So anyway, I clicked on the link, entered the giveaway, and lo and behold, a few days later I got a nice email from KC (Not his or her real initials.) at Pluralsight, letting me know I won the giveaway. Sure enough a few days later when a nice man came to my front door, asking me to vote for him (and for his wife) in the upcoming elections, I spotted a small white padded envelope between the front door and the storm door. My free Raspberry Pi. ***
Now when I say free, I mean free as in “free puppy”. I sat down to try and figure out what is the least cost I could get away with, to get it up and running:
- Power: I sorted through my collection of wall warts, to see if I could find one with a suitable voltage and current. I found one that might work, but I would need to ruin a perfectly good microUSB cable, to put the right connector on it, with no guaranty that it really has enough oomph to power the Pi. Probably best to just buy one and get it over with.
- Disk: Sorry, no SD cards laying around. I will need to buy one either pre-configured with the OS, or a blank one. In which case I will need a card reader too. From what I have read, the maximum size of the SD card is 32GB and it has to be at least class 4 speed. I’m leaning toward a blank card and reader combination.
- Network: I already have an Ethernet hub, and plenty of cables laying around, so a wired connection is no problem other than doubling the number of wires snaking all over the place. Of course, a network connection isn’t absolutely necessary just to see it run. Another option is a USB WiFi dongle.
- HDMI Cable: I don’t have an extra one of these laying around, and I’m not going to try and hook this up to an old TV through the video out connection. I’m sad that I still have 2 analog TVs in my house.
- Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse: I should be able to borrow these from my current PCs. I won’t be buying any of these, just for the Pi. Not at this stage.
After Spending some time perusing Amazon, it looks like if spend roughly equivalent to what a bare Pi board costs, I should be able to get this free puppy barking. After that, I’ll see if I feel like training it to do something useful.
Stay tuned. I’ll let you know how it goes.
* I sometimes wonder what the rest of the world, that uses a logical shorthand for expressing dates (day/month/year), thinks about this. Are they jealous because they don’t have a Pi Day, or do they think we’re just silly?
** My employer is headquartered in Toronto, and my office is in the States. Which means you have the situation where a PC may be configured to show dates as Month/Day/Year or Day/Month/Year. So when you are trying to determine, when a file was modified, if the date could be valid in either format, you need to prove it by looking at the timestamp on another file, that has a date that is only valid in one of the formats. Now that’s silly.
*** Specifically, the Model B+ with 512MB of RAM. I was hoping for the Model 2, which will actually run Windows 10, but you know what they say about “looking a gift horse in the mouth”.