Author Topic: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?  (Read 1155 times)

Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« on: May 20, 2019, 07:35:50 pm »
My daughter is learning Python at school on a Pi, so I wanted to keep up with her and get my own.
I have a monitor, and I have vague ideas about a media centre set up, so which kit would best suit my needs?
Any suggestions for books or websites where I can get some ideas?
TIA
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Vince

  • Can't climb; won't climb
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 09:08:39 pm »
Depends on how many USB connections you want. Pi Zero W is good/cheap, but only has a single micro USB port. PI 3 has 4 full size USB ports but costs twice the price. If buying a Zero, go for a kit that includes USB and HDMI adapters to use full sized plugs.
216km from Marsh Gibbon

Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 09:46:30 pm »
I'll need at least 2 for the keyboard and mouse, plus any other ancillaries.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 09:55:37 pm »
I'll need at least 2 for the keyboard and mouse, plus any other ancillaries.
Not necessarily.  You can run it without keyboard and mouse by SSHing in from a "proper" computer.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 09:57:55 pm »
If you are looking to learn Python with her then there's a free course here https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/course/programming-for-everybody-python

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 09:58:49 pm »
I'll need at least 2 for the keyboard and mouse, plus any other ancillaries.
Not necessarily.  You can run it without keyboard and mouse by SSHing in from a "proper" computer.

Or use a hub, presumably.

Perhaps a more deciding factor is whether you want wired Ethernet, and if you plan to use the I/O header, whether you're comfortable soldering on your own header pins.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 10:09:36 pm »
I think you might as well get a Pi 3 B+. It is handier to have plenty of USB ports and ethernet built in, instead of having to use hubs and adapters etc. And the faster CPU and more memory will help for any sort of media/video playing, or just a desktop/web browser.

I wouldn't bother with the Zero, unless it needs to be really small, or low power consumption.

Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2019, 08:04:42 am »
What do you want to do with the Pi? I assume you have a computer of some kind already, so if you want to learn Python then just use that. If it's a Windows computer install a linux bash shell and it will be quite like the Pi, if it's a Mac then the terminal is already available.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 08:31:09 am »
I'd go for a Pi 3 B+ and download the OS from Kano (www.kano.me). (Their kits are expensive but you can still download the OS from them for free).

Kano (the OS) comes with lots of educational games and other stuff all bundled together. My 9yo daughter plays with hers once a week or so without nudging her to do it.

I'd go for Kano over just dumping them at a terminal as the UI is much friendlier on Kano. Games like Scratch, Minecraft and "Make Pong" allow them to create code with building block style drag and crop but also see (or switch to) the raw python code to tweak it. The editors are a lot more friendly than trying to teach them vi in a terminal window!

The Pi Zero struggles to run some stuff with Kano (especially the latest versions of Minecraft that are Javascript based and played in a browser) so I upgraded her to a Pi 3 B+ which made all the difference.

I get most of my Pi stuff from here: https://thepihut.com/
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2019, 10:22:52 am »
Thanks for all the replies.

As plug and play is better for my remedial electronic skills; certainly no soldering.

I fancy a little play with the Pi rather than just using my own laptop.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2019, 09:44:24 am »
I've just started the python learning journey. Combined with arduino. Current plan is for a homebrew true power meter.

One option I'm using for the learning stage is Raspbian desktop running on an emulator. (I'm using the virtual machine on my synology NAS, but it will also run in virtualbox.)

Raspbian is the default OS for the PI, and what you get is somthing that looks and feels almost exactly like the pi, but you can run it from your PC. There's even an emulator available for the GPIO (General purposes IO) available as a python library, so you'll be able to do pretty much everything your daughter can do on a physical PI.

If you do decide to get a physical PI, then the 3B+ is what you should go for. Simply not worth the few pounds saving for a lower spec version.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2019, 07:01:53 am »
PS - if you do get a physical pi:

It is possible to install remote desktop server, and then remote into it from your normal PC, and run it "headless". This saves setting up a separate monitor keyboard, and means you can work comfortably where you normally do.

(you can do the same with VNC - I just find RDC to be easier to use)

Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2019, 07:08:25 pm »
Thanks Tony. I'm still deciding... (prevaricating!)
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 07:18:13 pm »
It is possible to install remote desktop server, and then remote into it from your normal PC, and run it "headless". This saves setting up a separate monitor keyboard, and means you can work comfortably where you normally do.

(you can do the same with VNC - I just find RDC to be easier to use)

You don't really need any of that, SSH (with X-forwarding if you need graphics) works out of the box.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 10:34:29 pm »
SSH (with X-forwarding if you need graphics) works out of the box.

although X-forwarding doesn't do much if you're connecting from Windows using something like PuTTY.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2019, 10:40:44 pm »
SSH (with X-forwarding if you need graphics) works out of the box.

although X-forwarding doesn't do much if you're connecting from Windows using something like PuTTY.

Well no, but that's your own fault.   :P

It's been a while since I ran an X server on Windows...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2019, 10:45:03 pm »
It's been a while since I ran an X server on Windows...

The memories of eXceed for Windows. Ugh.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2019, 10:45:32 pm »
SSH (with X-forwarding if you need graphics) works out of the box.

although X-forwarding doesn't do much if you're connecting from Windows using something like PuTTY.

Have used PuTTY in the past.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2019, 10:51:27 pm »
It's been a while since I ran an X server on Windows...

The memories of eXceed for Windows. Ugh.

Ugh indeed, but like PuTTY[1] it made Windows useful.


[1] The clue's in the name.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2019, 12:25:05 pm »
It's been a while since I ran an X server on Windows...

The memories of eXceed for Windows. Ugh.

Ugh indeed, but like PuTTY[1] it made Windows useful.


[1] The clue's in the name.

Useful of useable ;)

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2019, 06:47:53 am »
It is possible to install remote desktop server, and then remote into it from your normal PC, and run it "headless". This saves setting up a separate monitor keyboard, and means you can work comfortably where you normally do.

(you can do the same with VNC - I just find RDC to be easier to use)

You don't really need any of that, SSH (with X-forwarding if you need graphics) works out of the box.

Tried that - couldn't find the trick to forward the full desktop. I could start individual programs with a GUI, but not the desktop. The individual apps approach doesn't feel comfortable. Don't ask me to explain why :-)

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2019, 06:56:23 am »
On a related note.

In the last days, I have created my first python programs. I've hooked up an arduino clone to the PI, written my first arduino sketch, and got serial comms working between arduino and PI.

I have also bought one of the most amazing (to me) bits of kit I've ever bought. A small (matchbox sized) £12 box that plugs into a USB port, and provides (on my Mac) all the functionality of an 8 channel logic analyzer. It uses sigrok as a front end, and I've used it to look as the serial comms. sigrok can even decode the signals to display the data being transmitted (and for many different protocols/interfaces) making it a full protocol analyser as well as a logic analyser.

Back in the days when I was an engineer - before I sold my soul to the demons of project management - kit with that sort of functionality would have cost 10s of thousands of pounds. I am staggered by what it can do for the money.

PS @CAMRAman - sorry for the thread hijack

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Which Raspberry Pi (kit) Do I Need?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2019, 11:59:00 am »
It is possible to install remote desktop server, and then remote into it from your normal PC, and run it "headless". This saves setting up a separate monitor keyboard, and means you can work comfortably where you normally do.

(you can do the same with VNC - I just find RDC to be easier to use)

You don't really need any of that, SSH (with X-forwarding if you need graphics) works out of the box.

Tried that - couldn't find the trick to forward the full desktop. I could start individual programs with a GUI, but not the desktop. The individual apps approach doesn't feel comfortable. Don't ask me to explain why :-)

Fair enough.  I mostly live in the terminal for programmingy / system adminsitrationy things, so a full desktop environment is just a confusion layer.  Making a full desktop login appear over X, while certainly possible, is stuff I forgot how to do in the late 90s.


I have also bought one of the most amazing (to me) bits of kit I've ever bought. A small (matchbox sized) £12 box that plugs into a USB port, and provides (on my Mac) all the functionality of an 8 channel logic analyzer. It uses sigrok as a front end, and I've used it to look as the serial comms. sigrok can even decode the signals to display the data being transmitted (and for many different protocols/interfaces) making it a full protocol analyser as well as a logic analyser.

Sometimes living in The Future *is* what it's cracked up to be.  See also: Digital oscilloscopes.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...