6 Easy Things To Do With Raspberry Pi 2

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So you’ve picked up a brand new Raspberry Pi 2 – but what to do with it? Thankfully the possibilities are endless – but what should you do first? Here’s some straightforward projects to try on your new toy.
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1) Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Web Server

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If you want to learn to make websites, but don’t want to faff about with hosting packages, then a Pi can make a great little web server for your home network. All you need to do is install some packages and your Pi will start serving up webpages. It’ll even support PHP and MySQL if you want to code anything more advanced.
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2) Turn Raspberry Pi into a Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Pic from here. Pic from here.

If you want to bring your old stereo into the 21st century, it is pretty easy to turn your Raspberry Pi into a bluetooth receiver that you connect your phone to – and then it is simply a case of plugging an audio cable into the Pi’s headphone socket.

All you’ll need to do is buy a tiny bluetooth dongle and install something like Shairplay.

If you’re worried about the built-in Pi soundcard being a bit crap, then worry not – it is equally straightforward to get a USB soundcard working.
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3) Make a Media PC with XBMC on Raspberry Pi

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One of the most popular uses of the Raspberry Pi is as a media device. It comes with a HDMI port to plug straight into your TV – and with a piece of software like XBMC, it can give you a user experience better than even the likes of Apple TV.

Helpfully, there’s already a Raspberry Pi specific XBMC distribution to make it super easy – all you have to do is burn it to an SD card and you’re away.
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4) Raspberry Pi Emulation Machine with RetroPie

If you’ve got a collection of definitely 100% legal homebrew ROMS, you can play them on emulators for most of the old pre-Playstation consoles on the Raspberry Pi. In fact, to make this process really easy you can install a piece of software called RetroPie – and an interface called Emulation Station, which turns your Pi into something akin to Netflix for games.

Like everything based on Linux, it is pretty much infinitely configurable too – meaning you can add joypad support (PS3 / Xbox 360 controllers are supported) and you can even setup hotkeys to quit the game from the controller, to save having to attach a keyboard. Emulation Station, which acts as a front-end can even download images and text data to make the interface even more attractive.
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5) Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Minecraft Machine

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If you have a child who is obsessed with the Minecraft, then the Pi comes into its own, as it can run the game. This means that you can shift your kid off of your computer and on to their own – for only £25. Brilliant.
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6) Get rich with Raspberry Pi, by turning it into a Bitcoin Miner

Pic from here.
Pic from here.

The Raspberry Pi could be your ticket to wealth… Rather the buy Libertarian magic beans and hope they gain in value, you can ‘mine‘ new Bitcoins by putting your Raspberry Pi’s processor to work.
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James O’Malley