From Wired.com (which I don't run, btw--I just run the sister division, Wired Magazine), a good article explaining why the apparently underpowered Arduino has proven more successful than more powerful computing boards, such as the Beagle Board. Excerpt:
"The Arduino community is at least 100,000 users strong. But it is not alone.
The Beagleboard is a low-power, single-board computer, whose latest version is based on the same 1-GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor that drives the most sophisticated smartphones today. That gives it far more processing power than the Arduino. Yet the BeagleBoard hasn’t hit the same kind of chord with hardware hackers that the Arduino has.
“The BeagleBoard is not for a novice,” says Phil Torrone, senior editor at Make magazine and creative director at Adafruit, a company that sells DIY electronics and kits. “With an Arduino, you can get an LED light blinking in minutes.”
Five reasons are given for Arduino's success:
- Starter projects
- Costs and durability
- A thriving community
- Maturity is key
- Simple is attractive
Read the whole thing here.