Series: For Dummies
Paperback: 456 pages
Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (November 24, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #84,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #9 in Books > Computers & Technology > Hardware & DIY > Microprocessors & System Design > Computer Design #42 in Books > Computers & Technology > Hardware & DIY > Design & Architecture #43 in Books > Computers & Technology > Hardware & DIY > Single Board Computers
I had high hopes for this book. After getting my Raspberry Pi, I wanted a single reference to help give me an overall understanding of the device and its software.Most importantly, I wanted to understand the connection between the software and the physical computing; in other words, translating software code into useful actions: making LEDs light up, motors move, things beep, and accepting and using different types of inputs, both physical (e.g. buttons) and digital (e.g. camera). After all, that is kind of the forte of the Raspberry Pi. And the book's cover hinted that it walked through just what I wanted to know. If you get a basic understanding of what you're doing - tools in a toolbox - you can then apply them to almost any project.The reality is a bit different, though.Upfront, you should know that the book assumes that you have basically a raw Raspberry Pi, without a starter kit or any components. What that means is, if you have a kit with NOOBS already installed, you'll be skipping a bunch of pages that walk you through downloading and installing the operating system onto the SD card.Later on, realize that the book assumes you do not have a breakout board for the GPIO pins, and you will be walked through al the menial tasks of building your own - slicing up a ribbon cable, connecting connectors, screwing it to a wooden board, and labeling everything - basically to build what amounts to a five dollar connector using parts that you may (or may not) have laying around. In my opinion, I think the book could clearly state the assumptions on the cover or elsewhere that the user has these basic components, and go from there.
The Raspberry Pi has moved forward a great deal since the first edition of this book was published in March 2013. This updated version (436 pages) covers the majority of the improvements made to the computer system including the introduction of the NOOBS version of installing the operating system and the expansion of the GPIO from 26 to 40 pins. It is still an ideal source of information for those getting started and as a time saving reference for the more experienced.The style is friendly and gently leads a novice user through all the additional items needed to set up their system for the first time. Explanations are provided as to why some peripherals such as keyboards or powered USB hubs are better than others. If you need to install the operating system on a suitable SD card then easy to follow, step-by-step instructions are provided.If you have only used Windows or Mac computers in the past the command line and Linux come as a bit of a shock. Chapter 5 provides an excellent introduction to the often bewildering Linux Shell and the essential commands for creating, removing, and browsing files and directories. You will need to use Linux to keep your system up to date and to install and remove applications. This is a chapter I come back to time and again and the extensive index is a great help in quickly finding the information I need - much faster than searching on-line.The Desktop Environment is an easier way to control your Pi and the updated instructions include help with Minecraft, Epiphany, and Mathematica as well as creating/deleting folders, moving files and using a pen-drive/memory stick.Introductions to a variety of applications are provided including LibreOffice for word-processing, spreadsheets etc.
Are you a teacher or student who is using Raspberry Pi for education and entertainment? If you are, this book is for you. Authors Sean McManus and Mike Cook, have done an outstanding job of writing a 2nd edition of a book that helps you get started with your Raspberry Pi.Authors McManus and Cook, begin by listing everything you might need to use your Raspberry Pi, including the various cables. Next, the authors introduce you to Linux, the operating system most frequently used on the Raspberry Pi; and, also show you how to create an SD or MicroSD card with an operating system on it. In addition, they show you the ports and sockets you will need to use to connect up to your Model B Raspberry Pi. The authors also talk you through using the desktop environment and introduce you to some of its programs. Then, they continue by showing you how to use the shell to manage your Raspberry Pi. The authors then show you how to use four of the programs in LibreOffice for common household activities. Next, they introduce you to GIMP: Which is one of the most popular image editing packages, and give you some tips for editing your photos with it. In addition, the authors show you how you can turn your Raspberry Pi into a media center, capable of playing high definition video files and music. They also introduce you to Scratch; so, you can start to experiment with it. Then, the authors show you how to use Scratch to make a simple arcade game. Next, they introduce you to Python, a powerful programming language that's widely used commercially. The authors continue by showing you how to build on your Python skills to create a simple arcade game called PiBuster. They then show you how to install Minecraft. Next, the authors show you how to play notes and melodies using Sonic Pi.
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