Shortly after I embarked on a study of Python, which is my first foray into programming, my sister, the UNIX guru, surprised me with a little raspberry pi. If you have not encountered one already, a raspberry pi is a little self-contained computer the size of a credit card that retails for about $30. Here it is shown in its optional case. The business card beside it provides a size comparison.
It comes with connections for standard peripherals (keyboard, mouse and monitor) and free operating system and software sufficient for learning Python,handling standard word processing, spreadsheets and other tasks, both common and more advanced, such as home theater and robotics.
Designed to provide complete, low-cost tools to teach students programming, it is an impressive little package that has accomplished its goal very well and thereby taken the world by storm. Programmers like it because it lets them test programs without risking damage to the family PC. Parents and students like it for its portability, completeness and low cost. Although its power is more comparable to a cell phone than a standard computer, its design nevertheless allows very complex and sophisticated applications.