I am a huge fan of these credit-card sized devices. I love the idea that this tiny, solid-state bit of circuitry can outperform an 80's super-computer. I am totally enamoured with how easy tinkering and tweaking is. I am absolutely thrilled with how easily they are available. But most of all, I am thoroughly enraptured by the vast ocean of applications for this magnificent piece of hardware.
I own multiple raspberry pi and pi-like devices.
I have the original Raspberry PI B+, with an ARMv6 clocked at 700MHz, 512MB Ram and an RJ45 fast ethernet interface.
I have the Raspberry PI 3B, with a quad-core ARMv8 SoC manufactured by Broadcom, clocked at 1.2GHz and 1GB or LPDDR2 RAM. It also has a built in WiFi and Bluetooth, and 4 USB ports.
- My current time-sink is a PINE64 device, which isn't a credit card sized board. It is actually about 4 times larger than the Raspberry PI. It has a quad-core ARMv8 CPU at 1.2GHZ similar to the RPi3 above, but the SoC is manufactured by a company called Allwinner. It sports 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, and what I consider the most important enhancement over both the RPi's above: a Gigabit Ethernet interface.
The three devices above run three very different flavours of Linux, and also have three very different applications running on them. They each have different tasks to do, and I am constantly tinkering and tweaking with all three, getting them to do something new, or something more exciting.
They have helped me learn so much in Linux (and Unix) internals, and have provided hours, nay weeks, of fun (and occasionally, frustration) when working on a new project.
I shall keep writing more about these various projects, and all the applications each of the devices run.
Unsurprisingly, I am actually typing this out on the first of said devices...