Raspberry Pi: Ten on eBay, bids skyrocket

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is auctioning a batch of pre-production computers on eBay, and the sub-£20 boards are going for upwards of £1,000.

Set up by a group of high-flying Cambridge techies, the Foundation aims to inspire a generation of programmers by putting competent low-cost hardware into the hands of children and teenagers, much in the way that Sinclair computers did in the 1980s.

“We’ve built our first small batch of production boards. Apart from a minor error in the PCB design, they work very nicely, so we’ve decided to make ten of them available for auction on eBay,” said Raspberry Pi Foundation executive director Eben Upton. “We have parts in stock for our first 10,000 units, and expect to be in volume production by the end of January.”

The computer, Raspberry Pi is based around a 32bit ARM11 system chip, plugs into a TV through HDMI, and will run Ubuntu, Python, Iceweasel and KOffice amongst other open-source applications.

More importantly for the Foundation, unlike PCs and smart phones, Raspberry Pi can be programmed by the user as soon as it is switched on, tempting them to explore computer science.

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