I highly recommend the Raspberry Pi to anyone who is interested in learning how to use it. There are many different uses for it. In my case, I set mine up as an HTPC. Here is a picture of my setup:

IMG_0218

I used the following components:

Distros

I originally installed raspbian, which worked fine. The problem with raspbian is that I wanted it to be an HTPC. In this regard, you should definitely use one of the distros that has xbmc included (XBian, raspbmc, OpenELEC). It is much easier than trying to setup everything yourself. I am currently running XBian Alpha 5, and it is working great. Thanks to all of the people that worked very hard to make these distributions what they are today.

Patience

I had to re-install the image on the sd and start over several times. I got frustrated, but this is part of the process. Accept this fact and it will be much more enjoyable. A significant part of the process is learning how to setup and configure XBMC and your distro.

Just about every question you could ever have has already been asked. Please take the time to read the forums and take a look at Raspberry Pi Stack Exchange. If you do find yourself getting frustrated, step away for a bit. If you are anything like me, you will return to fiddling with it pretty soon.

Don’t even attempt this setup if you don’t have another machine. It is very helpful to be able to ssh into the raspberry pi.

Overall

It was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone with 1+ years of experience using a Linux distribution (including only personal use). I am very happy with my current setup and consider it money well spent. Do make sure that you order the correct compatible parts.

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