At IDR Solutions we are big Raspberry Pi fans 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.
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.
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 offers installers 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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:
We also covered some articles on the blog relating to the Raspberry Pi: