So, here is what you will need to do if you are interested in getting one, but don't know where to start:
1. Buy a raspberry pi. You can do this online, there are a few distributors. Go to raspberry.org to figure out which one to use, based on your country. Or maybe your local hackerspace is doing group buys on them, check them out.
2. Wait a while until you get one delivered to your door.
Seriously, it will take a while, so in the meantime, start shopping or digging around for the other stuff you will need. At a minimum, you will need:
1. A 5v micro usb power supply
2. A 4GB SD CARD
3. A USB keyboard
4. An old tv or color monitor with composite (RCA) in.
It will make things nicer if you also get:
5. A USB mouse
6. A USB hub
7. A wifi dongle
8. A case
9. A USB drive
Instead of 4, an HDMI monitor might be a better option, particularly if the Raspberry Pi will be used as a full time desktop computer. The Pi doesn't support VGA directly, but an active adapter can be bought (expensive).
Yes, the $35 computer can cost twice that or more depending on the options.
So, today, we will address point #1, the power supply. Physically, the plug needs to be a micro USB and electrically, it needs to deliver 5V at 700 mA or more (0.7 A). Look around, you probably have a cell phone power supply that will work.
I've used Blackberry Power supplies, quite appropriate for a Raspberry...
But another option I am quite fond of is the Duracell 3 in 1 charger. I've not seen anybody mentioning it anywhere, but i've been using a few for months now and they work well.
It has adapters for iPhone and iPad, motorola, kindle, nook, samsung, lg, blackberry etc.
It is 3 in 1 because you can use it from the wall socket, from 12V (in a car or a solar kit) or from a USB port, including a battery pack (that part is not included). It puts out 4.75V to 5.25V at around 1 A. Perfect match for the RPi.
The tip to use is the micro USB.
So, once everything is connected together, you'll get this:
It sells online for about $13 to $20 but in local discount retail stores (in the USA) I've found them for about $12, so it pays to shop around. If you know of an equivalent product in your neck of the woods, drop us a note in a comment!
Next on our list will be the SD card...