standard V4L APIs, but to use that programming approach you need unofficial drivers of uncertain support status. There are no official C/C++ libraries so, to do anything nonstandard you've got to rely on third-party bits which may or may not work, or get to grips with the appalling MMAL API. None of this is the fault of the supplier -- it's the product itself. If you can get by using the stock utilities -- you just want to capture pictures to a file -- then I guess it's fine.
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on 15 June 2014
I have a few security cameras but a Pi plus one of these beats them all. The image quality is superb and you have the SW control to do whatever you like with it. It really is a incredible camera for minimal money. Every Pi owner should have one. There is also the IR version of this if you want to experiment with that.
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on 9 July 2014
A great piece of kit. It doesn't look like much when you get it out of the box but I found that there was plenty of help online to get things up and running.

I've not done a great deal with mine yet but I've got one SD card running the Rasbian OS which is reminds me a little of Windows 95 but that's because I've not really had a lot time to dig into what it can do. The other SD card I use for XBMC gets a lot more use. XBMC started out as the media player for the original Xbox console but works a treat on the version customised for the Raspberry Pi.

I use mine for playing music and videos through my TV. I don't really know how it works but I can control the device using my TV's remote control, which is really handy. It also has some apps you can install to stream some content from the internet, things like TED Talks, YouTube and loads of other stuff that I don't really need.

I wish I had more time to get deeper into the programming side of things. I've read up on some of the tasks people have done and it's possible to get quite a lot out of these machines even though they aren't all that highly specced.

One thing I should add is that you'll need to get some bits of kit in advance before you can get a Raspberry Pi working. Luckily I had all I needed lying around already but you'll need:

*A HDMI cable (you can get these from pound shops)
*A power cable (most Android phones and Kindles work off the same kind of attachment, I'm using an old phone charger)
*An SD card (you can then download your chosen operating system onto it or you can buy an SD card with it already preloaded)
*A keyboard/mouse set up (I already had a wireless keyboard with tracking pad which worked as soon as I plugged in the USB transmitter)

You might also want to get a case which will cover up the circuit board but I haven't bothered with this and it's working fine.

So to sum up, it's a really impressive bit of kit and you can do as little or as much as you like with it.
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on 25 March 2014
I'm a student. I'm currently studying Network Technology & Software Development.

This is the kit I've been looking for! It combines some electronics with some programming and networking, and the results are outstanding.

Possibilities are endless!

First of all, this is not for a person who lacks in basic computing skills. This is more for the person who wants to make a computer do things, program it, and have some fun.

I use mine for multiple things. Firstly, I've installed Apache and I am currently running a web server on my Pi. I have then port forwarded the ports so that my web pages can be accessed from anywhere! (I've linked mine to a domain)
Next, I've installed Motion, connected in a USB web cam, and boom! I'm streaming live video which can be accessed from anywhere also (thanks to port forwarding)

Next, is the electronics end. The GPIO pins are really cool. You can use basic jumper wires to a bread board and program your components there. Or, you can dig deeper and buy some ad-ons. It's cool to wire up a little LED circuit, write a little sequence script and run it (by programming it in Python). Really fun for any computer nerd.

If you are planning on buying one, ask yourself 'What do I want it for?". This is not a computer for your web browsing or email. This is for the nerd, who wants to mess around!

I love mine, and I am definitely going to buy a second one in the coming months!

If you are buying one, make sure to do your research, and buy a chunk of patience! Make sure you research SSH, and FTP as you will generally end up running your Pi headless (i.e Not using a monitor, but accessing the command link over the network)

Feel free to ask me questions.
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on 23 February 2014
This is probably the best Linux-based computer I've had! The picture should provide all the clues you need that this is not a device for those who want a computer that works straight out of the box. (For one thing, it doesn't even have a box.) It is a really well thought-out little machine for experimenting with computer software and hardware, and it is cheap as chips even if you factor in all the extra bits you'll need to get it going.

So, DO read up on it before ordering to be certain that it's what you want. DON'T buy it as a desktop or laptop PC replacement - it isn't. A few main things: there is no wifi (though you can add it), but there is wired networking; there's no screen and no VGA output to plug in an old monitor, only HDMI and composite video; there is no operating system supplied, you need to download it (free) onto an SD card (not supplied) or buy it separately; it has limited memory by today's standards (256Mb against 4,000Mb for a typical PC or Mac) and you can't add more; it has no hard disk storage; it is a naked circuit board with no case. That's why it's cheap! Consider buying one of the starter kits that are available if you need a lot of this stuff from the word go.

If you are undaunted by all that, you are probably a experimenter or geek and will enjoy getting it up and running and then playing with the ecosystem of software and hardware that is available to exploit the Pi. I wish you joy. For the price this is a wonderful little machine.
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on 17 December 2013
I bought this little gem from Ebay but did my research through Amazon and on the internet via various Forums. I specifically chose to purchase a Raspberry that came with a preloaded formatted SD Card with XBMC loaded on it as i did not want any complications in getting started in using this device as a media player. I had never used Linux before my purchase so i wanted an easy a transition as possible. My biggest challenge in the set up was putting together the plastic case, it was a real mind boggling job and ended with me breaking several little parts but i managed to build the case and then connect all the peripherals as necessary. My Kit came with the following accessories:

- The Raspberry PI motherboard
- The Clear plastic case
- A Class 10 formatted SD Card (8 gb) preloaded with Raspberry and XBMC

I had pre-ordered a powered 4 Port Hub (which arrived on the same day as the Raspberry) and already had the following peripherals laying around, Apple keyboard, standard Laptop Mouse , HDMI lead and spare Ethernet cable, this made the purchase very cheap in my particular case but if you do not have these items to hand you will need to set aside some funds in order to purchase these. when all was connected i plugged the powered port into the PI and it lit up like a miniscule Xmas tree, i did not need a power supply as the PI drew ample power from the 4 port hub (an unexpected result!).

As soon as i powered it on i was able to choose which operating system i wanted to use and within minutes i was in XBMC. The first thing that struck me was the very clear picture and impressive sound, i have used XBMC on a number of different devices and was struck by just how impressive the picture and sound was from this small device. My set up was a breeze, i have had some buffering but as i have used this more i think that this is in some part related to the sources/sites. time will tell, however my initial impressions are that i am very pleased with this product as this was the main reason for the purchase to use as a Media Centre.

My only con thus far is the buffering which is rather more frequent on this little fella than on other devices that i use but i will research how i can resolve this issue, if not for this i would have given it 5 stars!
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