So I finally decided to jump into the world of makers. I got me a Raspberry Pi 2 model B! I also acquired a 16 port relay board, a 2.4″ TFT touchscreen and some jumper cables. I’m working my way around Debian linux again so have to re-remember all the old commands and file locations (hello ubuntu- I guess you were good for something other than playing around after all). I tried to find a good RedHat distribution that would run on the Pi but Pidora wouldn’t boot out of the box for me and I can’t seem to find a Fidora image to try. Regardless, it seems that most Pi users stick with the very popular debian based Raspian distro, and since I’m a noob in this area I figure it would give me the best chance of finding tutorials based on the OS I’m running.
First off- the specs. The Pi 2 model B is based on a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU (BCM2836) with 1gb of onboard memory. It’s supposedly 6 times faster than the previous model B+ which employed the 700Mhz BCM2835 processor. It has:
- 4 USB ports
- 40 GPIO pins
- Full HDMI port
- 10/100 Ethernet port
- Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
- Camera interface (CSI)
- Display interface (DSI)
- Micro SD card slot
- VideoCore IV 3D graphics core
It’s still a 32bit OS/CPU but is very capable of basic desktop functions including web browsing and even video gaming (raspbian ships with a Pi version of Minecraft that actually performs pretty damn good). The coolest part is the size- it’s about as big as a deck of cards!
I’m hoping to educate myself on the 40 pin GPIO interface that allows you to control external devices (like the 16 relay switchboard I got) to do some cool home automation. There’s even software that allows you to do the synchronized christmas light shows. So far, I have the OS set up to grab a fixed IP address from my router via DHCP so I can ssh to it. Gonna try to get the display working first then we’ll see what’s next.