I am now the proud owner of a Raspberry Pi, which is a credit-card size computer that can be connected to a TV and needs just a keyboard/mouse. The Raspberry Pi is very capable of doing your word-processing, spreadsheets, games and also plays high-definition video.
The boot-up is straightforward with a Debian squeeze and took me just 10 minutes to get it up and running (see below). A Fedora or ArchLinux distro may also be used.
The creators of the Raspberry Pi intended this to be used in schools and colleges to shape the future of younger students whose life will be shaped by software. Google is also funding computer teachers and Raspberry Pis in England in a move to reboot computing in the UK. The initiative is likely to power-up the new generation into learning computing skills, akin to what the BBC Micro did in the 1980s. With the current cost of $35 (Model B), it does make good sense that students in developing countries stand to benefit. Old TVs can be put into use, and with low power requirement (4 AA cells), I foresee a revolution in computing in these places.
I shall be keen to see what vulnerabilities this device may have (if any), I shall be posting on the testing that I carry out in the in the days to come.
Thanks to my mates Charudatt Uplap for nudging me to get one and Tim Langton for assisting me with the infrastructure and support.