A UK game developer has put together a barebones, but totally functional, desktop PC for just $25. Aimed at getting education about computers and how they work back into schools, the Raspberry Pi PC is designed to get students to interact on a fundamental level with software and how it works.
David Braben is known for games such as Rollercoaster Tycoon and, more recently, Kinectimals. His new project has created just a few prototypes of the Raspberry Pi PC so far, but he hopes to be shipping a complete version within twelve months, with a suggested 10 – 15 pound starting price (16 – 24 USD). The Raspberry Pi comes running on a very tiny USB stick, with a 700MHz ARM11 CPU and 128MB of RAM.
Those aren’t top-of-the-line specifications, no, but with its intended goal, it doesn’t really need them. At one end of the device is a USB port, at the other, an HDMI port. The little PC is plugged into a display on one side and any requisite peripherals, such as a USB keyboard, on the other. That’s it!
The PCs will run a variant of Ubuntu Linux, which can be scaled back to run on the modest proposed hardware specifications. Here’s a preliminary list of technical specs:
- 700MHz ARM11
- 128MB of SDRAM
- OpenGL ES 2.0
- 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
- Composite and HDMI video output
- USB 2.0
- SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
- General-purpose I/O
- Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)