I came across a credit card sized “PC” a week ago that really blew me away. It is called the Raspberry Pi. This is a single board computer running a version of Linux (I’m running Raspbian). It has a HDMI and RCA output for video, and 3.5mm audio jack for sound. It has an ARM CPU with 512Mb of RAM. This is associated with 2 USB ports, a 10/100 Ethernet USB network adapter on the third USB port of the USB hub. It is powered by a mini USB power supply.
All this for the princely sum of AU$45 and AU$6 for postage.
I had to have one!
Having tinkered with Linux during my IT training, I was aware of the potential for this device. In no time at all, after downloading the OS, I had the “PC” up and running in it’s own GUI, setting up my Wi-Fi modem with a Wi-Fi dongle tucked into one of the USB ports to achieve internet access and email facilities was a breeze, but connection to my Apple iPhone’s personal hotspot was entirely more problematic though! But then that could be an Apple limitation not a Raspberry one. On board storage is by way of a 16Gb SD card which stores the OS for the device. Obviously, larger cards can be used. The potential for this device is extensive. A USB keyboard is required and a monitor needs to be attached. A USB HDD can be attached, but the HDD will need its own power supply as the on board supply is not powerful enough to spin up the disk, but the standalone Raspberry fitted in a plastic case weighs only 50g!
Amazing. This unit will appeal to computer nerds and those of us with an understanding of Linux. It can be set up as a media centre and a host of other uses too! I cant see me taking on trips, or overseas etc., because of it’s limitations in terms of keyboard and monitor requirements. Its not going to replace your laptop, netbook, iPad or Android tablet any time soon! But then thats not what the Raspberry is for, is it?
For further details, go to http://www.rasberrypi.org.
- Developer: Raspberry Pi Foundation
- Type:Single-board computer
- Release date: 29 February 2012
- Introductory price: US$ 25 (model A) and US$ 35 (model B)
- Operating system: Linux (Raspbian, Debian GNU/Linux, Fedora, and Arch Linux ARM)RISC OS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Plan 9
- Power: 2.5 W (model A), 3.5 W (model B)
- CPU: ARM1176JZF-S (armv6k) 700 MHz,Raspberry Pis can dynamically increase clock speeds, and some can temporarily reach speeds up to 1 GHz.
- Storage capacity: SD card slot (SD or SDHC card)
- Memory: 256 MB (Model A), 256 MB (Model B rev 1), 512 MB (Model B rev 2),
- Graphics: Broadcom VideoCore IV