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Tech Talk – Raspberry Pi

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Author: Peter Dobson

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When desktop, home PC computers started to take hold in a big way in the early 90’s, we’d look at them and say, “computers with this much computing power would take up entire rooms in the 50’s & 60’s!”

And so it was, as time moved forward, everything electronic became smaller and more compact. Add 25 years to those early 90’s and the trend continues. Not only is the size trending downwards, so are prices.

Welcome to February 2014, and to the 1st generation of the Raspberry PI. Small and powerful (by 90’s standards).The key attributes of this computer is its small size and low cost. Developed in Wales by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, with the intention to make computers available, and affordable, for schools in developing countries.

The current operating System (OS) is Raspbian (a Linux based OS), with GUI similar to that you would see as on a MAC or PC (pretty and clickable). Hardware wise on the latest model (3) you will find:

  • 4 USB Ports
  • Micro SD card Slot ( acting as a HDD for OS etc)
  • HDMI out
  • DSI display connector
  • 5v Micro USB slot (to power the unit up)
  • CSI Camera port
  • 3.5mm Stereo out port
  • 10/100Base T Ethernet port
  • WiFi / Bluetooth on board (PI 3 only)
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Raspberry Pi showing hardware

So what use is this to users here in New Zealand? Well for a start it could turn your regular TV into a smart TV. It’s small size means it can easily be integrated to work on your HDMI TV. You now have a computer on your TV. Couple that with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and it’s computing from your arm chair.

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110mm long
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70mm wide

Models of Raspberry Pi:

raspberry Pi Models
raspberry Pi Models (click to enlarge)

 

The pièce de résistance? This unit is PERFECT for running KODI. If you haven’t caught onto the KODI thing yet, now’s the time to check it out. It is the ultimate in entertainment streaming technology. You really need to experience it.

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Click to learn about KODI

We’ve put a nice little package together for you. that consists of this:

1)A raspberry Pi unit:  – 

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2)A micro SD card Class 10 8GB

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The card will be loaded with the open source Raspbian operating system and the KODI application, both free to us, therefore free to you as well.

3) Outer case to protect your PI

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A case is recommended, but not essential. It will protect your board while providing cooling ventilation. Made from durable hard plastic, rubber feet to keep it from slipping.

Power Supply – Micro USB

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PI power rating
Power rating chart (click to enlarge)

This package will cost you $160 (The Raspberry Pi board, Micro SD card, case and Software to run KODI)    BUY HERE

You supply:

1. Wireless keyboard and mouse ( $44.00 – $90.00 )

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We don’t supply these, but they are easily purchased from computer shops and electronic retailers. We can source them for you if you wish, but recommend you purchase as we can’t be competitive on pricing on this item.

If you have a modern TV (Last 4- 5 years) you will probably not require a Keyboard and mouse as you will be able to control your PI running KODI from your TV remote using HDMI-CEC

3. HDMI Cable

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We can supply these competitively, also at various prices depending on length –  up to 15 meters. This is required to carry Audio and video to your TV and/or audio unit. Let us know if you would like us to supply.

Lastly, but probably one of the most important aspects, is the connection to the WAN or Internet.

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When it comes to streaming video content wired is the only way to go. (my opinion) So much so that we do not even contemplate going wireless for video streaming. We do offer wired installation service as part of our business. See here.  If you are dead set on having wireless we can help you make it happen, but will stress the advantages of going  wired.

If you really have no choice but to go wireless, click here to see how it’s done. From Raspberry Pi 3, WIFI is on board.

Then you’re set to go. Pump up KODI sit back and enjoy life.

 

KODI Image
Run KODI on your Raspberry Pi

To Purchase a Raspberry PI with Kodi installed CLICK HERE

KODI
Raspberry Pi running KODI
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