One of the great things about the Raspberry Pi is that there’s no single way to use it. Whether you just want to watch videos and surf the web, or you want to hack, learn, and make with the board, the Raspberry Pi is a flexible platform
for fun, utility, and experimentation. Here are just a few of the different ways you can use a Raspberry Pi:
General purpose computing
It’s important to remember that the Raspberry Pi is a computer and you can, in fact, use it as one. After you get it up and running in Chapter 1, you can choose to have it boot into a graphical desktop environment with a web browser, which is a lot of what we use computers for these days. Going beyond the web, you can install a wide variety of free software, such as the LibreOffice productivity suite for working with documents and spreadsheets when you don’t have an Internet connection.
Learning to program
Since the Raspberry Pi is meant as an educational tool to encourage kids to experiment with computers, it comes preloaded with interpreters and compilers for many different programming languages. For the beginner, there’s Scratch, a graphical programming language from MIT, which we cover in Chapter 5. If you’re eager to jump into writing code, the Python programming language is a great way to get started and we cover the basics of it in Chapter 3. And you’re not limited to only Scratch and Python. You can write programs for your Raspberry Pi in many different programming languages like C, Ruby, Java, and Perl.
The Raspberry Pi differentiates itself from a regular computer not only in its price and size, but also because of its ability to integrate with electronics projects. Starting in Chapter 7, we’ll show you to how to use the Raspberry Pi to control LEDs and AC devices and you’ll learn how to read the state of buttons and switches.
1. Getting Up and Running
2. Getting Around Linux on the Raspberry Pi
3. Python On The Pi
4. Animation and Multimedia in Python
5. Scratch on the Pi
6. Arduino and the Pi
7. Basic Input and Output
8. Programming Inputs and Outputs with Python
9. Working with Webcam
10. Python and The Internet
A/ Writing an SD Card Image
B/ Astral Trespassers Complete
C/ Analog Input