Praise Raspberry Pi
Is there a better tech learning platform than the Raspberry Pi? Personally, I don’t think so. Raspberry Pi combines my love of Linux, open source, and cheap hardware 😃. That, combined with the excellent community and the proliferation of all kinds of hats/3rd-party addons have made Raspberry Pi the defacto standard for single board computers.
When it was first released in 2012, I remember thinking that it was a great idea. A fun little project for kids to learn with. Little did I know just how many projects I would build and how many useful things I would learn from this tiny SBC.
I bought my first Raspberry Pi in 2015 with the release of the second generation. It wasn’t very powerful but it was a lot of fun to play around with. Even in the summer of 2020, I was still using it for projects. It worked incredibly well for monitoring our then newborn puppies. With the help of a Sense Hat and a webcam I was able to keep an eye on the temperature in our garage while livestreaming video for family and friends.
There’s too many use cases for the Raspberry Pi to list here but Tom’s Hardware keeps a list if you’re interested in exploring more.
I’ll end by explaining a little about this site. Currently, its being run on a Kubernetes cluster of Raspberry Pi 4’s. This blog itself is a custom built container running Nginx+Jekyll. I’m sure you’re thinking that there are better ways of running a Kubernetes cluster than on a bunch of Raspberry Pi’s and you’d be right but you’d also be missing the point. Education and learning has always been at the heart of Raspberry Pi. A homelab like this is no different. If you can learn to build something useful at home, that skill is definitely going to be useful to you out in the real world.
For me, it’s been extremely helpful for learning the in’s and out’s of Kubernetes. Maybe the same thing could have been done with minikube or microk8s but once you consider the joy of starting with:
- bare metal SBC’s
- figuring out hardware requirements
- provisioning the OS
- configuring it
- deploying k3s and all the peripherals
- setting up networking and dns
- and any # of other things
If you can do all this, then the skills you’ll learn will be help you go far in the world of technology. When you consider all the time + cost + energy, the equation changes a bit and, to me, the clear winner is the Raspberry Pi!
I’m grateful for all the fun and learning that the Raspberry Pi has provided me. I’m looking forward to many more projects. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you’ll decide to get one and give it a try!