This Computer Costs $25

British computer programmer David Braben (yes, person who didn’t ask, that is the same David Braben who co-wrote popular space trading game “Elite” back in the ’80s) has a cool new educational project in the works.  Within a year, he hopes to roll out these $25 (£15) bare-bones computers called “Raspberry Pi” through the, uh, Raspberry Pi Foundation.  It’s pictured above with a 12 megapixel camera added for videoconferencing and pictured at the right running Ubuntu 9.04.

The computer is about the size of a clunky USB stick and has a USB port on one side and an HDMI port on the other.  Braben intends it to be used for cheaply teaching students how to program and as a low-cost computer in the developing world.  It can be  plugged into any TV with HDMI input or combined with a touch screen (like the “$15” seven-inch 800×480 resistive touchscreen in AllGo’s $35 tablet computer).  Unfortunately, most used TVs don’t have HDMI input, so hopefully the power source on this can handle a cheap HDMI to DVI adapter.  Also, only one USB?  I hope it can easily deal with a hub or splitter being added so both a mouse and keyboard can be used with it.

Here are the full product specs:

  • 700MHz ARM11 processor [for comparison, I thought the 400 MHz laptop I paid $1,500 for 12 years ago was boss.]
  • 128MB of SDRAM [definitely slow, but in line with a cheap 700 MHz computer]
  • Likes big butts and cannot lie.
  • OpenGL ES 2.0 [enough graphics power to display 1080p videos]
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Slices, dices, and thinks the moon landing was faked.
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0 [which is guarded by a mystical troll named Steve]
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot [In other words, you can load a cheap memory card with Ubuntu and free software and snap it in there.]
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)
  • Does not run Crysis.

I may have taken some liberties with that list.  Video of David Braben showing off the Raspberry Pi below:

[via Mashable and RaspberryPi]