Raspberry Pi is a computer device with infinite potential. But what can we do with the British mini-computer to date? Let’s find out together
We have already talked about Raspberry Pi. We have already said what are the wonders of this mini-computer and its technical specifications. It now remains to be understood what the practical uses of the Raspberry Pi card are. What can it do? In which projects can Raspberry be used and give its best? Let’s find out together.
The main purpose for which Raspberry Pi was conceived and realized is that of education. A $ 42.99 per piece mini-computer is the ideal solution for all educational institutions that want to have a modern, efficient and low-cost IT infrastructure. In particular, the Raspberry Pi is tailor-made for teaching programming in schools of all levels.
In collaboration with the Computing at School working group, the Raspberry Foundation is developing a user guide and a programming manual cut out on the hardware components of the British mini computer.
Given its rather small size and its respectable technical specifications, Raspberry Pi is often used as a controller in a home automation system. With its reduced consumption and the possibility of using open-source software, a Raspberry board adapts perfectly to the brightness control of the lighting system, for home security systems and all other tasks relating to the home automation field.
An example is given by the project carried out by the user willq44, which describes how to build a home automation control system using a Raspberry Pi card and a normal Android smartphone.
Using the appropriate expansion cards, a Raspberry Pi can also be used as a small personal server. Of course, it won’t have all the resources necessary to build a server worthy of the best data center in the world, but it can still work as a small personal cloud service.
One of the many ways to transform a Raspberry Pi card into a server is described on this website: using the British mini computer and open source software you can set up a small functional and always ready to use dropbox.
Occupying a few tens of square centimeters, a Raspberry Pi can be placed practically anywhere without its presence being noticed. Maybe even behind the home TV and make it work as a network media center.
By installing a distribution like Raspbmc on the flash memory card, you will have a home theater system that is unparalleled in terms of video quality and price. In case you are using the Raspberry Pi Model B, you can connect to a LAN ( local area network, home network in Italian) and transmit on the high-definition television in the living room at home movies saved on a network hard disk or a NAS ( network-attached storage ).
By protecting it adequately, a Raspberry Pi can also be used as a control unit for a small weather monitoring station. Peter Mount, on the pages of his blog, explains how to make one using the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi Model B. With a low cost and with a small footprint, you can create a small weather station on the balcony of your home and publish the data on the web in real-time.
We must never forget that Raspberry Pi is a computer, albeit in miniature, and in this capacity it manages to give its best. On the website of the homonymous Foundation, it is possible to find one of the many distributions – such as Debian, Arch Linux, and Fedora – specially modified to make the most of its features.
Starting from scratch, the process of creating an AirPlay-compatible media player from Raspberry Pi could be a little complex for novice users. This project, in fact, requires different command line work and not everyone may be able to do it. Fortunately, the Raspberry developer community comes to the rescue of the fewer geeks, making available to everyone an already modified version of the operating system. All you have to do is download it from the developer forum, install it on the minicomputer’s SD card and boot the system. At this point, if everything went in the right direction, your Raspberry Pi will be recognized as a multimedia player compatible with AirPlay.
Create a Minecraft server
If you are passionate about the video game developed by Mojang you can use the power of the small British computer to create a local server and further refine your skills with Minecraft. Also, in this case, there are no particular difficulties due to the role played by the community: by downloading Minecraft and installing it on the memory of your microcomputer you can create a Minecraft server in a few minutes. The only precaution required is to create a user profile with administrator privileges; for the rest, however, you can only think about playing.
Create a WordPress server
PressPi , on the other hand, allows you to solve the problems that arise whenever you want to create a personal blog with Wordpress. If you are undecided about the hosting to choose, you can create a small personal server on which to run exclusively the famous open source CMS thanks to this modified version of the operating system for RaspeberryPi. The only difficulty will be in making your blog public: by default, in fact, PressPi allows you to create only a local server. By opening the doors of the router as specified in the guide written by the developers of PressPi you can make your blog public.
Create a wireless access point
The RaspberryPi can also be used to create an access point or a small Wi-Fi router. By installing Pi-Point you can bypass all the configuration work and transform the microcomputer into an access point that can be used at home in just a few minutes.
Create a digital display for old cars
Do you have an old car but don’t want to miss a digital touch and maybe turn it into a smart car? Then this Raspberry Pi project could be the one for you. As the YouTube 240FS user shows, in fact, it is possible to use a communication port of an old car (in this case a consult port of a Nissan) to create an information system worthy of the best modern cars. In carrying out his project, the car and DIY enthusiast YouTuber used a Raspberry Pi 3 card, a Pi Foundation screen (also equipped with a touchscreen interface ), and some readers and adapters to connect the minicomputer to the electronic system of the car.
With a cost of about $ 150 and a few hours of work to assemble everything and install the software necessary to receive and analyze the data coming from the car’s brain, you can create a digital dashboard for your car. In the project taken as an example, the screen shows the speed of the car, the engine revolutions, and the engine temperature, but with a little patience and skill in programming, it is possible to view all types of data relating to the state of your vehicle.
Bring old arcade video games back to life in the 1980s
In their greatest glory years, they were large – more or less – like a two-door wardrobe and even heavier. Today, to recreate an old arcade videogame from the 80s (those of the arcades, to be clear) just a small table, also quite cheap, and a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. Of course, you will need some time, have some programming knowledge, electronics and carpentry and a good dose of patience. But with a purchase of just over $ 100, you can go back to playing your favorite video games from your childhood.
The Raspberry project is described in more detail on the element14 portal, where you can find the various wiring diagrams, assembly sheets, and all the materials necessary to build your own personal arcade. Without a doubt a great challenge, which could also put your DIY lover skills to the test, but at the same time capable of giving many satisfactions.