For those who have not heard of it, Raspberry Pi is a small, positively tiny, computer with the goal of stimulating teaching of computer programming in education. Â The concept was first considered in 2006 and finally became a proof of concept in late 2011, with the first orders planning to ship March 2012.
In essence Raspberry Pi is nothing more than a circuit board the size of a credit card with a few components attached --Â video, audio, networking, CPU, GPU and memory. Â There is no onboardÂ storage, power supply or even a case!
InitiallyÂ Raspberry Pi will run Fedora Linux from an SD card (purchasedÂ separately) allowing users to learn theÂ Python programming language. Â Power is via an external USB connection (again, purchasedÂ separately).
Demand for the PiÂ has been phenomenal -- RS Components in the UK have exceeded 250,000 pre-orders with orders from other sources adding a further 100,000. Â ShippingÂ was expected in mid March 2012 however there were some delays over the electrical certificate requirements. Â The first batch wasÂ deliveredÂ to a school on 13 April with general orderÂ fulfilmentÂ to start 20 April 2012
Although the Raspberry Pi is selling at around Â£25 users will need to purchase a pre-loaded SD card, a power supply, and a RCA or HDMI cable to connect to a TV or other display device. Â A USB keyboard would be useful too!
RSÂ ComponentsÂ confirmed they had startedÂ shipmentÂ of the first 2,000 on 18th April. Â You can join the waiting list by expressing an interest at RS Components