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I’m sure you’ve heard of the Raspberry Pi by now. If not, you’re in for a treat. It’s a tiny little computer that’s dirt cheap and incredibly customisable. Here at MakeUseOf, along with most geeky places online, we’ve fallen in love with the Raspberry Pi. Many of us have one or more and have come up with some fantastic ways to use them for play or for work.
If you’re thinking of getting a Raspberry Pi yourself, we’re obviously going to help convince you to go ahead with it. Maybe there’s a few things you didn’t realize it could do – or maybe you don’t yet realize how easy they are to work with. Either way, here’s a list of reasons that should help you part with that minuscule sum of money and get one of the best gadgets developed in recent history.
1. It’s Cheap!
Yes, I said it was a miniscule amount of money. You’re looking at a maximum of US$35 (and postage/taxes) for what is essentially a tiny computer without a case. When it comes to bang-for-buck, you’d be hard pressed to do better. Model A has 256Mb RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet. Model B has 512Mb RAM, 2 USB ports and an Ethernet port. Check out the FAQ for more specs.
2. It’s Tiny
The Raspberry Pi is just over credit card sized at 85.60mm x 56mm x 21mm, plus a little overhang for the SD card and connectors which stick out over the edge. It weighs only 45g.
3. The Pi Can Run A Variety Of Operating Systems
Seriously, you can install Linux on this little computer and use it for whatever you like. Android is now officially supported too, plus there are also rumours you can run Windows 8 on it, but apparently it’s too slow to be worth trying.
4. The Raspberry Pi Is Really Versatile
The following items are two of the most popular uses for the Raspberry Pi: the media centre and a gaming machine. However, it was actually built with education in mind, to teach students how to program. Lots of people use Python to code for the Pi, but there are plenty more languages you can use.
For more uses still, this article shows how you can use a Raspberry Pi to be an arcade machine, a carputer, internet radio system, security system or a media centre:
5. Play Video And View Photos With The Pi
It can support 1080p video, which is pretty decent when you’re watching mpg movie files or viewing photos. It’s nearly as simple as plugging in a USB stick of your favourite media and watching. RaspBMC is the recommended software, which even supports Airplay. If you want more information on setting it up, check out these articles:
- How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System
- Entertainment On The Cheap: The Most Affordable Ways To Set Up A Home Theater
6. You Can Overclock It
It’s really easy to overclock a Raspberry Pi, so check out the guide we’ve written and get started:
7. You Can Play Games
Get Your Raspberry Pi
Willing to break into the bank account now? Thought so. Go get your Raspberry Pi and peripherals at either of these stores:
Also, you might want to know how to get started, join the community and how to make yourself a cool case for your new Pi:
- What You Need to Know About Getting Started with Raspberry Pi
- Some Crazy Ideas for Homemade Cases For The Raspberry Pi
- 8 Interesting DIY Raspberry Pi Case Ideas
- Raspberry Pi – A Credit-Card Sized ARM Computer – Yours For Only $25
- Official Raspberry Pi Community
What was your biggest reason for getting a Raspberry Pi? What do you use it for now?