This seems like the perfect place to talk a little about the latest hype in open technology that is the Raspberry Pi: It's minimalist, it's technology, it's super cost-efficient. I'm not a sales person by the way. I'm just genuinely intrigued by this idea.
And the idea is that for $25 you can get a credit-card sized computer (without a hull) operating on a Linux system with 256MB RAM and as much storage as the SD-card you give it. It's meant for schools to teach programming, but there are lot's of people getting one and building cool stuff with it. Just look around on youtube.
It even automatically starts an apache web server on boot. You can use it as a super minimalist web server - and it seems like it was made for evented programming like node.js as it supports a single execution thread very well. Also it has a lot of I/O pins that you could use for example to remote control all kinds of machinery with it.
I actually just got one of these. I haven't had the chance to set it up yet, but I'm pretty excited about it. I'm going to use it as an RV-PC. Not 100% sure what that means, but probably music/video server, maybe set up some security cams through it, and also thinking about setting up some way to control my lights with it. The most exciting part of it for my application is that it's so low power that I can leave it on 24/7.
What are you going to use yours for?
Yeah, using this for RV modding was my first thought too. Unfortunately this is still a distant dream for me. I'm excited to see your projects with it though.
I kind of enjoy being one of the prospectors as you say @War in Heaven. I don't really have any practical application for it but by god is it fun to just toy with it and build some low hanging fruit.
Aren't these powerful enough to run full computers from the era of approx. 2 decades ago? I remember owning a Mac back in the late 90's and using RamDoubler to try to extend my 64 MB of RAM to 128 (then later 192). Ahh good times.
I went on the site and read the articles at http://www.technologyreview.com/tr35/profile.aspx?trid=1307 and http://www.technologyreview.com/notebook/428894/incubating-programmers/
Some choice tidbits:
To keep Raspberry Pi small and cheap, the team wanted to build it on a single circuit board that could be stamped out, no further assembly required.
Ahh yes - dare to dream the dream!!!
My keen interest in online security and privacy has recently blossomed into a full on obsession. Some may say it's because I'm eccentric and weird, but it's at least partly because of the crazy new laws going down in this country. There is an excellent chance that all of your e-mails and IM conversations are at the very least being analyzed and logged. I doubt anyone actually reads them, but you never know.
The common argument against online privacy measures is "if you have nothing to hide, why do you care?". True, I'm not some criminal mastermind, but it's not unreasonable for people to think that I am. Many people in real life think that I'm a drug dealer for some reason. The forums that I visit to read about privacy concerns are often hot beds for credit card scammers. I think credit card scamming is retarded and would never do it, but I'd hate to be accused of being guilty by association.
There are also a lot of people sniffing traffic. The average internet user doesn't realize that it's not particularly difficult to intercept traffic on the internet - especially if you're using a wireless or shared connection. Encrypted communication can be intercepted, but not decoded - making it useless.
Gmail isn't secure or private, Google have admitted this. You simply cannot expect privacy from any service that you don't have control of. Thankfully your email doesn't have to be tied a mail service like Gmail, Yahoo or Microsoft. You can simply roll your own email server with your own domain name and easily create an (admittedly minimalist) Gmail equivalent.
Before you start
If you think this guide is too complex, that's totally understandable. Running your own mail server requires a reasonable amount of technical experience. If you're interesting in getting away from a service like Gmail and want a good alternative check-out https://mykolab.com/. It costs around 10 bucks a month for 2GB of storage, which isn't too bad. If you think this isn't enough space, you could either pay for more or have a mail client like thunderbird offline all non-essential email to your desktop.
What you're not getting