Official Raspberry Pi User Guide coming soon… for $14

What’s the perfect accessory for a $35 computer? How about a $14 book explaining how to use it?

The official Raspberry Pi User Guide is up for pre-order in the US and UK, priced at $13.59 and £11.69, respectively. The book is written by Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton and journalist Gareth Halfacree, and it’s described as “everything you need to get started with your Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi User Guide

That includes information on Linux for beginners, tips for loading an operating system on an SD card, and programming.

There’s also information on using the little computer as a media center. While it has a slow 700 MHz ARM11 processor, the integrated graphics processor can handle 1080p HD video playback, and there are already early builds of the popular XBMC media center application for the Raspberry Pi.

In other words, the book will contain a lot of information that’s already available online in the Raspberry Pi wiki, forum, and other locations. But it will be in book form.

I suppose one of the reasons the Raspberry Pi foundation can sell the little computer for such a low price is because it doesn’t have to print and distribute a user manual. And $13.59 really isn’t that much to pay for a technical manual of this sort. But it does seem a little odd that the user guide for the little computer costs almost half as much as the PC itself.

Update: There’s now an abridged version available at a lower price.

  • DougC3

    I think this is a great idea. I’ve often wished hackers had more time and/or communication skills to put together fairly comprehensive guides in their areas of expertise–not fat books filled with useless information, but cookbook procedures with all the steps in one place instead of strung out over several hundred forum posts. Since there would be a limited demand, such guides could be downloaded in a pdf booklet format for a few bucks.

    I’ve run into a few examples of this, such as the CHDK hack for Cannon cameras, which, if I remember correctly, was free with donations possible. It is an excellent guide booklet, and I would be glad to pay $5 to $10 for this sort of download (or more for a printed manual) if it would encourage more people to produce them.