For a long time I heard about this little device called a Raspberry Pi. The Pi is purported to be a cheap computer, and is nothing more than a tiny circuit board with SD card slot, HDMI video port, USB and Ethernet connection. Finally, on a whim, I decided to pick one up and check it out.
The first thing I noticed is that the Raspberry Pi is even tinier in person that it appears to be in pictures. It literally fits in the palm of my hand. Because it is so small, there is not any hard drive to install an operating system on. Instead, the Pi uses and SD card to boot and run whatever software the user decides to put on it. When I bought it, I intended to use it to run XBMC, a media center application. So that's what I did. And when I realized that I could actually do more with it than just that, and so I started playing around with many different things.
During the couple of months that I have had the Raspberry Pi, it has been a media player, a web server running Linux, a game emulator, and a personal cloud service. This little thing does so much, I find myself wondering why I waited so long to purchase one. Granted, the Pi is a little underpowered for a computer, because of the ARM processor and 512mb of Ram. But when you consider the very low cost and the amount of things you can actually do with it (Robotics, anyone?), it is well worth the cost.