Computers are reaching new lows. Low prices, low size, and low thresholds for intraductory use. Devices such as the Basic Stamp and Arduino are available from Radio Shack, with starter kits under $50. These are different from a Raspberry Pi in the way that a mainframe is different from an old Apple II. The mainframe and the RP are great for programs that deal with files and data, but can't interact with the real world. The BS (and kin) and the Arduino are made for the real world; to make
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Rob, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, and hope
System going down in 5 minutes.