I bought a Raspberry Pi… now what?

A few months ago I read a CNN article about a tiny computer that is essentially a miniature motherboard with ports for the typical peripherals. And it was only $25? Sign me up!

It’s called the Raspberry Pi, and after being on backorder for a month as I waited my turn with thousands of other geeks, it arrived at work a few days ago. A quick copying of the Raspbian operating system to an SD card, and plugging in a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and USB power adapter, was all it took to be up and running. Sweet!

The response from co-workers fell into two camps… either: “you got a Raspberry Pi!!” or “what the hell is that?” It is a fun bit of hardware to marvel at, but then comes the inevitable question, “what are you going to do with it?”

“Uh… I don’t know,” I say, before quickly diverting their attention to web sites featuring many of the cool things other people are doing with it, from custom cases to building a parallel computer to driving an Etch-a-Sketch. And kids are starting to use them in schools as learning devices, which is awesome.

But, I’ve got no clue yet what I might use it for and wonder how many of the million plus units that have been sold so far similarly sit like Charlie-in-the-boxes on islands of misfit toys waiting to be used for more than just a conversation piece. But I’ve got an elliptical trainer I don’t use either, and I spent a lot more than $25 on that!