All I needed was an SD card and the HDMI cable that came with the TV set. Downloaded “wheezy” and placed on the SD card. Hooked my favorite toy, the “remote control” (a.k.a. Logitech K400) and I had a complete system with little effort. I hooked a mini USB cable from the Pi to the TV to power it. Flawless first boot.
Out of the box it has everything essential, including web browsers, Python Idle and a Scratch – a puzzle-like game development platform that the kids love. Hooking a Cat5 to the router and internet. Apt-getting mplayer and Gnash (open flash player). Video is unusable without the hardware acceleration, which requires license fees to enable the codecs, though. However internet radio is very much within reach. Depending on the bitrate and codec, it uses anywhere between 25% to 75% of CPU cycles. Oh, and I had to get the stream IP from the .pls files on shoutcast, but that’s trivial to wrap in a script that wget, sed and spawns mplayer.
As a toy, experimentation lab/playground, Swiss Army knife embedded system, or educational platform, it’s very hard to beat. At $25 for model A and $35 for model B, it does more than it costs.
I couldn’t be happier with exchanging my hard earned cash with the Pi, so you can imagine my surprise when I got a call from Newark to ask about the feedback on the delivery and my order (both of which were fantastic) and was asked if I minded that if they sent me a discount code on my mail. To top it off, I was encouraged to share them with you.
Here is a snippet of the thank-you email:
Thank you for your most recent order! We appreciate your business and as a thank you we would like to extend to you a 15% off voucher. The Voucher code is THANKS1C and it can be used as many times as you would like through April 30th, 2013. After May 1st, use code THANKS2 which is good through June 1st 2013. Feel free to share with whomever you would like. When placing an order over our website, please type in the voucher code on the shopping cart page. If you are ordering by phone, simply give the code to the representative processing your order. There are lots of ways to take advantage of this limited offer from our award winning website http://canada.newark.com to our knowledgeable and friendly team waiting to take your call at 1 800 463 9275. You may also send your quote to email@example.com or email a purchase order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANKS1C (through April 30th, 2013)
THANKS2 (from May 1st through June 1st 2013)
Discount applies to the first price-break quantities only. Discount cannot be combined with other offers, promotions, quantity discounts, or contract pricing. Contractual considerations with a small number of manufactures may reduce or prevent a voucher discount on selected items including test equipment; Cannot be used on Raspberry PI. call us with questions relating to voucher exclusions. Non-catalog items are not subject to a voucher discount.
It’s reasonable that the discount doesn’t apply to the Pi, considering that it’s a non-profit and sold at cost price. So, share them, use them and hope you give Raspberry Pi a spin and let me hear your thoughts. It’s well worth it.