Joy as affordable Raspberry Pi user base exceeds expectations
10 Million Users Can’t Be Wrong: the rise of the Raspberry Pi has been amazing. Image by Goodcat (via Shutterstock).
Where were you in 2012? Did you watch cat videos on YouTube? Were you touched by the London Olympic Games? Or did you fancy a fruit tart-based computing solution? O.K, sorry about the last point. It is hard to imagine how, four years ago, that a fruit tart-themed computer system would sell more than 10,000 units. Amid a backdrop of Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, and the arrival of affordable smartphones. Britain, known for its love of the underdog, succeeded with the Raspberry Pi that year. Today, ten million users cannot go wrong.
The Raspberry Pi came about, due to concerns that children weren’t learning about computer systems properly. Though many had left school with a working knowledge of Windows or Mac systems (and any of the Microsoft Office packages), coding was a weak spot. In 1982, this was something we were pretty good at in the early days of home computing. Branches of WHSmith and John Menzies had plenty of computer magazines for each format from Apple II to ZX81. There was also books of type-in listings. We became enthusiastic coders, with a cottage industry graduating from bedrooms to billion dollar studios.
Nowadays, the legacy of the Raspberry Pi has seen coding added to the National Curriculum in England and Wales. Its user base includes adults as well as children – with Pis forming part of media centres as well as educational packages. Some have turned theirs into digital picture frames, electronic cat feeders, and tea pouring devices.
Its original aim was to boost the number of Computer Science students at the University of Cambridge. The founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation (which promotes and sells the PCs), Eben Upton, aimed to recapture the glory days of the 8-bit era. Some users have converted their Pis into the machines of their youth – playing Jet Set Willy with an SD card and a USB joypad.
Today, 10 million units later, the Raspberry Pi Foundation have launched an official starter pack. This will retail at £118.80 (including 20% VAT; £99 excluding VAT). Included in the contents with your Raspberry Pi Model B is an official case, a 1 metre HDMI cable, an 8GB NOOBS SD card, and an official 2.5A multi-region power supply. Peripherals include an optical mouse and keyboard. Plus it comes with the Foundation Edition of Wiley’s Adventures in Raspberry Pi in paperback form. A geeky Christmas present idea? Possibly.
Windows 10 on a Pi?
Yes, that is possible. If you wish to run a version of Window 10 on your Pi, there is a stripped-down version of the operating system known as Windows 10 IoT Core. TechRepublic has also provided a step-by-step tutorial.
Everything stops for Tea-Pi
As demonstrated below, there is no shortage of Raspberry Pi project clips on YouTube. So here’s a little bonus from us.