Raspberry Pi Technology Intro, specifications, Seminar Abstract, Technical Report

I have gathered more information about the Raspberry Pi , which  is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse.

It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It is capable of doing everything you wouldd expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games.
[Image: RaspberryPi_2.jpg]
Image Copyright: RaspberryPi

Whats more, the Raspberry Pi  has the ability to interact with the outside world, and has been  used in a wide array of digital maker projects, from music machines and parent detectors to weather stations and tweeting birdhouses with infra-red cameras. We want to see the Raspberry Pi being used by kids all over the world to learn to program and understand how computers work

Raspberry Pi Software support
There are several official distributions (distros) available on official downloads page. New users will find the NOOBs installer the easiest to work with, as it walks you through the download and installation of a specific distro. The recommended distro is Raspbian, which is specially designed for the Raspberry Pi and which our engineers are always optimising; but it is a straightforward process to replace the root partition on the SD card with another ARM Linux distro, so we encourage you to try out several distros to see which one you like the most. The OS is stored on the SD card.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends Python as a language for learners. Any language which will compile for ARMv6 can be used with the Raspberry Pi, though; so you are not limited to using Python. C, C++, Java, Scratch, and Ruby all come installed by default on the Raspberry Pi.

Some people have put Windows 3.1 on the Raspberry Pi inside an x86 CPU emulator in order to use specific applications, but trying to use a version of Windows even as recent as Windows 98 can take hours to boot into, and may take several more hours to update your cursor every time you try to move it. We dont recommend it!

Raspberry Pi Hardware supports
The Model B and Model B+ version of the device have built in 10/100 wired Ethernet. There is no Ethernet on the Model A version.
No model of the Raspberry Pi has built in Wi-Fi, but all three can support a USB Wi-Fi dongle.
The SoC does not support native Wi-Fi, and adding an additional built in Wi-Fi chip would greatly increase the cost of the Raspberry Pi.
The Ethernet is attached via the USB 2.0 bus, so the upstream bandwidth would not support Gigabit.

The Making of Pi
[Image: RaspberryPi_1.png]
The idea behind a tiny and affordable computer for kids came in 2006, when Eben Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft, based at the University of Cambridges Computer Laboratory, became concerned about the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skills levels of the A Level students applying to read Computer Science. From a situation in the 1990s where most of the kids applying were coming to interview as experienced hobbyist programmers, the landscape in the 2000s was very different; a typical applicant might only have done a little web design.

Something had changed the way kids were interacting with computers. A number of problems were identified, the colonisation of the ICT curriculum with lessons on using Word and Excel, or writing webpages; the end of the dot-com boom; and the rise of the home PC and games console to replace the Amigas, BBC Micros, Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 machines that people of an earlier generation learned to program on.

There isnt much any small group of people can do to address problems like an inadequate school curriculum or the end of a financial bubble. But we felt that we could try to do something about the situation where computers had become so expensive and arcane that programming experimentation on them had to be forbidden by parents; and to find a platform that, like those old home computers, could boot into a programming environment.

By 2008, processors designed for mobile devices were becoming more affordable, and powerful enough to provide excellent multimedia, a feature we felt would make the board desirable to kids who wouldnt initially be interested in a purely programming-oriented device. The project started to look very realisable. Eben (now a chip architect at Broadcom), Rob, Jack and Alan, teamed up with Pete Lomas, MD of hardware design and manufacture company Norcott Technologies, and David Braben, co-author of the seminal BBC Micro game Elite, to form the Raspberry Pi Foundation to make it a reality. Three years later, the Raspberry Pi Model B entered mass production through licensed manufacture deals with element 14/Premier Farnell and RS Electronics, and within two years it had sold over two million units.

We dont claim to have all the answers. We dont think that the Raspberry Pi is a fix to all of the worlds computing issues; we do believe that we can be a catalyst. We want to see affordable, programmable computers everywhere. We want to break the paradigm where without spending hundreds of pounds on a PC, families cant use the internet. We want owning a truly personal computer to be normal for children, and were looking forward to what the future has in store.

Content Copyright: http://www.raspberrypi.org/help/what-is-a-raspberry-pi/

All Copyrights to: http://www.raspberrypi.org

We prepared and published this seminar abstract for final year engineering students seminar research. You should do your own research additional to this information before presenting your seminar.
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