Feeds

Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Cheap-as-chips ARM computer hits doormats

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The credit card-sized ARM-powered Raspberry Pi is finally shipping, at £30, allowing thousands of middle-aged dads to achieve their adolescent dreams of computing nirvana.

Shipping was supposed to happen last month, but problems with a couple of components, and getting the CE mark organised, delayed things slightly. The first devices arrived at the distributors at the tail of last week and all pre-ordered boards should be in the hands of customers by 20 April.

These are still Model B, which lists at $35 and features a pair of USB ports along with Ethernet connectivity. The stripped-down Model A has only one USB and no Ethernet, but should sell (wholesale) at $25 a pop.

Those are the prices listed by the UK charity that designed and sourced parts for the board, but over at retailer Premier Farnell we can see the actual price is £29.45 once shipping and VAT are included.

The Raspberry Pi is supposed to interest kids in computing, so lots should be sold into schools (though, weirdly, UK schools will have to pay VAT even if they can reduce the cost of shipping). Premier Farnell's Element 14 bods invited a group of children in Leeds to their office on Friday afternoon to hand out their boards, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation team gave a lesson on how to get started with the kit.

The boffins behind the 'Pi like to compare the product to Acorn's BBC Micro which, back in the 1980s, found its way into millions of middle-class homes* and instructed a generation in just how limited an 8-bit computing environment can be.

Schoolboy error: A Leeds lad holds his
Pi straight from the anti-static bag

Lots of 'Pis will, no doubt, be bought by dads who remember the Beeb, and hope the Linux-based bare circuit board will encourage their own offspring to pick up some light Python, Ruby or even a little C++ for laughs.

Having passed off the expense as educational they'll then get down to building the toys they wanted when they were kids, but weren't possible at the time, all in the interest of inspiring the next generation of course.

Knowing about computers used to be a route to cheap computing, just as knowing about cars used to be route to cheaper driving, but these days the motivation to learn is harder to find. It's far from obvious that dad's half-built-pinball-machine is going to get junior excited about compiling a new Linux kernel, but when the worst-case scenario is homemade pinball then it's probably a risk worth taking. ®

* Your correspondent is just bitter, having done all his early programming on a rubber-keyed Speccy.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?