Thoughts on the Raspberry Pi board

You may have heard about the Raspberry Pi, which is a low cost ($25 – $35) ARM based computer that has been making the rounds with some geek/technology enthusiasts. Their stated goal is to get more kids interested in programming and computer science by creating a low barrier to entry as possible. There’s been a huge demand for the board from the community and some really cool projects have already been started around them. If I get any, these projects are what I have in mind for them.

  • As an “HTPC” probably using Raspbmc. I’ll probably want to use this as a receiver for a more powerful media streaming server.
  • Driving a wall mounted LCD as a digital signage type display
    • An upgrade would be to drive a touchscreen and make it a “Control Center”
  • Home monitoring and automation
  • Data Acquisition system – I don’t know what this means yet, but it sounds cool…
  • Car computer
  • Kitchen computer
  • Weather Station
  • Of course there’s always the option of using it as an actual computer too…

I think it would be a good fit for any of these type projects, and the low cost makes it ideal for specialty purposes. I’ve seen plenty of people say that they would use it as a NAS and while it would be able to function like one, the performance on it isn’t going to be good at all. The mass storage will be limited to the USB (2.0?) speeds. It could work if you’re wanting to play around with some concepts or as a Pogoplug replacement, but you’ll quickly want a more robust full blown NAS solution when you inevitably scale past the Raspberry Pi’s performance.