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Raspberry Pi grows up: a $35 mini-computer takes on the world

raspberry pi

Launched in early 2012, the Raspberry Pi is a simple, Linux-based computer designed to make programming cheap and accessible. Coming in $25 and $35 models, it uses modest components and SD card storage, with an HDMI connection and optional ethernet port. In its first year, one million Pis have been sold, both to educational institutions and to coding enthusiasts.

26 updates and 699 comments below.

Sep 14 5:36a

Google's Coder project turns the Raspbery Pi into a mini app server

Hackers and educators love the Raspberry Pi, and at least a few people at Google do too. For a year, Google has provided funding to a UK program that trains teachers on how to use the small, inexpensive computers in classrooms. This week, Google introduced Coder, a free software download built by a team of Googlers in New York that turns the Raspberry Pi into a tiny server that can host basic web apps for those learning to code in HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Google says setting Coder up on the...

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Feb 11 7:02p

Cut-down 'Minecraft' released on Raspberry Pi for free

Mojang has released a version of their smash hit world-building game Minecraft for the tiny, inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer. Minecraft: Pi Edition is based on Pocket Edition, the mobile version currently available on iOS and Android, and you can download it now for free.

Jan 29 10:00a

XBMC 12 ‘Frodo’ now available: adds Raspberry Pi and ‘initial’ Android support

Today there's some good news for XBMC fans as version 12 of the popular open-source home media center software, codenamed ‘Frodo,’ has been officially released. The new version has a number of new features and improvements including Live TV and PVR support, which allows you to watch Live TV, listen to radio, and access a TV guide. The update also includes a new audio engine that provides access to a variety of HD audio standards including DTS-MA and Dolby True-HD. Theres good news for AirPlay...

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Dec 19 2:44p

The BeetBox makes music with actual beets

We've seen a banana piano and a beer can keyboard, but what about beatboxing with an actual box of beets? For his final project in a technology crafting course, student Scott Garner has created a way to do just that. The cheekily dubbed BeetBox is powered by a Raspberry Pi, and uses an audio amplifier to play drum sounds based on input from a capacitive touch sensor. Put simply, touch beets, get beats. The whole system is encased in a simplistic, handmade wooden enclosure, which gives the...

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Dec 17 8:10a

Raspberry Pi launches its very own app store

Anybody who’s anybody has their own app store these days, so why shouldn't the team behind the Raspberry Pi have one too? The tiny and inexpensive Linux-based PC has today gained the Pi Store, accessible from the web or via a standalone app for Raspbian. So far it looks to be slim pickings with only 23 free titles, but the team is hoping that it will grow into a resource that offers developer tools as well as more consumer-oriented titles. There’s a little bit of incentive for developers too —...

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Oct 21 8:42a

Universally compatible beercan keyboard created using Raspberry Pi and Arduino

Robofun Create has built a fully functional keyboard using Staropramen beer cans, demonstrating once more that the potential of systems like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi is only limited by the creativity of those who use them. The keyboard — which would be an instant hit at pretty much any party — is made of 40 beer cans connected to an Arduino-powered touch controller attached to a Raspberry Pi that controlled the television display. Robofun Create designed the keyboard as part of the 2012...

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Sep 03 3:11p

Learn to build a Raspberry Pi operating system, courtesy of Cambridge University

The $25 or $35 Raspberry Pi computer is a favorite of coders, who've turned it into a synth and embedded it in a camera grip among other things. Now, the Pi is getting attention from the University of Cambridge Computer Lab. Alex Chadwick, one of a group of students working with Pis at Cambridge over the summer, has published a guide to coding basic operating systems for the computer. "Baking Pi" is meant to help incoming freshmen get familiar with basic computer science before starting...

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Sep 01 5:56p

Watch this: the $25 Raspberry Pi turns into a synth

There seems to be no shortage of uses for the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi, whether it's running Android, being hooked up to your DSLR, or stuffed inside its spiritual forebear, the Commodore 64. Now one hardware project is looking to add "synth" to the customizable $25 microcomputer's rapidly-expanding repertoire.

The Raspberry Pi synth, called "Piana," seems to signal that wonderful things are in store for musically-inclined owners of the hard-to-get machine, similar to what we've...

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Aug 20 6:56a

Photographer embeds Raspberry Pi computer in DSLR battery grip

Irish photographer David Hunt has managed to fit a Raspberry Pi — the card-sized device designed to promote computer science in schools — inside a standard Canon 5D Mark II battery grip, using the tiny Linux-based computer to transfer photos to his iPad. According to an explanatory blog post, the Pi runs a Perl script which constantly queries the camera for images — when it finds new shots, it grabs them and transfers them to the iPad's Shuttersnitch app over the internet.

In the video...

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Aug 16 12:17p

Raspberry Pi runs ported version of Mozilla's web-based Firefox OS

While smartphones running Mozilla's web-based Firefox OS aren't expected to ship until 2013, that hasn't stopped enthusiasts from porting the open source operating system to other platforms. The latest device to get a version of the system — formerly known as Boot to Gecko — is the Raspberry Pi, the $25 card-sized computer designed to promote computer science in schools.

In the video below, developer Oleg Romashin demonstrates the device performing some basic functions such as swiping...

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Aug 08 8:26a

Raspberry Pi creator Eben Upton on how and why to get kids coding

The Linux-based Raspberry Pi computer is tiny, cheap, and very popular. But while plenty of adults adore the $35 device, designer Eben Upton hopes it will also spark a new wave of interest in programming for children. In an interview with Wired, Upton discusses his own experience with programming and what he sees as the failure of current computer education programs and "intuitive" computers. Earlier machines, he says, "were programmable. When you first turned them on, they booted into Basic...

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Aug 01 8:02a

Android 4.0 ported to Raspberry Pi, supports HD video but not audio

A working version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been ported to the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer, allowing the $25 device to perform many of the functions of a modern smartphone or tablet, albeit at a somewhat slower pace. According to a post on the project's official blog, the build supports hardware-accelerated video and graphics, but is not yet able to play sound due to problems with porting Android's AudioFlinger system.

As Eurogamer points out, it's not the first...

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Jul 17 1:02a

Raspberry Pi ramps up production, lifts purchase limit

Since going on sale in February, the miniature Linux computer known as the Raspberry Pi has had a very specific limitation — namely, orders were limited to one per customer due to demand. As of today, that's all over — users can order as many of the tiny machines as they'd like. The change is driven to an increase in production capacity: according to a recent blog post, 4,000 units of the "model B" Pi are being manufactured every single day. That's not to say the device will be shipping...

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Jul 06 6:17a

SNES and BBC Micro revived by Raspberry Pi modders

While the fact that the Raspberry Pi ships without a case might be off-putting to some, it's a clear boon to those with the ability to make the most out of the tiny Linux machine. It's not a surprise, then, that we're starting to see some innovative ways to leverage the hardware, starting with this Super Nintendo mod from Florian of petRockBlog. The mod involves a PCB that acts as a hardware interface for a SNES emulator, so you can play Super Mario Kart with the same controller you practiced...

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Jun 26 11:19a

FishPi is a tiny, Raspberry Pi-enabled ship that aims to cross the Atlantic

Now that Raspberry Pi's are getting into the hands of folks around the world, we're starting to see all kinds of interesting projects. And in the case of Greg Holloway, his goal is a little more ambitious than most — to use a Raspberry Pi to create an autonomous vehicle that will cross the Atlantic Ocean. The aptly named FishPi project is currently in the proof of concept phase, but the final version will be powered by a 130 watt solar panel and includes features like a GPS, servo controller...

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Jun 21 4:19p

Motorola's LapDock hacked back to life using Raspberry Pi and Rikomagic computers

While Motorola may not have any more plans for its short-lived but well-designed original LapDock, that doesn't mean it can't still be used for some creative purposes. Enterprising owners of the LapDock — which is essentially just a display, keyboard, battery, and trackpad — have given it a new lease on life using the Raspberry Pi or the Android-based Rikomagic MK802 micro-computer. The whole project can be done for around $100 depending on which board you use, and the only other parts needed...

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May 25 12:18a

Google to provide Raspberry Pis and Arduinos, train teachers for UK schools

Google has announced a three-year partnership with UK organization Teach First, which aims to increase students' exposure to science and technology by training teachers and providing equipment. Each year 34 teachers will go through a six-week training program, for a total of 102, with the first group due to start working in classrooms this September. Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt believes that the program could help more than 20,000 students from underprivileged backgrounds. The...

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Apr 16 12:03p

First Raspberry Pi orders now shipping worldwide

After a number of delays, the first batch of the Raspberry Pi has reached its distributors and the tiny computer board should begin shipping to customers very soon — in fact, in some cases it looks like buyers have already received theirs. The current shipments are being sent out to those who were quick enough to grab one of the first batch before it sold out, and distributor RS Components says that it's working closely with the manufacturer to bring additional shipments in stock to help...

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Apr 08 3:09a

Raspberry Pi completes CE compliance testing, clears the way for UK sales to resume

The introduction of the Raspberry Pi hasn't been without its hiccups: the initial batch sold out near-instantaneously, and further production was then held up due to the Raspberry Pi Foundation's manufacturing partner sourcing the wrong type of ethernet jacks. The latest speedbump was due to the miniature computer not having undergone proper CE compliance testing — but it appears that hurdle has been cleared. In a post on its blog, the foundation reports that after a week of evaluation, the...

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Mar 29 11:45a

Raspberry Pi UK distribution delayed by the need for 'CE mark' testing and  compliance

A few weeks after opening pre-orders and beginning production of the tiny Raspberry Pi Linux computer, its developers have announced that two of its UK retail partners are unwilling to distribute the device without the CE marking. This mark is fairly ubiquitous on consumer electronics products and indicates that the manufacturer is complying with Europe's regulations and that the product can be sold throughout the Europe Economic area. This comes a few days after the Raspberry Pi team d...

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Mar 20 4:34a

The Pirate Bay wants to use flying drones to operate over international waters

While The Pirate Bay's founders lost their appeals against their sentences in Sweden recently, the torrent site claims to have some unique ideas about how to operate going forward. A blog post reveals plans to host some of the site's machines on drones that will "float some kilometers in the air," necessitating "a real act of war" for anyone wanting to take them down. Furthermore, The Pirate Bay tells TorrentFreak that it's planning to fly the first drone in international waters, which would...

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Mar 09 4:16a

Raspberry Pi suffers a minor production setback

Just as the Raspberry Pi went into production and sold out of its initial batch, there's been a slight hitch in the plans. A sourcing glitch from the manufacturer meant that Ethernet jacks without integrated magnetics were soldered to the board, leaving the tiny computers without network connectivity. As you can see from the photo above, it's not a difficult mistake to make (the color doesn't have anything to do with it). Fortunately, the problem simply requires desoldering of the old jacks...

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Feb 29 1:37a

Raspberry Pi $35 miniature computer now on sale, $25 model going into production 'immediately'

We knew the Raspberry Pi, the diminutive, low-cost Linux-based computer, would be available for order at any moment, and today the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced on its website that the tiny machines are on sale. The Raspberry Pi comes in two different variants: the $25 Model A runs a 700MHz ARM processor with 256MB of RAM, HDMI and RCA video outputs, and SD card storage. The $35 Model B adds two USB ports and one ethernet port to the mix. The first units that have been produced are of...

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Feb 07 4:49a

Raspberry Pi: first batch to be finished February 20th, on sale by end of the month

Production started on the $35 Raspberry Pi last month, and now the team has announced that after a slight delay related to sourcing a component, the first manufacturing run will be finished on February 20th. What does this mean for you? Since the batch of tiny Linux machines will be airfreighted to the UK as soon as they leave the factory, you should be able to put down your $35 for one by the end of the month. The initial production run of 10,000 units has been focused on the higher-end...

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Jan 22 3:02a

Raspberry Pi demonstrated running XBMC and AirPlay

While the primary goal of the Raspberry Pi is to get inexpensive ($25-$35), programmable computers into the hands of people everywhere, it also looks pretty handy as an HTPC. We reported a while back that it's capable of 1080p playback over HDMI, and we're now seeing that capability put into practice — namely, with support for XBMC and AirPlay wireless streaming. XBMC is open-source media center software that was first developed for the original Xbox, and the tiny computer can use it to...

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Jan 04 8:56p

Raspberry Pi computers fetch high prices at charity auction

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny yet powerful computer that's expected to retail for just $25-35, but bidders on eBay are offering up mountains of cash for the devices — the foundation is auctioning off ten pre-production units to raise money for its own charity, and it says it will use the funds to deliver the computers to schools. So far, bids on one unit have reached £2,100 (about $3,278), and each of the ten auctions have already exceeded the foundation's expectations by clearing at least £500...

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Dec 28 5:34a

Credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer will handle 1080p video for $25 next month

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny $25-$35 Linux-based computer that's been designed to make programmable devices more accessible, with a view to having them everywhere from schools to the home. It's potentially a lot more than a simple educational tool, though — it's capable of handling 1080p video and graphics that Raspberry Pi Foundation board member David Braben (of Elite development fame) describes in an Edge interview as "quite a way beyond Quake III Arena." The foundation believes that the...

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