This website is run entirely off of a Raspberry-Pi computer. The Raspberry-Pi is a low cost credit card sized computer which was developed in order to train the next generation of computer scientists by the Raspberry-Pi Foundation (co-founded by now CEO Eben Upton) based at the University of Cambridge. The project began in 2006 in response to a lack of skilled applicants for computer science degrees coming from schools. People of my generation and older will remember the BBC computer of the 80’s developed by Acorn Computers for the BBC’s Computer Literacy Project; the Raspberry-Pi Foundation’s goals are similar.
The Raspberry-Pi is however, much more than the BBC Micro’s ‘spiritual’ successor; it is also a descendant of the BBC’s initial design! Both the BBC and the Raspberry-Pi you see contain processor’s which use the ARM architecture; first developed by Steve Furber and Sophie Wilson of Acorn Computers. However, unlike the BBC the Raspberry-Pi is orders of magnitude cheaper. When Acorn released their BBC Micro computer in 1981 it had a price tag of £400.00, today this would be like spending £1,300.24 (using the historic inflation calculator at ‘www.thisismoney.co.uk’). The raspberry pi however, only costs $35! Not only that, it weighs only 45g; clocks at speeds of up to 1000mHz; has 512mb of RAM and uses as little as 3.5w! This website is a testament to it’s power, as a cheap solution to web hosting (I have only paid for the Raspberry-Pi and the peripherals, subscribing to a free DNS).
Although the Raspberry-Pi itself is not a very powerful machine in itself when compared to other computers, it is ‘fit for purpose’ for it’s intended audience, children, and has been used in many different situations by both adult and child hobbyists for a growing number of interesting applications, just Google for them! Personally I love the fact it can run a website and file server whilst only consuming 3.5w of power! I also see a great application for this in the developing world for teaching computer literacy in schools and also providing low cost machines for businesses and public services.
For more information about Raspberry-Pis please visit the foundation’s website and visit the news or tutorials section regularly for interesting examples of use from around the World!