I came home from work this evening to find a small brown parcel containing a Raspberry Pi beta board that I had won in an ebay auction earlier this week. It was a charity auction with all the proceeds go to supporting the Raspberry Pi foundation whose aim is to promote computer science and electronics at the school level. I think this is an admirable aim – computer science has enabled me to run my own business, and I feel passionately that we should improve the teaching of it in schools.
The production boards should be going on sale in the next few months for £16 / £25 each depending on the model you choose. For those of you who are looking forward to ordering your own, I have taken some photos of it against my iPhone so you can get a better idea of the size for yourselves.
The first thing that strikes you about the Raspberry Pi board is how small it is. I had seen pictures of it online, but I’m sure it looked bigger! It’s great to see how far computing has evolved since I got my first BBC Model B computer approximately 25 years ago.
You can see the full size Raspberry Pi board diagram here.
Although these boards were designed for schools, I think they will transform the world of computing in myriad other ways. A few years ago the OLTP foundation set out to build a $100 laptop. 2012 marks the beginning of the $20 desktop.
What is the Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi board is effectively an entire computer on a credit card size board. Like a cut down Mac Mini, all you need is a keyboard and a monitor and you can run a full Linux desktop operating system like Fedora or Debian. It’ll even play Quake 3 and full 1080p films!
Re-using these photos
I’m releasing all these photos under the Creative commons attribution license:
Raspberry Pi Beta Board #8 Photos by Paul Maunders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.