Introducing the $25 Computer

The British nonprofit group Raspberry Pi aims to inspire young programmers with a desktop computer so inexpensive that schools could hand them out to students free of charge.

What's the Latest Development?


A new computer designed by the British nonprofit group Raspberry Pi currently looks like nothing more than a chip on a stick, but by next year, the company says the prototype could be made into a $25 computer. David Braben, a member of Raspberry Pi, says he wants to inspire a new generation of computer engineers by making programming more accessible than ever. While computer literacy classes teach students how to use a spreadsheet, classes that teach programming and more creative computer use have declined, says Braben.  

What's the Big Idea?

The new computer device has a powerful processor similar to those in high-end smart phones, a memory card reader for 32 gigabytes of storage, a screen connector ready for HD graphics, and up to three USB ports for a keyboard and other accessories. "Raspberry Pi's open-source software can handle everything that kids now come to expect—Web browser, e-mail, Facebook access—while providing tools to program and share their own creations. If a student deletes essential files by mistake or creates inappropriate material, a simple command will wipe the drive and return the machine to its original state."

Related Articles

Why the world needs death to prosper

Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.

Surprising Science
  • Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
  • After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
  • Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
Keep reading Show less

Why birds fly south for the winter—and more about bird migration

What do we see from watching birds move across the country?

E. Fleischer
Surprising Science
  • A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
  • The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
  • Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Keep reading Show less

How does alcohol affect your brain?

Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.

(Photo by Angie Garrett/Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
  • Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
  • Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
Keep reading Show less