If it feels like you’ve been waiting forever for an affordable computer, you’ll be delighted to know that the wait is finally over. Fresh out of the oven last month came the very first batch of Raspberry Pis – low-cost USB computer units for less than 40 bucks a piece.

The Raspberry Pi project initially came to be via David Braben, a British game developer who is known for having co-written the popular space-trading game Elite. The objective of the innovative, low-cost computer is to foster computer programming education in high schools that do not have the luxury of massive budgets.

There will be two types of Pi available: Model A will cost about $25 and feature 128 MB of RAM; Model B will cost about $35 and feature 256 MB of RAM as well as an Ethernet port. Both mini PCs are powered by Linux with a 700Mhz ARM 11 processor. They will also each have a USB port and an HDMI-output.

Raspberry Pi not only makes it easier for high-school kids to learn programming. The low-energy need of the computers makes it perfect for applications that are always on – i.e. powering a digital image frame or virtual signage. It can also be used as a tiny, portable noiseless home theater PC because of its HDMI output and 1080p decoding functionality. Word has it the Pi might be used to build robots, too – and for more intermediate users of the Raspberry Pi, the device can be used to play HQ videos which support Airplay and run Quake III.

Here’s an interesting tidbit regarding the Pi: to help fund the first surge of machines, the Raspberry Pi Foundation auctioned off a bunch of beta boards, one of which lured in a wager of over $1500 and was thereafter donated to the museum at the Centre for Computing History in the UK.

Visit Consumer Priority Services to obtain a warranty for your delicious Raspberry Pi!