Mmm, Pi.

During my current creativity drought I’ve been trying to find assorted electronic gizmos and come up with ideas. It hasn’t been working, at all. Still, it has led me to discover new such gizmos to keep in the mental library for future use. Perhaps the most interesting of these is the Raspberry Pi.

The reason it’s so interesting is that it is, in essence, a $25 Arduino-sized Linux PC.

Holy crap think of the possibilities of that! I mean really, do so, because I’ve been struggling. There’s a $35 upgraded version with some built in hardware for video decoding, which has turned it into the (eventual) hot new thing for media PCs. It’s also going to offer a tremendous amount more flexibility in the programming it can run than an Arduino… though it will be WAY more of a bitch to set up and run.

If this sort of thing had been available in the late 90s it would have turned into what we called (at the time) an MP3-car. iPods and MP3 cds weren’t around then, so those of us who were on the crest of the pirated music wave had to come up with other options. One friend installed a motherboard in the center console of his truck. I went far less permanent (and less elegant) by hiding a disembodied laptop behind the passenger seat. Of course, now media of that nature is so common in cars that there’d really be little point to that.

But you get the idea. A micro-computing platform like this is going to have a lot of potential. I imagine it will become MASSIVELY popular for hobby robotics and automated drones. Anyway. That one’s been on my mind.