Monday, July 16, 2012

Just Got My Raspberry Pi

I have become one of the chosen.  My Raspberry Pi just arrived.  For those that don't know the RPi is a revolutionary little computer.  Not only is it about the size of a pack of cards, but the whole thing only cost about $45 with shipping.

It was funny.  After getting everything together and plugged in, my one son started counting things up, and realized that the cables plugged into it probably cost as much or more than the whole computer.  In fact, by the time you add in an SD card, power supply, HDMI cable, ethernet cable, a USB keyboard and mouse, and probably a case of some kind, you could be into it over $100.  That said, in most cases I think people will have the necessary stuff kicking around.

I am using the charger from my old Palm Pre.  It has the micro-usb cable I need to power the thing up, and it is rated for a good 1 amp.  This is important.  It looks online like a lot of the problems are due to lower wattage and cheap power supplies.

Otherwise, the rest of the stuff was kicking around.  I'm guessing most of the people to whom this appeals would be in a similar situation.

My biggest issue was formatting the SD card.  I couldn't get any of the suggested programs to actually see my cards.  And I tried several.  It was driving me nuts!  Windows Disk Manager (the suggested program) never worked, Disk Image errored, Fedora Arm Installer never saw the card, and neither did a few other options.  Finally I found HDD Raw Copy and it worked.  I kept getting an error on close, but it finally did the job.  Interestingly I later decided to go with RaspBMC and it worked like a champ with no errors.

I have been running a Plex server on an old 2006 Mac Mini, and I am looking at using the RPi as a client for my upstairs TV.   After messing with RaspBMC, I am realizing I may really want to move over to XBMC as my media server.

I am going to have some late nights over the next few days!