What to do with my Raspberry Pi?

I purchased a computer that cost less than $100. I have been hearing so much about the Raspberry Pi lately, that I finally decided to purchase one. It’s something that I really needed – I just have to figure out why. Although the Raspberry Pi was created for a different purpose, this is a true Geek toy.

The Raspberry Pi is not much larger than a credit card, but it has enough computing power for the average user.

raspberry_pi_size

Raspberry Pi Connections

I plugged in a wireless mini keyboard, and inserted a NOOBS SD card into the Raspberry Pi. I connected the Pi to my TV using an HDMI cable, and then inserted the power supply.

Installing an Operating System

The NOOBS SD card contains multiple operating systems – I chose to install the Raspbian OS.

raspberry_pi_os_selection

After selecting the Raspbian OS, I was prompted with:

Warning: this will install the selected Operating System. All existing data on the SD card will be overwritten.

I asked myself, what is the purpose of having multiple operating systems on the NOOBS card if they will be overwritten? After a bit of research, I learned that the OS’s would remain – and if I hold down the shift key while booting, I can return to the OS selection screen.

The installation took about 10 minutes. After the installation, I presented with a configuration screen. My mini keyboard did not work on this screen, so I had to plug in a regular USB keyboard. I selected the “Enable Boot to Desktop” option. I also enabled the ssh server (Advanced options).

raspberry_pi_options

After the selections, the Pi was rebooted and returned to the Raspbian OS desktop. I was now able to use my mini keyboard.

raspberry_pi_raspbian_os

WiFi Connection

I plugged in the Nano size wireless adapter that I purchased into the remaining USB port and then opened the Wifi Config app. I entered the relevant information for my wireless network and was immediately connected. To test the connection, I opened the browser and began to surf the web. Cool.

SSH and Remote Desktop

Since my Raspberry Pi is on my home network, I decided to SSH into via my Ubuntu VM. I opened the Wifi Config App again to view my IP address (I could have opened a terminal and entered ifconfig). I opened the Terminal and entered:

ssh 10.0.1.18 -l pi

I used the -l option because when I entered the IP address only, the username was automatically set to my Ubuntu username.

Once logged in, I was able to.. Well, I wasn’t able to do anything just yet. So I decided to connect to the Raspberry pi using a VNC client (remote desktop). First I had install a remote client. From my ssh connection, I entered:

sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

To start the vnc server, I entered:

tightvncserver

I then installed a vnc viewer on Ubuntu. I had a problem connecting at first because I entered the IP address only. So instead of using just the IP:

10.0.1.18

I had to enter:

10.0.1.18:1

Now that I am able to connect, I can.. Well, I’m still not sure, but it so cool!! I have a brand new computer for less than $100. I saw a book on Amazon the discusses how to build a robot using the Raspberry Pi. I may purchase it. Not sure. Any suggestions?

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