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Raspberry Pi (computer)

I am looking into purchasing the Raspberry Pi motherboard and related accessories. Currently I am in the early research phase trying to determine whether or not it will meet my needs/expectations and where best to purchase.

Anybody here on B&B use this - maybe even to browse B&B? Where is the best place (US) to purchase? Anything I should particularly look for (or avoid)? What do you know about the Radio Shack kit?

I have some experience with Linux having built a computer from components several years ago and installed and used the OS..
 
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Just FYI, there are only 4 official distributors, as listed in the website FAQ. Anyone else is reselling and probably marking it up. I keep saying I want to try one but haven't gotten around to it yet, so I can't answer your needs.
 
They are pretty amazing for their size & cost. I saw a kit in Radio Shack and I think it was $149. It had more than you need for building a Pi to surf the web so if that's all you want, you could probably get by a lot cheaper. If you're willing to make a few compromises, the Pi can do quite a bit of stuff. It's not as snappy as a Core i5 or anything though.
 
I have one plugged into the back of the TV running RaspBMC. After a few teething problems originally its been pretty robust for the past 12 months. I'm happy with it!
 
They are pretty amazing for their size & cost. I saw a kit in Radio Shack and I think it was $149. It had more than you need for building a Pi to surf the web so if that's all you want, you could probably get by a lot cheaper. If you're willing to make a few compromises, the Pi can do quite a bit of stuff. It's not as snappy as a Core i5 or anything though.
The kit which I saw in Radio Shack locally cost $129. It included a book ("Getting Started with Raspberry Pi") which may not be my choice if I were wanting to buy a book ("Raspberry Pi User Guide" would be). Also, they added a bunch of electronic parts which only looks like they are bundling stuff as a way of moving that inventory.
 
What are you wanting to do with it?
I would want to use the Internet. It doesn't appear that my surfing needs exceed its capabilities (no streaming media, video editing, etc). Also, some programming with Python, text editing (vi will be fine), email. Mostly basic stuff. Something like B&B might be the most "involved" site I might want to navigate with it. Can it do that?
 
You can get a starter kit on Amazon for a decent price, certainly cheaper than Radio Shack. Unless you need all the extras, you can go with something more basic. You won't need anything but an HDMI cable to your monitor and keyboard/mouse and ethernet connection if all you want it for is surfing. The graphics package is pretty good on the Pi, and it runs XBMC well.

If you are going to run much USB off the Pi 9wireless keyboard/mouse etc), be sure to get a good powered USB hub. It keeps the glitches down.

Be sure to look up doing your boot off a USB stick. It saves a lot of hair tearing if the thing gets corrupted after a crash. It's kind of easy to bork the onboard memory and have to reload and do your setup all over again. With USB, you can avoid that.
 
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