Raspberry Pi Zero W Mini PC goes wireless
MINI PC ❘ £9.60 from Modmypi www.snipca.com/24589
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Back in the 1980s, the BBC Micro brought computers to schools for just a few hundred pounds. In 2012, the Raspberry Pi Foundation showed how far tech had come by launching a computer for under 20 quid. With the Raspberry Pi Zero (see our review, Issue 470) they got it down to less than a fiver. Now here’s the happy medium: a Pi Zero with Wi-fi, so it’s all ready to connect to the internet.
Technically, this is a PC, though it runs Linux not Windows. This is open source, so you don’t have to pay extra, but you do need to get hold of the software yourself and install it on a microsd card, the Pi’s only standard form of storage. Alternatively, you can buy the Pi Zero W in a bundle, such as Pimoroni’s Zero W Starter Kit (£32 from www.snipca.com/24591), which comes with a pre-loaded operating system, cables and headers to attach accessories to the fiddly mini ports and control pins, as well as an LED strip to add some visual output.
To program the Pi, you’ll need to connect a monitor with a mini HDMI adapter and a keyboard and mouse with a powered USB hub. As a disposably cheap, low-powered computer, it’s best suited to projects sthat make it work with internet-connected sensors, screens and other interactive gizmos, and if you’ve never picked up a soldering iron, now’s the time to start. Whether you’re 8 or 80, the possibilities are unlimited: see www. snipca.com/24592 for inspiration.