I'm Jim Manley and I'm a Raspaholic ... oh, wait, wrong group!
Well, the cat's out of the bag, already - I've been excitedly following the R-Pi development since the demos of the early USB-HDMI stick prototype in May 2011 and was one of the 100,000+ victims ... I mean customers ... trying to give someone, anyone, money in exchange for one of the "mythical beasts" rumored to be available as of February 29th, 2012.
My first computer was a General Electric 635 mainframe - well, I had to share it with only a few thousand other users, but, only a couple of hundred at any one time, mostly on Model 25 Teletype terminals in the basement of my college dorm building and academic buildings. My first personally-owned computer was an Ohio Scientific 6502 microcomputer, followed by an Apple ][, ///, //c, Mac, Mac 512K, Mac Plus, Mac II, etc., all the way up to the latest iPads, iPhone 4S, and soon, I can only hope, a Raspberry Pi (I do love fresh fruit ).
In addition to being a software engineer at various startup companies over the last couple of decades, I'm a volunteer senior docent, Babbage Difference Engine operator/presenter/maintainer, artifact restoration engineer, and historian at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, smack-dab in the middle of SillyCon Valley. In addition to its mission "to preserve and present for posterity the artifacts and stories of the Information Age", the museum partners with educators to provide an introduction to computing fundamentals to kids as young as four years old, up through high schools and graduate schools at Stanford, UC Berkeley, etc. I will be heading up an effort to use the Raspberry Pi as the current platform to show museum visitors during my tours, and for kids to experiment with computing hardware and software in a very hands-on manner, just as kids did going back to my days building circuits from discrete transistors and passive components.
I'm looking forward to the many projects others have described here and will be participating in those of most interest to me, which will still be too many for the time I will have available. I'm starting a SillyCon Valley R-Pi SIG that will meet at the museum at least monthly that will serve as a touchstone between us geeks and our friends in education, including students, teachers and parents. I'll post here once we actually have our R-Pi boards in-the-flesh, or in-the-copper, so to speak
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close!
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!