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Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi [Course Series]

Announcing a 4 part course series on the Raspberry Pi
- Thursday evenings, beginning April 10th

• Class 1: 4/10/14 - Introduction to the Raspberry Pi
• Class 2: 4/17/14 - Introduction to the Linux Operating System
• Class 3: 4/24/14 - Introduction to Programming with Python
• Class 4: 5/01/14 - Expanding your Pi through the Input/Output Ports (GPIO)

COST:  $100, or $25 per class.

• Bring a +1 FREE - Bring a child, a spouse, or a friend for no additional charge.  Work together as a team and share your hardware.
• Payable in person - cash or check
• All money goes to support IXR and InfoAge Science Museum

About the course series:

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It is a capable little computer which can be used in electronics projects, and for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing, games, and can also play high-definition video.

Maybe you've already purchased a Raspberry Pi, or have been thinking about diving in?  This hands-on, 4 part course series will help you get started on making amazing projects with your Pi!

This course series is designed to introduce a new user to the Raspberry Pi.  Each session will consist of a presentation, a demonstration on the Pi, and a hands-on lab session, all designed to explain and build experience with the Pi.  At the end of the course, you should be able to use the Pi and understand its hardware and software.

Class 1: Introduction to the Raspberry Pi
- Thursday, April 10th, 7-9pm
• Review of the hardware
• Installing the operating system on an SD card
• Configuration of the Pi
• Hands on session to setup and configure your Pi

Class 2: Introduction to the Linux Operating System
- Thursday, April 17th, 7-9pm
• What is Linux? The history of Linux
• Useful command line tools
• Useful Graphical User Interface (GUI) tools
• Hands-on session to use the common tools

Class 3: Introduction to Programming with Python
- Thursday, April 24th, 7-9pm
• Introduction to Python commands
• Using Python from the GUI and the command line
• Some example Python code
• Hands-on session to write code for simple functions

Class 4: Expanding your Pi through the General Purpose Input/Output Ports (GPIO)
- Thursday, May 1st, 7-9pm
• Explanation of all input and output ports on the Pi and their use
• Examples of hardware add-ons for the Pi (prototyping boards and shields)
• Example hardware and software setup for common applications
• Hands-on session to use the GPIO  ports through hardware and software


• A Raspberry Pi
• Laptop computer
• USB keyboard
• USB mouse
• A 
compatible monitor (HDMI or DVI with HDMI adaptor)
• SD memory card (at least 4 GB)
• 5VDC USB power supply
USB to micro-USB cable

If you are not able to bring a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or laptop, IXR has some on hand that you may borrow (first come, first serve).  Please notify the organizers.

If you need to purchase a Raspberry Pi or other prerequisites, IXR recommends purchasing from

If you're just starting out, the Raspberry Pi Starter Pack from Adafruit contains everything you will need to get started.

About the Instructor:

Joseph E. Wilkes, PhD, has over 40 years of experience. His interests encompass microprocessors, robotics, wireless communications, wireless and computer security, and software defined radios.  He has co-authored three books and holds four patents.  Dr. Wilkes received his PhD from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now the Polytechnic Institute of NYU).  He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

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  • Joe W.

    Mouser has posted a trade study for various open source hardware devices. This is an expanded list compared to the one I went over last week. See

    April 23, 2014

  • Joe W.

    For Thursday night's class, we will study the Python Language and then write a short program to blink a light. To participate in the lab session you will need some parts and to download some software into the Pi.
    The parts you will need are (all in the Adafruit starter kits):
     1 prototyping board
     1 Adafruit Pi Cobbler and cable
     1 Red LED
     1 Green LED
     2 220 ohm or 330 ohm resistors
     1 black wire
    If you do not have these parts, we have a few sets for loan if you ask.
    You will also need to connect your Pi to the Internet (via the Ethernet connection) and download some software into your Pi:
    Open LXTerminal and type
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install python-dev
    sudo apt-get install python-rpi.gpio

    We will have Ethernet connections available in class so bring a 5-10 foot Ethernet cable with you (also in the adafruit starter kits).
    See pages 44-47 of your class notes. If you have trouble, Neil and I will provide help in the lab session.

    April 18, 2014

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