Raspberry Pi Launches Today

[drop2]There’s only so much stuff we can cover here on TSA, but that said it saddens me that there wasn’t a tag waiting for me when I came to write this up this morning.

The release of the Raspberry Pi is an incredibly important statement – it’s essentially a super cheap computer (around £22) designed to get people that wouldn’t normally have access to such technology up and running.

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The website’s taking a battering, but the point is simple: the Model B version (which is the first one to release) contains 256MB RAM, USB slots and an Ethernet port, and once you’ve plugged in a keyboard and mouse will run Linux without a great deal of fuss.

The specs? It’s a 700MHz CPU, the GPU features plenty of hardware acceleration and there’s plenty of RAM. Fedora will boot from SD card, and there’s HDMI out along with most other expected IO ports.

It’s also tiny.

I’m tempted to grab one purely as an emulation machine, that chipset will run pretty much anything I want it to given that there’s loads of Linux software to do the job.

You?

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29 Comments

  1. I suspect that many people will be doing the same. However I think that this device could easily be a massively significant step towards getting technology into more deprived areas. Larger scale production would bring the price down further, add a simple case, bulk bought mouse, keyboard and monitor and you could still be this side of £50. We could be witnessing a watershed moment.

  2. Wow, that’s a pretty cool idea. So is the sd card slot the machine’s storage or more of a card reader?

    • Can be everything, the OS sits on there plus you could swap for a larger capacity card or connect a peripheral like external HDD via one of the USB ports

  3. Picking one up & will be trying it out as a Home Theatre PC.

    The GPU is really powerful, and it’s a great, cheap way to learn about how stuff works, a great eduction tool which could hopefully usher in a new wave of bedroom programmers and put the UK back on the front-foot IT-wise

  4. I’m currently at work in 1 of the 2 officially licensed Raspberry Pi suppliers and I can confirm the demand for this product is massive. It’s actually been quite an exciting day having such a product and such a demand, this must be what it’s like to work at Apple on iPad release day, except a little bit smaller in scale of course

    • Good, can you ask them to update their site so we can actually buy it please? =)

      • I don’t have that kind of power, I just make tea and wash dishes ;-)

  5. ithat’s the one David Braben, of Elite fame, is involved with isn’t it?

    i remember seeing a video of somebody running quake on it.

    seems like a great, very, little piece of kit.

    • You did, here’s the Quake3 demo, looks great… Miles better performance than my old desktop
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_mDuJuvZjI

      • Wow, very impressed by the videos. I wasn’t really expecting much from this board but’s actually pretty powerful for its price.

      • Wow, that’s incredibly impressive. I just might pick up one of these for the hell of it, I love tinkering with stuff and they’re not so expensive I’ll be scared of messing with them.

  6. Farnell site is borked and RS won’t let you buy from there, only register interest. I think I’ll give it a few hours before trying again.

  7. Ooh, this takes me back to the ‘good old days’ of the BBC and Speccy and the excitement of being able to code anywhere from a few simple lines of code through to full blown games (I was very young back then so copied my games by hand out of magazines/books. Without those original computers I would never have taken the career path I have so, I have a lot to be thankful for.
    I’m looking to get one of these for my 6 year old son now as he’s already showing strong signs of being similarly techy. It would be good though if they put a very cheap and removable cover on the board to stop mucky little fingers breaking it.

  8. This thing has less RAM than a field in Camarthen good idea but how long is it gonna take to get anything done.

    • Oh you’d be surprised how capable this machine is, take a look at the links posted in the comments above.

  9. This is seriously waaaay cool.
    Its a serious game changer, a lot of terminal based businesses could dramatically lower their IT costs with this.

  10. I don’t understand how this little piece of kit can do what it does in those videos post! I have an Acer Aspire One ZG5 with Ubuntu install; ok it’s a couple of years old now but I upgraded the RAM to 1.5GB as soon as I got it and it still struggles if I start opening loads of apps or if I try to watch some NSFW videos ;)

    The last one is more likely to do with the amount of flash and all the adverts on those types of sites though… But still, the most I get out of this laptop is surfing the web, torrents and the occasional game of poker.

    • Probably your operating system using most of the RAM, 4GB is where it’s at if you want to run Windows and some other stuff, sure 2GB works but 4GB is probably the actual minimum for a good user experience.

      Fedora the chosen operating system for this will work just fine and still have room to run 1080p30 video.

      • That’s the thing though, I don’t run Windows. I would expect it to run slow if I had Windows installed but it’s only ickle ubuntu I’ve got :(

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