Game Developer David Braben Creates USB Stick-Sized Computer for $25 [Video]

A British nonprofit has a novel idea for getting kids interested in computer programming – a computer that fits in a pocket and costs less than the latest video game.

Game developer David Braben has created a computer that’s about the size of a flash drive — and it’ll most likely cost less than your last date.

Braben designed the device with the goal of having an extremely affordable computer that children across the world can access. It’s a similar goal the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project had — create an extremely affordable computer that children in both developing countries and first-world countries can get their hands on.

The device sports a version of Linux, an open-sourced operating system that has become increasingly popular in philanthropic causes like this because it’s free to install and distribute. It will likely ship with some variation of Ubuntu, a very popular Linux distribution that has a huge development community, according to tech news site

“In theory, they could be given away to the child. There would be other ways of funding it,” Braben said in an interview with BBC. “They would be able to engage with a lot of things that we are all consumers of but not necessarily creators of — understanding how you put together little scripts that might run on websites and filters.”

The device has a 700-megahertz ARM processor and 128 megabytes of RAM. To put that in perspective, that’s about half as much memory as most smartphones today, which also sport processors that usually clock in at around 1 gigahertz. So it’s slightly weaker than a smartphone. There’s an SD card slot on the device that handles any storage, and it can output video and other images at 1080p resolution. It has a USB-out port that lets owners plug in a keyboard and an HDMI-out port that can connect to an HDMI-enabled television or monitor.

Braben said he hopes the device will be available to the public in around a year. Based on the components, the device will cost somewhere between £10 and £15, or around $25. It will be distributed through a charitable organization called the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote computer science in schools. [Raspberry Pi via CNET and PC Mag]

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