Since its release earlier this year, the Raspberry Pi has sold well over 100,000 units, with factories currently churning out 4,000 per day to meet demand.
The £30 device has attracted hobbyists far and wide, along with those interested in the system's educational use. The Raspberry Pi is currently the cheapest and one of the smallest embedded Linux systems on the market, offering high-end graphics, a modest ARM11 CPU, with HDMI, RCA video, GPIO, USB, Ethernet and camera interfaces, amongst others, making the tool incredibly flexible for small projects.
Often when we think electronics store, we think Maplin, as one of the few chain stores that specialises in electronics and hobbyist tools and equipment. Already the store sells the ever popular Arduino 8-bit microcontroller system plus various shields and, now it will be adding the Raspberry Pi to its repertoire.
Maplin will be stocking a Raspberry Pi Starter Kit, which includes a Raspberry Pi, of course, but also a 4GB MicroSD card, an AC powered 4-port USB hub, a USB keyboard and optical mouse, a 2.1A twin-USB mains supply, a 1.5M gold-plated USB A to Micro B cable, a 1.5M gold-plated HDMI cable and an N150 Nano WiFi dongle. All this will be offered at the not too unreasonable price of £69.99.
If you're still having doubts over the value of this little computer, most recently a man named David Hunt, managed to mod the battery grip of his Canon 5D MKII DSLR to incorporate the unit, opening up possibilities to extend functionality only seen on high-end devices, such as WiFi, USB storage, remote control and on-board image processing. Once David's software is complete, he'll have potentially saved himself thousands of pounds in equivalent functionality.