The Raspberry Pi is a cheap, small, but versatile computer that runs on Linux-based operating systems. Let's look at some simple Raspberry Pi projects you can set up and use daily.
One of the simplest Raspberry Pi projects you can finish is using it as a desktop PC.
Sometimes it's worth it to have a computer without all the bells and whistles. A Raspberry Pi is ready out-of-the-box without all the bloatware.
It can handle most basic tasks such as surfing the web, playing videos, and some basic programming.
Older models may require some adapters, but the current models have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility. All you need is a decent monitor with HDMI, a mouse, and a keyboard.
Then install your operating system - preferably Raspberry Pi OS or Ubuntu and you're good to go. Both of these OS come with relevant Raspberry Pi apps built in.
If you have a printer that isn't wireless or is super old and can't connect to the network, you can avoid trashing it by using a Raspberry Pi.
With the right software, you can configure a Raspberry Pi to be the perfect mini print server.
Pairing Samba file-sharing software with CUPS can make that old printer wireless again. The Common Unix Printing System provides drivers for your printer and an admin console.
Once this is set up, any computer on your home network can access the printer.
You can even add AirPrint support to Raspberry Pi, for iPhone and Android devices.
Another common use for a Raspberry Pi is to use it as a small web server. It can host a homepage or blog, with static web pages or data-driven content.
You'll need to pair Apache with PHP or MySQL if you want to set up more advanced sites.
Just save the HTML files in the right place, and your web server is ready. Or you can install some specific web software like WordPress.
To get your website online, you'll need a static IP address from your internet provider. There are cheaper alternatives like No-IP.com if you're on a budget.
If you have a lot of files, you probably want a safe place to store them all.
A NAS server is a great option. These servers enable you to transfer large amounts of files at a high pace. But NAS file servers can get expensive.
A Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive alternative. You may need to add a USB drive or external drive if you need extra space, but also pretty cheapap as well.
To set this up, you'll also need to configure your Pi to use SSH and then use Samba to set up the network.
Finally, test access and set strict permissions so the only people that can access the files are the ones who need it.
You may want to have a computer to separate business from entertainment. You can install apps like Kodi on a Raspberry Pi. With the right add-ons, you can build a media center with your favorite content.
Free Kodi builds with OSMC and LibreELEC are still adding content and going strong.
And if you're into gaming, a Raspberry Pi is great as a retro gaming machine. Since it's powerful enough, it's suitable to serve as a full-size arcade machine.
Various retro gaming operating systems are available, all with controller support. Many classic gaming platforms can be emulated, from MS-DOS and 16-bit consoles to the Commodore 64.
Just be careful when downloading things; some files could be infected with malware.
Consider a Raspberry Pi if you're looking for a cheap PC with no frills. Get some life out of an old printer with Pi Print Server.
Run a simple website with a web server, or configure a simple file server.
And you can dedicate a Pi as the perfect entertainment machine with the right add-ons. Pair it with a VPN to encrypt data, and avoid region-blocking and censorship.