Tech Tuesday – $25 Computer on A Stick
The One Laptop per Child program was meant to get computers into the hands of kids that couldn't afford them, giving them the ability to have the tools to learn like many kids in 1st world countries. But this new computer aims to increase the reach that OLPC started, and doing it for only $25.
David Braben is a game developer and has created this small computer that is no bigger than a common flash drive you can buy at Walmart and carry in your pocket. It uses a version of the Linux operating system to run it since it's free to install and distribute. Linux is also very powerful and has been modified in many different ways to fit on everything from a smart phone to a super computer.
The theiry is that this computer can be given away through funding of programs. Getting it into the hands of as many children as possible who can't afford a computer, mostly in 3rd world countries, but also poorer kids in 1st world countries, like here in the U.S.
The device has a 700MHz processor and 128 MB of RAM. Not as powerful as computers you can buy in the store, but enough to still be able to learn on. I still have an old 1GHz Celeron PC in the closet with Linux on it, that I can fire up and use anytime. So speed is not as big a concern. There's also an SD card slot for storage, and has an HDMI for 1080p video out and USB ports for keyboards and mice.
Braden hopes to have it available to the public in a year or so. The components pricing puts it at around $25 and the device will be distributed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation that supports computer science in schools.