A new computer designed by the British nonprofit group Raspberry Pi currently looks like nothing more than a chip on a stick, but by next year, the company says the prototype could be made into a $25 computer. David Braben, a member of Raspberry Pi, says he wants to inspire a new generation of computer engineers by making programming more accessible than ever. While computer literacy classes teach students how to use a spreadsheet, classes that teach programming and more creative computer use have declined, says Braben.
What’s the Big Idea?
The new computer device has a powerful processor similar to those in high-end smart phones, a memory card reader for 32 gigabytes of storage, a screen connector ready for HD graphics, and up to three USB ports for a keyboard and other accessories. “Raspberry Pi’s open-source software can handle everything that kids now come to expect—Web browser, e-mail, Facebook access—while providing tools to program and share their own creations. If a student deletes essential files by mistake or creates inappropriate material, a simple command will wipe the drive and return the machine to its original state.”