Raspberry Pi – Specs, Release Details, the Full Story

Raspberry Pi Hardware
The Raspberry Pi computer comes in two

configurations (Model A and Model B). Both computers are equipped with

an RCA video port, a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB port, a microUSB power

port, an SD card slot, an HDMI port and as we said, a 700Mhz Broadcom


Model A of the Raspberry Pi, which will cost you $25, has

128MB of RAM and no Ethernet connect. Model B will boost the RAM to

256MB, add a second USB 2.0 port and also add a 10/100 Ethernet port.


will have to boot the machine from an SD card but a USB hard drive can

take over after the initial boot. It is not possible to boot without an

SD card. Switching it on and off is simply a matter of plugging it in

and out.

What will I need to get it working?

people behind Raspberry Pi have developed it to help keep costs down,

and therefore a lot of people will already have the extras needed to get

it working. For the display, you can plug it into an old analogue TV

(composite), a digital TV (HDMI) or a DVI monitor (using an adapter).

There is no VGA support but if you so desire, a rather expensive adapter

can be used.

Keyboards and mice are connected via USB in the

same way they are in typical desktop set-ups. The Raspberry Pi is

powered over microUSB and most people will have a microUSB phone charger

hanging around the house which can be used.

What software will the Raspberry Pi use?


the low-cost, back-to-grass-roots approach, the Raspberry Pi computer

will initially use the open-source Linux software, which will have to be

stored on your SD card. The Raspberry Pi foundation recommends the

Fedora distribution of Linux for users initially, but other flavours of

Linux will also be supported, including Debian and ArchLinux. However,

because of issues with newer releases of Ubuntu, Canonical cannot commit

to supporting Raspberry Pi. Pre-loaded SD cards will go on sale soon after



hoping to run Windows on one of these machines will be disappointed

though as this is ARM-based hardware and even Windows 8 on ARM won’t run

‘officially’ on the computer as Microsoft and team Pi are not partners.

Android may run on the Raspberry Pi, but would require a developer out

there to port a version of Google’s software to work with 256MB of RAM.

Who is the Raspberry Pi aimed at?

Raspberry Pi was developed to help students learn computer programming

and there will be a second version of the Pi released in September which

will come with a case, to make it more sturdy (which the Raspberry Pi

Foundation says won’t add to the cost).

While the educational

sector will no doubt attract the majority of orders, there will also be a

lot of interest from the developer community and amateur enthusiasts

who will want to rediscover the joy of programming their own computer.

Some developers who’ve got their hands on one of the few Raspberry Pi

beta boards have already begun tinkering with them and you can see

below an AirPlay app working perfectly with an iPad.

When and where can I get a Raspberry Pi?

first batch of 10,000 Raspberry Pi units is rolling off the production

lines in China this week and will be shipped back to the UK before

hopefully going on sale early next week.

There is currently no

option to pre-order one of the units from the first batch of computers.

When they finally do go on sale, it will be only through the Raspberry

Pi website
, with orders limited to one per person for the first batch.

This will be relaxed once production is in full swing.

You will

be able to pay by credit card, PayPal as well as offline payment options

being available. Pricing is in dollars even though the company is

UK-based because all the components were priced in dollars. The $25 and

$35 prices do not include local taxes and the mini computer should be

available internationally from launch. Shipping prices have not yet been


We would love to hear from you about the

Raspberry Pi and whether or not you think it could be the catalyst for a

rejuvenation of computer programming skills in the UK and elsewhere?

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