Raspberry Pi is a computer the size of a credit card that’s so simple, anyone can program it. Designed as an introduction to science, technology, engineering, and math for UK grade schoolers, its $35 price tag has made it appealing to hobbyists all over the world.
Despite its diminutive device, Raspberry Pi is powerful enough to process many of the same programs as PCs, from word processors to games. Its small size also makes Raspberry Pi ideal for programming connected home devices—like the aforementioned print server, which has given us the power to make every computer, laptop, and cell phone in our network printer-compatible.
The Story Of Raspberry Pi
Eben Upton first came up with the idea for Raspberry Pi in 2006, when he and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory were frustrated by the dwindling number of students, and the poor skill levels of those students, entering the program.
While current students entering the program often had Web design experience, programming experience was becoming very rare. Upton’s concern? That the price and sophistication of modern computers had made them overly complicated for kids to experiment with.
In the ’70s and ’80s, kids could use an Amiga or Commodore 64 to boot into a programming environment. In later decades, Upton speculated, parents had more reason to forbid the same kind of experimentation on increasingly advanced family PCs. Plus, as computers became easier to use, programming them became more complicated, and tinkering with their inner workings became far less necessary.
Upton wanted to create a cheap, easily programmable computer that would bring back the experimental spirit of an earlier era of computing, by making a device cheap enough so anyone could tamper with it without fear of expensive mistakes. From 2006 to 2008, the official history goes, Upton and his colleagues worked on the prototype that would eventually become the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was established in May 2009, and the first shipment of Raspberry Pis became available in April 2012.