Ultra-cheap PC for education: 25$ gets you a very smart USB stick.

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | May 5, 2011 - 07:37 PM |
Tagged: usb computer, Education

In case you did not get enough solder for one day: you are in luck! David Braben, previously known for his work developing such games as Rollercoaster Tycoon, Thrillville, and Kinectimals, created an extremely low cost PC for educational use. His goal is ultimately to have computers like the one he created be accessible such that there would be functionally zero barriers to entry for students to pursue studying computing. A charity was created, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, under these beliefs to distribute this device hopefully sometime within the next 12 months.

Am I the only one who finds it weird that an affordable PC uses HDMI?

Given our demographic it would be blasphemous to not relay the specifications of the PC he created. The PC itself is slightly larger than a USB key in size and runs Ubuntu as its operating system though other distributions are likely possible. The processor is an ARM11 clocked at 700 MHz supported by 128MB of RAM and a GPU which supports OpenGL ES2.0 outputting at least 1080p resolutions. For connectivity it has USB port to attach to a keyboard and an HDMI port to attach to a monitor or flat screen TV. Storage is handled for by an SD card and other accessories are mountable such as the demonstrated 12 MP camera. While not explicitly listed on their site it appears as if connectivity is achieved wired via Ethernet through USB.
 
While this is obviously a low powered device its cost is only around 25$ and should be powerful enough to handle website interaction, scripting, and other educational applications. This PC and others like it should hopefully ensure that everyone has access to the internet and all of its educational, professional, and employment benefits.
Source: Geek.com
May 5, 2011 | 09:55 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

This is interesting but I have to question the choice to go with an HDMI port. If their goal is to make a cheap device, they really should support older connections, even if they have to use some sort of breakout cable connector. That way, the monitor that they need to have to use the device doesn't cost 8 times at much as the computer! ;)

May 6, 2011 | 07:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It appears to be the source of power since HDMI has a +5V pin.
DVI has +5V pin but it's the system that outputs it, not the screen.
An alternative, embedded and stable power suply would be hard to find I think. But I do agree that an HDMI capable monitor is 10 times the price of this PC stick.

May 5, 2011 | 11:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

David Braben, known for writing Elite !

You guys are old enough to remember that game.

June 8, 2011 | 10:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

there's no telling what they'll come out with next for usb... with its potential as a power source, they're already starting to expand heavily into things that require a decent bit of power to operate. i've even seen a single cola can cooler somewhere online

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