Raspberry Pi, a newly launched credit-card sized computer, weighing about 45g, can be plugged into your TV and a keyboard. The main purpose of this innovation, by the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charitable one; by building the cheapest computer at $25, can provide an assured fundamental level of functionality.
This little PC has almost all the features of a desktop PC. It is equipped with spreadsheets, word processing and games. It also plays HD videos, has a SD card slot and connectors, that project over the edges. Mike, keyboards, network adapters and external storage will all connect, via a USB hub. A composite HDMI, out of the board allows you to hook it up, to a digital analogue, television or to a DVI monitor. There are adapters available with a standard 3.5mm jack, or you can use HDMI. It also supports any USB microphone via a hub. It is a $25 computer that is powerful enough to run Quake 3, an incredibly powerful 3D video game.
There are two models of Raspberry Pi; Model A which is powered by 5v micro USB and has Wi-Fi via a standard USB dongle. It is designed for the education market. Model B is a slightly flashier alternative, which sports double the RAM of the base version and includes 10/100 wired Ethernet. Its creators have also announced the ‘Gertboard’, a small expansion board that can be added to the Rasberry Pi. It will add ‘fun stuff’ such as flash LED’s on and off, drive motors, run sensors, etc.
Presently, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has put four pre-production models on eBay. All of the four auctioned devices have commanded a big chunk over the vaunted $35 price tag. Even though, this miniature computer is anticipated to hit the market anytime now, it hasn’t stopped fervent fans from engaging in an online bidding war over some preproduction units.
The first Raspberry Pi to be put up for auction had allured bids starting from an impressive £565 and as high as £1,750. All the proceeds from the auction are projected towards Raspberry Pi Foundation’s goal of promoting computer science education in school.
In an interview with Business Insider, Eben Upton, Executive Director of Raspberry Pi Foundation mentioned:
- The idea at the rear of creating Raspberry Pi was conceived to teach kids to learn how to manipulate and program computers early on.
- The Raspberry Pi foundation intends to outsource the technology and enable some company in China for the production of a million computers. This will empower the developing countries to introduce these gadgets in schools.
- Raspberry Pi is looking ahead for third parties, who can start developing these devices, midway through 2012.
- The multimedia presentation of the Raspberry considerably superior than the Tegra 3, a chip worn by many modern smart phones.
- The intention is not to make profit. Even though it is quite easy to turn something like this into a full fledged and profit making business, Upton maintains that it will remain a non profit organization.
- The target is to make available 10,000 units once or twice a month and about 100,000 through the year.
Well, it certainly won’t replace typical desktops, but the vision behind the project is to empower, enlighten and educate young minds. By bestowing this into the hands of clever children and enthusiasts all around the world over, Raspberry Pi will contribute in creating opportunities, for those who otherwise wouldn’t afford the sky high prices of post modern technology. It will open new doors for them and set new standards in the educational society. And hey, its powerful enough to pump out a whole new generation of children to the joys of Quake and other essential basic features.