Raspberry / Banana Pi what is the secret of his success and what are its potential :

This is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also able to play high-definition video and sending the otuput through an HDMI interface to a TV or a monitor .

The design is based around a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 128 or 256 Megabytes of RAM, with two USB ports and a 10/100 Ethernet controller. The design does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, instead relying on an SD card for booting and long-term storage. The board is intended to run Linux kernel based operating systems and there is a lof of interest on the open source community with many small distro born to support this new hardware such as raspbian, a free operating system based on Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware. Recently the Raspberry Pi Model B with 512MB RAM has been announced and put on the market.

So why this small piece of hardware has become so popular ?

Personally I think that there are at least 3 reasons for this :

1) The low cost, with this low price tag everyone can buy one and do some tests.

2) The potentials, in this small board you have everything you need to start a small project such a web radio or to automate the management of your garden/house.

3) The pioneer aspect, this is perhaps the most important aspect of this small device, it brings back the days when you could test your hardware, easily add peripherals or new things.

Potentiality of the Raspeberry PI

So what can you do in practice with this small board ?

You can do a lot of things, from a simple and low cost desktop to something really complex, these are some projects that you can find online and that perhaps can inspire you:

Multimedia Box
Just plug in the memory card with raspbmc OS and you can have a juicy multimedia experience. You can play high quality music, watch 1080p videos and view all your pictures.

Raspbmc is a minimal Linux distribution based on Debian that brings XBMC to your Raspberry Pi. This device has an excellent form factor and enough power to handle media playback, making it an ideal component in a low HTPC setup, yet delivering the same XBMC experience that can be enjoyed on much more costly platforms.

Home Automation
Home Automation is a cool subject – Its futurity, energy efficient, everything is everywhere under control and at least its a little bit nerdy/geeky. So concerning sizing, power and pricing the Raspberry Pi is qualified for an house-controller. The additional hard- and software requirements can be achieved by already existing hardware modules and open source software – the setup itself is no rocket science.

Internet radio

Raspberry Pi can be a perfect set up as a Wifi internet radio. SSH into to set up your playlist. Streams play on MPC and MPD so you have command line access. Hit up or down on the buttons and the player moves on to the next item in the playlist. You fill the Rpi up with streams that you like and save them and thats it, personalized internet radio player for $44.

The full write-up including links to all the important information (where to buy the Wifi, setup, Adafruit instructions, etc) are on this blog:http://contractorwolf.wordpress.com/raspberry-pi-radio/

Weather Station

The raspberry can be the perfect for a weather station,

These are just some ideas of what you can do with your raspberry, other people use it in their Car as entertainment box, to manage their garden or to build small ftp/web server or a NAS server for their home, like someone said, the limit is your imagination.

What can I do with Banana Pi?

Build…

  • A computer
  • A wireless server
  • Games
  • Music and sounds
  • HD video
  • A speaker
  • Android
  • Scratch
  • Pretty much anything else, because Banana Pi is open source

Who’s it for?

Banana Pi is for anyone who wants to start creating with technology – not just consuming it. It’s a simple, fun, useful tool that you can use to start taking control of the world around you.

Hardware specification :

CPU A20 ARM® Cortex™-A7 Dual-Core
GPU ARM Mali400MP2 Complies with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1
Memory (SDRAM) 1GB DDR3 (shared with GPU)
Onboard Storage SD (Max. 64GB) / MMC card slot UP to 2T on SATA disk
Onboard Network 10/100/1000 Ethernet RJ45 (optional USB WIFI Dongle)
Camera Input A CSI input connector allows for the connection of a designed camera module
Sound Input Mic
Video Outputs HDMI, CVBS , LVDS/RGB
Audio Output 3.5 mm Jack and HDMI
Power Source 5 volt via MicroUSB(DC In Only) and/or MicroUSB (OTG)
USB 2.0 Ports 2 (direct from Allwinner A20 chip)
Buttons Reset button: Next to MicroUSB connector

Power button: Next to Reset button

UBoot button (optional): Behind HDMI connector

GPIO(2X13) pin GPIO,UART,I2C bus,SPI bus with two chip selects,

CAN bus,ADC,PWM,+3.3v,+5v,ground.

LED Power Status LED (Red)

Ethernet Status LED (Blue)

User Define LED (Green)

Remote IR
Supported OS
Android Android 4.4 Debian Ubuntu Raspbian
Supported Apps
Scratch

Set up your Banana Pi

According to the set up diagram below, you can easily set up your Banana Pi.

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