Raspberry Pi, the tiny computer that fits in the palm of your hand and can run quite nicely, thank you very much, off four AA batteries, is now shipping in volume for about $33.
The indie project, run by the non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation, first shipped in April after getting tens of thousands of pre-orders. But supply has been constrained, limiting hobbyists and others to single orders. Now the foundation has increased manufacturing capacity and announced the ability to buy in bulk.
Some had been so desperate to get their hands on the popular device that they’ve paid over $200 — almost 10 times the list price — to snap up a Pi on eBay.
“This is of special importance to those of you who are using the Raspberry Pi in your businesses, and to people looking to buy classroom sets for schools and universities,” Liz Upton, community manager for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, said in a blog post.
The Pi is tiny, about the size of a credit card, and easily fits in the palm of your hand. But it packs a 700 MHz processor and 256 megabytes of RAM, plus a variety of ports: Ethernet, HDMI, USB, and an audio jack. The minuscule PC runs the Linux operating system off an SD card … the kind of memory you’d ordinarily find in your digital camera.
With that kind of power, the Pi can play full HD video and run video games like Quake 3. Or it can complete ordinary business tasks such as working with spreadsheets, word-processing documents, and more.