Anyone for raspberry pi?

There's a lot of excitement right now in the UK tech community about a new computer called the Raspberry Pi. It's a bare board computer with an ARM processor that runs Gnu/Linux that is expected to sell for $25. It's aimed principally at the education market with the intention of getting schools to teach students how to program and build things with computers instead of just learning Word and Excel as they do now.

The Raspberry Pi will soon be available for anyone to buy. When they are, I'm tempted to get one. My recently acquired Gadget Gangster has helped me recapture some of the magic and excitement I felt when I first started dabbling in home computers back in the '80s with things like the Nascom 1, ZX81 and Sinclair Spectrum. I think the Raspberry Pi would do the same.

PCs and Windows are great tools, but they have turned computers into appliances and made computing boring. Microcontrollers are like QRP computers - more of a challenge to use but when you succeed you feel a real thrill at having accomplished something.

I think there has never been a better time than now to have an interest in electronics. I hope the Raspberry Pi is a huge success. Perhaps it will result in more of our young people becoming engineers instead of wanting to be lawyers or salespeople.
Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “Anyone for raspberry pi?”

  • BX2ABT:

    I’m going to get one for sure. I am dying to see if it can run my 1-Wire sensors so I can set up my weather station again. I could use a regular old PC, but the power consumption is holding me back. The Raspberry Pi could just be the trick to put up a small energy efficient server.

  • W0FMS:

    How much less powerful is this than, say a BeagleBoard XM or an Android Phone? I wonder how much more powerful this is than, say a PIC32 or DSPic. Looks like it could be a whole bunch of fun if you have the time to tinker with it!

  • Don Lowery - AE7QL:

    I saw a video last night of a full functioning XBMC Media Center running from an SD card installed on this board. This will replace my full size P4 tower to my Media Center which is able to run HD for $35 US. Since it will fit inside an Altoids tin…it will be small enough to fit in my pocket and will not need to consume the place a full size tower does now. As for the power consumption is going to be through micro USB at what I believe is less than 5V overall.

    When it is released…you will have your choice of Fedora/Debian/Arch Linux’s to run with this board. As for running it for the shack…is there enough Ham software to be able to configure one of these to control everything you would want to run with either of these distro’s?

  • Clive GM4FZH:

    I hope it will help people in the UK (and others) into a technical career – we seem to cater in the UK for people doing useless (but brainwise easy) subjects like media studies. I hope it all takes off and nice to see Linux instead of that awful Microsoft Windows being used. Maybe the time is soon for a low power packet node running on solar energy. I endorse all the previous comments.

  • Jeff N1KDO:

    Apparently $35 for the “Model B” with the 10/100 ethernet and twice the RAM. That’s the one you want. Or at least, it’s the one I want.

    The little sucker has a 700 MHz Broadcom SOC ARM chip on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi that supports floating point… Endless possibilities.

    Buy one and Nerd Out!

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