Raspberry Pi arrives in New Zealand

Computerworld takes a first look at the tiny Linux computer - VIDEO

It’s the hottest thing in computing, it has a price tag of around $45, and it has finally arrived in New Zealand.

RS Components sales manager Mike Kelly brought a Raspberry Pi Model B into the Computerworld office on Friday to show us how the tiny Linux computer is assembled.

RS Components is one of two channel partners selling the device. Kelly says the company has less than ten in New Zealand. But the scarcity of the Pi hasn’t dampened customer demand. Kelly says there are 236,000 registered prospective customers on the RS website and the company has delivered 4,700 so far. A shipment of 75,000 is due in June or July.

The price is a uniform 21.60 UK pounds (NZ $45.08) and 4.95 pounds (NZ $10.33) for post and packaging. This price applies anywhere in the world and customers will receive the device on a first come, first served basis.

The Linux computer has been created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in Cambridge UK. The original idea of the device was to improve computer science education by offering a cheap, flexible platform to budding programmers. The first batch of 10,000 sold out in a day in March.

To get it operational, you'll need a SD card (the Linux operating system - a Debian-based distribution - can be downloaded onto the SD card from the Raspberry Pi website), a USB keyboard, TV or monitor (with HDMI, DVI, Composite or SCART input). Optional extras are a USB mouse, and an Ethernet cable (Model B only).

Here’s a video with Kelly showing how it all fits together. It takes him 1 minute, 30 seconds to get the system up and running.

Programming environments available to users from the get-go include Squeak, Scratch, and Python. It also has VLC Media Player and the Midori internet browser.

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Tags Raspberry Pi