The first shipment of Raspberry Pi devices has finally gone out, with open-source advocates and Linux-loving geeks getting their hands on the bare-bones computer. At last. Better late than never.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that can be used by anyone with the addition of a keyboard and monitor. Or a television set. It was created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a U.K.-based charity seeking to give children the opportunity to mess about with a computer in its most-natural form. But plenty of inquisitive adults are also interested in owning one too.
The device has been a magnificent hit, with demand far-outstripping supply. The initial run of 10,000 units sold out within a few days, but a couple of key issues with components meant shipping was delayed by a month. According to The Register they have now been turning up on doorsteps around the world.
As this video by Raspberry Pi team member Liam Fraser shows, the device is more than capable of handling anything thrown at it. In other words, it works.
My views on Raspberry Pi have changed over the course of the last six months. I was originally very taken with the idea behind the device, especially when its was shown being capable of playing Quake III. Then I started to wonder if there was any actual need for such a contraption. Now that the device has launched I remain on the fence.
It could change the lives of some people, and get many more learning the ways of open-source computing and basic programming. So its existence is more than justified. Especially at that low price of just $35. But will it change the world? Probably not. But there’s no harm in trying, right? As with OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) these kinds of efforts have to be supported.