CanakitI gotta tell ya, if you haven't got Amazon Prime, then you are simply missing out. Two days after I clicked on my order, a Canakit arrived at my door. It would be cool if a drone had brought it, but we are not that far into the future just yet.

I took the package directly to my secret laboratory and took my first look at the Raspberry Pi 2. I had ordered the latest model, which had a full gigabyte of RAM and four USB ports. The kit also provided me a case (which I would ultimately not need), an SD card with the operating system installed, a wifi dongle, and a power supply. I was ultimately able to use the former as a charger for the finished prototype.

Of course, there always has to be a first problem, and it became apparent immediately. The older Pi models had an RCA video port that allowed you to hook the system into older monitors, but the new model only uses HDMI video output. There are other ways to gain a converted signal, but these involved methods that I had not yet read. So, instead of using a computer monitor, I used a 24-inch flat screen television that I had originally used for my Playstation 3. It was a bit dusty, and a bit large for what I needed, but nevertheless, it would do as a monitor.

Assembling the case and plugging in the peripherals was simple. The Pi boots up from the SD card whenever you give it a power source, so I plugged it in and crossed my fingers.

Hooked upI always think everything is going to be difficult, so I anticipated that there were going to be countless glitches. But to my surprise, the screen scrolled the various set up routines and then prompted me to install the operating system. I chose Raspbian since most of my research suggested that it would be the simplest to master. A few moments later, my daughter was playing Minecraft (it's included with the set up). I had her play for 30 minutes in an attempt to see if the unit would overheat and melt its case, but it never reached an extreme temperature. It worked well; so well that I continued to think that something would go wrong, but even after testing its internet capabilities, I found it to be a simple, almost familiar machine.

Phase one of my project had worked wonderfully! The Pi was easy to use, and it didn't require an advanced computer degree to set it up. Now I moved onto phase two: finding a suitable monitor. I couldn't envision my students with a huge television on their desks, so I went back to the web in search of a useable screen.

Next: Phase Two - Image is everything