If you haven’t purchased and played with a Raspberry Pi computer, you owe it to yourself to invest $75 or so and see what it can do.
The tiny (about the size of a deck of playing cards) all-in-one computer is a powerhouse of performance. I have been working with the latest version, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and I’m continually impressed by its capabilities and the amount of code and user community support available. The platform is Linux based and has a light footprint. Most Pi starter kits come with an assortment of beginner programs in C and Python and are straightforward and easy to work with.
Owned and founded by the Raspberry Pi foundation, the technology was developed to “promote the study of computer science” and “to put the fun back in learning computing.”
While its easy to dismiss the product as only suited to science projects and teenagers, it is far more than that. A quick look at the growth rate of the technology will indicate the rising interest in the platform.
Growth rate of the Raspberry Pi (cumulative sales through Jan 2019)
Connecting bar code scanners to Raspberry Pi
The circuit board has 4 USB connections and I had no trouble connecting some scanners I had laying around. One, a Honeywell Voyager (mfg 10/2010) and the second, a Symbol LS2208 (mfg 10/2009), worked fine. No software updates or patches were needed to instantly plug the scanner into the USB port and start scanning.
(Note, some users in the community have found that the voltage output from their Pi was not sufficient to power certain scanners, however, I had no problem with that at all. Users should check the voltage requirements of a bar code scanner before purchasing it.)
Support and the Pi community
The Raspberry Pi community has created thousands of projects, programs and videos available on the usual platforms including YouTube and GitHub.
Another site with some basic projects is Instructables.com.
How to buy a Raspberry Pi
The Pi is widely available either standalone or with a variety of sensors and development kits with expanded breadboards. The Raspberry Pi website offers links to distributors by country.
Raspberry Pi Resources and relevant links:
Article by Craig L Aberle
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