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hardware for use in hack projects has become increasingly popular. users are now using their tech hardware as items to mould into tools that do exactly what they want them to - from creating smart phone apps to creating electronic prototypes with a raspberry pi or arduino.

as a general rule, hardware featured here will be:

computer boards and electronics

small prototyping boards for code and electronic hardware projects.

raspberry pi zero

a much smaller version of the Raspberry Pi - designed for internet of things projects.

indicative cost

£4

 raspberry pi foundation

raspberry pi

the raspberry pi mini-computer, perfect for use in libraries - great for both children and adult hackers. can run a variety of operating systems from an SD card.

indicative cost

£25

 raspberry pi foundation

littleBits

DIY electronics for prototyping and learning - a modular, open-source, and fun prototyping solution for families, classroom environments and general tinkering.

indicative cost

£80-£200

 littleBits site

intel edison

a tiny (SD card sized) computer for prototyping wearables.

indicative cost

£50

 Edison site

arduino

an open source electronics prototyping platform with custom programming language and development environment.

indicative cost

£20

 arduino site

mobile

mobile-technology prototyping

piratebox

a DIY anonymous offline file-sharing and communications system built with free software and inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware. see site for DIY setup guides, including for raspberry pi.

indicative cost

 piratebox home page

NFC tags

near field communication tags. using RFID standards these tags hold data and allow contactless communication between the tag and NFC devices (mobile/tablet).

indicative cost

£0.50

 nfc on wikipedia

librarybox

based on piratebox, this is a portable web server which acts as a wifi router and portal to deliver educational and library content without the need for a web connection.

indicative cost

$150

 librarybox home page

printing

creating physical objects.

3D printers

printing objects, not just words and images. 3D printers are the must-have tools for libraries wanting to become maker spaces and fab labs.

indicative cost

£1000-£5000.

 makerbot 3D printers

presenting

tools for presenting and displaying visuals.

google chromecast

the dongle sized receiver that plugs into a tv and allows content streaming from a pc, tablet or mobile - useful for presentations.

indicative cost

£30.

 chromecast google site