Raspberry Pi : Agent of Change

The Raspberry Pi project reminds us that when we work together, share experience, nurture talent, and foster ingenuity, the world is a much better place.

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Unanticipated success

The idea seems to have worked — and then some. Initial demand saw several hundred people a second registering interest with production partners of the project. Over the first weeks, over two million people pre-ordered the tiny computers — many were caught up in the excitement and had no idea what they might use the computers for — they still don’t know.

Tilting at consumer windmills

The Raspberry Pi story got me thinking about how we view computers today — how much we take for granted. We buy a mobile phone or a laptop, switch it on, and expect it to “just work”. We are not supposed to take an interest in what it’s doing behind its pretty icons and slick animations.

Mobile phones are a siren call

After launching spectacularly successful mobile phones in the late 2000s, Apple and Samsung did well enough quickly enough and grew a big enough patent portfolio to essentially perform a “headshot” on the mobile phone market. You can’t argue that they haven’t played their cards perfectly over the last decade — but where does it leave us?

The future must remain open

The Raspberry Pi is important. It doesn’t tip a balance, but it starts oiling the hinge that will be tipped by the next generation. It reminds us that we don’t have to purchase proprietary hardware at hugely inflated prices built under awful conditions in third world sweatshops.

Written by

Software and web developer, husband, father, cat wrangler, writer, runner, coffee drinker, retro video games player. Pizza solves everything. jonbeckett.com

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