RaspberryPi Alpha release goes for Manufacture
July 31, 2011
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Back in 1984, I saved up for what seemed like ages and ended up coming home with a Commodore 64 computer. When it started up, you got a Ready prompt. All ready to program Basic programs and began what has been a 20 year (so far) career in computing. A similar revolution was happening in homes around the country whether it be Commodore, Spectrum or BBC micro. These days however, it’s not so obvious after booting into your operating system where to start.
A couple of months back in May, a games developer named David Braben announced that he was developing a USB stick sized PC that he estimated would retail for around $25. this PC would have an HDMI socket at one end for connecting an HD TV to and on the other end would be a USB port for connecting a Keyboard to. Add a customised distribution of Linux that boots straight into a programming language (current preferred one is Python) and you have a fully functioning, ready to program computer. This product is mostly aimed at education to try and get children interesting in computing like those of us of a certain age did back in the 1980’s
At that time the specs issued were:
- 700MHz ARM11
- 128MB or 256MB of SDRAM
- OpenGL ES 2.0
- 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
- Composite and HDMI video output
- USB 2.0
- SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
- General-purpose I/O
- Optional integrated 2-port USB hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller
- Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)
And the name of this spectacular product? RasperryPi.
We are now two months on and the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK registered charity (Registration Number 1129409) and the group has finalised the spec of the main board and the Alpha release has been sent for manufacturing. There have been some small changes in the interim and the now credit card sized board will sport two USB cables and an Ethernet port on Model A and a Model B option with 256Mb memory will retail for around $35 The extra features were added based on user feedback. Wifi will be supported through USB dongles. USB Hubs will also be supported for adding multiple peripherals including external HDD’s.
Since the announcement and the setup of the site, people have continued to suggest future changes and alternate uses of the product too. See the site Forum to see these suggestions.