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Raspberry Pi creator gets IT innovator gong

Eben Upton applauded for good work at young age
Tue Aug 21 2012, 16:35

THE MAN BEHIND the Raspberry Pi has been awarded a gong by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology because he is under 35 and rather good at what he does.

What he has done is give the world the sub-£25 Rasberry Pi PC, a small piece of hardware that has impressed all who see it.

Upton is 34 years old, and has ignited a nascent market according to MIT, that of young people and computers. Before he came along they'd lost interest in developing and hacking and were focusing on gaming and clicking. Not any more though.

"Eben Upton thought a new generation of youngsters might never develop valuable hardware and software hacking skills unless they had access to cheap, hobbyist-friendly computers. So he set out to build one himself. The resulting tiny box, which sells for just $25, has been a big hit," says his write-up in MIT's Technology Review.

"It was intended for kids, but hackers of all ages wanted it, and so did budding computer scientists in poor countries. Almost the instant the Raspberry Pi went on sale, orders crashed the websites of its two vendors, RS Components and Premier Farnell. The companies reported that they were taking in orders fast enough to tear through the entire initial stock of 10,000 computers in minutes."

Indeed, interest in the devices has been huge since they were first released, and each week we see more and more inventive uses for them. Upton, who sells the Pi computers to support the not-for-profit Raspberry Foundation wants to sell as many as two million a year.

We liked the Raspberry Pi computer when we saw it, giving it a very respectable Bartender's Score of eight pints out of ten. µ


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