The Raspberry Pi

Yesterday saw the launch of the new Raspberry Pi, a low-cost, credit-card sized computer designed to encourage children to learn how to programme.

The computer, designed by a team of volunteers at the Raspberry Pi Foundation charity, took six years to make and sold out within hours of going on sale yesterday morning, crashing the websites selling them in the process.

The computer looks like a minature naked circuit board, and at first glance appears rather odd compared with the sleek modern offerings on the market today. But the fully-fledged computer is actually a capable little PC, which the makers say can be used to do many things that your desktop PC does, including word-processing, spreadsheets and games. Surprisingly it also offers high-definition video.

The is no hard-drive, so you will need an SD card, and you'll also need a monitor or tv, mouse and a keyboard to get going.

There are two models available, Model A and Model B. Both are based around a 700 MHz ARM processor (the kind you'd normally find in a smartphone), have a VideoCore IV GPU and run on Linux. While Model A offers 128MB RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet port, Model B offers 256MB RAM, two USB ports and an Ethernet port.

Model B is available now for £22, whilst Model A will be available at a later date for only £16.

For more information visit the Raspberry Pi website.

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