Raspberry Pi: The Little Coding Computer

By Samuel Phineas Upham

The Raspberry Pi is a small computer that has set off something of a coding revolution around the world. The idea was to create a computer that anyone could use, building it with inexpensive parts and using a Linux-based OS to keep costs low, and the creators didn’t expect to sell very many units. To them, it was a very niche product.

Eben Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft of the University of Cambridge Computer Lab were concerned with the decline in A-Level students they were seeing. The 90s had brought hobbyist programmers to the scene, people equipped and thirsty for knowledge. The 2000s had brought in applicants who were versed in Web design and little else.

The solution, they felt, was that computers are expensive and serve limited functions. Most Windows laptops have to be set up for coding, a process that can take an hour or more. Their solution involved an environment already built for coding.

Three years after that initial idea, the Raspberry Pi was officially born. Model B is little more than a chip. It contains basic circuitry, some USB ports that have been soldered onto the board and an HDMI connection. There is also room for a Cat 5 Cable port. The goal of the computer was to design a viable product under $35. Today, the highest end Raspberry Pi costs $35. It still requires several peripherals to launch, but it’s a great accomplishment in computing. The Raspberry PI has also become a hit with hobbyists and DIY computer enthusiasts, accomplishing the very goal the team had set for itself.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Twitter.