The Raspberry Pi computer went on sale today priced at just £22. The coveted device immediately sold out, crashing the product’s the website and leaving many gadget buffs disappointed.

So what is everyone so excited about? The Raspberry Pi doesn’t have any bells and whistles, in fact, you even have to provide your own keyboard and monitor to use it. The unique selling point is simplicity – the Raspberry Pi is fully programmable by the user.

The Raspberry Pi is capable of internet browsing and has a USB port, Ethernet port, SD card slot, and an HDMI port for video output. At its heart is an ARM chip, also found in mobile phones and tablets, and it runs a version of the free open-source operating system Linux.

It is hoped that the Raspberry Pi will inspire a new generation of children to learn computer programming, just like its forebears the Sinclair Spectrum and BBC Micro did in the 1980s. Eben Upton, the founder of the charity behind Raspberry Pi, thinks one should be given away to every child as they reach a new school year – something that will be achievable thanks to the low cost of the device.

Upton got the idea for the Rasberry Pit when he found that applicants for computer-related degree course places “[didn’t] seem to know enough about what a computer really was or how it worked….”

As one of the non-technical staff at eSterling, I’m certainly familiar with knowing how to use a computer, but having no idea how it actually works. Perhaps the Raspberry Pi could revolutionise the way we think about computer programming and make technology accessible to schools and businesses alike.

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