This is all about computers – especially the Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer consisting of a couple of chips, connected together with complicated motherboard. The biggest chip is a computer on a chip that can do everything a computer can – the same chip used on smartphones – which makes it inexpensive. The whole thing costs about $50. And I got the latest one, the Raspberry Pi 3, for no extra charge.
But all the extra hardware needed to make it work – a keyboard, mouse and display – costs much more. And you have to buy a micro SD that contains the operating system – another $30 or so.
I have played around with some other computer boards – the Beaglebone Black and the Tessel 2 – and all this expensive gear was cluttering up my desk.
Today, I sat down and connected it all together – carefully following the instructions. It spun its little wheels for awhile. And I ended up with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that is designed to look familiar.
Except that it uses the Linux operating system – which is great system – but is not the same as Windows that I am used to.
To shut it down, I had to enter:
sudo shutdown -h now
And sure enough, it shut down. I got everything working together, and nothing got broke!