Well-known game developer David Braben is a little bit fed up with the state of computer science education these days, which seems to have shifted away from learning programming to some sort of computer-oriented "life skills" class. As the father of eleven and nine year-old boys, I can attest that so far, despite a massive investment on the part of their school in computer equipment, their computer education has consisted mostly of "play this math game" and "don't be victimized by cyber-perverts." Braben's idea to stem this tide: a very, very cheap computer
that students can learn to program on.
It's elegant in its simplicity: about the size of a typical thumb drive, with a USB port on one side and an HDMI port on the other. It has 128 MB onboard and an SD slot. It apparently ships with Ubuntu. Distribution of this tiny computer will be handled by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which appears so far to be trying to gather partners and measure demand.
Here's the specs:
- 700MHz ARM11
- 128MB of SDRAM
- OpenGL ES 2.0
- 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
- Composite and HDMI video output
- USB 2.0
- SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
- General-purpose I/O
- Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)