The BeagleBone Black is a fantastic tool. It's tiny, with Linux, with a lot of inputs/outputs, with an ethernet port, a micro SD slot... You can even connect a HDMI screen. It costs only $45. Amazing!
To me it's an easy way to build a test server. I will also use the BeagleBone Black to monitor Native French Speech website in real time.
I still have to grasp how to use the serial communication protocols efficiently.