Nooo! Raspberry Pi Zero sold out at $5: It's Google's fault

Abe hopes tiny computer is not a turkey. Pass the cranberries...

The Raspberry Pi Zero is a tiny ARM computer for five bucks. Now there’s a thing to be thankful for, in this world of the Internet of Things.

Mind you, to keep costs down, it doesn’t seem to have any network. Never mind that, look at the price!

Zippin’ up my boots! In IT Blogwatch, bloggers see the Pi Foundation going back to its roots.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Developing story: Updated 9:54 am and 7:21 am Friday PST with more comment]

Fabulous; lookyou. It’s Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton, isn’t it?

Of all the things we do at Raspberry Pi, driving down the cost [is] one of the most important.

Since 2012, millions of people have used a Raspberry Pi to get their first experience of programming.

Today, I’m pleased to be able to announce...Raspberry Pi Zero, made in Wales and priced at just $5.

[It] runs Raspbian and all your favourite applications, including Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi. It is available today...from Adafruit and in-store at your local branch of Micro Center.

Pouring cold water on his employer’s own, much-delayed, competing project, it’s Rory Cellan-Jones. To whom size is important—Shrinking to Zero: The Raspberry Pi gets smaller:

Upton sees it being used in "internet of things" or robotics projects, where a smaller device may be needed, or as a media player.

Throughout its history, Raspberry Pi has found a bigger audience amongst middle-aged hobbyists rather than the school children.

The challenge for those behind the project is to keep on remembering that the aim is to enthuse and inspire young people. ... The hope is that the whole project can be clear about its mission.

And the Raspberry Pi Zero has raced ahead of the BBC's Microbit device, which will now be delivered to all [sixth graders] in the UK early next year.

Someone should mention IoT about now. So Theo Priestley obliges—Could Raspberry Pi Zero Be Pivotal To Open Source IOT?:

Pi is not without its competitors and a $5 model can be seen as a sound reaction and evolution of the Foundation’s business approach. ... The launch of the new Zero is now a direct response to competitors seeking to take on Pi.

[Its] tiny form factor and negligible cost...could easily [get it] adopted in any Internet Of Things hardware strategy, with a processor and enough RAM to move simple analytics to the edge.

The original Pi has already seen large vendors place in-memory capabilities as a showcase of what is...possible.

Speeds and feeds, anyone? Here’s David Scheltema—Raspberry Pi Announces $5 Computer: Model Zero:

Processor: 1GHz Broadcomm BCM2835
Memory: 512MB of RAM
Storage: a user-supplied microSD
GPIO: 26/40 unpopulated through-holes
USB ports: USB On-the-Go...Micro USB
Vido Output: Composite video is available from 2 unpopulated pins...HDMI video is available from a mini HDMI port.

Smaller than any previous Raspberry Pi...the new form factor designed by Pi Foundation engineer Mike Stimson is in part due to the reduction of components.

Upton...estimates that community...has given around 1,000 years of software development time.

Meanwhile, the comparison with the Microsoft/BBC Microbit project is attracting attention. NoJunk cuts to the chase:

This is exactly what the "BBC" Microbit should have been a real computer with a real operating system that kids can develop real solutions with, not just a set of flashing LEDs and some sensor inputs. The Microbit rollout should be pulled now and replaced with Pi Zero to truly enable the kids to develop and understand real IT.

Update: Religious combustion? Natasha Lomas rips into Holy Smoke! New Raspberry Pi Zero Costs Just $5:

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has upped the ante when it comes to low cost single board computers.

Makers building connected devices and robotics projects are likely to be first in line in the queue here.

Upton suggests this is as low as things can go for the foreseeable future.

There’s no Ethernet or on-board Wi-Fi but clearly costs needed to be kept down somehow.

The Foundation recently merged with after-school kids’ coding organization Code Club with a mission to get set up in “every community in the world.”

Update: Sold out! It’s Google’s fault. Amir Mizroch explains—How Google Inspired Raspberry Pi’s $5 Computer:

A chance encounter with...Eric Schmidt in January 2013 led the head of a British nonprofit that makes bare-necessities computers to ditch his plans for a more expensive version.

Schmidt happened to be in the U.K. at the time. [He] wanted to know what the foundation was working on next. [He] told the foundation’s founder he should aim for as low cost a computer as possible.

20,000 units produced by Sony Corp. in a factory in south Wales were all sold out Thursday by distributors in the U.K. and the U.S.

Upton...wouldn’t say how much each unit costs to make, but added, “I’m not expecting to lose money.”

And Finally...

Odyssey in Italia

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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