What a seriously great idea from @Elana.
What the heck is Raspberry Pi?
It’s a tiny Embedded PC using a Broadcom SoC with a 700MHz processor, VideoCore IV Graphics processsor and 256MB of RAM for, wait for it….€39 including VAT!
You just plug in a keyboard/mouse, SD card, LAN cable and composite or HDMI video cable and boom you’re in business running a Debian Linux PC the size of a fag-packet.
It runs any standard Debian ARM software including educational apps like Scratch. I’m sure it’ll work for App Inventor too for any kids who want to build mobile Apps.
I have often talked about how cheap Chinese Android phones will be the ZX Spectrums of this decade. Plug em into your TV with an MHL cable and connect up a bluetooth keyboard and you have a kick-ass computer. But I was wrong. That setup is as limited as an iPad. It’s for consumption only. There is no ability to develop on an Android phone, you still need a PC to run App Inventor or Eclipse.
But this, this is what the original home computing was all about. And I don’t even mean ZX Spectrum era. This is almost like a ZX80 or ZX81 where your computer arrived as a kit and you built it!
I would love to see my kids take over the telly and do something useful with the Raspberry Pi like we used to with our Spectrums, Commodore 64s, BBC Micros, Oric 1s and Dragon 32s.
Sure, let them play Manic Miner 2012, but then let them build Manic Miner 2013.
So back to Elana’s idea. Rather than splashing out on a few pints, buy two of these. One for your own kids and one for their programming club.
It’s time to put a halt to all this dumb consumption of media and turn the next generation of kids into creators of media. Raspberry Pi may just be the recession-busting way of doing that. When you think that 16K Spectrums cost £99 in 1982, the Raspberry Pi is phenomenal value and puts affordable computing, once again, into the hands of anyone with a TV.
I already have two projects I want to create with this. But then I did start as an old Embedded geek in the 90s where software needed an oscilloscope to debug
Note: They have been overwhelmed with orders since it launched today so maybe wait a few days before ordering.