6 Cool Fun Projects and Star Wars to do with a Raspberry Pi Zero

Zero

A Raspberry Pi Zero is a fantastic bit of Kit

At IDR Solutions we are bigRaspberry Pifans and when we have some spare time we like to create side projects to use with the Raspberry Pi. When I first heard that the Raspberry Pi Zero had been released I was surprised that the Raspberry Pi Foundation could have released such a wonderful piece of hardware and at such a low price.

Seeing as it was so cheap, I thought that this was a perfect gift to get myself and some of my friends for Christmas.

When I get my new Pi I want to start programming straight away. To help me get started I decided to research some of the different kinds of projects that you can create on an entry level Raspberry Pi. I was looking for projects that are easy for beginners (maybe with a little help) as they are a really great way of learning more about programming and the different programming languages.

Gaming on the Pi

One of the coolest things that you can do with your Raspberry Pi is to turn it into a Gaming Console. This will especially be fun if you are a fan of the older consoles such as the: nes, Nes, Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum…the list goes on.

Retro Pi

The RetroPie Project is an excellent project whose main goal is to turn the Raspberry Pi into a dedicated retro-gaming console. The project uses Raspbian as the Operating System and integrates emulators, to simulate different computer systems from a variety of different eras.

You can learn how to set up the Retro Pi from the Github page.

EmulationStation

This expands upon the Retro Pi. This is a graphical and theme-able emulator front-end that allows you to access all your favorite games in one place. EmulationStation conveniently offersinstallers that you can use or you can build one yourself.

Music on the Pi

If you are like me, then you love listening to music whilst working and in your spare time. I also enjoy listening to podcasts, but did you know that you can easily play Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Music, Podcasts, Web radio and Subsonic using the Raspberry Pi if your tunes are on the cloud.

Pi MusicBox

The Pi MusicBox, allows you to create a cheap standalone streaming music player for Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud, Webradio, Podcasts and other music from the cloud. You can also get your music from your own devices in your own network.

Best thing is that this application is feature rich. You can control the music from your couch using a phone, tablet, laptop or PC.

You can learn more at Pi Musicbox homepage and follow this handy tutorial on getting started.

Media on the Pi

Some days you just want to watch movies at home; did you know that the Raspberry Pi can easily play media including music (which we covered with the Pi MusicBox), movies, TV shows, view pictures, watch live TV and much, much more.

Kodi (formerly known as XBMC)

Kodi is a free and open source (licensed under a GPL License) software media center for playing videos, music, pictures, games, etc. Kodi runs on the Pi and features a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. Using Kodi you can view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.

You can learn more about how to get it set up on your Raspberry Pi on the Kodi Wiki.

Cloud Storage on the Pi

Have you ever wanted your own Cloud Storage at home, but do not want to pay for any expensive hardware or have to rely on Cloud Storage firms? Then have no fear because you can do that with the Pi too.

OwnCloud

OwnCloud is a self hosted Cloud storage solution that provides access to your data through a web interface and gives you a platform which you can use to to view, sync and share across multiple devices easily. It is easily implemented on the Pi.

Pi My Life had a useful guide on how to set one up on your Pi.

Pictures on the Pi (with a Twist)

If you are a fan of digital photo frames and the convenience it offers then you might like to know that you can use the Raspberry Pi in a similar fashion.

Deviant Art and the Rapsberry Pi

Cameron Wiebe did an interesting project previously with the Pi in which a few bash scripts were used to create a Raspberry Pi powered picture viewer. This project drew the images from DeviantArt on a regular basis. If your interested you can learn more on Camerons Wiebe website.

Star Wars on the Pi

With all the talk about Star Wars lately, I thought it might be worth mentioning that you can recreate the Star Wars Universe on your Raspberry Pi.

Minecraft Star Wars

Martin O’Hanlon who is the co-author of Adventures in Minecraft did a talk on ‘Hacking Minecraft’ for the Raspberry Pi’s 3rd birthday party. He featured a really cool section which recreated the key scenes from Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope in the Minecraft Pi Edition.

If you want to try it yourself you can get the code of Github and follow the instructions on Martins Blog.

Other Things to do with the Raspberry Pi

If you are looking for some associated articles on the Raspberry Pi why not check out some of the articles which I previously wrote:

Top 8 IDE’s for Programmers, Coders and Beginners on the Raspberry Pi
6 Cool things to do with a Raspberry Pi over Christmas
6 Cooler things to do with a Raspberry Pi in the Spring

We also covered some articles on the blog relating to the Raspberry Pi:

Remotely deploy projects to the Raspberry Pi using NetBeans IDE
Other Raspberry Pi articles

If you’re a first-time reader, or simply want to be notified when we post new articles and updates, you can keep up to date by social media (Twitter,FacebookandGoogle+) or theBlog RSS.

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Alex Marshall

Head of Marketing at IDR Solutions
Alex Marshall is a marketeer, web developer and designer and enjoys being creative and has a keen interest in technology, and is fascinated by both new hardware and software. He also likes retro technology, classic cars and in his spare time enjoys traveling. He is immersed in the world of Java, PDF and HTML5 but loves to explore other areas in the world of tech.
Alex

About Alex Marshall

Alex Marshall is a marketeer, web developer and designer and enjoys being creative and has a keen interest in technology, and is fascinated by both new hardware and software. He also likes retro technology, classic cars and in his spare time enjoys traveling. He is immersed in the world of Java, PDF and HTML5 but loves to explore other areas in the world of tech.

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