Tuesday, October 30, 2012

[TechTuesday] The simplicity of freedom

Lately in the world of Technology and Open Source, there have been a number of fun little techy toys that have become so popular that it has taken the world wide web by storm. One of these such techy toys has been the Raspberry Pi, a very simplistic, easy to understand device that runs for the low cost of  $35.

But what about this very simplistic device makes it so popular, and so powerful? Follow the jump to learn more...

The image above is only just the beginning in defining the sheer simplicity of the Single Board processing system, or as some people see it as a Hobby device. This small credit card sized device has enough power to run a Linux Operating System, and has enough ports to allow for a keyboard and mouse to be hooked up via USB. There are additional connections for an Ethernet cable, speakers, HDMI, RCA Video, and a GPIO socket so you can potentially upgrade the board to do additional fun things.

The device stores all its information on a small SD card (as seen on the image above) as well as an on board flash drive that stores the OS. There have been many other companies who have been taking advantage of the popularity of this older concept, such as the Hackberry. But the popularity isn't so much what is ON the board, but its affordability and flexibility.

All one needs to do is go to your search engine of choice, and search Raspberry Pi, and one can find a HUGE list of fun projects people have turned this fun little device into. What is even better, the Open Source Community, and especially the Linux Community, have taken this device as an educational resource, letting themselves learn hands on how to build their own OS and how it applies to the very simple board structure. Add in some extra devices, and people can then begin to learn how to build device drivers and functionality that way.

The largest fun element to this, is the fact that this one board is all inclusive and it promotes creativity, at a fraction of the cost of what most people would consider to pay for a computer. As apposed to just having a pre-assembled computer with stuff slammed into it that many people don't need, for the simple fact of accommodating everyone, providing solutions like that that are simple and open gives people the power and ability to take these kinds of things to an entirely new level.

And, assuming those who enjoy building communities around Open Technology, can share their discoveries to those around them and help in the overall growing process. True simplicity that fosters self discovery, education, creativity, and individualization. Who could ask for more?

Now I hand this off to you all, what would you want to do with such a simple, cost effective device such as the Raspberry Pi? What kind of Single Board components would you want to try to connect to it? What has been your favorite creation that has been a byproduct of the Raspberry Pi revolution?

Till next time blogosphere!