The company behind the hugely popular Raspberry Pi device has shipped the first batch of pre-orders to customers, as demand for the ‘DIY’ mini computer intensifies.
According to a report in the Inquirer, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has shipped 700 of the 220,000 preorders that were received six weeks ago.
The volume of interest in the Raspberry Pi startled its non-profit backers and they temporarily took down an ordering website, and manufacturer RF Technologies is already out of stock again.
Some of the items are already up on eBay and are going for more than $220, in contrast to their roughly $40 retail price tag.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation said that the product had only recently passed compliance tests, which accounts for most of the delay in getting the tiny computers to market. An earlier manufacturing error also complicated the process, as did an issue finalizing the custom Fedora distribution that provides the Raspberry Pi’s operating system.
The device costs just £22 and is aimed at teaching children how to programme and code. The current generation of young developers, the organization says, doesn’t have an equivalent of the Commodore 64 and Amiga machines, thanks to the rise of dedicated gaming consoles.
However, a host of other novel applications for the Raspberry Pi have been suggested, ranging from the Pirate Bay’s idea of sticking the device in a drone aircraft to create a mobile server to building it into a VoIP/high-frequency radio system, as suggested by 091 Labs’ Gerry Kavanagh in an interview with the Irish Times.
The Raspberry Pi has neither keyboard nor monitor and is a skeleton of a computer, showing the inner components of the mini PC.
The £22 Raspberry Pi includes an Ethernet port but a cheaper model will be unveiled later this year for just £16.
The pocket-sized PC runs the operating system Linux – a free alternative to Windows or Mac OS, which helps keep the price ultra-low.
The chips and connectors allow users to connect cameras and other gadgets via USB, and are powerful enough to deal with hi-def video and sound.
View a video from the BBC explaining how the gadget works below:
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