I say that as if it was hard. Actually, it was pretty dang easy to get the OS (a Linux variant) loaded on the memory card. Seems to work fine -- you can see I have Coyote Blog up in the browser. I am playing with it because I am looking for something to control signaling and other systems on a model railroad. I am more likely to use some kind of Arduino setup, but I wanted to play around with Python on Raspberry Pi as well.
Here is the card. The top wire is a micro-USB 5v power connector. Clockwise from that is a 32GB SD card (for memory), a bunch of empty programmable pins for I/O on the upper right of the board, the composite video connector and audio headphone out, two USB ports with my wireless keyboard connector, the network cable, and on the left the HDMI cable for video out (don't know yet if it has audio out over HDMI). As in the Arduino community, there are already daughter boards for the pin-outs with breadboards, motor controllers, and other gizmos.
I have been trying to play with Linux/Ubuntu, mainly because Linux seems a much better approach than Windows for dedicated video streaming boxes (e.g. those based on XBMC software). I also just got a Raspberry Pi, which is a sort of Anduino-like Linux-based small computer project board.
In playing with them, I have been dual-booting, which is somewhat </understatement> of a hassle. So I appreciate readers who encouraged me to try VirtualBox. Installed last night and seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
I have written before that I have a large movie collection ripped to a 16TB raid. In the past I have used SageTV to stream, but Sage was bought out by Google almost a year ago and has gone totally dark since then. So I switched to XBMC, which given I am not messing around with PC-based DVR, actually turns out to be a better solution from a software standpoint. I will post on my progress next week. The problem is getting a low cost streaming box to run it, like Sage had with the HD200 and HD300.
Here is the hottest product in the geeky build-your-own end of home theater, the Raspberry Pi. A tiny computer board that apparently will run XBMC (I presume the Linux version) and stream at a full 1080P and costs about $35. Right now, XBMC users are using either dedicated PC's or hacked AppleTV boxes. I have one of each on the work bench -- the dedicated PC is expensive and the AppleTV box based on the old ATV2 won't run 1080p. The new ATV3 will run 1080p but no one has apparently rooted that yet, and besides it is still a lot more than $35. So I am on the waiting list for my Pi.