- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
- Cryptonomicon - Neil Stephenson
- A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
- Dune - Frank Herbert
- Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
- Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman - Richard Feynman
- Fermat’s Enigma - Simon Singh
- Cosmos - Carl Sagan
- Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card
- Ready Player One - Earnest Cline
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Sunday, January 1, 2012
If the folks at Raspberry Pi have their way, the future of educational and personal computing could soon look a lot different. Their version of the next great educational computer (seen in the picture here) is a miracle of modern technology that combines all of the basics of the modern computer on a silicone board the size of a credit card.
Before talking about why this could be the future of educational computing, let's talk about what you get.
There are two models of the RasPi (as fans have come to call the Raspberry Pi device); the A model and the B model. The things that both have in common is the core processor which is a 700MHz Arm processor, HDMI out, one USB 2.0, one SD card slot, one analog audio out, and one analog video out. Both models will require the use of the SD card slot to boot into one of three varieties of officially supported linux: Debian, Fedora, and ARCHLinux.
Where the models differ is in the amout of RAM and the presence/absense of a network connection. The A model does not have a network connection and has 128MB of RAM. The B model comes with an ethernet connection and has 256MB of RAM.
So, after seeing the setup of the small device you might be wondering what makes this so important. Well, simply put, it's the price. For the A model the price will be $25, and for the B model the price will be $35. Which, once the value of the components and the flexibility of the device is considere, is quite a bargain. Especially considering the orginial target for this device is as use as an educational device. Picture a school that needs one hundred new computers to begin teaching programming to their students. The school could try to find a several thousand dollars to by a cheap PC, or they could spend a $3500 dollars on 100 RasPi devices. This is where the real importance of this device comes through.
Another great feature of the RasPi is not just the device, but the community that comes with it. There are alreay hundreds of people actively participating in the forums on the RasPi web site. Everything from what programming language is the best to learn to how to create a home theater device using the RasPi is being discussed. This for a device that people haven't had a chance to use yet. Once these devices are in the hands of the smart and creative people that await them there is no telling how the community will take off.
So, if your interested in what could be the new future of educational and personal computing, head over to RaspberryPi.com and check it out. The device is not available for purchase yet, but if you sign up for their newsletter you will be alerted as to when it is available. At last word, that appears to be at the very beginnig of 2012.