A whole new computer for just 35 bucks (3.5 K INR), really! Well kind of I’m not quite talking about a desktop or a laptop with all the Windows and Mac’s. I’m talking about the little single board computer the RASPBERRY PI. The tiny credit card size device with so many uses that is possibly the biggest British invasion after the Beetles. Now at first glance the RASPBERRY PI doesn’t seem very impressive especially on the spec sheet. You get a quad core ARM CPU that does not support the same instruction as your PC coupled with a single gigabyte of ram. It also has four USB type 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, a Ethernet port, a micro USB port and a 3.5 mm combined video and headphone jack.
Anyway you can try to use the PI as the general purpose PC for web surfing, YouTube and whatnot but we don’t really recommend this as the default Linux distribution which serves as the PI’s operating system called Raspbian isn’t that great for daily usage. What really makes the PI interesting are not only a couple of slots for mounting a LCD panel or a small camera, but the 40 pin general purpose input and output or GPIO which allows you to connect PI to everything from weather stations to robots. This functionality was originally built into the PI so it could be used to teach computer science and programming to relatively young students but it is the reason it became so popular among do it yourself for all ages for home projects. Imagine a DIY media stick with more power and flexibility than a chromecast thanks to the open source media centric operating systems like Codie or a dirt-cheap home server solution when you connect a USB stick or an external hardrive.
If you are looking for something beyond the realm of everyday computing, you can buy special low light camera for the PI and have a simple but affective home surveillance solution. You can hook it up to your entrance to create a smart door lock or even a brewing controller for home beer making. Indeed projects range from pet feeders to real working food dispensing robots to even a RASPBERRY PI controlled drone. But I am missed though if I don’t mention its gaming potential, I mean no if you think of running Crisis at max setting, but it turns out that it is great for retro gaming. Open-source projects like Retropie are capable of running game for everything from the Atari to the Nintendo. Many users have even gone as far as to build custom enclosures for the PI turning it into a fully portable retro gaming machine supporting more consoles you would find in Radio Shack; back when that still existed. Off course a lot of those projects require you to have a little patience and learn a thing or two about Linux.