Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Raspberry's nights ! Shopping List and first impression :-)

This will be the first post (of numerous ^^) about my Raspberry Pi that i finally received a few days ago :-)

Let's resume all the history !

First thing, why ?

If you're new to that, the Raspberry Pi is a very nice and cheap ARM mini computer, delivered as it is (no cases, no cables, nothing but the essential the computer!) and created by the Raspberry foundation.

So why  and what to with it ? Well, simple question indeed, just because that's cheap, fun, because you can, because you're such a geek :-)

But seriously, that's a computer and you will do with it whatever you can, whatever you'll be able to, there is a great community of active people working on Raspberry Pi, you can easily get a nice XBMC cheap Media Center, or anything you want, Webserver, Fileserver, and so on!

Where to buy and what to buy ?

That will be the first questions you will to answer and if you are planing to get a Rasperry Pi, quite simple to answer.

First, do not hesitate to take a look at the official Raspberry Pi website:

3 places to buy a Raspberry Pi:

  • RS Components (official dealer):

  • Farnell Element14 (official dealer):

  • Ebay, unofficial and will be more expensive
That's my opinion, but i recommend Farnell, they have a very small delivery wait and are very serious.
I don't know why but Rs components have crazy delivery wait (at this post article writing date) even if they are also serious. (my first attempt to get one, finally canceled) 

Now, what do  you need more ?

My first advice to avoid compatibility issue, check this site:

You will get a lot of information for verified Hardware for your Raspberry Pi!

1. Obligatory : Keyboard / Mouse

You may certainly buy almost anything, it should work with no issue.

Still you can search on the website above before one, but compatibility with any keyboard or mouse should not be a problem. (perhaps not with Bluetooth devices)

I have a Trust wireless Keyboard with Touchpad integrated, this works out the box :-) 

2. Obligatory : Power supply

The Raspberry Pi uses a micro USB Power supply which is not delivered with the computer, letting you the choice to recycle one you may have or to buy a new one.

In any case, the only real recommendation is about output voltage, minimum should be 700ma and recommended 1A output voltage.I bought this one and works with no issues:

With less power, you may encounter many issues with your hardware!

I bought this one and it works with no issues:

Alternatively, you may also use a powered USB Hub to aliment your Raspberry Pi, this is not recommended and not guaranteed but may also work perfectly.
I have one with a power supply of 2,5A and this also works with no issue.

3. Obligatory : Flash Memory

Then, you need a Flash Memory card (SDcard), i advise you to buy a "Class 10" which will gives you much more performance and are now cheap enough.

Again, check the verified hardware site about before buying it to avoid any problem.

My choice was finally:

4. Optional : HDMI cable

Probably you will want to use an HDMI connection between your Raspberry Pi and your TV or Screen.

Off course, you can also simply use the available DVI connection.

When choosing your HDMI cable, just ensure to buy an 1.4 HDMI Cable, or you may have issue with sound though HDMI. (if you plan to use numerical sound)

5. Optional : Powered USB Hub (USB2)

This is optional but you may quickly need it, just because a Raspberry has only 2 USB ports.

Also, because the Raspberry does not deliver much power through USB, using a Powered USB Hub will be very practical.

IMPORTANT: Don't buy an auto alimented USB Hub, you need one that comes with an external power supply!

Again, you can check the verified hardware site above before buying one, i bought this one and don't have any issue:

6. Optional : A nice case for you Raspberry Pi !!!

You may want to protect your small animal with a nice case, just because the Raspberry comes absolutely as it is, this may seems a to be a good idea :-)

You'll find a lot of nice cases in the Internet, i would you recommend you to take a look at ebay and you will easily find one you'll enjoy.

My choice:

7. Optional : A cheap MCE Remote control if you're planing to use it as an XBMC Media Center

If you are planing to use your Raspberry Pi with XBMC, you will probably want to get a remote control.

Off course you will be able to use your Keyboard or even Android / IOS application to control XBMC but in my experience nothing is more reliable than a simple remote control :-)

You will find thousand of on Ebay or anywhere else, just keep in mind that your life will be easier if you choose a standard MCE Remote (RC6) known to work out the box in XBMC with Linux.

My choice:

Ok, done for the shopping list :-)

I received my Raspberry Pi a few days ago, let's see some picture of the animal !

Ok, let's work now !