Today I am unboxing a very different computer than the typical consumer product computer. It’s a Raspberry Pi computer from a company called Element 14, which is Silicon, by the way, if you’ve forgotten your high school chemistry.
They announced this back in March. As soon as they announced it, I placed a pre-order, and just got it today, in late June.
What is Raspberry Pi? It is a very simple, bare bones, low power mini “computer”. I wrote computer in quotes because the device is actually just a circuit board, so, depending on how you define computer, you may want to argue, but to us geeks who like to build computers and tinker with them, this is indeed a computer (without the snazzy case and fan and bells and whistles).
What isn’t Raspberry Pi? It is NOT a consumer-level product. It is a tinkerer’s device. It’s not polished or refined. In a way, it’s at the opposite end of the spectrum from devices like Apple products.
It comes in a nondescript white box about the size of a large cellphone, in a small shipping package, about the size of a paperback book.
Along with the Raspberry Pi box are compliance and safety information pamphlets, and a packing slip.
Opening the Box
A few more instructions are inside the box with the Raspberry Pi.
I make sure to touch something metallic before taking the Raspberry Pi out of its static resistant bag.
Looking at Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi fits in the palm of my hand easily. In the center of the circuit board is a small all–in-one chip with processor and 257 MB Ram. This chip is the heart of the device and what makes it a computer. It is very low power and doesn’t require a fan to stay cool.
There are also several ports: micro USB to provide power, HDMI to provide video out, 2 USB ports (because I ordered the B model), Ethernet port, audio, analog video, and SD card reader.
It’s really a computer because it has enough power supposedly to decode 1080p video.
Its a really cool concept that a computer can be this small but still really powerful enough to do things like decode video. I might attach this directly to my TV through the HDMI port, we’ll see.
Even though SD cards are quite small they look huge next to Raspberry Pi (see in the video version of the unboxing, attached).
(If you, like me, need a case to store all your SD cards, I recommend the Pelican case. It works well for me.)
Super Gadget Guy