In just a few weeks UK's Raspberry Pi Foundation will be ready to launch one of the most anticipated products of 2012 – a $35 computer. The Raspberry Pi Model B is a bare-bones circuit board that packs a surprising punch – 700 MHz ARM processor, 256 MB of memory, and HDMI output. Designed as a low cost, easy to explore learning platform to attract a new generation of students to coding, the Linux Box computer is a marvel of efficiency. The first 10,000 Model Bs will be shipping into (and then out of) the UK very soon, so it only makes sense that Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton would take the time to prepare everyone for what to expect. He gives a detailed report on the exciting new device in the video from Slashdot below.
The Raspberry Pi Model B may not look like much, but it's not supposed to. At $35 each (or just $25 for the yet to be seen, slightly less powerful Model A) the computer is cheap enough that no one should object when a student takes it home, plays around with it, and explores what makes it tick. Yet this computer isn't made to be disposable, just explorable...and ultimately rewarding in its use. To that end, one of the more exciting capabilities of the Model B will be available through an extension called the Gertboard. The Gertboard allows code on the Raspberry Pi computer to drive motors, actuators, and other physical devices in the real world. What could make programming sexier than being able to effect things around you?
Here's a quick demo of the Gertboard prototype:
Whether they are attracted to the portability, the power, or the price, people all over the globe have already expressed interest in the Raspberry Pi. As he mentions above, Upton raised thousands just by selling some of the beta boards on eBay. Hopefully students will be as drawn to the possibilities of the cheap and sturdy little computer.