The RPi computer is a small single circuit board computer so you need to supply power, 5V 1A, to the micro USB power port. Mouse and a keyboard are no problem on the 2 USB ports. We all have SD cards laying around but the RPi requires a class 4 card. The SDRAM provides all the storage while the card/computer houses 256 Mb RAM.
Once you have all the pieces this computer works just as it should with an HDMI monitor. HDMI monitors are rare in Canada. I can purchase cheap used 4:3 LCD VGA monitors and even have a spare around the house. Since my budget was $100 I could not afford a new HDMI type monitor, they start at around $150. The adapter is my work around but, naturally, getting it to work was another problem. I think the lack of a VGA adapter is going to slow down interest in the RPi in North America. So after an initial setup using my daughter's TV (with HDMI input) I was able to get a very poor resolution output onto the VGA monitor using the HDMI to VGA adapter. From there some reading on line led me to a helpful post called setting up HDMI output. I altered the config.txt file several times until I found the best setting: hdmi_group=2 and hdmi_mode = 0x10. The config.txt file is best edited from the root terminal using nano /boot/config.txt (ctrl x, Y then enter - after making changes).
Some more reading led me to another useful post called Helpful Instructions for New Users where I learned the command dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration to change back to a good old USA PC101 keyboard.
List of parts:
- $57.59 RPi board.
- $20.33 5V 1A USB power adapter.
- $60.14 Sabrent HDMI to VGA adapter.
- $03.93 HDMI cable.
- $14.68 Class 4 16GB SD card.
- $0 USB A to micro USB B cable.
- $0 Keyboard.
- $0 Mouse.
- $0 VGA Monitor.
- includes tax, currency conversion and shipping charges.
- 0$ items found surplus
.....now on to learning Linux. If apt-get or Synaptic Package Manager don't get it and the installer is on the website then how do I install it?
.....here is an interesting interview with Raspberry Pi creator Eben Upton about the state of Computer Studies in the UK.