Raspberry Pi Car Computer Part 1: Initial Setup and basic parts

Raspberry Pi LogoSo many times in movies and TV shows we have seen computers in cars that had so many fantastic features. From KITT in Knight Rider up to James Bond movies we have seen some great computers in cars and it was getting us all excited to what will come in the future. So here in 2016, computers are still a luxury in cars and still don’t offer everything that we dreamed of, given the technology we have.

So I decided to start a pet project. Create my own car computer using a Raspberry Pi. I will be documenting all my progress here. Step by Step. And to those of you want it to happen and are following me on this I want you to know that this will be a long process. It’s not gonna happen in a week.

It will be a long process that will require a lot of research and studying. I don’t even know the necessary parts that I will need for the end product yet.

The first few parts will be the default for Raspberry Pi despite intended usage so even you do not wish to follow up on the car computer project, this will still help you out if you want to learn about Raspberry pi

Let’s start part 1 with the basics though. Getting the Pi and setting it up so it’s usable.
If you are reading this without owning an actual Raspberry Pi you can get it from many online stores. If you are from Europe you can use ebay and if you are from US you can use amazon . There is many other sites that provide raspberry pi boards and even with full starter kits that include many modules and dongles with it. I bought the board alone though because as I said before, I have no idea what parts I will need so I will be getting them one by one.

Now Raspberry Pi does not come with a Hard Drive but it has an SD card slot. so you will need an SD card for your operating system, software etc. Most people suggest 8GB but I bought a Sandisk 16GB micro SDHC card

Now let’s set up our Pi. We have the board, we have our SD card, what more do we need? Well the OS of course. So if you navigate your browser to Raspberry Pi Downloads you will be shown at least two operating systems. One is named NOOBS and the other is named Raspbian. We are going to install Raspbian so go ahead and download the latest version of Raspbian.
There are other distros available like OpenELEC for media centers but we will use Raspbian.

We are also going to need a software suitable for extracting OS images to USB sticks and SD cards. It is called Win32 Image Writer and you can find it here
Now you can simply run the tool, Browse for the image file and then select the proper drive to install the OS. Simply click write and wait. You will know when it’s done.

Last thing you will need is a USB mouse and a USB keyboard. There’s plenty of them online if you do not already own one. Did not do any try with wireless ones as I am not really sure that they will work.

Insert the micro sd card to the raspberry pi, connect the hdmi port to the TV also connect the keyboard and mouse and power up your Pi. To power it up you just need a phone charger with a micro usb cable.

The initial boot process will begin and you will eventually be lead to a black screen (linux terminal) where you will be prompted to login. Although on my case this did not happen and I was led directly to a Linux GUI. If you were led directly to the Linux Graphica User Interface then ignore the next paragraph.

The default login for Raspbian is username pi with the password raspberry. Note you will not see any writing appear when you type the password. This is a security feature in Linux. In order to load the GUI type startx and hit enter.

Part 2 is ready and can be found here

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