David Braben, founder of games company Frontier Developments which brought us Rollercoaster Tycoon and Kinectimals, has announced a computer which is packed into a package about the size of a USB thumb drive. He wants to give one of these to all secondary school students in the UK following talks with the government. Costing between £10-£15 the computer, built by the Raspberry Pi Foundation has a HDMI port to connect to a monitor and a USB port to connect to a keyboard. The ultra-mini PC is based on a 700MHz ARM CPU with 128MB of SDRAM and there could even be a 12 megapixel camera module attached too. While the Raspberry Pi PC is still in the prototype stage, Braden hopes to roll them out in the coming 12 months.
The driving force behind this is Braben’s belief that ICT teaching in UK secondary schools is killing-off interest in computing and computer sciences. “Of course ICT skills are very useful, but they are more of a life skill or a skill that is generally used in the office, learning about Word or PowerPoint and so on. And in fact many students are much more advanced than their teachers which leads to a great demotivation in the classroom.” The PC will run on a version of Linux and will have full access to the internet. There has been a drop off in interest in computer sciences at third level in recent years and Braben believes this device could nurture an interest in coding and programming in young people.
The Raspberry Pi PC will go through testing in the next 12 months as Braben tries to get investors on board to get it to commercial production. It is certainly an exciting development and one which could point the way for the future where you carry your PC with you wherever you went.
Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation