Thursday, November 26, 2015

A smaller slice of pi

There's been a quiet revolution going on recently in cheap computing power; it started a couple of years ago with the launch of the raspberry pi machine which I blogged about at the time and since then (as is the norm with these kinds of things) the original $25 device has become more powerful and better tooled through several iterations. Now, for the first time ever (that I can recall) the original pi team have launched a new computer (the Raspberry pi Zero - pictured above) that not only is the size of a stick of chewing gum but also so cheap ($5) that it's being distributed on the cover of a magazine!

This little device is a fully functional computer in every sense, it plugs into your TV or monitor and has micro-USB connectors so that you can plug in a keyboard and mouse; it uses an SD card for memory (like the ones used for digital cameras etc.) so all in all is a very cheap package indeed. This little device is many hundreds of times more powerful than the first computer I ever used and smaller than the logo printed on it's sheet metal case! That computer was enough to inspire me sufficiently to launch my entire career in the direction of computer science and software; hopefully this wee gizmo can help do the same for kids of this generation, our economy certainly needs them!

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