@tufty: Thanks for your info.
I think we have gathered some useful points for using raspi without a monitor. I\'ll put a summary here:
1. You can either use SSH through ethernet wire or serial through UART to connect to raspi from your computer. SSH is faster, fast enough to do x forwarding, provided that SSH host support is included in the system and it boots successfully. And, you know, you don\'t want to do \'ifconfig eth0 down\' in a ssh session. Low-level UART is a safer choice, which should always work even if your system image fails to boot.
2. You need a regular ethernet wire for SSH or an UART-to-USB adapter for UART connections, like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/150710735528
. And since raspi won\'t ship with header fitted, you need to solder a 3-pin pcb header http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=header+pins
on the board to make it work. Ask a teacher at school for assistance for soldering and persuade him/her to buy the pcb headers for you and for science. The three pins are GND, TXD and RXD, as shown in the wiki: http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoard#Prod ... PIO_Header
. There\'s no cheap and reliable alternatives to pcb headers, though you can theoretically use glue (well... don\'t do it).
3. For SSH or UART under windows, putty can handle it all, but you can also use hyperterm for UART. Under Linux, use openssh/dropbear for SSH and minicom/screen for UART/serial.
Credit: Chris-Tyler, gbiohazard, tufty, hippy, Johannes, contributors of the raspi wiki
Anything I missed/got wrong? Can someone post this on the wiki?