So Small and Cheap
Do you ever imagine that one day, you can fit your computer into your wallet ? That is what David Braben trying and I believe already achieved. A computer with a size of credit card and so cheap around $25 – $35. The price is depending on how much RAM you specify. It is called Raspberry Pi developed by Frontier Development. Currently in beta and already on sale on e-Bay for charity.
You can watch the video below to appreciate the performance of Raspberry Pi. According to David, Raspberry Pi can run Linux OS with LXDE, run internet browser, movie and Open Office. Don’t be surprise, it can even run Quake 2. Performance is not an issue here.
What I like to point out is that with the combination of small hardware and linux we could do a lot of things. This device might be a stepping stone to a greater things.
What’s a Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.
In Malaysia, student from low income family were given netbook 1Malaysia by Malaysian government. The 1Malaysia netbook is installed with Win 7 Starter Edition and Microsoft Office trial for 30 days. My colleagues who is in telco industry told me that the 1Malaysia Netbook budget come from Universal Service Provision Fund (USP). All Telco donate 6% from their profit to this fund in order to help develop infrastructure for rural internet broadband. The USP fund amount reached almost close to RM 4 billion at one time.
The objective is clear but the implementation, FAIL. This is totally wrong. The idea of giving free net book is to help poor students to study and do their homework. But by giving trial Microsoft office is just ridiculous. The poor student need to buy Microsoft office in order to use office software. Why don’t you provide netbook with Linux OS and free software etc Open Office. So poor student can use the net book for free with cheap internet broadband. Hopefully, government will monitor this project closely and not wasting public fund.
Raspberry Pi’s future
In my opinion, Raspberry Pi is suitable for school project and can encourage student to learn and explore about computer. This mini computer, I believe will challenge their mind to be programmer and inventor. So in future, school student will be able to produce their own mini computer. Nowadays, we only use what is easily available without knowing that their is alternative. I am not saying that we should stop using Microsoft etc, but we have a choice. Don’t blindly use PC without knowing how the PC work and operate.
With booming of internet and information, nothing is impossible. Hopefully with this new invention, everybody can have and use computer cheaply. In future, 1Malaysia netbook can be replaced with Raspberry Pi computer and expose the student with cheaper alternative. Go LINUX !