Raspberry Pi

Anyone else getting excited about this? For those who don’t know, I’ll quote the intro from Wikipedia.

The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Scheduled for public release in January 2012,[1] the foundation plans to release two versions priced at USD $25 and $35 (GBP ~£16 and ~£22). It is intended to stimulate the teaching of basic computer science in schools.[4][1][5][6][7]

The design is based around a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC,[3] which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 128 or 256 megabytes (MiB) of RAM. The design does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, instead relying on an SD card for booting and long-term storage.[8]

This board is intended to run Linux based operating systems.


Some of the things planned for this are quite amazing. Even if it only ever gets used for it’s primary purpose it will do the world a great service. Having kids in school be able to tinker with something like this is exactly the kind of thing I would have liked to have done when I was in school. Instead they had us work on our typing. :/

Sounds like the logical next step after the XO Laptop. I actually worked on an inexpensive solar power generator extension for the XO laptop, the idea being that people in developing countries without consistent access to electricity could afford a couple of $100 laptops and then leave them in the sun to charge them.

I would love to have another chance to work on that design especially with the advances in solar cells in the last 3 years and with this new $35 laptop that probably needs even less power.

This isn’t a laptop though. It’s basically a USB drive that plugs directly into an HDMI monitor (which it gets its power from!)

Not that similar advancements couldn’t be used to make an impressive device these days. I had a chance to play with the XO laptop briefly in a previous job and it seemed like the thing it needed the most was more software dev time tho…it was really non-intuitive to do anything.

I am going to get one no question. This is also fucking way awesome.

We wanted to keep the fact that XBMC is running beautifully on Raspberry Pi at least moderately quiet until Gimli and Davilla from XBMC had unveiled their demo at Scale 10x this weekend. Now they have done, so we can all talk about it: here’s some video showing how you can use your Raspberry Pi as a media centre. A $25/$35 media centre the size of a pack of playing cards.

You’ll be able to download the XBMC source tree, but we will probably also offer some binaries to make things easier for you – I’m also looking at getting it put in our default root file system if at all possible.

720p video?

So it plays h.264 720/1080 without any issues

They are working on the Xvid stuff.


I have no real use for one, but I love the concept so much that I will doubtless get one once they’re available.

Holy shit that’s awesome.

There’s no way I’d pass on one of these for $35. It seems like they’re fairly close to release also, as they’ve already manufactured 10,000 boards according that wikipedia entry.

edit: yup, from their FAQ:

When can I buy one?

We are hoping to have the Raspberry Pi available to order in February 2012. The initial production run will be 10 000 uncased development-style boards with further productions runs starting once these have been sold.

Where can I buy one?

The Raspi will initially only be available to purchase through raspberrypi.com –if you sign up to the mailing list on the front page you’ll be notified as soon as we’re ready to start shipping.

Already signed up to the mailing list. Those 10,000 initial boards will sell out in minutes. I kinda like that they’re selling the boards uncased. I think it’d be a lot of fun to make my own. I’d also bet that 3rd party case manufacturers would be all over that as well.

Been looking forward to these for ages, awesome to see them finally in production.

Love that fact that the 10 prototypes boards they put on ebay went for 150x the target retail price of the final product!

This is really interesting. So if I wanted a cheap PC just for word processing, would this work? I know I’d need a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, too. I’m assuming I could use some kind of cloud storage for files and just use this thing with some kind of open source word processor – is that possible?

Not that I need one, but it’s cool. And if I had a small monitor I could presumably put a monitor, keyboard, and mouse into a backpack and have something just as portable as a laptop.

Mark: It runs Linux, so sure. But keep your expectations in check: It’s basically as powerful as a Pentium 3 (albeit with a modern GPU). It will make Atom machines look fast. (And you shouldn’t need to worry too much about cloud storage for word processing files. Put in an 8GB SD card, and there is plenty of space for storing documents.)

Also, this went on sale today. Allegedly. They’re offering it through partners, and their partners have… not risen to the challenge. Nine hours after ostensible launch, one of them is still down, and the other just has up a “express your interest” page with no way to actually buy.

Ah, an SD card. That makes sense.

You know for word processing I wouldn’t need a lot of power or speed. With Linux I could run Open Office.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get one, but the idea does intrigue me.

The way I figure it, for $35, it doesn’t have to really elaborately justify its existence. I’ve bought mice that cost more than $35, you know?

Well, you’d always need a power supply.

I don’t really see this as being useful for any kind of laptop-replacement purpose. I suppose it could work as an ultra-portable desktop to ferry between offices. But getting one as a media center (to a larger network drive), or something like that would be neat.

I have a gaming laptop and basically, I can’t use it without a power supply. It will go from full charge to zero in an hour. So I’m used to camping in a coffee shop near an outlet.

Anyway, I don’t know if I would ever try it. Thing is, I do prefer a full keyboard for typing over a laptop keyboard, and I prefer a mouse to a touchpad. The tricky part would be a monitor I could fit into a backpack comfortably – the stand would have to detach and reattach easily, or fold or something.

A netbook makes more sense but it’s not as cool as this Raspberry Pi.

You mean Libre Office?

So why is Libre Office better than Open Office?

When Oracle bought Sun, they got control of OpenOffice. They have proceeded to mismanage it and fuck it up, because they are Oracle and they are evil. LibreOffice is basically the project going forward with the non-Oracle parts of the community involved, and OpenOffice is the bullshit Oracle version.