by Ollie Ford on 2011-05-17
Raspberry Pi - the £10 Linux PC

UPDATE: More Raspberry Pi news here!

David Braben, a well-known British games designer, is developing a small and cheap PC dubbed "Raspberry Pi" - that he hopes will help teach our youth to program; restore some fun to ICT.

Every kid I talk to says ICT is dull. They hate it...The majority is learning how to use certain MS tools and how to find the on and off switch.

Braben isn't happy with how the industry has turned out for young people, or anyone looking to get started with programming. He recalls his own childhood, self-teaching - and most importantly, enjoying it - on earlier computers such as the BBC Micro, Sinclair, and Acorn.

His brainchild, Raspberry Pi, costs just £10 to produce and contains a 700MHz ARM processor (probably a Cortex A8), 128MB RAM, WiFi chip, and HDMI & USB ports - all integrated onto a single memory stick sized PCB.

Catch the video of David Braben explaining his prototype device after the break.

Braben blames 'ICT' (Information Communication Technology) lessons for the drastic drop in Computer Science applicants in more recent years. With Raspberry Pi's low cost (£10-15 per unit), and simple; developer-friendly Linux OS, Braben hopes that some of his early experiences with CS and programming will be restored to the modern classroom.

The hope is for a large order from HM Government and other industry sponsors to ten provide them to school children around the country. The Pi's could then be used for daily tasks such as Twitter, Facebook and email - as well as hopefully teaching basic programming, and inspiring more into a future in CS or games development.