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We have developed a multipurpose experimental control and data acquisition system designed for rapid prototyping of small educational experiments. The system has been designed with an emphasis on low cost, flexibility, and simplification of software and firmware design for minimal time to experiment. Software has been developed for command-line and html-based control and readout interfaces, as well as a TCP/IP server communicating with LabVIEW. A standard Linux kernel and open-source development tools simplifies software development. A common VHDL framework containing a standard interface with the computer's external peripheral bus allows rapid firmware development.