This FAQ will always be under construction as questions are constantly added

Let's try and get FAQ's sorted here
  1. Online Shop
  2. What is the Raspberry Pi
  3. First Time Raspberry Pi Users
  4. RaspBMC
  5. Raspbian & Apps(Applications)
  6. We'll call number 6 "Other" for now
We hope to soon have Q&A on Python,GPIO, projects etc.....

Send those questions to [email protected]
All questions posted here will be done so anonymously for safety reasons.
So don't worry - no one will laugh at you


1. Online Shop

Q: How much does delivery cost?

A: PiShop charges a flat R100 per delivery but please note; The cost of shipping is not a fixed price as the courier cost is directly linked to the package dimensions, weight and fuel prices; all of which fluctuate on a per order basis, we however strive to ensure that you receive the best service, therefore we charge a flat rate of R100 and will cover the additional cost should it be incurred.
Q: Can you deliver outside of South Africa?
A: PiShop only dispatches orders within South Africa, however you are more than welcome to send a courier to collect on your behalf.

Q: Are your deliveries insured and guaranteed?
A: All packages we send are fully insured against theft and any damage through the courier.
Q: Can I get a discount for a large order or bulk order?
A: Certainly, contact us directly at [email protected] and we'll do our best to accommodate you. Please note; Bulk starts at 5 per item and excludes official Raspberry Pi Foundation items and PiShop Kits (which are already discounted)
Q: Are prices VAT Inclusive?
A: Yes, all prices displayed are shown inclusive of VAT. 
Q: I have a custom RPi requirement, can you help?
A: YES, Contact us directly at [email protected] and we'll do our best to accommodate you.
Q: Will there be spelling mistakes in this FAQ?
A: Defineatly yes, help us out by pointing them out.


2. What is the Raspberry Pi

Some of the information below are extracts from the Raspberry Pi Foundation at http://www.raspberrypi.org

The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV via rca cables or HDMI cable, and uses a standard USB keyboard and USB mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python.The RPi can also be used as a desktop computer or a media centre along with a world full of projects like robotics, home automation, WiFi hotspot and many more.

Q: What does RPi stand for?
A: Raspberry Pi

Q: What operating system does the RPi use?
A: There are several official distributions (distros) available. New users will find the NOOBs installer the easiest to work with, as it walks you through the download and installation of a specific distro. The recommended distro is Raspbian, which is specially designed for the Raspberry Pi

Q: Do I pay for the operating system
A: You can order a microSD card from our online shop with NOOBs already on it or you can download NOOBs for free from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/

3. First Time Raspberry Pi Users

Q: Where is my micro SD card - I received a normal SD card?
A: The SD card you received is actually slotted in a adapter to make your micro SD compatable with equipment that can not use micro SD cards. Remove the micro SD from the adapter to fit into the Pi micro SD slot. We found this youtube video that might help you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM3rLuvOr8s

Q: What is NOOBS
A: Extract from http://www.raspberrypi.org/introducing-noobs/ (The Raspberry Pi Foundation)
NOOBS is a way to make setting up a Raspberry Pi for the first time much, much easier. You won’t need network access, and you won’t need to download any special imaging software. Just download a copy of NOOBS and unpack it onto a freshly formatted 4GB (or larger) SD card. When you boot up for the first time, you’ll see a menu prompting you to install one of several operating systems into the free space on the card. The choice means you can boot the Pi with a regular operating system like Raspbian, or with a media-centre specific OS like RaspBMC.

Q: What version of NOOBS should I use?
A: On 04/11/2014 version 1.3.10 was the latest release. However this version only has the Raspbian(updated to include cool stuff like Minecraft) os(operating system) on. The rest are available as online installs. On version 1.3.9 all the RPi related os's were included to install directly from the micro SD. Installing from online does take much longer than we would like it to be while updating version 1.3.9 will however then need some time to update. Catch 22? My choice would be version 1.3.10 for a once off installation and version 1.3.9 for a test unit that demands regular re-installs.

Q: How do I get NOOBs on my own micro SD card?
A: A complete step by step guide is available at  http://www.raspberrypi.org/help/noobs-setup/

Q: What is my default username and password on startup?
A: After installing NOOBS the below defaults are used. When typing in the password, no characters will be displayed for security reasons.
  • Logon: pi
  • Password: raspberry
Q: Why is growing up sometimes so hard?
A: No Idea. Our motto is to stay young and try to have fun while doing the things you have to do.

Q: How do I update my new Raspberry Pi?
A: The following 3 commands typed at the command line will update the RPi. Your RPi has to be connected to the internet via local area network or WiFi before you start it up. Line 2 and line 3 might ask for a response(Y) to continue.
  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get upgrade
  3. sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Rember these 3 commands - you will use them regularly to update your RPi before you install applications.

Q: Where can I learn more about the Command-line(or sometimes called Terminal)?
A: The below site will start you off with some basic commands.

Q: How do I get to the Raspbian GUI(Graphical User Interface)?
A: After you completed your login and password use the following command: startx

Q: Can I use my RPi as a media centre?
A: Yes you can. From NOOBS install RaspBMC. From there you can add an external hard drive with all of your movies,music and music videos. See point 3 in the FAQs


4. RaspBMC

Q: Will I like RaspBMC?
A: We like RaspBMC.  RaspBMC can play full 1080p(that is full HD) video. You can set it to automatically download and update libraries on your movies and music videos. This will give you on screen eg. movieposters, cast, movie info, ratings, music album posters......

Q: How do I install RaspBMC?
A: From NOOBS. Select RaspBMC and click install. RaspBMC might update and restart a few times before it is ready to use if your RPi is connected to the internet.

Q: How do I update RaspBMC?
A: Connect your RPi to the internet via Lan or Wifi before startup. Updating RaspBMC will happen automatically if necessary.

Q: RaspBMC doesn't want to play MPEG-2 and VC-1 codecs. I get sound but no video.
A: MPEG-2 and VC-1 codecs will not play until you buy their licenses from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Q: Why are the licenses not included?
A: The following is what we found at http://www.howtogeek.com/137654/how-to-add-mpeg-2-and-vc-1-video-codec-support-to-your-raspberry-pi/.      

"The Raspberry Pi was designed to be an educational computer. As part of that educational mission, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has gone out of their way to minimize the manufacturing and licensing costs in order to keep the final cost of the device down. Part of their cost cutting measures included not purchasing a pricey blanket license to use the MPEG-2 and VC-1 video codecs."

Q: Where can I get these MPEG-2 and VC-1 codec licenses from and at what cost?
A: The following might help you. The below details are merely our 1 time experience in this matter and we can not guarantee that your price or experience will be the same
  • We opted to buy only the MPEG-2 license
  • Go to http://www.raspberrypi.com/ and order your license/s
  • This is a private transaction between you and The Raspberrt Pi Foundation
  • They will request you RPi serial number(find it with the help of the next question).
  • Licenses are issued specific to the serial number of your Pi - can't be used on another Pi
  • This license does not expire
  • On our last license order the price was lower than the site price, because tax was deducted as the license was effectively exported to South Africa.(I do not know why)
  • Mpeg license converted from pound on 04/11/2014 before tax would be around R35.29(This is merely an estimate on the date mentioned to provide you with an indication of cost)
  • License arrived via email within 24 hours.
  • Follow the email instructions on how to set up the license
Q: How do I find my unique serial number for my Raspberry Pi board?
A: This number is not printed anywhere on the circuit board but is instead stored in the hardware; it must be retrieved using the command prompt. use the command: cat /proc/cpuinfo.

Q: How do I get my media onto RaspBMC?
A: You can easily add a USB flash drive or an external Hard Drive with your media on. Note that the external Hard Drive will have to operate on it's own power and not be USB powered. A different option is to use a powered usb hub to power the hard drive via USB and plug the USB switch into your Rpi.

Q: What is a USB powered hub?
A: A USB hub is a device that expands a single USB port into several so that there are more ports available to connect devices to a host system.

Q: What is the difference between knowledge and experience?
A: Knowledge is knowing that tomatoe is a fruit. Experience is knowing that you shouldn't add tomatoe to fruit salad.


5. Raspbian  & Apps

Q: What is Raspbian
A: Raspbian is a free operating system based on Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware according to http://www.raspbian.org/. It is sometimes also referred to as RASPBIAN Debian Wheezy.
Basically it turns your RPi into a desktop computer.

Following is a (growing) list of applications we and our customers found useful for Raspbian

Removal commands - for those"nope I don't like it"
  • sudo apt-get remove <package_name>    This command removes an installed package, leaving configuration files intact.
  • sudoapt-get purge <package_name>      This command completely removes a package and the associated configuration files. Configuration files residing in ~ are not usually affected by this command.

Load Geany - (Recommended GUI Used for Python programming)
sudo apt-get install geany

Load minecraft on Wheezy
sudo apt-get install minecraft-pi

Load Tetris
Sudo ?(Mmmmmmm - don't get happy yet.  Still can't find one)

Pi foundation Epiphany browser
sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser 

Firefox(renamed iceweasel) browser - We find it a bit too slow
Sudo apt-get install iceweasel

Thunderbird(renamed iceape) - Recommended for email
Sudo apt-get install iceape
LibreOffice - Full office suite - can open Microsoft Office documents
More detail about what the suite involves available at:
sudo apt-get install libreoffice



Q: What else can I do with the RPi?
A: We don't have enough space to add all of the projects so we included a link with a few: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/25-fun-things-to-do-with-a-raspberry-pi/

Q: Am I having fun yet?
A: Probably yes. All new toys are nice to play with. We have had some blood, sweat and tears with some of the more difficult RPi projects.But they were all woth it. NEVER GIVE UP! There is a lot of help available online and a huge variety of projects. Learn and play at the same time

Q: Is this the end of the FAQ?
A: Nope. This is only the beginning of a very big picture. New Questions and answers will be added daily. Send your questions to [email protected]

Q: Do you have one last tip for us?
A: Yes, always wear sunblock when you go outside for a swim