as part of our
How much are you planning to spend on your next computer?
Here's an idea. How about $35?
It's possible, thanks to U.K. non-profit, the Raspberry Pi
The device works pretty much just like a standard computer, too.
Just plug in your monitor, keyboard and mouse, and you're up and
running. It's capable of storing files, supporting 1080p high
definition video, playing games, and has an ethernet port to
connect to the internet.
The difference is, this particular machine is the size of a
credit card, receives power from a mobile phone charger and looks
more like a component you'd find
Also, as you might expect for a $35 computer, you're not going
to see the blazingly fast processor speeds you'd get with
In fact, with only 256 MB (megabytes) of RAM built into the
Raspberry Pi computer, some newer smartphones have beefier
processing power. The
) iPhone 4S, for instance, has twice the RAM with 512MB. And the
(SEO: 005930) Galaxy Nexus comes with a full gigabyte.
Although creating a full-blown multi-tasking monster to compete
with modern machines wasn't the goal to begin with…
Grooming New Software Developers
The main purpose of rolling out Raspberry Pi is to get more
computers in schools.
And more specifically, the Foundation is attempting to lay the
groundwork for a new, better prepared generation of young computer
programmers. That's why it decided to use the free Linux operating
system, an open source platform that's more tailored to would-be
As Eben Upton, executive director of Raspberry Pi says:
"We just want to get kids programming. The goal here is to
increase the number of children to apply to university to do
computer science and to increase the range of things they know
how to do when they arrive."
The idea is, for $35, schools won't be hesitant to allow kids to
get their hands dirty by playing around with the computer's
My thoughts? Bring it on.
With more connected devices hitting the market, preparing future
programmers to innovate and ultimately make electronics more useful
in our daily lives sounds like the best idea I've heard all
Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks so, either…
Raspberry Pi Beyond the Classroom
Unsurprisingly, after the Raspberry Pi computer officially went
on sale yesterday, it sold out within minutes.
And with a device that costs less than half your monthly
smartphone bill, you can bet that this demand is only going to ramp
Especially considering that the $35 price tag is actually for
the "higher end" model. Another version of the machine, dubbed
Model A, costs just $25.
Plus, with its ability to play high definition video, consumers
could end up purchasing it simply as a low cost alternative to
video streaming devices that are currently invading living rooms.
Like the Roku Player ($79), Boxee Box ($179), Google TV ($159) or
Apple TV ($99).
Eventually, Raspberry Pi plans to encase the open board device,
too. Which should only serve to further boost sales in the coming
There's no question that this barebones computer has potential,
both in and out of the classroom.
Would you consider buying one? Sound off in the comments or head
on over to Facebook or
to give us your opinion there.