My Raspberry PI was delivered today. I had ordered it from element14 via this site http://kitsnspares.com/. It took a while since these are imported here but the price is very reasonable compared to the other sellers on Ebay India. However not all accessories are in stock at Kitsnspares so I had to go to Ebay India to get a bunch of stuff. Here is what I ordered:
- The RPI 512MB itself
- Low cost HDMI Cable
- RPI clear acrylic case
- Sandisk Extreme Class-10 8GB SD card
- EDUP EP-N8508 Nano-USB Wifi card (b/g/n). This is truely nano, about the size of my forefinger tip. The USB plug is larger than the adaptor!
- HDMI to DVI-D adaptor since my desktop monitor does not have HDMI in (yet to come).
- GPIO Breakout + Cable (yet to come).
Others items that I already had:
- USB Keyboard and Mouse
- HTC charging adaptor, 5V, 1AMP. Works nicely for the RPI.
There are few basic steps to get started. The important thing is to get the power supply correct. Inadequate supply means keyboard, ethernet etc do not work correctly. There is a good starting guide here: http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/21/getting-started-with-the-raspberry-pi-is-not-as-easy-as-pie/.
Now the default thing to do is to start playing with the Raspbian Linux distro. But I was interested in RISCOS Open and grabbed it from the downloads page. One has to unzip and dd the image into the SD card. RISCOS is designed for ARM and traces it’s roots to the original BBC Micro OS. It is an interesting platform with a full-featured GUI desktop that is fairly easy to use once you get the hang of it. There is that occasional lag in responding to user input but overall it is extremely interesting. The lag is potentially the slow RPI processor than anything else. I am looking forward to learning the internals of this OS. I believe one should always be learning new platforms and technologies without any bias or reservations. Of course I want to get another SD card with Linux on it in due course.
Since I do not yet have the DVI converter module I connected it to my TV set. The bootup was very fast and I was presented with the RISCOS welcome screen. It comes up with a step-by-step getting started guide which is very nice and well-written. It also comes with a GUI package manager and an online package repo.
I am looking forward to doing a whole bunch of interesting hackery and learning opportunity with this device including robots and stuff. During this year’s FOSS.IN I attended a talk on this interesting device called expEYES. It is developed by a Bangalore based group of intrepid electronics engineers and entrepreneurs. It can be interfaced with the RPI. I am planning to grab that as well sometime later.