USB Flash Drive-Sized PC for $25?

By Michelle Amodio May 06, 2011

With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, it’s certainly true that computing devices are getting smaller and smaller. But what if a PC could be the size of your regular USB flash drive and come at a price of a mere $25? Would you believe it worked?

British game developer David Braben believes it true and thus created a super low cost PC that is, in fact, the size of a USB flash drive, and all because he wants students to pursue careers in computer programming. Yes, he’s doing it for the kids.

Named Raspberry Pi, the wee device uses a 700MHz ARM11 processor coupled with 128MB of RAM and runs OpenGL ES 2.0 allowing for decent graphics performance with 1080p output confirmed. Storage is catered for by an SD card slot. It also looks as though modules can be attached such as the 12MP camera.

It has an HDMI port to connect a monitor to and a USB port to connect a keyboard and mouse to. It runs on the Linux Ubunto.

Braben is a well-known video game developer who runs the UK studio Frontier, a company known for games such as the Rollercoaster Tycoon series, Thrillville, Lost Winds, and most recently Kinectimals.

Braben has been trying to solve the problem on how to get young students excited about computers and more specifically, computer sciences like programming and hardware repair. Braben reasons that computer learning has devolved into learning “useful skills such as writing documents in a word processor, how to create presentations, and basic computer use skills.”

Braben feels that the way schools teach children about computers leaves them uninspired, that too much gets in the way of their enthusiasm; today’s computer classes only prepare kids to navigate office jobs. Braben believes these low cost PC will allow children to do typical things such as go on Facebook or tweet, but it will also give them the freedom to become creators of products they typically consume.

Raspberry Pi is a non-profit venture, whose founders are mostly part of Cambridge's thriving technology sector. Their hope is that teachers, developers and the government will come together to get the device into the hands of children who may not have access to a computer at home or would not be allowed by parents to "muck about with it".

Raspberry Pi will be distributed to students for free with the idea that courses on software programming and computer hardware architecture will develop around them.




Michelle Amodio is a TechZone360 contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More