The Raspberry Pi is a bare-bones, low-cost computer created by volunteers mostly drawn from academia and the UK tech industry.
Sold uncased without keyboard or monitor, the Pi has drawn interest from educators and enthusiasts.
The Model B board mounts a CPU, GPU, 256 MB of memory, audio, HDMI, and RCA video outputs. an Ethernet connection, and two USB ports; there is also a slot for an SD memory card. It runs the Linux operating system, and is powered by a USB power supply, similar to those used to charge cell phones.
The idea behind the Raspberry Pi is to provide a cheap computer that can be used in quantity, particularly in educational settings. A slightly less capable Model A (with reduced connectivity) will go on sale shortly for £ 16 ($25). The initial launch of the Model B is aimed at developers and evaluators:
This first launch is aimed at software and hardware enthusiasts, makers, teachers and others who want to build exciting things with the Raspberry Pi before the official educational launch, which will happen later in 2012.
The Pi is being offered initially through two UK distributors, Premier Farnell and RS Components. The initial stock of Model B units sold out within a few hours; demand was so high that at least one of the distributors’ web sites crashed under the load.
Once the dust settles, I may just have to get one of these.