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Introducing the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer motherboard, the size of a credit card. The computer was conceived and developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a non-profit charitable organisation, whose aim is to educate young children in computer programming, through availability of low-cost computer boards. RS and Farnell are the exclusive distributors of Raspberry Pi.

How it works

The Raspberry is really easy to use. Plug the Raspberry Pi into a TV or keyboard and it works like any computer. You need the SD card though to store the OS and boot the device. The beauty of the Raspberry Pi is you can perform most of the things you do on a regular computer such as word processing, spreadsheets, video streaming and gaming. It is even HD ready. The computer has many benefits, as follows:

  • Functionality

Model A is a like a bare bones version of a mini computer. It has 256MB RAM and one USB port, but no ethernet for network connection. However, fewer IOS ports and less memory translate to lower energy use and less carbon footprint. Model B, on the other hand, is a better or upgraded version. It features Broadcom BCM2835 System-On Chip, has 512MB RAM, 2 USB ports and an ethernet port. Debian is the default OS stored in the SD card, although there are possibilities to shift to Linux or other systems. Python is the official programming language.

  • Size

The bare bones computer is so lightweight at 45 grams. It is also small with dimensions of 85.60mm x 56mm x 21mm. Raspberry Pi is so convenient and easy to carry anywhere.

  • Pricing

Clearly, the affordable price of a Raspberry Pi is one of its main attractions. At $25 for Model A and $35 for Model B, things can’t get any better considering what you're getting.

For everyone

Raspberry Pi is now one year old. Originally conceived to encourage children to learn programming at an early age, the introduction of Raspberry Pi has piqued not only local but also international interest especially in poor countries where there is virtually no access to computers. The first batch was sold out in the UK and there is continuous demand for the tiny computer. Even adults and organisations are interested in the device. It may be meant for kids with the aim of producing skilled programmers in the future, but it looks like even adults can benefit from the project.

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