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Details About Raspberry Pi Foundation's $25 PC

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the disposable-computing dept.

Education 349

First time accepted submitter salcan writes "There is growing interest surrounding the Raspberry Pi Foundation and their promise of a PC that will cost just $25. We've seen how the OLPC has struggled to deliver a $100 laptop for developing countries, and yet Raspberry Pi is confident in delivering the $25 PC by November this year. Eben Upton, director of the foundation, recently gave a talk at Bletchley Park regarding Educating Programmers, which focused on the thinking behind the $25 PC."

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349 comments

Old hardware, sure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37283962)

none.

Cost of a textbook? (0, Flamebait)

Mensa Babe (675349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37283966)

"During the talk Eben explains that the $25 price point was decided upon because it is the cost of a textbook so it made sense. Students buy textbooks, so a PC priced the same is a natural fit and hopefully an easy purchase for them, their parents, or their school." [emphasis added]

Students also buy milk but it doesn't mean that therefore computers should cost the same as milk. I don't think that a real computer should be worth the same as one textbook because of the fact that many more than one textbook could be downloaded on it and thus much more money could be saved by children if that is really a fully functional general purpose computer that the story makes us believe it is. It is worth noting that unlike the $100 laptops, this computer is not complete. It doesn't have a keyboard, it doesn't have a display. It has a HDMI port - yes, that will help poor children who can't afford a computer more expensive than $25. Also, are they going to carry a plasma TV around to use it? Quite frankly I think that it would be a much better idea to offer a Fuzebox [ladyada.net] kit from Adafruit [adafruit.com] - a do-it-yourself retro video console kit with open source software and open source hardware - or even an Arduino [arduino.cc] kit with TV output [google.com] . In this case however all we have seen so far is a promise to deliver a $25 embedded board which is nice but it can hardly be called a computer, and especially not a computer that poor children in developing countries would need the most. We don't even know how much RAM will it have, whether it will run Linux or even if it will be useful for anything more serious than hacking a simple embedded Linux project. Don't get me wrong, I think that embedded projects are a great way for children to learn how computers work. But this is not a substitute for a laptop, notebook or netbook that those children need. Even a tablet would be a better idea but we all know this is not going to happen because apparently taking a keyboard out of a netbook makes it somehow ten times more expensive. We need a cheap laptop, a fully functional, self contained computer that children can use instead of textbooks, not as just one of them.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (5, Informative)

Tompko (1416883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37283992)

It has a HDMI port

It also has an analogue TV out.

We don't even know how much RAM will it have

The $25 version will have 128Mb, and there's a $35 with 256Mb.

whether it will run Linux

It will run Linux, originally the hope was to run Ubuntu but with their restricted memory footprint they're having to go with a version of Debian instead. Amazing what you can learn when you watch the full video and actually listen to it.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284244)

Amazing what you can learn when you watch the full video and actually listen to it.

Yes because we all have nothing better to do than watching a two hour movie about some computer just to discover how much ram it has. Shouldn't that info be on the WEBSITE?

Re:Cost of a textbook? (4, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284282)

Shouldn't that info be on the WEBSITE?

It is.
Don't you check your "facts" before posting them online?

Re:Cost of a textbook? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284394)

Also if your really poor, you probably don't want to buy a new monitor when an old one can be had for little or no money, and will work just fine. Same for keyboards and mice, new ones are cheap enough but used ones are often thrown out in large quantities and work perfectly well.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (0)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284012)

Two stupid posts from a low UID that I've never seen before in two days.. combined with your username and sig, I assume you're an old troll that got really bored and came back.. or that Mensa has really low standards (hint, it's spelled "superior").

Re:Cost of a textbook? (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284144)

or that Mensa has really low standards

If you've only just realised that, you've never met a Mensa member before. It's a club for people who define themselves by their intelligence, yet are so insecure about said intelligence that they require affirmation by membership of a club that is `exclusive' to people who manage to get a rather mediocre score on a fairly trivial test.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284268)

Never met a member.. but I did come to a similar kind of conclusion when I saw the website, and the fact you have to pay to be a member.. nice little racket they have going on there.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284470)

They used to regularly tout the National Association for Gifted Children (UK) for new members. My parents refused to let me join Mensa because of the high cost and the fact that it did indeed seem like a big scam.

The member I met had a neck-beard. I remember the bot he bought with him; I was truly impressed. The complete lack of social humour made me nervous. I was 10.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284316)

I've never gotten quite what Mensa is supposed to be. Apart from an artificial ego-boost, why would anybody want to join Mensa. What is it they actually do? It's only perceived value seems to be from the membership itself. Why bother joining them at any IQ-score?

Re:Cost of a textbook? (3, Funny)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284352)

The funniest thing about MENSA is what it means in Spanish. :-) Yeah they're so smart nobody noticed they joined the stupid club.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (1)

LameMonikerGoesHere (267761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284174)

Some folks just don't bother logging in.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (1)

LameMonikerGoesHere (267761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284198)

And let me say it before someone else does: "If I had a UID like yours, I wouldn't bother, either."

Re:Cost of a textbook? (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284210)

Yeah, you were one digit off a palindromic UID. You must have been gutted.

Re:Cost of a textbook? (2)

gatzke (2977) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284230)

Who the hell has a low UID? Are you smoking something? Or did I miss a few million registrations?

Back in my hole. Get off of my lawn!

Re:Cost of a textbook? (3, Funny)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284242)

Shut it, n00b. ;)

Re:Cost of a textbook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284280)

Back in my hole. Get off of my lawn!

It's a hobbit! :O

Re:Cost of a textbook? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284092)

Ah, your posting history shows that you're probably not trying to troll, and that you have been on a Slashdot hiatus since 2008. My apologies.

PS your bio should say "sexist", not "sexiest".

Re:Cost of a textbook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284388)

I'd say the Journal makes the trolling look slightly more than obvious.

It's quite a surprise seeing Mensa Babe post again, however, and takes me back to first finding Slashdot at university all those years ago. Talk about a blast from the past.

I humbly disagree. (2)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284114)

You raise a good point that a all-in-one solution, such as a laptop, would be ideal. But what's so interesting about the $25 PC is that it's not all-in-one, and encourages thinking outside the box. After spending a month or two toying around with Linux, students could be encouraged to explore cutting-edge technology by pushing all their Raspberry Pi computers together and building beowulf clusters, render farms, or protein folding simulators at very low cost. Or perhaps even create a next-generation videogame console with this PC at the heart!

Less than a "PC" (-1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37283968)

A device with neither monitor nor keyboard can hardly be called a "PC."

Re:Less than a "PC" (5, Insightful)

wolfie123 (1331071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37283980)

So, when i unplug my peripherals from my computer case, it ceases to be a PC? Whoa. Radical, dude.

Re:Less than a "PC" (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284014)

So, when i unplug my peripherals from my computer case, it ceases to be a PC?

Becomes a server?

Re:Less than a "PC" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284070)

So, when i unplug my peripherals from my computer case, it ceases to be a PC?

Becomes a server?

A server with attached keyboard and monitor is a PC then?

Re:Less than a "PC" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284196)

Now you're just being difficult! :)

Re:Less than a "PC" (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284330)

So, when i unplug my peripherals from my computer case, it ceases to be a PC?

Becomes a server?

A server with attached keyboard and monitor is a PC then?

The monitor and related stuff is a kind of handicap... Let's call it a workstation, 'cause you'll have to work harder at keeping it going.

Re:Less than a "PC" (1)

darekgla (2447906) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284068)

There are quite a of of nettops sold without anything but the 'box' and they still deserve to be called a PC.

Re:Less than a "PC" (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284074)

A Mac Mini isn't a PC?

Re:Less than a "PC" (2)

Patman64 (1622643) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284080)

Of course not, it's a Mac. XD

(I know, I know...)

Re:Less than a "PC" (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284326)

Does it stop being a device that can Compute thing for an individual Person?

Price of a textbook. (0)

ABoerma (941672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37283974)

I can’t remember any of my textbooks costing around $25. I think $100 (€75) is the mean price.

Of course, this only validates their argument: if you are willing to spend $100 on a textbook, spending $25 on a pc for education is not a big hurdle.

Re:Price of a textbook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284072)

You have more money than sense.

Re:Price of a textbook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284204)

University textbooks do cost this much, £75 and £80 for the main textbooks for my biology course, these are however about 3-4 cm thick all colour diagram hardbacks of a limited print run, to a semi-captive audience. I remember hearing the teachers taking about school textbooks when they where damaged and they where more than £20 for the larger ones years ago so £25 (or $35) seems reasonable, there is a reason they do not update them as regularly as you might like after all.

Re:Price of a textbook. (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284398)

All my textbooks when I was in graduate school were $60 and up. Didn't bother buying them - just took notes, used the handouts and occasionally borrowed the text book if I had to. Ended up w/ straight B's. An O'Reilly book probably costs $35, but I haven't seen them being used much in universities.

So what did you do - buy cheaper books that the professor didn't recommend?

Re:Price of a textbook. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284150)

Seriously? Not sure how it works in the US, but in the UK, schools by textbooks, pupils don't, and if the school had to pay $100 for each textbook then they'd blow their entire annual budget on textbooks before they even thought about hiring teachers...

Re:Price of a textbook. (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284180)

That's true for K-12 education in the U.S. as well, but university students must purchase their own books.

Re:Price of a textbook. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284246)

How is the cost of university textbooks even remotely relevant when discussing a computer aimed at schools?

Re:Price of a textbook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284200)

Not in university my friend.

Books will cost between £20 and £100. You can of course attempt to buy these second handed / resell them after the fact, but there will also be an attempt to force you to buy new. I didn't buy most books, they were too expensive and I figured I could research my subjects via the Internet, but many people outlay considerable amounts of money on books for education in Universities all up the country.

Re:Price of a textbook. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284222)

The Raspberry Pi isn't aimed at university students, it's aimed at schoolchildren. So it follows that when they talk about textbooks, they're referring to school textbooks.

Re:Price of a textbook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284248)

Did you not make it into university? Because I distinctly remember buying all my own text books and I'm in the UK. Same for A levels actually - any school materials were photocopied, books we had to buy. The last time the books were bought for me was during GCSEs.

Re:Price of a textbook. (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284308)

I did make it into university (actually, I had more trouble making it out again - after my PhD and a postdoc, I eventually managed to escape from academia, although they occasionally persuade me to return for a bit), but in school, including A-Level, all of my textbooks were provided by the school. Most textbooks for this age range were under £10. I still have a few of my textbooks (the school sold old ones off sometimes, or gave them away if they were switching to a new textbook the following year), so I just checked online for the cost of the new versions of them. The most expensive one was £12.60, most were in the £5-10 range. My mother was a teacher when I was at school, so I was constantly aware of the price of textbooks, because it was a significant factor in her school's total budget. At $100, they'd have been bankrupt within a year. At £5, they were struggling to find money to replace the ones that wore out.

University textbooks are more expensive, but that's no more relevant when discussing something aimed at schools than saying that cars are more expensive. They're a different product for a different market. School textbooks are there to give you a reference for the course and to be handed back at the end of the year. University textbooks are meant to be a reference that you will continue to refer to after graduation, if you stay within the field. School textbooks generally cover material that's been known for a long time, whereas university textbooks are expected to cover the latest research (at least, the ones worth buying).

Re:Price of a textbook. (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284168)

Are we getting confused here between undergraduate textbooks and the kind of textbooks used by, say, 12 year olds?

I'm seeing the RP as something to be used by under-16s to get their introduction to software tinkering -- just as so many of us did with our 8 bit home computers.

Re:Price of a textbook. (1)

ABoerma (941672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284228)

When I was in (Dutch) secondary school, textbooks used to be around €50, so that’s a little cheaper than university but still way over $25. Secondary school students can usually rent their books from the school here instead of having to buy them themselves, so that brings the total cost down to about €10 per book for the student.

Re:Price of a textbook. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284354)

I'm seeing the RP as something to be used by under-16s to get their introduction to software tinkering -- just as so many of us did with our 8 bit home computers.

That is indeed their stated aim. But in that case, I'd suggest a PC is the wrong choice. The magic of the 8-bit computers was that they were simple enough to feel like you could get complete mastery of them. You could start with the simple build in BASIC language, and if you want to put something on the screen, you could just PRINT or POKE. No vast and complex APIs to master. No creating a window, no getting a device context, no requirement for a draw function that will be called by the system, no components, no dialogs, no MMU getting between you and the hardware ports etc.

10 PRINT "Hello World"

They'd do better to create a simple computer based on a SoC - ARM, Propeller, AVR or something, and put a simple language (not necessarily BASIC) in ROM that comes up on boot. It'd also be far easier to hit the $25 target.

Python or Ruby would make good choices for a modern day simple language.

Re:Price of a textbook. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284488)

?!

The Raspberry Pi device is a SoC-based computer. It's an ARM chip from Broadcom and it runs Linux. So it'd be dead easy to start people off with Python or Ruby.

Option to connect to an old-school TV (1)

EponymousCustard (1442693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37283978)

First time I've heard this mentioned. This really is the successor to the BBC Micro!
FTA:
"Something we didn’t realize is that Raspberry Pi not only intend to make this PC work through a HDMI and DVI connection, they also want it plugged into old analog TVs just like kids managed with in the 80s. It also means you don’t need an up-to-date display in order to start playing with this device"

Re:Option to connect to an old-school TV (2)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284048)

With the creator of Elite, then yeah, it /is/ rather reminiscent isn't it? So many schoolkids in the UK got started with the Beeb, I even got into minor 6502 ASM with that inline coding you could do.
This PI thing really does feel like a return to form, funny how things go around in circles, from Beeb, to ARM, to PI. Hopefully education sees these as the fantastic opportunity they are.

Re:Option to connect to an old-school TV (2)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284054)

First time I've heard this mentioned. This really is the successor to the BBC Micro!

Fruit-based name.
Comes in "Model A" and "Model B" versions

It just needs a picture of an owl on it now.

Re:Option to connect to an old-school TV (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284254)

Fruit-based name.

Are you confusing Apple and Acorn, or did Acorn release some computers that I missed? I remember the Atom, Electron, BBC Models A and B, BBC Master, and Archimedes, before they started on the A-number naming scheme, but I don't recall any with a fruit-based name.

Re:Option to connect to an old-school TV (1)

MROD (101561) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284314)

Of course, the acorn is the fruit of the oak tree. So, technically, Acorn was named after a fruit.

Re:Option to connect to an old-school TV (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284420)

Fruit-based name.

I'm still hoping for the Banana jr. [toastytech.com] series to be revived...

Re:Option to connect to an old-school TV (1)

phaggood (690955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284458)

Because old VGA monitors can be found in resale shops and garage sales for $5 (or free if someone just put it on the curb with a sign saying as much) I don't think many users of the $25 PC will have to resort to using an old analog TV (and I'd bet an old analog TV is probably much harder to come by these days than an old VGA monitor).

OLPC was a readily-usable laptop (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 2 years ago | (#37283984)

The Raspberry Pi isn't exactly the same thing -- it does not include a case, keyboard, LCD, or speakers. But, you can probably get all that stuff for another $25. So maybe the OLPC has a new partner.

Re:OLPC was a readily-usable laptop (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284050)

Your comment got me thinking. It's been years since the XO-3 tablet was announced, what the hell happened to that? Googling only gives me old news.

Re:OLPC was a readily-usable laptop (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284148)

They lost a lot of support with their decision to switch to windows. It may have been the kiss of death

Re:OLPC was a readily-usable laptop (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284300)

How can anyone be hurt by broken windows ?

Re:OLPC was a readily-usable laptop (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284064)

this idea always made more sense to me, give "base" PC to kids for (almost) free because there are lots of free keyboards, mouses, 15" LCD everywhere. Hell, we are creating mountins of it on daily basis. OLPC was too focused on children living in the middle of nowhere. But they are IMO not really concerned about computing anyway. We should give them ordinary mobile phones first, it is much more useful to them. This computer is covering way more people and use cases.

Re:OLPC was a readily-usable laptop (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284416)

The Raspberry Pi isn't exactly the same thing -- it does not include a case, keyboard, LCD, or speakers. But, you can probably get all that stuff for another $25. So maybe the OLPC has a new partner.

Since when can you get any display for $25? Even a 14" monitor would cost a bundle.

Re:OLPC was a readily-usable laptop (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284460)

Keyboards, Screens, Cases and Speakers are all devices that have not changed much in years...

A CRT from 15 years ago will be perfectly capable of displaying a useful resolution, and are often being given away. Plus this device is capable of output to a TV set, anything from a modern HDMI HDTV, down to an old analog set.
Speakers (or headphones) are widely available, old ones are often thrown out.
A keyboard from 20 years ago will have the same keys as a modern one, some people even prefer to use older keyboards like the IBM model M.
A case can also be had for virtually nothing, considering how small this board is, it should fit inside anything. I imagine someone will produce a small custom case for it, and a simple made in china plastic housing for a board of this size isn't going to cost a lot.

If someone is strapped for cash, they're not going to want to buy a whole bunch of new components, when they either already have perfectly serviceable parts, or would be able to obtain used ones cheaply or even free.

When i got my first computer, it didn't come with a monitor.. I had to connect it to the TV set.

Re:OLPC was a readily-usable laptop (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284478)

Laptop has all custom parts

R.Pi has no screen (use a TV or any screen you have), Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, or Case ...so no custom parts ...

Assuming existing TV as monitor and headphones, you can pick up a USB Mouse and Keyboard for less than $10 ... what else do you need?

The new Arduino (3, Interesting)

AC-x (735297) | more than 2 years ago | (#37283986)

$25 is less than the cost of most Arduino boards, if it's possible to add some digital/analogue inputs/outputs it could become electronics bloggers new favourite toy (at least for high power mains projects, I suspect Arduino will still have much better power consumption!)

Re:The new Arduino (4, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284016)

at least for high power mains projects

"The device should run well off 4xAA cells" [raspberrypi.org]

Although I agree Arduino probably will use less power. Different design goals.

Re:The new Arduino (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284350)

if it's possible to add some digital/analogue inputs/outputs it could become electronics bloggers new favourite toy

And if my Uncle was a woman he'd be my Aunt.

PS: "analogue"? Really? Colour me modernist, but that's a rather archaic spelling even for an Englishman.

Re:The new Arduino (4, Informative)

jc79 (1683494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284494)

PS: "analogue"? Really? Colour me modernist, but that's a rather archaic spelling even for an Englishman.

Not an archaic spelling. A correct spelling.

Re:The new Arduino (1)

alephnull42 (202254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284390)

if it's possible to add some digital/analogue inputs/outputs it could become electronics bloggers new favourite toy

See here http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoard#Provisional_specification [elinux.org]
"General-purpose I/O (About 16 3v3) and various other interfaces, brought out to 1.27mm pin-strip"
... obviously provisional...

Problem (3, Interesting)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284020)

If 128MB version costs $25, why they didn't go with 2GB for $30 instead? $5 difference for almost "classic" web PC with mainstream OS (Ubuntu).

Re:Problem (3, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284082)

They're making a 256MB version with additional ports for $35. I doubt they could put 2GB of RAM on there; most of these ARM SoCs are intended to use stacked chips, and I don't think they've gone beyond 256MB in the stacked form factor.

Even if the chip does allow using a non-stacked configuration, that's still extra board real estate & wiring which increases the complexity of the build, and $5 isn't going to get you 2GB of memory anyway.

Re:Problem (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284158)

I guess problem is funding, they are doing great job with existing components, but obviously it is not possible for them to design SoC around ARM. However, likes of Google are able to do that and give PCs (properly configured for their services) for free. Also, this is neat for display/TV makers, they can have "default" PC in every display they create. One advanced SoC chip, USB and LAN port, microSD port as HDD, WiFi antenna built in, all that is minimal additional costs (way below $25, depending on SoC generation/performance). If web browsing is all you need, and that is increasingly popular selling point, you only need any monitor/TV, its all there.

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284260)

Not free. $25/month with unlimited support per user x 12 months = $300/yr for a netbook without a full-fledged OS or the ability to do with it what you wish.

Re:Problem (1)

Alranor (472986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284442)

More likely is that the TV makers will look at this and put a chip in the display to make sure that you're properly licensed to be viewing whatever content you're passing to it, and DRM strikes again.

Re:Problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284108)

The 256MB version costs $35. Obviously, your made up guess figures don't match what they were able to find in reality.

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284310)

So true. They should also just add a monitor, hdd, gps, touch screen and Large Hadron Collider while they are at it. I mean seriously...I'd buy one for $4.7b.

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284426)

I can buy a used thinclient on Ebay for the same price that will do more. Infact, you probably could find a used PC on craigslist with monitor and keyboard for around the same price. Who on earth will buy this thing, unless it can be setup as an HTPC.

Re:Problem (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284462)

Probably people who want to order thousands of them (eg, one for every student). It's all very well being able to buy a handful of used PCs off eBay for the same price per unit, but it would be expensive to support a collection of 25,000 used PCs, all with different hardware configurations.

Re:Problem (2)

jc79 (1683494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284508)

Will your used pc off ebay fit in your pocket and run off 4xAA batteries? No? Oh well. Looks like I'll be buying a few Raspis then.

Re:Problem (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284476)

If 128MB version costs $25, why they didn't go with 2GB for $30 instead?

That would be a *great* idea! I'm stuck with a BSD machine with 128 MB. If I load up a page full of images, *Xorg* uses 600 MB !! I'm running firefox remotely over X11, and just displaying that takes up 5x system memory (I happen to have 2 GB of swap, can't remember why).

The Price of a Textbook (1)

Medevilae (1456015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284052)

A textbook? $25?

dohoho

IT'S SO SIMPLE : SELL ADVERTISING TO THE MASSES !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284058)

Who cares that they can't afford what you try to sell them !! Who cares that they will strip the battery out to get high ??!! It's a 25$ PC !! By George, I THINK THEY GOT IT (didn't get it from me) !!

Want. (1, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284102)

I want one of these and I can easily afford (and own) PC's worth 4-figures.

I don't know why, I just want one.

Re:Want. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284126)

I want a bunch of them, because it's the only way I can afford (and have space/power for) a beowulf cluster

Using PC for web browsing only (2)

darekgla (2447906) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284112)

If so many people use their PC for web browsing only, absolutely anything that is more power efficient ,portable and cheap should find its market and not only in third world countries .I saw a movie on youtube showing Quake 3 being played (and rather smoothly) on Raspberry PI, so it's not that slow.

I fail to see the "big deal" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284156)

Given that the device has the specs of a thin client (PC station), which I can buy right now for as low as $22 (I've got one sitting on my desk right now that I purchased about a month ago for $30). Thin clients are absurdly cheap, can run linux [jeffkent.net] and come in a very wide variety of different shapes, sizes and specs. The board shown in the article above is very similar to those inside a thin client machine.

Re:I fail to see the "big deal" (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284216)

Any chance of a link to where such hardware can be picked up for that sort of price?

Re:I fail to see the "big deal" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284264)

Heres one, and yes I have actually purchased from here (as I said an NC600 is sitting on my desk).
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/237314653-PC-Station-Thin-Client-Small-PC-Network-terminal-PC-share-station-wholesalers.html

As I said before, I've got a T580 [jeffkent.net] on my desk, works amazingly well.

Re:I fail to see the "big deal" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284486)

How much ram do these boxes usually have? According to that site the nc600 has 64mb and it seems to cost quite a bit more than $22. The rest don't have specifications listed.

Unfair comparison (4, Insightful)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284166)

The Raspberry Pi hardware doesn't do the same things as the OLPC does. The Raspberry doesn't include an form of input or output as part of the reference hardware. So, at that point we are basically selling a computing core, ram, and some storage for $25. If the students need monitors, mice & keyboards at each location, they may as well just carry around a USB thumb stick with a custom LiveOS and put the Pi or other processing core at the work station. That sounds a LOT like my son's middle school.

Re:Unfair comparison (2)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284208)

If the students need monitors, mice & keyboards at each location, they may as well just carry around a USB thumb stick with a custom LiveOS and put the Pi or other processing core at the work station. That sounds a LOT like my son's middle school.

I think the vision is for the kid to be coding at home. The people running the project will remember Western kids learning to code in front of the family TV, hunched over a home computer on the floor. Having to go to a lab to do this is not as good.

In Poland... (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284176)

25USD? Probably only in the USA. I guess in Poland the price of the A/B models will be something like 75/100USD... Hooray global market!

Re:In Poland... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284272)

They are a charity they do not intend to play that sort of game or limit purchases geography, if you can put up with the postage. they also intend to distribute by bulk for national retribution if this is cheaper, and wont limit resale.

Re:In Poland... (3, Informative)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284332)

as it's a UK thing (and the price I've always seen was 25 pounds, not 25 US dollars) the price in Poland should be the same+shipping

Documentation, Documentation, Documentation. (3, Interesting)

benbean (8595) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284184)

Looks like a great project. I think a key though will be to have some well-written documentation or tutorials to go with it. For my first computer (Atari 800XL), my Dad just bought a book on BASIC and a book of type-in games, and it was going through those that encouraged me to learn and experiment. Hopefully they can get a hookup with O'Reilly or somebody to produce a companion volume.

Reeeally pie in the sky wish would be for a BBC series to go with it, a la The Computer Programme, Making the Most of your Micro and Micro Live. Never gonna happen sadly. :-(

there is indeed a market (1)

kd8our (1996830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284252)

unlike the $100 OLPC crap this does have a market. i would gladly pay $50 to $75 for such a system. ITX has been around a while too. although i can't think of how much or little success those boards have had. there are more than a handful of situations were a small, low power computer like that would be a help. however the cost is about the same as cheap off the shelf stuff. problem is that you really can only makes these things cheap by mass production. this is a problem if demand starts slow. one area i applaud apple on is marketing. although in this area screw 'em. last thing they want or support is users playing with their hardware. despite joining the intel drum circle. the current anti-hacker mentality has also helped to foster misconceptions about those who take on these projects. one thing i can tell you right now is never ever travel with any home brew projects. current mental state of our society is panic at unknown things. seen too many harassed about legit gear (like radios and test equipment) let alone the horror stories i have heard with people's creations being confused with bombs or other nefarious devices. people are stupid.

Cluster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284304)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster.....

Woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284318)

Imagine a Beowolf Cluster of these...

Kate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284378)

Is Eban Upton a relative of Kate Upton?

A motherboard and???? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284380)

From the pic of what they showed, that's all I saw. The casing, as well as the display themselves would cost double that amount. And keyboard - I'm assuming one wants it to be somewhat ergonomic, instead of dumping old keyboards to this just b'cos it might be for kids in Uganda. I'm assuming that it has an ARM based SoC, plus some on-board RAM - presumably DRAM - and then some other controllers for external devices and interfaces. Also, how is the BOM of this $35 - that would be just the cost of everything, and the price typically has to be twice to recover costs, unless one wants to create another red-ink company.

Kill Your TV (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284402)

Something we didn’t realize is that Raspberry Pi not only intend to make this PC work through a HDMI and DVI connection, they also want it plugged into old analog TVs just like kids managed with in the 80s.

That's probably OK for the next couple of years, while the digital TV switch is recent enough that people are still giving/throwing away their analog TVs. But by 2014-15, the cost of adding the analog TV interface to every motherboard just for the tiny few which will find new cheap analog TVs will not be worth it. Cheaper would be work on a cheap HDMI/analog downconverter. Which sounds like an excellent project from the HW community using a cheap motherboard like this one. By 2015 HDMI TVs will be cheap enough, and enough getting given/thrown away, that they'll probably be more plentiful and cheaper than the antique analog TVs still passing through the hands of collectors and luddites.

Re:Kill Your TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37284444)

Really? you think people in developing countries are going to have digital TVs in a couple of years? We didn't spend all of our $2/day -- lets go buy a new digital TV!

I'm pretty sure they aren't going to replace their TVs unless they break. And even then, they'll go get it repaired before buying a new one. So analog TVs are going to be around for a long time.

Missing the point... (4, Insightful)

YenRug (2452148) | more than 2 years ago | (#37284432)

From what I can read, so far, nearly all of the commenters are missing the point. This is not intended as a "cheap PC" option in the same way that OLPC was meant to get laptops into the hands of third-world children; if you read up on it, it's intention is for use as a "standard platform" for learning programming techniques in a limited environment. People like David Braben grew up learning to write extremely efficient code because they had such limited memory to work with, such as the Sinclair ZX80/ZX81 which only had 16KB (NOT a typo, that's KB, not MB), the Acorn/BBC B with 32KB and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum with 48KB. There is a general feeling that current students are getting "sloppy" and presume they're always going to have GB's of memory to stretch out in, so they've created PI to encourage creative thinking without placing too much demand on the wallets of students.
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