Inside the Raspberry Pi: The story of the $35 computer that changed the world (cover story PDF)

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Provided by: TechRepublic
Topic: Innovation
Format: PDF

For this TechRepublic cover story by Nick Heath, the co-creators of the credit-card-sized board tell the inside story of how the breakthrough computer was born.

This download provides the magazine version of the article as a free PDF for registered TechRepublic and ZDNet members. The online version of this story is available here.

From the story:

"There's nothing like the prospect of being hanged in the morning to focus the mind."

Eben Upton is describing the weight of public expectation that fell on his shoulders after the prototype of the $35 Raspberry Pi computer he co-created was revealed online in May 2011.

After five years of tinkering with the board's design in relative anonymity, suddenly the number of people aware of the project exploded, with the YouTube video of the early Pi racking up 600,000 views in just two days.

Initially Upton was delighted at the interest in the report by BBC tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, and said as much to his wife Liz, who tempered his enthusiasm with a dose of harsh reality.

"She said to me, 'You know you've actually got to do this now, right?'.

"That was a tough moment, realizing that we'd actually told people we were going to do it, and we had to do it. We could still be faffing about to this day, if it wasn't for Rory."

Today the Raspberry Pi is a phenomenon, the world's third best-selling, general-purpose computer. If you're interested in computers, chances are you've got one of the tiny British-made boards tucked away somewhere. It's inside laptops, tablets, and robots; it has run experiments on board the International Space Station; it has spawned a massive ecosystem of kits for learning about computers; and it has even broken into mainstream media, cropping up in TV shows like Mr Robot and movies like Big Hero 6. That's not to mention the computers' role in business, where they serve as everything from thin clients to industrial control systems.

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