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Although James and Luke are both product marketing managers for Autodesk, Inc. their views do not represent those of Autodesk.  

The only good uses for a Raspberry Pi

If you’re an engineer, a maker, a hacker or under the age of 40, you’ve probably at least thought about getting yourself a Raspberry Pi. If you’re a normal human, you probably got one, looked at it and became intimidated with what to do next. Never fear! We have the only 3 things you should do with your Pi and links to help you out right here.

 

The home arcade

Whether you turn your Pi into a Game Boy (color or original), create an entire old school arcade machine out of it, or just install RetroPi and hook it up to your TV, this is by far the best use of a Raspberry Pi out there.

 

If you want to take your games on the road, the Pi-Pocket is probably for you. Be warned, this does require a little soldering of different components, but if you have access to a soldering iron this shouldn’t be too much work, and the end result is awesome! Bonus, you can play NES and other 2 button games on it as well! XodusTech walks you through the steps to make this a reality.

 If you’re looking to up your game a little further by introducing wood working, wiring, and a bit more money, make sure to check out iliketomakestuff.com for their home arcade instructions. Put this in your game room and you’ll be transported back to the first time you threw a quarter into Pac-Man and chased down Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde! You could also just go to Etsy and buy this, which might be a project you actually finish. Here’s a great little version for $329.

 

Now, if you’re like me, you’re lazy and will just throw your Raspberry Pi on the shelf after installing RetroPie, plug in a controller and start playing. No programing necessary, you probably have the HDMI and power cord sitting around the house and the USB controllers can be as cheap as 5 bucks on EBay. Run anything from Atari to SNES, all the way up to N64 if you overclock the newest Pi (and add heat sinks). All you have to do is get over the idea of stealing ROMs off the internet. We do not condone this behavior!

 

Create a dedicated Minecraft machine

The same thing that makes Minecraft fun makes it perfect for the Raspberry Pi: simplicity! Bad news, it is also very addicting! Building a giant castle, a tree house, underwater fortress or just mining for diamonds can eat hours of your life (it made the list of Top 10 Engineering Video Games). The blocky graphics and simple movement of this nearly infinite sandbox game allow for it to run an a very basic machine, which is what you have!

 The latest version of the default Raspian OS come with a custom-optimized copy of the game pre-installed. This means your kids no longer monopolize the TV or computer when playing, freeing it up for you to play Minecraft yourself!

 

Camera trap

Want to create a network of security cameras around your fallout shelter? Catch the guy walking his dog through your yard? Keep an eye on the animals nibbling on your garden veggies? Naturebytes’ Wildlife Cam Kit provides you everything that you need!

 

At a price of 130 England monies (about $170 ‘murican) you can stealthily snap high definition of wildlife or intruders… or intruding wildlife. There are some DIY options yourself, but this one will actually work, and you might actually finish setting it up.

 That’s it! Play video games or record wildlife and creepers. Are there other uses out there? Sure, but they aren’t worth it! Have another use for your Raspberry Pi worth mentioning? Let us know at unprofessoinalengineering@gmail.com.

 

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