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In my first column I introduce the raspberry pi. I do state that when purchasing the raspberry pi, all you get is the computer itself. No case, no keyboard, no mouse, no monitor, no cables, nothing.
I also forgot to mention the very strict power requirements for the pi's. It's the same for all of them. The can not exceed 5v. If you provide more, you will burn out the computer. The amperage (or amps) should not be below 1000 mA (or 1A). The amperage can be as high as you want it to be, more the better. Most cell phone chargers will work just fine in powering up the RPi. Just make sure you check the markings on the charger before using it on the Rpi.
On the raspberry pi 2 and 3, both have 4 USB ports and an Ethernet port for a wired internet connection. Only the 3 has wireless and bluetooth built in.
I am going to list all the items I bought for my raspberry pi 2 along with the cost that I paid.
keyboard/mouse combo $35 at Micro Center
wireless dongle $10 at Micro Center
16gb micro SD card $10 at Micro Center
HDMI cable (on clearance) $5 at Micro Center
HDMI monitor (refurbished) $15 at FreeGeek
It is possible to attach an external hard drive or an external optical drive. The optical drive would allow for the playing of DVD's and CD's. For DVD playback, though, you need to purchase the codecs from the raspberry pi foundation (link is in the 'Valuable Links' on the right side of the home page) for $2 US.
They didn't include the codecs because it would raise the cost of the raspberry pi to high. Instead they left it as an option for each user.
Additionally, I have included two more photos of the Pi. The first is of the raspberry pi 2. The second photo is of the raspbery pi zero along with the micro SD card I use.
Thanks goes to my customer Lucy for taking the time to take these photos and email them to me.