January 9, 2013

Tiny Raspberry Pi Computer Could Create Generation of Tinkerers

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny Linux-based computer that can be customized to do a lot of things. (That is an oversimplification for the sake of blog-posting brevity.) Wired.com reports that the Element 14, the company that makes the adorably named doo-hickey, has now made 500,000 of them.

Since we’re always on the lookout for news about kids and computers, we were intrigued by this quote from Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation:

“The younger generation has demonstrated significant intrigue in learning how to build and program their own computer device. And what has been great to see is the enormous growth in the hobbyist market. I have seen projects from Twittering chickens to home beer-brewing kits being created using the Raspberry Pi and its accessories.”

Now, by “younger generation” Upton probably isn’t referring to little kids, although maybe there are really really really smart little kids who could turn the Raspberry Pi into something nifty. Still, we’re fans of any product that is designed to be futzed with.

When I was a lad, using a computer was (a) nerdy and not in a cool way, and (b) a much better experience if you had at least some programming knowledge. While it’s fine that not everyone learn a programming language (although it couldn’t hurt), it’s good to hear that there are folks in the “younger generation” who aspire to do more with their devices than watch videos and use apps. With Raspberry Pi, they won’t have to void the warranty if they want to tinker.

What can you do with a Raspberry Pi? Some examples from Wired.com.

8 Cool Raspberry Pi Projects for Diminutive Computing Fun

Tiny Terminal: Maker Builds a Working Raspberry Pi Laptop

10 More Mind-Blowing, Skill-Building Raspberry Pi Projects

Note the title of the last link because it includes the words “skill-building.” (Or maybe that’s two words. Not sure.) Like Lego Mindstorms, Raspberry Pi is educational in the best way — fun.

Raspberry Pi Quickly Approaches 1 Million Units Sold | Wired Design | Wired.com

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