Welcome to the Treehouse Community

Want to collaborate on code errors? Have bugs you need feedback on? Looking for an extra set of eyes on your latest project? Get support with fellow developers, designers, and programmers of all backgrounds and skill levels here with the Treehouse Community! While you're at it, check out some resources Treehouse students have shared here.

Looking to learn something new?

Treehouse offers a seven day free trial for new students. Get access to thousands of hours of content and join thousands of Treehouse students and alumni in the community today.

Start your free trial

General Discussion

Raspberry Pi?

I want to get into Raspberry Pi/Python. Any good resources? I'm already doing the python track. What else could I do? Any good resources for learning computer engineering? Any one have experience? Thanks

5 Answers

Ken Alger
STAFF
Ken Alger
Treehouse Teacher

Tristan;

As luck would have it, Treehouse staff member and instructor extraordinaire Andrew Chalkley is perhaps the world's foremost expert on Raspberry Pi. Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch. :smile: But I know that he does have some experience with it. Perhaps we can get him to comment on advice on where to start.

Ken

Andrew Chalkley
Andrew Chalkley
Treehouse Guest Teacher
<blush />

When you boot up your Pi you can use Python out of the box. They have Pygame pre-installed on the default operating system, Raspbian. Pygame is a simple gaming framework. It comes with many examples which you can look over and modify.

Like what Ricky Catron said the Raspberry Pi's website and Adafruit are good places to start.

But just remember, a Raspberry Pi is just a computer, and what you can do on your computer you can do on a Pi. One difference with the Pi is that it's smaller (and slower) than your desktop or laptop and it can be embedded in to projects. Another difference is that it has readily available pins or connectors that allow you to connect it to all sorts of sensors, inputs and outputs.

With the Pi you're not restricted to Python. You can use Ruby, PHP and Node.js too.

I created a simple project that when you pressed a button, it streamed an MP3 of Eye of the Tiger to an Apple TV when people started playing ping pong.

I'm currently working on a project to create a smart mirror, and it's going to be written in Node.js/JavaScript.

Ricky Catron
Ricky Catron
13,023 Points

I am actually doing a rather intensive project with one right now. The website is a work in progress but you should be able to get a rough idea of what is going on. Any experience with Linux will help.

The Raspberry Pi website has some great tutorials as well as Adafruit. I would recommend the semi official startup guide to get everything going. They are so much fun and offer a million different opportunities.

Other then a Keyboard, mouse, monitor, sd card, and the correct connectors the only things you would need would be the accessories for whatever project you wish to attempt.

I recommend a basic starter pack, this one does not include the pi, to get going and maybe grab some more things from there. Also I would get the Raspberry Pi Version 2 instead of the Version 1 there have been some VAST improvements.

Sorry for throwing so much at you. I simply love those thing.

Goodluck! --Ricky

Andrew Chalkley
Andrew Chalkley
Treehouse Guest Teacher

I loooooove Adafruit. Their guides are pretty in-depth. You should watch their Show-and-Tell and Ask an Engineer YouTube videos.

Ricky Catron
Ricky Catron
13,023 Points

I didn't even know that channel was there! Thank you so much! Now I am going to go binge watch all of their videos.

--Ricky

Ricky Catron
Ricky Catron
13,023 Points

That is an awesome looking project! It is incredibly responsive! I have considered attempting something similar with a Raspberry Pi and a boat but the Pi would be on the boat instead.

--Ricky

Andrew Chalkley
Andrew Chalkley
Treehouse Guest Teacher

I was thinking of mounting the Pi with the camera to the car so you can drive with the first person view.

Ricky Catron
Ricky Catron
13,023 Points

It sounds cool but the lag would be pretty noticeable. You might have to set some kind of delay on the motion so it would match up with what the user saw on the screen. I have used avconv with some pretty good results for live streaming. I got a good fps but there is about a 20 second lag.

--Ricky

Thanks so much for the responses. You have gotten me even more interested in Raspberry Pi. I'm gonna look into the starter pack Ricky Catron. Do you know where I could get a Raspberry Pi 2? Andrew Chalkley, do you have any project ideas or tutorials for absolute beginners? Also, I have been hearing a lot about Arduino while doing some research. What's the difference between Arduino and Raspberry pi?

Ricky Catron
Ricky Catron
13,023 Points

Adafruit says they have them in stock. Both links I shared have strong beginner tutorials but Andrew Chalkley may be able to recommend some more. The Arduino is also a great device for getting into embedded programming. The biggest difference I can think of is that the PI is a whole computer with an operating system. From what I know about the Ardunio (feel free to correct me). It is more "Real time". It runs its program and nothing else. This makes it much fast and more responsive to some things which the Pi would be slow at. I think it is also mainly programmed in C++. I have limited experiance with Ardunio so I hope Andrew can fleshout / correct my information.

--Ricky

I'm not really looking to have another computer. I'm looking to do more projects. Hands on work. Would you recommend the Raspberry Pi or Arduino?

Ricky Catron
Ricky Catron
13,023 Points

If you can afford it try both. I love the Pi and would recommend it for any DIY project but there is somethings the Ardunio is relatively better at. I think either would be good for you. I am sorry I cannot guide you any further.

Goodluck! --Ricky

Thanks for the help

Andrew Chalkley
Andrew Chalkley
Treehouse Guest Teacher

I wrote a little intro to Arduino.

Generally speaking:

The Pi is a full fledged PC so you can write in high-level languages like Python, Ruby, PHP, JavaScript et al. It also has the boot times of a PC.

The Arduino is low-level where you can write your code in C/C++. It has an extremely short boot time and because it's low-level you can respond quicker to events when you need to.

Arduino is lower powered, can do less intensive calculations and can swapped out for simpler chips for fairly cheaply.

Can you guys tell me if this includes an Arduino...just wanna be sure http://www.adafruit.com/products/170 Ricky Catron Andrew Chalkley

Okay thanks, hope it works out for me

Steven Parker
Steven Parker
229,608 Points

In case anyone still reads this old thread, Coursera has started offering the Create Your Own Internet of Things (IoT) Device specialization from the University of California, Irvine. This 6-course series includes The Raspberry Pi Platform and Python Programming for the Raspberry Pi and Interfacing with the Raspberry Pi. These are both brand-new, the latter has not started its first session yet.

These courses are available with a verified certificate for a fee, but if you just want to learn and don't desire the certificate, they can be taken for free.