I like the Raspberry Pi. No…I really like the Raspberry Pi. I’m sure there are a lot of other computers out there like it, but for $35, it’s a pretty cool piece of hardware for the hobbyist.
If you haven’t yet played with a Pi, it is a $35 computer all in one board that can be purchased from either the Raspberry Pi foundation (at http://www.raspberrypi.org), or at certain electronics stores, my favorite being Microcenter (http://www.microcenter.com).
It can be used for a bunch of cool things such as:
- Web server
- Home Media Server
- Arcade Controller
- Model Train Controller
It is based on an ARM processor and runs a few varieties of Linux. Also, it has a bunch of available GPIO (General Purpose Input / Output) pins, which can be configured in software to do all sorts of cool stuff, like attach a LCD display, IR receiver, or power button.
It is powered by a simple micro USB cable, the same kind used to charge most android phones. It also has 4 USB ports (for the Raspberry Pi B and Version 2), and wired ethernet.
Take a look at some of the Pi projects. Some are easier than others, but all are kind of fun.