4.1 Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a global success. It is a computer all on its own, you can buy one from £5 and it will function as a proper computer. It was designed to encourage ordinary people to learn how to code. although it is small yet works brilliantly. 

The main code associated with the Raspberry Pi is Python. Although it is a micro-computer (rather than a pure micro-controller) it has two rows of pins that can be used to control motors, switch LEDs on/off and receive data from sensors. You can buy modules that fit onto the Raspberry Pi to do nearly anything you want. 

It is a very versatile machine and is used in many serious applications, it even went into space with Tim Peake. The Raspberry Pi can do a lot of things very well but if all you want is a micro-controller for a project then an Arduino Uno is an even better option. 

The latest iteration is the Raspberry Pi 4 which is even more powerful, yet still a similar price. There are two smaller versions that are also quite wonderful (and cheaper), the zero and zero W. By the time you read this there may be some more. 

What you will need with your Raspberry Pi is a monitor, keyboard and mouse. You can use any HDMI monitor or TV. So just buying the Raspberry Pi on its own isn’t enough. It will also need a substantial 5v power supply. My recommendation is buy Raspberry Pi’s branded components and that way you know it will work. 

They provide a lot of free support for the Raspberry Pi and are in the business of encouraging people, young and old to get into computer science. They have a wonderful monthly magazine called MagPi. Their website is brilliant also. 

Get one and you will get hooked very quickly.