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Raspberry Pi Essentials and Extras

Dig a little deeper into the capabilities of this powerful little credit-card sized computer!
4.0 (15 ratings)
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922 students enrolled
Created by Wolf Donat
Last updated 7/2015
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It may have initially been designed as a teaching tool, but since its introduction, the Raspberry Pi has become an integral part of the hobbyist/maker culture around the world. Projects range from soil moisture detectors to dashboard cameras to Commodore 64 emulators. A Pi has even been sent up to the International Space Station!

Learn what makes your Raspberry Pi tick!

But one thing that seems to be missing in the sea of projects and books available is an easy-to-understand introduction to some of the communication protocols that the Pi sometimes uses, and how those protocols work. In addition, there are some basic projects that often get missed when someone picks up a Pi and starts tinkering. I designed this course explicitly to fill some of those gaps in general Pi-knowledge.

Contents of the course:

In this course, you'll learn:

  • How to install the optional Pi camera board
  • What the UART protocol is
  • How to interface with a GPS module using I2C
  • How to turn your Pi into a fully-functioning web server
  • Using the Pi as an NFS server
  • Putting Windows 10 on your Raspberry Pi

If you've been interested in picking up a Raspberry Pi but are unsure where to start, or if you've already got one and would like to 'peek under the hood' and learn about some of the useful protocols it can use, then this course is for you! There are code samples included, as well as all lecture notes. I designed the course for beginners to the Pi, but intermediate Pi aficionados will likely learn something as well from the video lectures and code samples.

When you're done with this course, you'll have a better understanding of just what makes that little Raspberry Pi do what it does so well!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for beginning to intermediate Raspberry Pi users who would like to dig a little deeper into the Pi's capabilities.
  • This course is probably not for advanced users.
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
What Will I Learn?
Install a virtual desktop on the Raspberry Pi
Install and use the Raspberry Pi camera board
Interface with UART devices using the Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins
Interface with I2C devices using the Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins
Install and run Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi
Use the Raspberry Pi as a webserver
Use the Raspberry Pi as an NFS (Network File Server)
View Curriculum
  • A familiarity with Linux and the Pi is helpful, but not necessary.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 12 Lectures Collapse All 12 Lectures 01:07:29
The Lectures
12 Lectures 01:07:29

Welcome to Raspberry Pi: Essentials and Extras!

Preview 01:21

For those students still new to the Pi, this is just a quick tour around the board, showing its various components and specifications. If you're familiar with the Pi already, feel free to skip this section.

Preview 07:00

Although you may prefer to connect your Pi to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, you may want to set up a virtual desktop, which will allow you to connect to and work on the Pi, in a graphical environment, from any other computer on your network. This is done with the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) protocol.

Preview 08:18

The Raspberry Pi's add-on camera board, available from several different distributors, is an easy addition to your Pi. It's also easy to control using the built-in Python library, picamera.

The Raspberry Pi camera board

What is UART? What does the acronym stand for and how does it work?

UART - Part 1

Now that you know what UART is and how it works, it's not too difficult to start using UART-connected devices with your Pi.

UART - Part 2

So what is I2C? Or is it IIC? Or is it I squared C? And how does it work, anyway?

I2C - Part 1

When you've got a handle on I2C, using I2C compatible devices with the Raspberry Pi is easy.

I2C - Part 2

Windows 10 is here, and perhaps one of the coolest things about it is the fact that the Raspberry Pi can run a version of it. How to download and install it.

Windows on the Pi

The Pi may be a bit challenged when it comes to computing power, but it's got enough horsepower to run a simple webserver. You can install Apache on the Pi and use it to host a website.

The PI as a webserver

NFS is a nifty protocol that allows you to host files on one computer and 'serve' them over the network to other computers. Hook it to an external hard drive, and the Pi is perfect for the job.

The Pi as a network file server

All in all, the Pi is a powerful little machine for a small price. This is just a quick summary of what we've learned.

About the Instructor
4.1 Average rating
61 Reviews
4,401 Students
3 Courses
Engineer. Writer. Maker.

Hi, I'm Wolf. I'm a computer engineer who specializes in robotics, computer vision, and embedded systems. I am a huge fan of the Raspberry Pi minicomputer because of the versatility and power that it packs into an extremely inexpensive package, making it accessible to nearly everybody who wants to learn. I've worked with it as both a professional and a hobbyist, and I really enjoy teaching others to use it.

I've written more than a few books and created a few courses, and I've received funding in the past from NASA for some work in autonomous submersibles. Try out the Raspberry Pi with me - I think you'll be glad you did!

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