I seem to be one of countless scores of people who just don't seem to have the magic touch in getting this little machine to actually run. I will walk through the history of what I have done.
Model B, Emtec 4GB SD card class 4 (on the wikipedia approved list of RPI SD cards), yellow VGA cable to a television. I formatted the card with Windows 7 and copied the Raspbian net installer files on, tried to boot, nothing but a red light.
Flashed the card with flashnul, reformatted with SDFormatter this time, copied the files, same thing. Repeated the steps of the last sentence with a second SD card that is exact same make and model. Same thing.
Took voltimeter and tested power supply, showing less than 5v, charger is rated for 1000mA.
Repeated the flash/format step again, installed NOOB's thinking it would be so easy a child could do it. IT BOOTS! Install Arch, restart, IT IS ARCH! COOL! Follow the wiki steps on setting up Arch, run the pacman updates, system updates itself fine, pull power, wait 20 seconds, plug back in... it took 2 hours to boot complaining about persistent journal or some such nonsense. It goes into error mode, so I check and the pacman database is corrupted. I try to man pacman and learn more about it but I get errors. I eventually give up trying to repair Pacman installation and decide to flash/format again this time with a different download of Raspbian Installer on the Raspbian.org website, the one that says it is abandonware and that we shouldn't use it but they still strangely have a link to it?
Well trying to flashnul the card this time gave me Access Denied errors on various sectors... sigh... I reboot my desktop and this time flasnul works, reformat with SDFormatter, copy the Raspbian installer boot files, try the Pi, again nothing but the dreaded red light.
I must be missing the secret sauce to get this blasted contraption to actually work correctly. I was hoping that I could use this to teach children about computers and introduce them to Scratch but I feel like I must be doing something wrong. Clearly I am not alone, the internet is flooded with people who struggle just getting it to boot. It is like trying to pick fly poop out of pepper while wearing boxing gloves! Why is it so hard? Did I get a defective one? (NOTE: it is a UK model, blue audio jack).