Raspberry Pi

Gray Girling

Published by

Haynes

ISBN

9780857332950

RRP

£17.99

Reviewed by

A P Sutcliffe, PG Dip CCI, MBCS

Score

9 out of 10

The Raspberry Pi foundation is a project designed to develop a re-birth of interest in the fundamentals of computer science by making a simple device at a low price to encourage younger people to experiment; and so inspire them to learn more about the basics of technology.

This book provides a step-by-step guide to the device, with clear instructions on how to get it working.

This covers the addition of various ancillary components, accessories and the use of operating systems; and it takes the reader through the process of turning a simple circuit board into a fully operational computing device that could quickly be connected to a wider network.

Published by Haynes, the book follows the normal pattern of their motor manuals with a strong layout and detailed pictures to provide clear guidance on the individual stages.

The book also carries some interesting background information on the history of the project as well as specific explanations for some of the direction that the work has taken. There are a number of links to websites that could offer more resources to assist the reader.

The book provides a certain amount of basic information on the concepts of programming the Raspberry Pi, although this is fairly limited in scope. It also offers a number of examples of the sorts of projects that could be organised using the device; mail or web server, games server, media centre and device controller.

Again, these are a little narrow in detail, but they show some basic ideas and then allow the reader to take off in any direction that they should care to choose.

Overall, I found it a really readable book; the style is easy to follow and it has been carefully prepared to make it a suitable guide for anyone to follow. Little preparatory work would be required and as long as the reader had a level of perseverance and manual dexterity, they could very quickly produce some extremely functional devices.

I did think that it might very usefully have contained some more examples of the different programming techniques as the ones chosen were useful but limited in scope.

However, I do accept that it is primarily about getting the device to work and allowing the user to move in whatever direction they should select; and as such, they would then probably gravitate towards the appropriate guidance elsewhere.

Without question, this is a very suitable companion for anyone wishing to experiment with the Raspberry Pi and hoping to see just what it can achieve. Well written and highly authoritative but with an almost conversational style that would provide enough impetus to get the reader started, but then allow them to pursue their own course.

Further information: Haynes

April 2013