The Raspberry Pi

You may or may not have heard of a new gadget called the Raspberry Pi.

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video.

The product will simply look as below. No power supply, no memory, no cables for the monitor etc. At £29 Inc VAT for the current model (B) what would you expect?

I have ordered one and due to its demand I have recently been updated that I will not be receiving mine till June 2012. In fact, towards the end of last week the English supplier was getting 700 requests per second.

What do you get?

Model A has been redesigned to have 256Mb RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet (network connection). Model B has 256Mb RAM, 2 USB port and an Ethernet port.

The Raspberry Pi measures 85.60mm x 53.98mm x 17mm, with a little overlap for the SD card and connectors which project over the edges. It weighs 45g.

Cases will be available soon also.

All you need is a 5v micro USB power supply, a HDMI cable to link to your TV, an SD card, a wireless keyboard and mouse to get started.

To start you can run a Linux operating system and I’m pretty sure by the time I get mine an Android version will be available.

So what’s the fuss about?

Well firstly have you seen a PC that will cost in the region of £40. (once you buy cables and memory card)

The limits are really endless, there is talks to use it with touch screen monitors, overcooking and even running the punchy little PC off 4 x AA batteries instead of a mains cable.

I’ve grown up in a time where a lot of people want to be involved with the internet and spend most there time online, but not many people know how to code, how a pc works and what it looks like inside. The idea of the Raspberry Pi is to teach students the mechanics of what they use on a daily bases.

So why should i, or you be bothered about getting one if there aimed for students?

Well i for one think its actually pretty cool how you can buy one and simply add as much to it (within reason) as you wish.

I also think it would make for a great hobby, instead of reading books, watching TV, playing computer games or being online. Why not play with a gadget which allows you to code games like snake. I use this as an example as after two weeks videos online have appeared from people already doing this.

Tutorials on YouTube and a community on already sharing code and info, will make it relatively easy to design, create and run your own games, software and networks.

Most people know the story of Facebook and its background, in fact most platforms like Twitter, Pintrest, Tumblr etc where all founded by people of a coding background.

OK so coding isn’t something your too bothered about.

£40 for a PC might be. Yes it isn’t fully loaded however, there is already talks of future developments and new models.

You can run a HD game or a Bluray DVD through the first model without problems. You can link wirelessly to your router and surf the net. (Model B also via Ethernet cable)

Also the foundation who created the Raspberry Pi are going to Host an App store.

So in a few months time, maybe a year due to the demand, you’ll have thousands of developer’s sharing there own developments and software. All you’ll need to do is copy the code or download it (like a Smartphone app), it’ll have been designed/created to be both visually pleasing and provide a function. Your get things from games to YouTube and Facebook apps on something that’ll cost you as little as £29 (Inc VAT)

Tech spec (non technical see bold)

The SoC is a Broadcom BCM2835. This contains an ARM1176JZFS, with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU is capable of BluRay quality playback, using H.264 at 40MBits/s. It has a fast 3D core accessed using the supplied OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenVG libraries. The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode. The GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute and features a bunch of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure.

That is, graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to Xbox 1 level of performance. Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics.


  1. Peter says:

    HD Game, which HD Game? Quake does not fall under HD i guess

  2. John says:

    You are aware that WiFi is only via a USB dongle.
    And that you don’t need a wireless keyboard/mouse – any USB input device will do the job. Keyboard is probably needed…

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