257

The $35 Do-It-All Computer

By: on December 26, 2012
$57.95
Check It Out

The Raspberry Pi sets the bar, and then raises it. Twice. Bar: The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into a TV and keyboard to produce full PC functionality in the form of spreadsheets, word processing, games, and HD video projection. Raise 1: The Raspberry Pi was created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity with the goal of giving schoolchildren and areas lacking the power and hardware needed to run a traditional desktop computer access to affordable, capable, and contemporary technology. They want kids worldwide to have the tools they need to learn programming. Though it's OK if adults support the cause by buying one of the computers too. Raise 2: The Raspberry Pi Model B Board, replete with 512 MB of RAM, 2 USB ports, and 10/100 wired Ethernet costs around $35.

As processors designed for mobile devices have become more powerful and cost-effective over the past decade, the logistics of manufacturing a $35 do-it-all computer have gone from ambitious and unrealistic to ambitious and realized. In a 3.37" x 2.2" x 0.8" package comes the basis for doing everything from drafting a hi-tech presentation to building an interactive robot. The Raspberry Pi's SoC is a Broadcom BCM2835 containing an ARM1176JZFS, with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU can deliver BluRay quality playback and is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s, or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute, plus houses a host of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure. Basically, its graphics prowess matches that of Xbox 1's.

Raspberry Pi Model B packages include only the Board itself--a power supply and SD card (including those that are preloaded) must be purchased as add-ons, but are available from the Foundation's two designated vendors, Premier Farnell/Element 14 and RS Components. Debian is the default operating system recommended during distribution, though it can be replaced with another ARM Linux distro if desired. SD cards store the Raspberry Pi's OS, and are required to boot (a USB HD can step in thereafter).

Complete setup instructions can be found on the Raspberry Pi Website, as can various SD card image downloads, an extensive FAQ page, and forums for R-Pi computer beginners, advanced users, and enthusiastic members of the product's community.

Buy Now

Programmable Mouse Jiggler

$19.97 from Amazon »

It's a professional jiggler! No, not Santa Claus. No. Not a stripper. This is a Mouse Jiggler. And it's got nothing to do with bellies and boobies. Though, like the belly and boobie jigglers, the Mouse Jiggler is here...

Check it out

THEC64 Mini

$69.99 from The C64 »

THEC64 Mini puts tech-nostalgia in the palm of your hand. Who was around when the Commodore 64 launched in 1982? Playing some Lode Runner after school with some Shark Bite fruit snacks and a Capri Sun? Ahhh, gone are...

Buy Now

Android MK802 Mini PC

$36.18 from Amazon »

AKA The Other $35 Do-It-All Computer. Running Android 4.0, the MK802 Allwinner A10 Mini PC is about the size of a flash drive and, also like your favorite USB storage device, enjoys being plugged into things. HDMI inputs...

Check it out

The USB Kill 2.0 Computer Killer

$49.95 from USB Kill »

If you're using a USB Kill stick you're either pen-testing, trashing your old PC for recycling, or being very, very...very evil. Come on now, I know he cooks eggs in the staff room microwave, and eats beef & bean burritos...

Buy Now

Kano - Simple DIY Computer

$145 from Amazon »

Simple as LEGO, powered by Pi. The Raspberry techie kind, not the 3.14Infinity kind. Or the fruit kind for that matter, but a DIY mini computer powered by flaky-crusted dessert might be the one element to rocket launch...

Check it out

Tango Super PC

$399 - $589 from Tango »

Strong as a lion, small as a mouse. The Tango PC functions as powerfully and dynamically as a desktop at work, and then slips into your front pocket so you can head over to your friend Corenelius' house and unleash an...

Buy Now

littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

$99 from Amazon »

Want your kids to learn a littleBits about tech as you secretly relish the interactive R2-D2 they're building? The Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit hit littleBits shelves just in time for Force Friday II....

Buy Now

QuadHands Soldering Tool & Vise

$59.95 from Amazon »

Though less QuadHands and more QuadPincers, this soldering tool and vise drives home an important point: every now and then we could all use an extra hand pincer. For makers and tinkerers, 4 pincers is even better....

Buy Now

StarTech Hard Drive Eraser

$539.97 from Amazon »

StarTech's latest contribution to the world of data deletion is a hard drive eraser capable of wiping up to 4 SATA drives simultaneously. Like a previous generation StarTech "cleaner" we saw here, this eraser is a standalone...

Check it out

Delta Six Open Source Gaming Gun

$265 from Delta Six »

The Delta Six might be the coolest looking gaming gun I've ever seen. I would consider buying one even if I couldn't use it for anything but picking my nose and curling up with on the couch at night (the latter particularly...

Buy Now

Tiny Arcade Machines

$59.95 from Amazon »

Tiny Arcade retro cabinets aren't just small enough to play from your desktop, they're small enough to play from the palm of your hand. If you have tiny hands. And the delicate, dextrous fingers of a child prodigy harpist....

Check it out

Ninja Blocks Ultimate Tech Warrior System

$199 from NinjaBlocks »

The only thing I know about Hackers is that Angelina Jolie makes a hot one, but according to Ninja Blocks, that's enough to qualify me for the job. Of a hacker, not Angelina Jolie. Though I could probably pull off the...