The £20 PC

A pocket sized PC that packs a punch.

Modern technology is getting smaller and smaller. It is a well known fact.

People want everything, and they want it all in their pocket.

Music, games, internet, social networking, an application that is capable of telling you whether it is dark outside or not. Everything.

But, of course, there is always one thing that continues to increase.

Price.

It seems that for every millimeter of iPhone you lose, you’re compensated with a considerable price increase.

It happened when Sony released the slimmer versions of the Playstation 3.

It happened following Nintendo’s release of the DS Lite.

It happened when Starbucks laptop-loungers could no longer juggle their laptop, grande white chocolate mocha and cinnamon swirl, which paved the way for the netbook.

And it is happening again, only not quite.

Enter David Braben, Dr. Eben Upton and the Rasberry Pi Foundation.

The Rasberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity with one aim: producing a low spec machine with a price reasonable enough to place one in the hands of anyone who wants one. Literally.

The device itself, the Rasberry Pi, is no bigger than a regular USB flash drive. It comes equipped with a 700mhz processor, 256mb RAM and a Linux-based operating system, along with a USB powered HDMI port.

And that’s all.

It comes with no extra peripherals with simplicity being the key feature. It is a device that can be plugged into any other device it needs to function – via USB hubs. Keyboard? USB. Mouse? USB. It is plug-and-play technology at its best. Simply connect to a monitor or touchscreen, attach a keyboard and mouse, and you have a low-end system ready for use.

The hope of the foundation is to provide every schoolchild with a Raspberry Pi, acting as a convenient system to carry between school and home, where they may not have access to one.

Despite this focus on educational use and its modest spec list, footage has surfaced which shows the device running Quake 3 on maximum settings.

“Obviously, the Raspberry Pi isn’t intended as a gaming platform, but it’s very satisfying to let the Broadcom BCM2835 application processor off the leash and see what it can do in this sphere nonetheless,” the charity’s blog stated.

The foundation hopes that it will be able to deliver the computers, fully configured to schools for just £15/$25 per unit. It also has plans to introduce a slightly more expensive £25/$35 model, which would include an optional ethernet port and USB hub.

Currently, it is estimated that the device will be available to buy from November.

It’s still early days for the device, however, impending government support or not, the Rasberry Pi is a landmark in innovative computing technology.

Small as it may be, its repercussions are set to be huge.

If you want to see the Raspberry Pi in action yourself, check out the video below.

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