Raspberry Pi

I like pi. #geekme 
It wasn’t my Apple Watch or my iPhone that’s peaked my tech senses lately, it’s my Raspberry Pi.
No bigger than a pack of cigarettes is this full-blown computer. 4GB of ram, Bluetooth, WiFi, Ethernet, HDMI.

Pi Comparison

You download an OS (operating system, similar to Windows) onto an SD card (memory card), then boot it up like any other computer. Yes, this is Linux, a little crude, but free.

There are a bunch of different variations of Linux including Raspberry’s own OS. The cool thing about it is you can download two or three OS’s onto different SD cards and play around with them just to experiment.
I have a Pi set up as a NAS (network area storage). My PiNAS has an external hard drive connected to it and is shared across my network, I use it as a collect-all dumping spot, my own personal dropbox, anyone can access it to store pictures, documents, downloaded software, etc. It’s small, I can take it on vacation and at the end of the day everyone can upload their favorite pictures they’ve taken to the PiNAS when we get back to the motel room.
This is just one use. My other idea I’ve been playing around with is to set up a remote control menu board for a restaurant, images would be uploaded or updated to the menu board over the internet. Yes, Wendy’s and others are already doing this, and there are also a lot of “paid for” solutions out there too, but where’s the fun in that?!

Unboxing my Raspberry Pi
Unboxing my Raspberry Pi

If you need to setup a computer in a public place, here ya go. Mount a Raspberry Pi to the back of a TV, plug in a wireless mouse and wireless keyboard and there you go, one inexpensive internet portal or kiosk ready to go! So many uses, so little time. 

Pi 4

Update: 6/21/2022 – My piNAS is still working great, a Raspberry Pi and open source software, I’m running OpenMediaVault program with an external USB hard drive plugged into the Raspberry Pi for storage, it is scalable, I can add more drives as needed, it is your basic media storage server. I did splurge ($10) and ordered a case with an internal fan that looks like the old Nintendo console.