Sick of having around big computers you can’t carry with you wherever you go. Face it, laptops aren’t even that comfortable. You can’t hold them too long on your knees, and you they aren’t really flexible. But things might change. A computer the size of a credit card which initially has been designed to teach children to code has gone on sale for the general public. Can you even imagine the size of such a device?
The name of the technology is Raspberry Pi and has been designed by academics from top notch Universities in the UK like the Cambridge. The device has been greeted with enthusiasm by educators who are hoping this new device will help increase programming skills in schools across Great Britain. The Raspberry Pi will be sold without a keyboard or monitor so far, we are told. The price tag is $35.
Initial sales look very good, but you should know that you can only purchase one device – if you manage to get on the overcrowded sites of the retail partners Farnell and RS Components. Unfortunately, if you want to buy Raspberry Pi in US, India or anywhere outside UK, you might have to wait a while as the retail partners are not able to meet the unexpected demands for the mini-computer.
So, you might be wondering what does this little wonder pack. Well the Raspberry Pi comes with a Broadcom BCM2835 700 MHz ARM1176JZFS processor with FPU and Videocore 4 GPU. This GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5 Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure, and 256MB RAM. It is capable of booting from a SD drive that will be running a Fedora version of Linux. The machine can be connected to a regular monitor and supports additional ports so users can add a keyboard, mouse and other peripheral devices suited to their needs. There’s also an Ethernet port in there, thus users can enjoy the benefits of high-speed internet connectivity.
The device pops out at a time when the Department of Education has started to consider the importance of teaching computing skills within schools and has started a bran new strategy directed towards finding new ways of implementing and teaching the subject. Michael Gove, one of the people behind the project, highlights that Raspberry Pi strives to achieve just that. Revolutionize the way children learn the fundamentals of programming. He goes on to say that the Pi will start selling for $35, while a cheaper version will go on sale for $25 later on this year.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity and is backed by some of the most influential names in the IT industry. The foundation encourages and supports developers, modders, coders and programmers in the hopes of further developments of the device.