trav184
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:45 pm

Totally new to computers

Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:53 pm

Hi! My level of technological experience is limited to browsing the web and turning on a computer (perhaps a bit of a hyperbole, but you get the idea). I heard about this in a magazine and I thought it was such an amazing idea to have a cheap computer that could essentially be programmed to do whatever you want! I had an idea in my head I have been tossing around for a product and I was hoping someone could tell me if this would be an acceptable product to at least experiment with or if I would need something more powerful.

What I had in mind isn't much more complicated than an E-reader. It involves a large touchscreen and the ability to read PDF files and turn pages, write notes on them and thats about it. I thought about adding web capabilities but like I said, my computer knowledge is highly limited and I don't really know what is possible with a product like this. Andy help would be really appreciated!

Thanks :)

LlyrP
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 3:31 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact: Website

Re: Totally new to computers

Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:00 pm

It might be helpful to think of the RPi as less of a computer, and more of an "evaluation board" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microproce ... ment_board).

Your idea is a sound one, and definitely possible. You'll need to find the right parts, and of course make a case to build it in, but before that I suggest simply playing around with the Pi. First get to know your way around Linux (there are literally thousands upon thousands of tutorials out there!) and then maybe try some programming in Scratch before moving onto Python.

It's people like you who want to learn (and do interesting things with the board) that the Pi was designed for :D

Good luck!
Use your own judgement when following any instructions from the forum. I take no responsibility if you fry anything...
--
LlyrP :: http://llyrpenrose.com/

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xcopter
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:19 pm
Location: Hong Kong (Not China!)
Contact: Website

Re: Totally new to computers

Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:50 pm

Though RPI is already really much much "developer-friendly" than the old-ways such as 8051/AVR/PIC programming, you still need to play with programming! I highly recommend you implement your project with 1 or more partners.. :mrgreen:
Making RPi compatible modules available to the RPi community.
Goal: contribute demo code in github & instructables using RPi as core controller platform!
Lets fully utilize the open source force and chinese manufacturing cost

trav184
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:45 pm

Re: Totally new to computers

Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:04 pm

That was another question I had, I have only ever heard of Linux in an online comic I was introduced to by a friend about science/computer stuff. I have never even seen a computer that runs on it. I have used both OSX and Windows (the former being preferable.)

MongolSamurai
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:54 am

Re: Totally new to computers

Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:09 am

If you have access to an OS X machine, you have a great opportunity to play around a little bit in a Linux-like command line environment a la the OS X Terminal.

OS X runs on a BSD Unix subsystem, which strictly speaking isn't the same as Linux, but for the purposes of getting to know a command line it's nearly identical. Most of the basic tricks and tips you'll see in Linux tutorials will work in BSD (a notable exception being system configuration files. Last I knew, OS X systems have Linux-style config files like /etc/fstab, but they're more or less vestigial and serve little purpose.)

W. H. Heydt
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Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Totally new to computers

Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:28 am

trav184 wrote:That was another question I had, I have only ever heard of Linux in an online comic I was introduced to by a friend about science/computer stuff. I have never even seen a computer that runs on it. I have used both OSX and Windows (the former being preferable.)
Pretty much any computer you have ever seen can run Linux. If you stick a bootable CD in an optical drive (or a bootable USB stick, for those PCs that can boot from one) into the PC, you can see it run Linux.

It's not the hardware that is different, but the software.

theoscy
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: Totally new to computers

Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:05 am

From reading this I see you run OSX, guess you have a legit mac machine. I triple boot mac windows and Ubuntu on my mac, Linux has taught me so much.

If you want to run Ubuntu on your mac (Most used Linux distro) you can shove in a bootable cd, usb's dont work! If you wanted a full install I recommend a dual boot using bootcamp and installing windows, then use Ubuntus Wubi to install Ubuntu (Very easy)
You could say my love for Linux is terminal ;)

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redhawk
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Location: ::1

Re: Totally new to computers

Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:10 am

If you want to get the experience of Linux on your PC without screwing your hard drive with partition tools and boot loaders then software like Virtual Box (PC emulation software) comes in quite handy.

Richard S.

timmoore46
Posts: 266
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:36 pm

Re: Totally new to computers

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:18 am

There is a Magazine called MagPi and you can get the first 8 editions in a binder. When you get your RPi, you would get a massive boost from having that at your elbow. (It is downloadable free, but I prefer hard copy cos its easy to write notes on ! ).

:D

Tim

Pi eater
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:21 pm

Re: Totally new to computers

Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:58 pm

If you want more of a tablet and less of an e-reader...

The Android Pi project has a working build of gingerbread and an "unusable" build of ICS. You could probably combine that with a touchscreen monitor, there are some in the USB variety. By bundling it with a battery, such as a hydrogen fuel-cell model (with a USB port for charging) and putting it in a case, you might have some luck. If it worked, it would certainly be functional, akin to a mid-2010 or so low-end android tablet.

A monitor like this might work for you, assuming the drivers are compatible.
Eating pi is sure good!

trav184
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:45 pm

Re: Totally new to computers

Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:11 pm

What is the terminal for? And what exactly do I do with it?

toadslinger
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat May 25, 2013 3:18 pm

Re: Totally new to computers

Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:49 am

If you have an Android phone, you have Linux running under Android. Some apps for opening a terminal login window will also allow you to login to your phone's Linux.

There are often CD/DVDs in Linux magazines at your local news stand or book store that offer "Live" linux boot. These boot Linux and do not write to the main disk, unless you tell it to after bootup.

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