Raspberry Pi helps to foster creativity and innovation in computer hardware
You may think that generation next knows way more about computers than you do, but they don’t. If you belonged to generation X, you may well remember a time before the Internet, mobile phones and XBox. Having progressed from the days of the floppy drive, you had to fix your own computers, format your own hard drives and you’ve been through everything from floppy discs to dial up connections. Younger users of today are accustomed to having an IT professional who will fix their computers when the need arises. Sure, they can access programs, games and all the latest social media platforms, but they have very little understanding of how computers work, or
how to write the programs that they so enjoy using.
When a group of computer programmers at the University of Cambridge noticed that fewer students were signing up for computer science courses, and that those who were signing up had done little
more than design their own websites, they decided to encourage the old-school initiative and creativity that had inspired them to choose computer programming as a career. Enter the Raspberry Pi, the diminutive computer that costs only $35. It has no monitor, mouse or keyboard, it doesn’t even come in a box, but it’s packed with goodies meant to inspire young users to fill in the blanks.
The Raspberry Pi is a powerful computer the size of a credit card that consists of a circuit board with an Ethernet connection to the Internet, a SD memory card port and two USB ports. Powered by
a USB mobile charger the computer utilizes Linux, a free open-source operating system. The Raspberry Pi can plug into any TV and can power 3D graphics or Blu-ray video playback.
“The primary goal was to build a low cost computer that every child could own and one where programming was the natural thing to do with it,” said Robert Mullins, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Foundation wanted to give any child who wanted to start programming an affordable means to do so. Mullins hopes that the Raspberry Pi will significantly increase the annual intake of programming students in the UK.
The Raspberry Pi went on sale on February 29th and went flying off the shelves, selling out within a couple of hours of its launch and crashing its distributor’s websites in the process. An even cheaper version of the Raspberry Pi costing only $25 is scheduled for releases in a couple of months.