A $5 (Dollar) Computer Called the Raspberry Pi

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The Raspberry Pi foundation’s mission is to bring computing to as many people as possible, at the most affordable price possible. In that past, the Raspberry Pi foundation offered models costing about $20 – $35, which is very very cheap. But now they’ve cut the cost to $5 with the Raspberry Pi Zero model. That’s incredibly cheap for a fully working, fully programmable computer.

The target audience for the Raspberry Pi foundation are kids that would like to learn programming, and the developing world, where traditional computers are quite expensive. At this price point, they’re able to open up the possibility of access to computers for the entire planet, rich or poor.

But the Raspberry Pi has proved very popular with all kinds of computer enthousiasts. It turns out that providing computers and computing power at that price and size, has led to people coming up with all kinds of crazy projects ranging from sending up balloons into space with the Raspberry Pi to take photos to feeding pets via Twitter.

The Raspberry Pi Zero is actually quite a powerful computer, it has the following specifications:

  • A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
    • 1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
  • 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • A micro-SD card slot
  • A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
  • Micro-USB sockets for data and power
  • An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
    • Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
  • An unpopulated composite video header
  • Our smallest ever form factor, at 65mm x 30mm x 5mm

All you need to get going and start using the Raspberry Pi Zero is:

  • A TV or monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Power supply (many Android chargers are compatible)
  • An SD card

The Raspberry Pi Zero runs Linux, and is especially good running on a special Linux distribution called Raspbian.

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