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.

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