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The Raspberry Pi 3 is a marvelous little computer, powerful enough to run a full desktop OS, and its array of inputs makes it an obvious choice for Internet of Things (IoT) projects. It's also so easy to master that you can handle the setup even if you've never used a command line for anything other than saying swear words in a robot voice.
But doing anything actually practical takes a bit more technical know-how. Fortunately, we've got you covered with the Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle, available in our store for hundreds of dollars off retail. Here's what's covered in the eight included courses:
Raspberry Pi basics
Raspberry Pi is usually run on Linux (that's the operating system with the depressed penguin for a logo.) If you've never used Linux before (and we assume that you probably haven't), don't worry. Linux is open-source, meaning that it's free, easy to install, and won't get you caught in the violent blood feud between Apple and Microsoft. You'll then want to use a Linux distribution called Raspbian, as it's the easiest to learn on and will provide you with maximum flexibility.
The tricky part is getting comfortable with the Terminal. That's where you'll run code and address the hardware's IO pins. Think of it this way: It's one thing to learn how to drive a car; it's another to get under the hood and tinker with the engine. This bundle gives you just enough Python experience to get under the proverbial hood and make lights blink, sensors sense, and APIs converse.
Once you've learned to navigate your fun-sized supercomputer, you'll be ready to run some household appliances through its adorable brain. To make this as painless as possible for you and your Pi, you'll need to get familiar with Cayenne. This spicy IoT builder makes it easy to design your own custom home automation system with a drag-and-drop web interface. Without writing any code, you can activate all sorts of electronics in your home. For example, you can use moisture data to have your plants watered automatically, which might not sound all that cool at first, but do you know who else read moisture data? Luke freaking Skywalker! You'll be like Luke -- before, ya' know, he abandoned everyone he loved to go take dumps on a piece of rock in the middle of nowhere.
Or dive deeper and create your own purpose-built temperature monitor, complete with a website dashboard and email notification system. Now you can finally spam people with minute-by-minute updates about the climate inside your house after a series of high-octane farts. That's the kind of information that turns friends into family.
The Bitcoin market has boomed. Once upon a time, there was gold in them thar' hills. Now there's Bitcoin in them thar' ... Bitcoin peaks?
Look, don't let our frustrated 2 a.m. joke-writing stop you. You can still hop aboard this gravy train. Learning how the future of currency works will help cement your financial future, and this collection features a crash course in Bitcoin that will show you how to set up a Bitcoin wallet and explain how a blockchain works. When you're ready to start mining, you'll be set up with the proper tools and get introduced to all of the Terminal commands needed to start swinging that virtual pickax. This course also offers a handy guide for upgrading your mining rig into something that can really make an impact. You'll be a Bitcoin Baron in no time.
Because the Raspberry Pi is a general-purpose computer, the only thing stopping it from being a homemade cellphone or a Game Boy knockoff is a few extra pieces and a cease and desist letter from Nintendo. Everything else is just a matter of finding the right software, and in an open-source world, that's not going to be an issue. To give your hardware-hacking skills a boost, this bundle will have you building some simple standalone devices, including a walkie-talkie and a teddy bear that squeals with delight when you wave your hand in front of it. Eventually, you'll be able to use Raspberry Pi to build any beep-booping, whizz-banging thing that you want. And if you want to call your thing a Whizz Bopper, we won't judge.
For all of you Stewie Griffin types who find most of this stuff trivially easy already, you should skip to the section in Robotics. This bundle has advanced lessons on precisely controlled mechanical movement. The applications go as far as your evil genius brain will let them. Using standard off-the-shelf components, you'll learn how to make servos and DC motors dance with Python and H-Bridge circuits. Once you've learned the basics behind robotic motion, you'll discover how to incorporate wireless hardware, degrees of freedom, and a knowledge of sensors into your remote-controlled monster. Eat your heart out, Michael Bay.
You know what robots love? Podcasts. No, really. A robot told us once. Just love 'em. Podcasts make robots happier than Schmidty the Clam. Their robot brains keep a perfect record of every bit of trivial information gleaned from hours and hours of endless podcast binge sessions. Robots don't sleep. They take notes in perfectly legible yet hastily scribbled fooootNOTES in the margins of unread comic books. Robots have no need for comic books. They have no feelings. Except they LOVE podcasts ...
For more ways to teach the robots who's boss, check out 8 Items To Keep Robots From Stealing Your Job.