Today this blog debuts with some very modest technical content. The Raspberry PI single board Linux computer has taken the world by storm, and it also fascinates this author. The plan is to share some PI experiences and perhaps even inspire. What is then more fitting than opening this series by mentioning a brand new member of the Raspberry PI family? Today, it was announced that the PI family got a new baby weighing only 23 grams, i.e. the smallest of the main boards. The baby’s name is Model A+.
I have only read about it, but it is clear that it is an improvement on the original model A. It is significantly smaller, uses less power (20-25% less than the original model A), has more GPIO pins (40), uses a Micro SD card and is cheaper! Other than that, it is in many ways similar to the Model A with 256MB RAM. There is also an audio port and a slot for the PI camera board, plus a HDMI socket and a single USB port. This means you need a powered USB hub if you need to connect more than one USB device. The computer can run Raspbian linux just like the other models.
Although the A+ resembles the model A, it is also closely related to the Model B+, the mounting holes are the same distances from each other, and the model A+ could be said to be virtually identical to the model B+, minus the Ethernet port, minus 3 USB ports and minus half the RAM. Given the form factor, this model is probably targeting dedicated embedded projects such as small robots or other applications that don’t need to be networked (it can be networked via a USB wireless dongle).
Clearly, it is imagination that limits what people can do with these things, and best of all: It is a great way of learning new stuff. I have already learned things about electronics I didn’t know earlier, and it is a great feeling to observe yourself getting a little bit wiser every day. Let us see what imaginative people can do with this baby!
This modest post will be followed up with examples from using the Model B, and things it and its cousins can do. Stay tuned!