Since its first appearance, the Raspberry Pi has captured the attention of every hobbyist, engineer, and geek. The right computer for only $35? This is nonsense. And yet, that’s exactly what you get.

But what exactly? Who did it? What’s the point? What can you do about it? Let’s find answers to all frequently asked questions about Raspberry Pi.

What is Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that costs between $5 and $35. It is available anywhere in the world and can function like a normal desktop computer or be used to create smart devices.

Pi was originally designed to teach kids how to program. Its scope has been expanded after hobbyists and engineers saw its potential, and it is now one of the most popular technological elements in the world. You can check our unofficial guide on unofficial guide unofficial guide to start.

You can expand the Raspberry Pi computer with modules, such as adding a camera module or a touch screen module, to increase the application area of ​​the device.

Who Invented the Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi Foundation was created in 2008 after a group of scientists and technicians — Eben Upton, Rob Mulins, Jack Lang, Alan Mycroft, Pete Lomas, and David Braben — were concerned about declining student interest in computer science. Their solution was to come up with an inexpensive computer to inspire children and make it more accessible. Here is Upton:


The idea was that these tiny computers would make it easy to program. Its low power consumption and cost were expected to make the Pis more accessible in the classroom.

Today, some of the original members still act as trustees of the Foundation, while Upton has assumed the duties of CEO and project leader.

Why is it called Raspberry Pi?

«Raspberry» is an homage to early computer companies named after fruit, such as Apple, Tangerine Computer Systems, Apricot Computers, and Acorn (which inspired the design of the microcomputer). «Pi» stems from the original idea of ​​making a small computer to run only on the Python programming language.


In an interview with Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said that they never intended to make a general purpose computer, although it is quite capable of being one.

When was the Raspberry Pi launched?

The first commercially available Raspberry Pi was launched on February 19, 2012, with sales beginning ten days later. This version can run Linux based desktop operating systems and showed 256MB of RAM, one USB port, and no Ethernet port. It was called Model A.

What is the difference between Raspberry Pi models?

Raspberry Pi models can be a bit confusing. The naming system has two levels. Pi 1, Pi 2, and Pi 3 indicate the «generation» of the model, with Pi 1 being roughly 2012-14 models, Pi 2 being 2015 models, and Pi 3 being 2016 models. So 3 is better than 2 which is better than 1.

Models A, A+, B and B+ stand for power and features. It’s not like the scores though, A is lower than B.

There’s also the Raspberry Pi Zero, a $5 microcomputer for simple projects. It is very limited compared to the A or B series models.

Currently only some models are available for purchase. Here is a quick comparison table of different Raspberry Pi models:


If you can’t decide which Raspberry Pi model to choose, we can help you.

Where is the Raspberry Pi used?

The Raspberry Pi has won hearts all over the world, from astronauts to hobbyists. In fact, there are two Raspberry Pis in Earth orbit right now doing experiments on the International Space Station. British astronaut Tim Peake is leading the Astro Pi project, challenging UK schoolchildren to write code for experiments he can perform in space.

Back on Earth, a team of computer engineers from the University of Southampton assembled 64 Raspberry Pis to build their own supercomputer! Each Pi has a 16GB memory card, making it a 1TB supercomputer. As the creators say, it’s like putting together a LEGO set, and it’s the perfect Pi project for schools.

Then there is a group of geeks who are making autonomous maritime unmanned surface craft (i.e. self-propelled craft) with a Raspberry Pi acting as the brain. This drone will sail across the Atlantic Ocean, equipped with sensors to take scientific measurements along the way. They call it FishPi and it’s fascinating.

There are several other places that use Raspberry Pis. And forget about such professional or passionate things, there are plenty of real practical applications for the average Joe.

What is the Raspberry Pi for?

Regular people can use the Raspberry Pi for a wide variety of tasks. It’s ideal for projects where you need a computer but don’t need a lot of computing power, you want to save space and lower costs. Here is a short list of some ideal Pi use cases.

  • Teach kids (or yourself) to code
  • Website hosting
  • Using it as a desktop PC.
  • It’s easy to create a media center with Rasplex or always bootable computer
  • Create a Motion Capture Security Camera or a Homemade Camera with Raspberry Pi
  • Create your own style game console
  • You can create world clock or FM radio with Pi Zero
  • Build an Inexpensive Time-Lapse Camera with camera module
  • Create your own Google Home Home

And here are many more amazing uses for Raspberry Pi

How many Raspberry Pis have been sold?

The latest figures released by the company are from February 2016, when they announced that they had sold over eight million Raspberry Pi units. Of these, over three million were the Raspberry Pi 2, released just a year earlier.


This makes the Raspberry Pi the best-selling computer in the UK according to The Guardian, beating the ten-year record held by the Amstrad PCW.

Where can I buy a Raspberry Pi?

There are three official partners that you can buy through your Raspberry Pi, but you can also get it from third party sellers on Amazon, eBay, or other retailers. Here are the official stores:

For most users, it makes sense to buy the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which sells for $35 on Amazon. This is the only model that comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as a dedicated Ethernet port.

What else do you want to know about Pi?

There are many projects that the Raspberry Pi is good at, and a quick Google search should find the right one for you. If you are new to the Pi, there are several projects for beginners. to make it easier for you to work with Pi. You might also want to know about the Nvidia Jetson Nano, a strong competitor to the Raspberry Pi.

Image credit: Onepiece84 (Wikimedia)

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