The Raspberry Pi

by Le An

Le An is a PhD Canndidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in software engineering on software maintenance  woking on a for Improving software quality using data analytics.

Le An is a PhD Canndidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal in software engineering on software maintenance  woking on a for Improving software quality using data analytics.

When we mention a “Raspberry Pi” today, it is often not about a piece of fruit cake, but a tiny computer board we can use and develop for our own purpose.

Raspberry Pi 2 [1]

Raspberry Pi 2 [1]

Only with a credit-card size, a Raspberry Pi is composed of a single-board computer [2], which is installed with the Linux operating system, as well as some necessary input and output interfaces, such as USB slots, ethernet port, and HDMI output. Most of the components in such a Pi are equipped at modest level, but it is enough to run our simple and custom tasks.

The Raspberry Foundation introduced this cute device aiming at reducing the education cost for computer science. After the first release in the market, this device has become popular all over the world. Using Pis, tons of geeks assembled their personal servers, television boxes, online radios, even intelligent robots. Some companies also use this affordable device to model their computing systems. For instance, a few months ago, an engineer from Ericsson displayed, in a presentation, their prototype of cloud-computing clusters built with a douzon of Raspberry Pis.

A DRONE BUILT WITH A RASPBERRY PI [3]

A DRONE BUILT WITH A RASPBERRY PI [3]

The Raspberry Pi itself may not be magic, because it does not show significant differences with an ordinary personal computer. But its cheap price (only about $40) and its small size allow engineers and amateurs to use their creativity to make amazing objects.  Similar to other multifunctional products, the Raspberry Pi attracts their customers with its high flexibility. It has gone far more beyond its original designed purpose. As smartphones or iPads, we cannot indicate their exact roles in our life, because we can use them for almost everything. As long as we possess some very basic computing and programming knowledge, we can easily transform this cute Pi into another useful electronic toy. For people who never programmed before, the Raspberry Pi can still brings a lot fun for their life. For example, they can just plug their sound box into this small chip and enjoy wireless musics. In short, creativity can be inspired when there is enough space. And Raspberry Pi reserves this space for all of us.


Let us see in the future how the Raspberry Pi, a cheap computer manufactured in a credit card size chip, can change our and our children’s life.


References

[1] Wikipedia: Raspberry Pi, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi
[2] Wikipedia: single-board computer,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-board_computer
[3] QuadCopter with the #RaspberryPi, http://www.recantha.co.uk/blog/?p=1679