If you haven’t heart of Arduino or Raspberry Pi, then you need to get up to speed urgently. Arduino is revolutionizing hardware and gadget innovations. It is a do-it-your-self-hardware-kit that allows you to build complex systems by stacking up components like GPRS/3G, NFC, etc. Raspberry Pi is an ARM GNU/Linux box for $25.
However Kickstarter just funded the next generation of both projects:
The Parallella Super Computer (alternative link) for $99. A 64 Cores computer on a small board for an affordable price and very low power consumption. Imagine stacking a 100 parallella’s in a box. There is already a parallel programming competition set-up.
Both projects are open hardware and open source project, hence expect hobbyists to come up with lots of cool ideas…