The Raspberry Pi Organization offers a pocket-sized single-board computer for approximately 40 USD.


Review Raspberry Pi operating system downloads at raspberrypi.org/downloads

Once an operating system download is selected, download the image to your computer. (Raspbian used for experiment)

Write the downloaded image to your micro SD card by following the instructions here.

Plug the USB keyboard, USB mouse, micro SD card, HDMI cable, and Ethernet cable (internet optional) into the Raspberry Pi single-board computer.

Plug the micro-USB power supply into the Raspberry Pi single-board computer and watch the TV or monitor to see if it boots.

Configuration options are presented. Once configured, navigate to Finish to log-in.

Default username: pi, Default password: raspberry

On command-line, the command "startx" will present you with a friendly user-interface. If an ethernet cable with internet was connected, you can access internet via the browser included with the operating system.



To protect the computer, a small box can be built around the board.



Computer on wheels



Hacking Minecraft Pi

Raspbian includes programming software and games. Mathematica, Python, Scratch, Nano text editor, and Minecraft Pi are included.

The Python and Minecraft Pi bundle is particularly interesting because it permits coding against the API. With Python, we write code to modify the Minecraft Pi game.

Nano Text Editor is used to create a new *.py file to store the python code. The python code sample consists of 4 lines. The code creates an instance of the Minecraft object and calls the PostToChat method to post a message to the Minecraft window.



Using the python command to execute the *.py file, the message is displayed in the Minecraft window.



Displaying text in the chat window is a very basic Python example of code that can run in Minecraft Pi.

The website StuffAboutCode has a list of scripts that can be run to perform a wide variety of modifications to the minecraft world. The website provides scripts for the classic snake game, planetary gravity simulator, a massive analog clock, 3d model rendering, piano playing with blocks, and even a cannon.