Friday, June 2, 2017

Raspberry Pi 3 Canakit

It's been a long time...

I don't even remember when was the last time I talked about Raspberry Pi hardware on my blog. I do remember the first time, however, some 5 years ago. Meanwhile, the price of Raspberry Pis have both gone down (Zero) and up (Raspberry Pi 3) due to economies of scale, Moore's law and removal / addition of components from the various versions.

Raspberry Pi 3

So, I realize that I've covered everything from the original Raspberry Pi model B with 256MB of ram, all the way to the Raspberry Pi 2 and Zero, but nothing on the Raspberry Pi 3. I typically don't buy kits, but I picked one up to see how that would work for people who had never used a Raspberry Pi before. The reason there is that I suggested to my fellow data scientists (and those interested by data science, and whoever else who reads my posts) to also be technologists, to get better acquainted with technology and hardware. And to get one (or four - I'll follow up on that) Raspberry Pi 3. I wanted to make sure it would be smooth sailing.

The Canakit

I ordered a Canakit with a Raspberry Pi board and two heatsinks, a case, a 2.5A power supply and a guide. It is convenient to get a single ready to go package quickly, particularly with free 2nd day shipping (you know who).

I say ready to go, but not quite. Of course you'll need a monitor, keyboard and mouse if you don't enable ssh (distro dependent ways, some have ssh enabled by default). But you'll also need an SD card.

No SD card?

The kit I ordered basically got you the case, heatsinks and power supply for $15 above the price of the Raspberry Pi 3. But no microSD card. The step above kit includes a microSD card with the OS already pre-installed, but when I looked at it, the price difference was too much for just that and a plain HDMI cable.

Oh, but it's so hard to prepare an SD card! Don't panic. Use Etcher. Later, when you get your command line skills up, you'll be able to do it with dd.

If you get stuck, leave a comment or contact me on twitter

Francois Dion

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