Classic arcade machine running on Raspberry Pi
Classic arcade machine running on Raspberry Pi
The high-end Raspberry Pi 3B+ packs a Broadcom BCM2837 Cortex-A53 CPU and 1GB of RAM. However, the board unit is not to replace your primary PC. Instead, it can do many things your primary x86 computer isn’t able to do.
Raspberry Pi 3B+
Raspberry Pi 3B+. Source: Tom’s Hardware.

What can you do with a Raspberry PI?

With a Raspberry Pi, you can create electronic devices that range from AI-enabled robotic arms or a Wi-Fi security camera. You could even build any kind of retro gaming system complete with s classic joystick and buttons.

Pi’s advantages for developers come from three different sources:

  1. The GPIO (General Input / Output) Pins: new Raspberry Pi models have 40 pins you can use to connect all kinds of external devices. For example, you can attach anything from LED lights and motors to sensors. You could even join “hats” that would give you added functionality by plugin them unto the pins. For instance, the Sense Hat adds a gyroscope, magnetometer, accelerometer, pressure sensor, and thermometer. You don’t get these kinds of pins on your x86 bit computer.
  2. Price: Pi’s price makes it really affordable. With a $5 price tag, you can create a lot of home projects. You could create an arcade machine one week, a fire detector the next, or a laughter sensor next month. The cost makes it easy to buy new ones.
  3. Healthy ecosystem: maybe it does sound enticing for you, but none of this is worth anything if you don’t actually know what to do with a Raspberry Pi. Luckily, there are plenty of forums  with a lot of online resources to help you:

Check how to set up the Raspberry Pi for the first time

Raspberry Pi for DIY developers and kids alike

If you are the type of person that both enjoy a challenge and knows something about programming, the Raspberry Pi is for you.

Working with this unit is more challenging than building your own PC. And unlike your PC, which you’ll upgrade once every couple of years (if any), you can build new things with the Pi every week.

More so, if you’re a parent, playing with this unit is a great way to connect with children. Furthermore, it teaches kids valuable STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). So, we highly recommend you work on DIY Raspberry projects with your kids regularly.

Here are some things you could build:

  • A retro gaming console that plays old arcade games
  • A virtual window to any country or any city that shows live webcam streams
  • A simple traffic light
  • A train-road system that controls the train’s path automatically
  • A system that records and plays video messages
  • An arcade machine

In fact, if you check their website, you would find a whole array of projects in the categories of music, art, web, robots, games, and more.

The website shares “instructions” for many projects aimed for kids. However, the instructions are sometimes not full, they only offer hints and thus become a challenge to complete.

However, if you don’t like building things, the unit is still useful. The board runs on Linux. Thus you could use it to test Linux apps or do essential Linux development.

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