A tiny, single-board computer costing just $35 sold out within 10 minutes of going on sale in the United Kingdom, PC Magazine reports.
The credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer comes with 256MB of RAM, a Broadcom 700 Mhz chip, a USB port, an SD card reader, and not much else. It's just a system on a chip without a case, keyboard, monitor, mouse or even a hard drive.
The $35 Raspberry Pi Model B (the $25 Model A goes on sale in the near future) runs on the free Fedora Linux operating system, which boots onto the device from an SD memory card. Developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation along the same model as the inexpensive One Laptop, One Child program, the computers are aimed at kids who are learning about computer science, but it was quickly snapped up by hobbyists interested in exploiting its cheap computer power. An official launch into the educational market is planned for later this year.
"The primary goal was to build a low-cost computer that every child could own, and one where programming was the natural thing to do with it," foundation co-founder Robert Mullins told CNN.
The incredibly high demand for the Raspberry Pi devices crashed the servers of the companies offering them for sale, Premier Farnell and RS Components. The foundation's own website was also changed to a static, one-page site due to heavy server demand.
The concept for the Raspberry Pi was first developed in 2006. The foundation was founded in 2009 to bring the concept into reality. The first 10 computers went on sale on eBay on January, each fetching thousands of dollars. That first sale helped raise enough money to produce the first 10,000 commercial Raspberry Pi computers, which were manufactured in China.
So what can you do with a $35 computer? A lot, it turns out. As the technology news site Gizmodo explained, the Raspberry Pi can be used as the foundation for an HD television media center. It could also be used as network storage, a remote control for your main computer, a voicemail system as well as many other applications.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has several video demonstrations of its mini-computer on YouTube, including this early one showing a prototype running the game Quake 3: