Will the $25 Computer Change Everything?
This week, the first orders of the $25 Raspberry Pi computer began shipping. Its designers expect a plethora of new technology as a result—and a new generation of programmers.
What's the Latest Development?
This week, the first shipments of the $25 Raspberry Pi computer began leaving China for all parts of the world. Designed in England, the computer is about the size of a credit card and forms part of the open-hardware movement. Founder of Raspberry Pi, Eben Upton, explains that "it’s a Linux PC with an ARM processor instead of the x86 processor that you’d find inside most Linux desktops. ... We’ve experienced a steady decline in both the number and the range of skills of children programming computers, particularly people applying to study computer science and higher education. And this is really intended to fill that gap."
What's the Big Idea?
Beyond giving billions of people access to the hardware needed to program a computer—no small feat, to be sure—Upton expects a wide range of new technology to be developed using the Raspberry Pi because the tiny computer allows users to control more complex machines. "People have talked about using them in various aerospace applications: so, balloons, sounding rockets, at least one group of people talking about nanosat." Despite the computer's wide popularity, Upton is not in it for the money, and is happy not to sacrifice creating value in order to capture it at the other end.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
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