Book Review : Raspberry Pi Gaming – 2nd Edition

This is a book review for Raspberry Pi Gaming – 2nd Edition from Packt Publishing.

rpigaming

I own all the versions of Raspberry Pi that have come out so far except for the very first one. With the increase in the computing power with each successive version of the Pi, one of the best ways to make use of it is to push the limits when it comes to Gaming and see where it all stacks up. Hence my interest in this book.

The book is compact in size and what I liked about it is that it can also act as a one-stop to get your Pi setup, install the software you want to, set it up with gaming software and then even hardware. From that perspective, I was surprised and pleased to see the range of the topics that this book had. You could even zoom into the topics separately if you wanted to.

The book starts off with introduction to the Pi, setting it up with the standard operating system and then zooming a bit in Scratch, which should be the most popular tool being used to teach programming to kids.

Once you are done with that, the book zeroes in to special Gaming operating systems for the Pi, which you do have a choice to skip if you want. The next set of chapters focus on Emulators, Games that have been ported specifically for the Pi and Linux Games. It was a joy to get Doom (I played it after 20 years and for someone as old as me, I still love that game!) working on the Pi and then Open Arena too. Yes, Minecraft is there too. For the price of a Pi, getting Minecraft running on it is going to give endless hours of fun , especially if you have kids around. They’ll love it.

The book goes one step further and gets you going with getting game controllers (hardware) setup on the Pi too. I believe it would be interesting to get these hardware to work with other applications on the Pi, like some Robotics or Gaming Console projects.

Overall, this book did expose me to a lot more that could run on the Raspberry Pi. If you are looking at pushing the limits of the Pi as a gaming device only, this is your book to explore.

Book Review : Raspberry Pi Server Essentials

This is a book review for Packt Publishing‘s Raspberry Pi Server Essentials.

packt-rpi-server

Raspberry Pi is often touted as a boon for classroom computing. I have often seen scenarios where several folks have purchased a Raspberry Pi and after a few sessions with it have not utilized it much. Well sure the hobbyists are busy building sensor networks but most people need to understand how to employ their Pi for tasks that are likely to be more useful to them, in and around their computing needs.

This is where “Raspberry Pi Server Essentials” book comes in. It contains several chapters that help you to use your Pi for a specific purpose.

The initial chapters focus on the basics of setting up your Pi, Operating System installation/updates and setting up the networking. This forms a good base to then explore the remaining chapters.

The next set of chapter focus on a specific use of the Pi. The chapters range from:

  • Using the Pi as a Web Application Server
  • Setting up a File Server
  • Setting up a Game Server
  • Media Center
  • and even a Bit Coin mining machine (Hope you get lucky with that one!)

For households that have multiple devices, setting up a File Server or Game Server powered by your Pi is a great way to streamline things. In fact, you could jump to any chapter, if the specific purpose of that chapter is what you want to use your Pi with.

The instructions in each of the chapters are very precise. Right from downloading the software, configuring and running it, the instructions are good and focus just on the task, which is how it should be for a book of this kind.

Overall, this is a good book to explore practical uses that you could put to use immediately for your Pi.