What the 1980s would have made of the $5 Raspberry Pi

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Lost me at “disruptive”.


Why stop at the 1980s? Just imagine what Nikola Tesla might have done with one of those things.


I’m guessing he’d let the magic smoke out of it pretty quick.


Meanwhile the 1980s consumers would be all “What’s a micro-USB port? And how am I supposed to connect this thing to my TV?”


Also, “Where’s the keyboard? Whaddya mean, there’s no keyboard!? I’ll stick with the VideoBrain, thanks!”



I had a look for that five buck pi on element14 and its 20 AUD, so not that much cheaper than the other models.

I imagine that price will come down a bit as supply meets demand. But yeah, any plans I have for the raspberry pi zero all start with “check back in a month”.

It’s like the Crown Royal Northern Rye - recently named best whisky in the world! and it’s very cheap! and you can’t get it for love nor money because it’s sold out everywhere


Because it was released a day or so, sold out, and isn’t in common channels yet (like Amazon).

I predict you’ll be able to Amazon Prime ship one within a few months.

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Well I, for one, hope that they keep up their entirely intuitive naming scheme.

  1. Raspberry Pi B
  2. Raspberry Pi A
  3. Raspberry Pi B+
  4. Raspberry Pi CM
  5. Raspberry Pi A+
  6. Raspberry Pi 2B
  7. Raspberry Pi Zero
  8. Raspberry Pi Se7en
  9. Raspberry Pi eix
  10. Raspberry Pi C͏t͝h̨̀ul͏h͜͡͏u͠͝
  11. Raspberry Pi 3

Better question 1980s consumer meets quake 3?


My Twitter comment was that this was a plot to make kids learn how to solder . . . because you need to supply and solder on some important interface bits and pieces.

If it were available at a newsstand near me I’d go buy one of those things. And stick it in the “I’ll have to do something with this” box where my existing Raspberry Pi lives.


Or in the 60s. The first IBM 360 (the size of a truck) could perform up to 34,500 instructions per second.
So the Pi is 30,000 times faster at 1GHz. (Though I’m not sure a 1GHz processor can actually do a billion instructions per second.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_System/360

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Why stop at the 20th Century? I’ll bet a bronze-age slinger would have considered it a nice, aerodynamic stone.


To be fair, the 80s did have it’s “affordable” model and it was the ZX81/TS1000:

Granted it was priced at $99US new in the 80s ($129 CDN for me) so inflation makes it seem more expensive. By comparison though, Commodore 64s were $600 new around the same time. Also, I don’t recall seeing another sub-$100 general purpose computer since the TS1000 until Raspberry Pi, I’d still qualify it as a super-affordable new home computer.

It also has a great legacy:


If looked at from an early 1980s perspective, the $5 Raspeberry Pi Zero actually costs around $2 of that era’s money. Or put into another currency of the era, approximately eight arcade machine credits.


The one sat in front of me doesn’t look like it would be particularly useful in a sling, and it feels too light.


Yet, a play on a typical arcade game today costs about $1 US. And we wonder why the arcades are gone/struggling/etc.

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And because several suppliers are only initially selling them in a bundle with an assortment of cables and maybe an SD card.

The Pi Swag Store lists them for UK sale a 4 quid; which is possibly a few pennies over the strict $5-in-GBP+VAT price. And they were free on the cover of this month’s MagPi magazine, including the ones currently in shipping containers headed over the ocean to the shores of the US & Canada. And you can subscribe to MagPi, request a starting date of the Dec issue and still get your free P0.

And no, stefanjones, you don’t have to do any soldering to use it. You can choose to solder on the pins for the gpio should you need them. Or you can solder your specific devices/connections for your specific project.

It’s a $5 1GHz ARMv7 with half-a-freaking-gig of ram. If that doesn’t make you smile then I really feel sorry for you because you’re dead inside.