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Between Arduino and Raspberry Pi, there's never been a better time for makers to make stuff powered by mini homemade computers.
Best of all, getting started is crazy-affordable, as evidenced by today's deal. For a limited time, Amazon has the Vilros Raspberry Pi 2 Complete Starter Kit with Edimax Wi-Fi for $58.49 shipped. That's after applying coupon code AY2SHMY9 at checkout.
For those of you already acquainted with this stuff, allow me to hit the highlights. The kit includes a 900MHz quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 (Model B) with 1GB of RAM, an 8GB microSD card with SD adapter, an HDMI cable and an Edimax Wi-Fi adapter.
Could you buy a barebones Raspberry Pi for less? Yes, but by the time you added in all the extras, you'd be looking at a higher total price. This comes with pretty much everything you need to build a complete, working PC -- including that microSD card, which is bootable and allows you to choose an OS right out of the box.
And what the heck would you do with such a PC? For starters, check out CNET'sand our gallery of .
Indeed, this is a tool for tinkerers. It's for folks who spend their spare time perusing Instructables -- or creating DIY projects of their own.
I can't say I'm part of that crowd, though I certainly love the idea of a taking a tiny, bare-bones PC and turning it into something cool. And this kit has staggeringly high ratings from a staggeringly high number of buyers (nearly 2,000).
Update:Yeesh! Talk about crazy timing. Mere moments after I clicked publish on this, the Raspberry Pi folks, with a price tag of just $35. That gets you just the circuit board, but anyone serious about this stuff might want to consider going that way instead. For less money you get more horsepower -- including built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Bonus deal: Windows no longer supports DVD playback out of the box, which is a bummer for anyone who still wants to use their PC as a media center. For a limited time, you can get the CyberLink PowerDVD 15 bundle for $47.96 when you apply coupon code CNETPDVD at checkout. That's an additional 20 percent off the already discounted price. The bundle includes not only media player PowerDVD 15, but also media converter MediaEspresso 7 and media-authoring utility Power2Go 10. Combined value: a little over $200.