Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Hurrah For Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi could turn out to be more than just a way of teaching people to programme.
It could be a way of getting people to think about PCs in a totally different way.
Raspberry Pi gives you all the functions most people want from a PC – fancy graphics excepted.
Once upon a time there was bio-diversity in the computer industry: Osborne, Sinclair, Dragon, Acorn, Oric, MITS and Apple and many more – of which only Apple survived the bulldozer of the IBM PC architecture and the subsequent 30 year domination of the industry by x86 processors and Windows.
Raspberry Pi may persuade a new generation that x86 and Windows aren’t inevitable, that computers don’t have to be black boxes over which users have no fundamental control, and that mammoth American companies don’t have a God-given right to control the PC industry in perpetuity.
And there’s another thing. 30 years ago chip industry magnates were fond of comparing the chip industry to the car industry.
If, argued the chip industry magnates, the car industry had delivered the same cost reduction and performance enhancements as the IC industry, then a Rolls Royce would now cost $10 and run for 100,000 miles on a gallon of petrol with a top speed of 500mph.
Ironically, the one product which did not follow the IC industry’s learning curve was the PC. And that was because the price was kept high by the monopolies of the mammoth American companies.
Now the Raspberry Pi has brought personal computers down to the price point they should be on if prices hadn’t been kept artificially high by the said mammoth American companies.
And that’s a very good thing indeed.Tags: bulldozer, chip industry, magnates, Oric, pc architecture