Friday, 27 July 2018

A little Raspberry Pi history

a pre-alpha version of the Pi (reproduced with permission)
A few days ago someone pointed out that it was eight years since Eben Upton's first blog post on the Raspberry Pi website.

The site had actually been live for a while (from 6 May 2011), with just enough information to get me and others excited about the potential of the Pi.

The website explained that the goal was to produce a low-cost Linux-capabable ARM-based board for educational purposes.

That was interesting, but not world-shaking. There were already a few hobbyist SBCs (Single Board Computers), but they weren't cheap. I think the BeagleBoard was over a hundred pounds, and  you needed some specialised hardware to level-shift the 1.8V GPIO pins to a useful voltage.

So how much was the Pi going to cost?

According to the website The expected price is $25 for a fully-configured system.

Back then, that was almost unbelievable. Indeed, to many, it was unbelievable.

The early days of the Pi were dogged by negative comments reflecting two schools of thought.

One said the Raspberry Pi foundation would never deliver a working system at anything like that price; the other said that no-one would buy it even if they did.

Sales of over 15 million have proved both fears wrong :)