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Lifehacker’s Adam Pash put together a nice overview for using CDHK, the firmware enhancement toolkit for consumer-grade Canon point and shoot cameras. With CHDK and a compatible Canon device, you can capture images in RAW format, display live RGB histograms while shooting, and even write custom UBASIC scripts to take time-lapse photos or capture lightning strikes. It does all this while running from an SDCard, so it doesn’t require permanent modification to the camera’s firmware.

Turn Your Point-and-Shoot into a Super-Camera
Canon Hacker’s Development Kit WIki
UBASIC Script Programming