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bought my son a 'starter' bundle minus USB hub and monitor. Are any suitable or do they need to be specific? Notice that some are VGA, others DVI etc. Also what should I look out for re USB hub. Looking to spend the minimum to see if he takes to it. Also any starter books that would be suitable as both parents are stupid.

TIA

Dave

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Welcome... "shopping list" type questions are generally frowned upon, so this may get closed quickly! –  Andrew Nov 23 '12 at 12:18
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2 Answers

Any monitor with a HDMI input should work with the Raspberry Pi. If your monitor has a DVI input, a HDMI to DVI adapter will be required.

I bought a used Dell monitor and I use a DVI --> HDMI cable to connect to my Raspberry Pi. You should look into a powered USB hub. The Raspberry Pi's power supply may not be sufficient to drive all USB powered devices.

Also any starter books that would be suitable as both parents are stupid.

You are the smartest parent because you bought a Raspberry Pi for your son. I don't know your son's age. The Raspberry Pi has got a scratch programming interface especially to teach programming to kids. If your son has some basic programming experience, this book might be helpful to work independently.

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Great, noticed some monitors were only VGA so ignore those. –  dave Nov 22 '12 at 15:28
    
Book noted too. Many thanks. –  dave Nov 22 '12 at 15:29
    
@dave: I was able to get HDMI --> DVI working. I have not tried VGA to HDMI on the Raspberry Pi. –  Sai Nov 22 '12 at 15:32
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Pretty much any monitor will work, but you may need to play with your output in the configuration file (force hdmi) if it is really old.

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Thanks for your feedback and welcome to the StackExchange community! :) Your answer is probably right but it may be better with explanations about where is the configuration file, what to modify, etc. or at least a link (not really recommended but still better than nothing). Even if dave didn't asked for, it could help other users looking for a solution to the problem of old hardware. –  Morgan Courbet Nov 24 '12 at 12:42
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