So, you've decided to buy a Raspberry Pi, and you want to use it to experiment with and use as an additional computer for your household. There are two options; you can buy a complete kit from Pimoroni (Raspberry Pi starter kit) or buy everything separately. The kit from Maplin includes the Raspberry Pi and everything needed to run it normally. If you choose to buy things separately, you will need the following items:

  • Raspberry Pi Model 3
  • USB mouse and keyboard
  • Monitor and lead to connect to Pi's HDMI output.
  • Micro USB 5v power supply
  • SD card (Minimum 8GB) pre-loaded with 'NOOBS'. (Can be bought from most online Raspberry Pi shops) OR You can prepare your own SD card yourself using the instructions found here.

Once you own all of the relevant components, it's time to power up! The  Raspberry Pi has no on or off switch, you have to plug it in to turn it on. 

  1. Plug the keyboard and mouse into the USB ports, the SD card into the slot on the underside and the power supply in to the Micro-USB socket.
  2. Switch the power supply to Monitor, then the Pi on at the wall. 
  3. The first thing you will see is the opportunity to connect to a network using the Pi's built-in WiFi (Pi 3 only). Use the keyboard and mouse to select the right network and enter the password.
  4. Once connected, you will be given a choice from about 5 different operating systems to install on the SD card. The fully supported OS is Raspbian Jessie. Select this one and click install. The installation process will now begin and may take some time. 
  5. Once the OS has installed, the Pi will reboot and you will be taken straight to the desktop with no need to enter a password.
You're in! You can treat this as a normal computer now! 

 On the computer a few installed programs will appear. By clicking on the icon in the top right corner, you can navigate the menu to view all of the installed programs. By right clicking on a program, then clicking on add to desktop, you can create an icon on the desktop. A few of the programs include:

  • Ephiphany - An internet browser (like internet explorer, Google chrome or Firefox.)
  • Scratch - A simple way to create games.
  • File Manager - The Raspberry Pi's filesystem
  • LXTerminal - Remember this for later on! It is very important.