Whether you are a complete new-comer to the Raspberry Pi, or someone with a bit more experience of the pocket-sized pc or of the Linux Open Source Operating System, you will find lots of valuable information in Simon Monk’s new book “Programming the Raspberry Pi: getting started with Python“.

Readers who have already bought and configured their Raspberry Pi can skip the first couple of chapters, which explain the Pi, Linux, setting up the device, the use of the Command Line and the installed software.

But from chapter three the book is packed with useful information: covering Python Basics, strings, dictionaries, functions, modules, classes and methods, moving on to to using external files and loading data from the internet. All the explanations are accompanied by high-quality examples, games and exercise.

This central section would suit anyone interested in learning Python whether they own a Pi or not, given the portable nature of the Python platform.s which are available to download from the book’s website. I’d echo the author’s comments that while you can download these, you’ll learn more by typing in the code (and occasionally mistyping – and learning to debug) and by amending the examples. Most of the sections end with suggestion of how you could extend, improve or amend the examples provided, giving encouragement to experiment with the code.

The author then moves on to the use of GUI programming in Python, using Tkinter, then developing simple graphical games, involving user interaction, in Pygame.

The latter chapters, which are more Pi-specific, deal with interfacing with hardware add-ons. These include:

The exercises in this latter section cover creating a digital clock using the Pi, Pi Cobbler, breadboard and simple LCD display.

Finally, there’s a project to develop a simple rover robot, which can then be extended by adding a distance sensor and an LCD screen display.

This book by the respected author Simon Monk is highly recommended. It will get you started working on stretching projects, and will inspire Pi owners young and old.

Book Review Programming the Raspberry Pi: getting started with Python
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