Before we get into the Raspberry Pi setup, the credit card sized beauty.
I have a little confession. As of now, I haven’t even explained what a Raspberry Pi is on this blog. And just like that we are gonna ahead with the Raspberry Pi setup.
Here’s the thing I am doing this consciously. I want you to understand, the whole nature of yantraas and by extension mine is to help you understand how easy technology is.
How easy it is to understand it. How easy it is to even create it. And how easily this easiness can ease your daily life.
So I will create a separate post explaining what a Raspberry Pi is. What its features and history is and I will leave a link here but with this post, I am going to prove to you how easily you can work with something you don’t even understand till now.
What you will need for your Raspberry Pi Setup,
There are two things at your exposal right now that we need to work with.
First is ofcourse, a MicroSD card like this one.
And second is your head.
Why you lookin at me like that. Really.
As I already said, this is the first time I am talking about Raspberry Pi is this blog.
I haven’t even told you what in the name of holy silicon it is.
And look at the audacity, I am teaching you how to set it up.
So back into the topic, Rpi doesn’t need any tuning because its self-sufficient by itself.
Your head. Well, we need to tune it a little bit.
Don’t worry, I am not going use screw driver on your head. Umm, maybe later perhaps.
Right now, I need to put some information into it.
Raspberry Pi, is nothing but a computer that you can carry in your pocket.
There, that’s all it is actually.
Why is it important ? I already have a beast of a computer you may say ?
Good question. What can you do with that computer ?.
Here comes the pain.
As beautiful as your computer may be, as hot as all hell it maybe. It is still limited.
Haha. Allow me to explain. (BTW I am not talking about the Linux ninjas ofcourse, you guys are dope)
You know one of the reasons behind why Eben Upton worked towards creating a Raspberry Pi was ?
People were getting lazy.
Of course he put it in a nice way by saying that,
a few of us noticed that the number of undergraduate students was declining every year and the things that students knew how to do was declining as well. They knew less every year.
They were still very, very bright, but they had less experience, so you have to spend more time giving them that experience when they come in the door
He is a good guy so he put it in a very mild way.
But unfortunately, I am a badass so,
basically he meant new students were lacking the drive and thrive, and were lazy to create something on their own.
The primary reason he pointed out was,
rise of the home PC and games console to replace the Amigas, BBC Micros,
Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 machines that people of an earlier generation
learned to program on.
In the beginning when computers came they asked us what to do via commands, now they jokingly give humanity ending threats.
Point is Raspberry Pi is an expression of creative freedom that every maker and creator inherently wants.
Its compact, fast and small that means you can use it to do very specific tasks very fast.
You can make it your sidekick by creating projects aimed at productivity. Or something like a media center for creativity.
And if you are so inclined, you can even write your own operating system from scratch. The university of Cambridge’s laboratory published a free online course that walks you through the basic steps.
So now I have given you what you need in your head. An added curiosity to create.
Truthfully, that’s all that is needed. Everything else follows.
Accessories for Raspberry Pi Setup,
Over a period of time a lot of support accessories have crept up.
This post is not a place to talk about all of them.
Hang around though.
By the time you are reading this I may have created some post that throws light on some or all of them.
Right now, my fellow human we are going to talk about just those accessories which are absolutely essential for raspberry pi setup.
You already know them but still some light needs to be thrown.
That’s a no brainer. You need to display stuff, right.
Which monitor though ?, that’s the question isn’t it.
If you have bought any monitor in or after 2017 you are golden.
Raspberry Pi throws high definition video feed via high definition multimedia interface (HDMI).
If your monitor doesn’t support an HDMI connection, probably it supports DVI or VGA.
In these cases you will be needing simple converter like this to convert HDMI signal into an appropriate one.
Beware though, if you wish to buy a converter make sure you either buy ones I am suggesting plus looking at reviews from your side too.
Because not all will be compatible with Rpi.
Some of them are just cable connecting from here to there and may end up giving you no signal at all.
So just make sure what you are buying works. You know what ask me in the comments below before buying one.
On the original A and B Raspberry Pis, through to the Model B+ (2014), a third option for displaying output exists — the RCA connector. This is found on the opposite side of the device to the HDMI port, just next to the audio port.
Using a standard RCA composite cable you can connect your Raspberry Pi to any compatible TV (if it doesn’t have HDMI, it almost certainly has a yellow RCA or a SCART socket), and enjoy video output.
Note that as soon as an HDMI cable is connected the Pi will switch to that output.
RCA can also be switched to SCART with a suitable adaptor, useful if your display has neither RCA, VGA or HDMI connectors.
USB keyboard and mouse
You probably already have them. You will need USB mouse and keyboard to work with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.
See how stupidly easy things are. Just like a normal computer.
It’s definitely going to get real after this but still easy AF.
You can get a simple keyboard/mouse combo like this one to get the ball rolling.
MicroSD or SD card
I want you to understand a computer is nothing but a glorified sand box.
What ? You don’t like it.
But that’s true. It’s sand mixed with metal, which indirectly is just more sand.
It works with combination of other accessories which ironically are also made of sand. Huh !!
Seeing as how even hundreds of gigs of storage is less for selfies, I would say get atleast a 16 GB card so that there is no cry over less space later.
Consider buying an SD card writer like this one if that is the case.
Most of the times you don’t even need to think about it. Rpi requires a Micro-USB charger with a rating of 5 V and (700mA to 2.5 Amps).
In most cases, the micro-USB charger from your smartphone should do the job.
Still I want you to know, if there is a standard power unit recommended by RPI people for you to use in order to have a flawless performance.
Miscellaneous Accessories for Raspberry Pi setup,
Know that all the accessories we discussed above are something you will absolutely need for your raspberry Pi setup.
However, there are many more frills to Pi that have come up over the years that you may look forward to having.
If not now maybe after you are a little versed with using your Rpi.
|Raspberry Pi Case||For extra protection and robust usage. Not to mention aesthetics|
|Rpi camera module||8-megapixel, fixed-focus
camera can be used to shoot HD video and take still photos
|Raspberry Pi Wifi Module||The Model A and A+ don’t have an Ethernet socket, so if
you want to connect to the Internet, you’ll need a USB Wi-Fi adapter
|Externally Powered USB hub||To connect other USB devices apart from keyboard and mouse|
Creating NOOBs card for a NOOB,
People have very fancy definitions of OSes. The higher degree they get, somehow they seem to pick up a very complex definition about it.
I always thought it should be the other way round.
Anyhoo, OS is a thread that ties hardware and user together.
Hardware as I already told you is just glorified sand, can’t do anything on its own. They are just resources.
OS is something that manages these resources on the basis of what user wants.
I don’t even have a degree in Computer Science.
So our little Rpi needs an OS too. And nothing in God’s green earth is better than Linux for anything directed at creative works.
Why you ask ?. I will create one complete post dedicated towards the topic. Yup, because if I start here, your Rpi won’t boot.
In short, Linux is like a forest. You can climb trees. Create a swing out of weeds and sleep in a cave. You can share the trees and the caves with people you don’t even know. Teach them how to shoot an arrow and how to enhance the bow.
Windows and iOS are like beautiful palace with high stoned walls for boundaries. Be happy with what is given and don’t make noise. You can’t do shit.
- BTW I am very sure my limited intellect will forget to create the post. If you don’t see a link here just ping me in the comments section.
So What’s NOOBS ?
Now we will be using one distribution or distro of Linux called Raspbian for our Raspberry Pi setup.
NOOBS is short for new-out-of-box software. And it does what it says, it is an out of the box software that helps you install whatever distro you may want.
- Sure there’s another direct way you can take. Flashing an OS via an image file directly onto the card. That’s if you are seasoned with the terms I just said otherwise let’s stick with noobs for noobs. Get it ? :D. Wanted to say that.
Download NOOBS from here. Get the full version.
While you are downloading NOOBS just hook your MicroSD card with your computer and format it.
Copying NOOBS to our SD card
You should have downloaded NOOBS right about now.
You would have gotten a zip file. zip file is like a digital suitcase for a group of files.
Extract the file. Copy all the content, not the folder, but contents onto your SD card.
Your Raspberry Pi oriented SD card is ready.
We are almost done with the Raspberry Pi setup boys,
Hang on to your pants.
I meant hats.
Coupling Everything Together
First, insert the SD card
My fingers are hurting from all the typing. This is how you insert the card.
Next off, connect the monitor
Insert your HDMI cable in the Raspberry Pi board , and then insert the other end into your monitor.
I understand this part will vary for different people depending on what display you might be using.
If you have gotten yourselves a DVI adapter this would be the time to set it up.
For those using a television, If your television has an HDMI socket, use that socket for optimal results.
Alternatively,you can use the composite video socket.
On the Model A and B, it’s a round, yellow-and-silver socket on the top edge of the board.
Raspberry Pi 3, Pi 2, and Model B+, it’s the same socket as the audio output
on the bottom of the board.
You’ll need to use a special RCA cable for this socket and you can’t just connect an audio cable.
USB hub and Keyboard Mouse
See what peripherals you want to connect with the Pi.
And accordingly use the USB powered hub or not, if there is no need for it.
If this is your first Raspberry Pi setup. Just connect your keyboard and mouse.
If you are using an HDMI television you are golden connect it to your Pi and audio will take care of itself.
Otherwise, the audio socket of your Raspberry Pi is a small black or blue box stuck
along the top edge of the board on the Model A and B , and on the bottom edge of the board on the model b+, Raspberry Pi 2, and Raspberry Pi 3.
If you have earphones or headphones from a portable music player, you can plug them directly into this socket.
The other Raspberry Pi models have an Ethernet socket on the right edge of
Use this socket to connect your Raspberry Pi to your Internet router with a standard Ethernet cable.
The Raspberry Pi automatically connects to the Internet when used with a router
that supports the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), which means it
works with most domestic routers.
Power your Pi up
The last thing you gotta do son is to power the baby up.
Rpi doesn’t come with an On/Off switch.
So as soon as you power everything up, it starts working. To turn it off again you disconnect the power.
This of-course you do only after you have shut things down properly first.
Don’t just snatch cables of the socket to turn off the device.
As shown in the snapshot, the software shows you the option of OSes you can use for your Raspberry Pi setup.
I would recommend to obviously go with the Raspbian complete desktop version to get started. Unless of course you are a ninja and deploying the Rpi for very specific purpose.
If you are not a ninja click on Raspbian. Install it and just you know, wonder around.
When you switch on your Raspberry Pi, you might be asked for a username and
password, depending on which operating system version you use.
The default username and password differ depending on which version of Linux you’re using, but for the Raspbian distribution, the username is pi and the password is raspberry.
With that fellow beings, we are at the end of this post. If you were able to sit through all the post, you are quite a patient person. You just read 2500 words.
Anyhoo, that isn’t the point. What is important is I hope you learnt how to take your first steps into the vast and creative world of Raspberry Pi and Linux ofcourse.
I tried to make the guide as simple and as beginner friendly I could. Still I am very well aware that you still may have some doubts about the whole process.
If that is the case don’t shy away in asking them in the comments section below.
I will be back with a follow up post that will take you beyond the raspberry pi setup and actually deploying it in real world scenarios.
Until next time boys.
Namaskaram 🙂 _/\_