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The 25$ PC. Coming soon to a keychain near you.

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David Braben of Rollercoaster Tycoon series, Thrillville, Lost Winds, and most recently Kinectimals fame, has actually managed to create a completely working PC the size of a keychain.

Stop for a second and let that sink in.

This isn't a flash with Puppy linux on it; no. This is a completely self contained working PC!

Braben has developed a tiny USB stick PC that has a HDMI port in one end and a USB port on the other. You plug it into a HDMI socket and then connect a keyboard via the USB port giving you a fully functioning machine running a version of Linux. The cost? $25.

Provisional specification:

  • 700MHz ARM11
  • 128MB of SDRAM
  • OpenGL ES 2.0
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)


The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK registered charity (Registration Number 1129409) which exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing.

We plan to develop, manufacture and distribute an ultra-low-cost computer, for use in teaching computer programming to children. We expect this computer to have many other applications both in the developed and the developing world.

Our first product is about the size of a USB key, and is designed to plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet. The expected price is $25 for a fully-configured system.

Can you imagine having this? I mean, you can have your entire PC on your keychain!

As far as power goes, it seems that the 18th pin in HDMI carries a 5V volt which allows it to run.

So if this comes out, what do you think you'd do with it? :)

13 Comments On This Entry

Page 1 of 1


06 May 2011 - 01:53 AM
Do want.


06 May 2011 - 03:09 AM
I don't know where this would go and to be honest I don't really understand how it would expose the user/student to the inner workings of a computer more than a normal desktop computer would. It's something interesting nonetheless.


06 May 2011 - 05:07 AM
I can't really see any genuine need for this..
but I still want one :P


06 May 2011 - 05:55 AM
Sounds crazy, This looks kinda cool if it doesn't run too slow


06 May 2011 - 06:35 AM
Wow! I want that! :P


06 May 2011 - 06:52 AM
I don't know how practical it would be for me but nevertheless it is still quite remarkable. I would most likely buy it if for nothing but the novelty of it. Cool post.


06 May 2011 - 12:22 PM
Personally, I would kinda find it more useful if it had a VGA slot slung on the back of it instead of HDMI, cause I'd definitely buy one then. That said, from the sound of it, it's running a CUI linux distro, which makes me think it won't be that useful for people "too below the poverty line to afford a PC".


06 May 2011 - 04:44 PM
I wonder what a beowulf cluster of these would be like. Also it sounds like it's for schools that can't afford a computer for every kid which makes sense to me. Seems like a school that now has computers would then be capable of teaching a computer science course.


06 May 2011 - 09:25 PM
I would own multiple sets of these things. I'd be more involved in network security, computer programming, and ethical hacking groups.


06 May 2011 - 09:26 PM
And I'd be totally into engineering, drafting, and community service projects, because I'd be saving a heck of a time by using these things.


07 May 2011 - 01:53 AM
I think this would be useful for schools. If the keychain computers did have the office software as stated (KOffice), it would mean that a school for the most part could get away with only buying monitors, keyboards and mice, not the expensive, and difficult to maintain computer itself.

Of course, that wouldn't apply to more involved courses, but for students who only need to write reports, or take beginner touch-typing classes, it would be fantastic.


07 May 2011 - 06:26 AM
I was wondering, if we could add a TFT touch screen+qwerty key pad+battery pack+exterior casing and turn it close to well known tablet PCs (iPad/BB?) :D


07 May 2011 - 09:00 PM
It is nice to see someone is trying to get teachers in the classroom to stop teaching how to use a stupid word processing unit and start with REAL computer science.
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Bienvenidos! I'm a USA ex-pat living in Bolivia for the past 10 years. Web development is my forte with a heavy lean for usability and optimization. I'm fluent in both English and Spanish. I guest write for the popular Python website Python Central. Visit my website.