It's easy to get carried away with a Raspberry Pi - however after a while you'll want to experiment with controlling more involved external hardware such as LED matrices and numeric LED displays. With other development platforms this may involve the classic MAX7219 IC, and with the help of Alex Eames you can easily harness this powerful part. Alex runs through the software and python code required to control the MAX7219 and demonstrates it with some inexpensive modules - as shown in the following video:
If you're looking for a more permanent way to mount circuitry to your Raspberry Pi, check out our new PiBreak - the prototyping board for the Raspberry Pi. It provides labelled breakout pins for all GPIOs, a large prototyping area with solder pads, and power rails for easy power connection:
Furthermore the PiBreak also includes mounting hardware to firmly attach it to your Raspberry Pi using a nut, bolt, and spacer - and is compatible with all revisions of both model A and B Raspberry Pi computers. For more information about our new PiBreakboard, our Getting Started guide, and to order - visit the product page.