The Raspberry Pi computer has gone on general sale to the public today.
After six years in development the tiny computer, conceived primarily to ignite enthusiasm in programming and computer science at schools, is currently on offer for £22 ($35). A cheaper model retailing at £16 ($25) will be available later in the year.
Created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, of which Frontier boss and Develop columnist David Braben is a prominent member, the computer is designed to be as open as possible, so as to a give students access to a fully fledged PC experience and, crucially, provide them with the opportunity to cut their teeth on creative computer programming.
While the currently available 'Model B' Raspberry Pi, which sports a pair of USB ports and and an Ethernet port, is available to purchase, they are yet to arrive from China, where they are being manufactured. However, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has revealed that it has now entered into licensed manufacture partnerships with two British companies; namely Premier Farnell and RS Components.
"They’ll be manufacturing and distributing the devices on behalf of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and handling the distribution of our first batches as they arrive in the country," said a statement on an official Raspberry Pi website, established today to take the strain as the Foundation's main website is bombarded with interest. "The Foundation continues to make a small profit from each Raspberry Pi sold, which we’ll be putting straight back into the charity."
Currently orders are limited to one unit per customer.
To read our in depth interview with Braben about Raspberry Pi, click here.