Over the past decades computers have gotten cheaper and cheaper, so today
you can find them not only beneath your desk but in nearly every consumer
electronics device such as smartphones or DVD players. Still, computers
aren’t so cheap that you spontaneously buy one when shopping for your
groceries. Usually, you carefully plan your next PC, because you have to use
it for a couple of years.
Computers like the Raspberry Pi will change the situation completely in the
near future. The Raspberry Pi, or Pi for short, is a full-blown desktop PC that
costs only $35. You can directly connect it to the Internet, and it is able to
display high-definition videos. Also, it runs Linux, so you do not have to pay
for an operating system. This makes the Pi probably the first throwaway
computer in history.
Originally, the Raspberry Foundation1 built the Pi to teach children how to
program, so it comes as no surprise that the Pi is an excellent device for
exactly this purpose. On top of that, you can use the Pi for many other
exciting things. For example, you can turn it into a multimedia center, use
it as a cheap but powerful web server, or play some classic games.
The Pi is also a great machine for experimenting with electronics. In contrast
to many popular microcontroller boards like the Arduino, the Pi runs a
full-blown operating system, and you can choose from a wide range of programming
languages to implement your projects.
With cheap and small devices like the Raspberry Pi, a new era of ubiquitous
computing has begun, and you can be part of it. This book helps you get up
to speed quickly.