I waited for what seemed like an eternity before Raspberry Pi made it out of the gates. Now, after just a few months, a new ecosystem of software and accessories is emerging.
Would you like a $35 media centre? Check out the xbmc port, raspbmc (the Raspberry Pi Media Centre), and this cool multi-layer case from Pibow:
Additional third-party products continue to be announced on the Raspberry Pi site. What caught my attention today was the Gertboard, a multipurpose digital and analog i/o board for controlling relays and such.
Gertboard’s underlying technology is nothing special. I probably could have designed it myself, or adapted a something like a Velleman kit to do the same thing. But a product doesn’t need to be insanely innovative to be groundbreaking. The truly remarkable part is that when we combine well-supported Linux development tools with a hardware 1-2 punch like rpi+Gertboard, today’s microcontrollers / PLCs / development boards / core modules start to look a little long in the proverbial tooth. It’s no wonder rpi is endorsed by the likes of LadyAda and others in the open-source community.
Gertboard image from element14
Raspberry Pi is quickly evolving from a cute little novelty module into a very powerful, elegant and inexpensive Linux-based ARM platform for embedded applications and much more. Combined with Gertboard it could easily be the first nail in Arduino’s coffin.
The icing on the cake is that the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission is to bring programming to the masses. While their product is already economical, their conscious effort to demysfity software development adds even more value.
Large, colorful images require a lot of memory…and that’s one area where we’ll need more memory than an Arduino can provide. We had a hunch that the Raspberry Pi could make this process easier. But even we weren’t prepared for what a cakewalk this would be.
— Lady Ada, Light Painting with Raspberry Pi
Don’t get left behind. Even if you don’t plan to buy r-pi right now, the Foundation’s WordPress-based site is a great feed to add to your reader.