If you are someone who has never heard of Raspberry Pi then here is the definition from Wikipedia.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools
I was introduced to Raspberry Pi by Vajikumaran in a local meet up. Impressed by the world of opportunities we can explore, I decided to order one for myself. I was told, it would take around two weeks to reach Sri Lanka but I got it in a week.
Raspberry Pi Price in Sri Lanka
There are random listings in online buy and sell lists. Most of the devices are priced above 5000 Rupees. That’s why I decided to buy one for myself from online. Model B (the latest one) is listed for around 8000 Rupees at Lankatronics. IMHO it’s a pure rip off.
So how much does it costs me to buy it online?
Well, I bought it for 27 GBP (Model B + 8 GB SD Card). SD card comes with preloaded OS. You can just insert it and boot the device. I’d recommend you to buy from a official re-seller online. Most of the guys at ebay sell fake Chinese stuff.
Lets do the math now. (prices are aprox)
|Name||Price GBP||Price LKR|
|Raspberry Pi and 8 GB SD Card||27 GBP||5700 LKR|
|Gov Tax and levy||N/A||500 LKR|
|Total in Rupees||N/A||6200 LKR|
Remember most of the Raspberry pi you will buy locally and from abroad will not have SD card attached.
Ok now I got the Raspberry pi and what else should I need to boot it up.
- Old television with audio/video input (or HDMI powered monitor /tv)
- 5V Mobile charger (Most of the Samsung chargers would do)
So pretty much it. You can find rest of the stuff at your home.
My first experience
I don’t have a monitor with HDMI output. So decided to use Raspberry pi with my Television at home. When I first plugged in my sd card, I got nothing but red light in the board and no display on the Television. After reading the guide, found out that I had to press 3 on keyboard to force output to Television and worked like magic. Wait! Still a problem. The output on the screen is black and white. Where the hell is color display. Some Google search revealed that I need change some parameters in the config.txt file which you will find in the root of your SD card.
Uncomment following line to enable color output to PAL television
So my Raspberry pi is up and running. Cool! So what’s next? Well, it’s time to do some experiment with it.
SSH to Raspberry pi
All you have to do is, get your ip address of your Raspberry Pi (Assuming that you are connected to same local area network) and you can ssh to your raspberry pi from your PC or mac. If you are running on Windows, you may use programs like Putty. Heck yeah you will need to know some linux commands to utilise the ssh.
Remote desktop to Raspberry pi
Are you not a command line / Terminal guy. Don’t worry you can remote desktop your Raspberry Pi’s GUI from your windows machine too. Check out this awesome guide.
Node JS server on Raspberry Pi
One of the reasons why I bought Raspberry Pi is to run my node js server on it. I can deploy files on Raspberry Pi and test the Node JS server.
Fortunately Node.js server now available for ARM processor too. Hola! You can simply install it in your Raspberry Pi. Check out this awesome tutorial for more information.
There are communities around the world for Raspberry pi. I’ve created a small FB group for Sri Lankan Raspberry Pi enthusiasts. If you are interested and share the knowledge with rest of the community let’s join the group and share your knowledge.
That’s it for now. When I do something crazy with Raspberry Pi, I’ll update here.