I’ve been fiddling around with raspberry pi for several months now (off and on). I have a few things to share. This little computer is awesome. It’s not exactly what you think it is, but in a way it is close.
To start off Raspberry Pi is everything you thought a smart phone would be before you got a smart phone. I don’t know why but I’ve always wanted a geiger counter in my smart phone. Since I couldn’t get one, I stopped using smart phones. However, if you want a geiger counter in your raspberry pi there is nothing stopping you.
More practically Raspberry Pi is a computer powered by a cell phone charger. On top of this small computer there are thousands of things that are far closer to what a triquarter (from star trek) can do than a smart-phone. Let’s just say you are locked into an Apple IIe iPhone and want a computer that isn’t so locked down like an IBM compatible Pi so that you can actually do the things you want to. To make that awful sentence clear I don’t own a smart-phone because it doesn’t do the things that I want it to.
The Pi can (with great effort) do the things I want it to. There are already a lot of lists you can find of ‘ideas’ people have about what to do with a Pi. These lists are for things that other people have already done. Oddly, these lists are close to what I thought a smart phone would do before I got one… I was an early adopter, but eventually gave up on smart phones.
Some examples of things I want my phone to do:
measure toxic chemicals in the air
air oxygen/nitrogen/co2/etc levels
test metals for conductivity
Partial Augmented Reality
Okay, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that Raspberry Pi does all of those already. However, it will be extremely extremely extremely difficulty for you to figure out how to get it working. Don’t worry though. It will be pretty cheap… just very time consuming.
I made this figure:
$25-$50 circa 2013