One of the biggest criticisms of the Raspberry Pi experience has been the software. Although the operating system is free and very powerful, it wasn't always the easiest to setup and install. Not to mention that upon install, new users are presented with a command line that they nothing about.
There are also several other Operating Systems available that offer different experiences and and switching between them required an intimate knowledge of Linux and how to reformat SD cards.
The Raspberry Pi foundation recognized this and with the latest release of their software, things just got a whole lot easier. The new release codenamed NOOBS is a complete package of 6 different operating systems. All are provided free of charge and can fit on one 4Gb SD card. You can grab a copy of the NOOBS zip file, and unpack it onto a freshly formatted 4GB (or larger) SD card and plug into your Pi.
Upon boot-up you are presented with an menu prompting you to select a operating system
Once you have selected and installed the operating system your Pi will boot as normal. The great part is that if you want to switch, it is a simple as holding down the shift key when you reboot. One caution though if you select a new operating system, your settings from the previous session are erased. In the boot menu, a text editor and web browser are included in case you get stuck.
Aurora web browser (requires network access)
Next week - NOOBS Part 2 - explaining the different operating systems