Raspberry Pi

A great little SBC (single board computer) has been launched. It has had a long an arduos gestation lasting several years, but this little SBC  is a magnificent achievement. It has been designed and developed in Cambridge by the Raspberry Pi foundation.

See Here
RS Components Here
Farnell Here

You can get one for £25. (that's right - twenty five quid)

 So what? You may say. What is so special about just "another" computer. Believe me, this little SBC is far from being just another pile of electronics. It promises to revolutionise both the teaching and implementation of electronics/computing in our schools, colleges and industry.

You will be seeing it in schools within a year and then in home brewed products shortly afterwards. Where better to start than with the educational market? But that is merely the tip of the ice burg. Believe me this is not just a load of hype. This thing will fly.

But great as this is there is one downside that needs debating.

The talented and creative folk who created this breakthrough wanted to build the initial boards in this country. Good for them. But they couldn't.

The main reason?

The brick wall to getting these things made here revolved around the price of components.

 If they were built and fully assembled in China then there would be no import Tax when bringing them into this country.

But if they were built here, then the components would have been subject to import tax on entry and so would have pushed up the price of the finished boards to a much higher and unsustainable price.

 A case of tax breaks for the Chinese at the expense of UK industry.

 What a shame.

 But even so, this is a great achievement full of promise for the future.

I haven't been able to get one yet - they are sold out (grrrrr)


gaga said...

In 1978 Nascom built a single board micro (quantity 200) for the sole purpose of getting components cheaper than importing them directly.

The Nascom-1 sold 15000, a Nascom went on to be pretty successful.

BilloTheWisp said...

Hey Gaga,

I remember back in 79 working on an Intel 8020 8080 based SBC (I think the No is correct!). I never did anything with a Nascom-1 but I remember they were pretty iconic.

Around then I did a lot with Z80's which in my opinion was (considering its era) the best processor ever made

I remember using a Futuredata 2800 development system which had assembler and an ICE all in 28K of memory with 2x5.25 floppies!!

Eee By Gum them were the days.

Dioclese said...

Eeee I did enjoy me Sinclair ZX80...

BilloTheWisp said...

ZX80 eh? A whole 1K of memory. Almost infinite storage.