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Tiny Linux Computer Punches Above Its Weight

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Raspberry Pi computer

Engineer Eben Upton with a prototype of the Raspberry Pi computer, which will cost around $25 and is fully programmable and capable of running sosphisticated software such as Firefox.

Credit: Antonio Olmos

The $25 Raspberry Pi computer could have an impact far beyond the educational sector, with early production runs showing significant demand for the technology.

The credit card-sized Raspberry Pi is a fully functional Linux computer, complete with Ethernet and USB ports and HDMI output. To use it, people need to plug in a keyboard and attach the device to a TV.

The device was created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which wants to improve computer science education by making an affordable, flexible platform available to budding programmers. The group believes that people who are applying to university computer science programs today are not as skilled as applicants years ago. One reason is because they do not have access to highly programmable devices that the previous generation used to learn about computing.

Aside from educational applications, the open source technology could catch on with activists around the world. For example, a developer of an encrypted communication app designed to circumvent online censorship says he can use Raspberry Pi as a tiny, inexpensive server for activists in countries that suppress freedom of speech.

From Network World 
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