Helpful links and definitions of Raspberry Pi related hardware / software for the absolute beginner

Raspberry Pi First Boot
Here is the first boot up of my Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is basically a $25 computer (Model A) or a $35 computer (Model B) meant to encourage children to learn programming by providing an affordable computing platform that can drive all kinds of projects from controlling robots to running a media center on a tv. I am not a hardcore programmer so I bought one to tinker and encourage my inner programming child.

I bought the Model B because it has 512MB Ram, 2 USB ports, and an ethernet port. The model A has 256MB Ram, 1 USB port, and no ethernet port.

So far I have managed three tasks.

  1. I have booted up with a copy of Raspbian “Wheezy”, surfed the internet and installed a mail client.
  2. I have booted up with a copy of Raspbmc, added some music, and took XBMC for a test drive.
  3. I have installed XBMC Commander to my iPhone and controlled my Raspbmc installation by playing music, videos, etc. I had varying degrees of success with this task.

Rather than copy other people’s fine tutorials I am going to provide definitions of the different technologies, as defined at their site(s). Below the definitions are link(s) to the site(s).

Raspberry Pi

What is (a) Raspberry Pi

“The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard.”

Raspberry Pi Site

Task 1: Raspbian

What is Raspbian

“Raspbian is a free operating system based on Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware.”

Wheezy is the recommended starting distro. There is also a link below to a distro that uses the MATE desktop environement instead of the LXDE desktop environment that “Wheezy” uses.

Raspbian “wheezy”

Bootable Raspbian “Pisces+MATE” Image by Mike Thompson

Task 2: Raspbmc

What is Raspbmc?

“Raspbmc is a minimal Linux distribution based on Debian that brings XBMC to your Raspberry Pi.”

Raspbmc Site

Task 3: XBMC / XBMC Commander

What is XBMC?

“A Complete media center solution for Windows, OSX, Linux, and more!”


What is XBMC Commander?

“XBMC Commander is a remote control for the iPad especially designed to interact with XBMC, one of the most advanced open source media centers out there.” (There are iPhone and Adroid versions as well)

XBMC Commander Site