FIRST LOOK: The $25 Raspberry Pi Computer

Bill Weir, David Miller, Justin Bare & Mark Monroy
This Could Be Big

This week we got our hands on the only Raspberry Pi Model A in the United States, thanks to Limor “Ladyada” Fried and her team at Adafruit, a do-it-yourself company started by Fried in New York City.

Raspberry Pi is a simple, affordable computer designed by Eben Upton of the U.K., who dreamed of building a computer that’s accessible to anyone. To keep the cost down, only minimal components were included in this credit-card-sized computer. There isn’t even a case.

The Model A is the slimmed-down sibling of the $35 Model B computer that came out about a year ago, opening up a world to new computer programmers and fanatics. By removing the Ethernet connection and one of the two USB ports, and by reducing the amount of onboard memory, the company was able sell the Model A for all of $25.

In a short time, Raspberry Pi has created a devoted following of programmers who have taken the technology and run with it. It’s been used to build home arcades, capture images from near space, become a super-Nintendo -- even a supercomputer when a father and son linked 64 individual Raspberry Pi’s together.

The Model A is currently rolling out in Europe, but a U.S. release date hasn’t been set.