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How a $9 computer could change the way we think about computing


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From the Washington Post:

 

"For $9, you will soon be able to buy an insanely cheap computer the size of a credit card that runs Linux and comes with a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB storage, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. While that’s enough computing power to surf the Web, play video games, check e-mail and use word processing software, the real potential is what DIY innovators, hackers and inventors will do with this cheap computing platform once they integrate it into other projects.

 

The world’s first $9 computer — known as C.H.I.P. — won’t be available for shipping until early 2016. For now, it’s still only a Kickstarter project with nearly a month to go – but the promise and potential of a crazy cheap computer is so alluring that the Oakland, Calif. company behind the project – Next Thing Co. – has already raised more than $925,000 from more than 18,000 backers in just a few days, easily blowing past the $50,000 they had hoped to raise via Kickstarter.

 

C.H.I.P. comes from the same innovation oeuvre as the $35 Raspberry Pi — a credit-card size computer that is cheap, portable, highly programmable and highly connectable. So if Raspberry Pi has managed to attract a worldwide user community at a price point of $35, you can just imagine what the lower-cost, more powerful C.H.I.P. might be able to do once it attracts a critical mass of users."

 

You just have to read the whole article. It includes links to all kinds of things. Hey this one will also be portable with a screen and battery for $40.00 more??

 

Here's the article with a lot more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2015/05/13/how-a-9-computer-could-change-the-way-we-think-about-computing/?wpisrc=nl_innov&wpmm=1

 

And here is the C.H.I.P. home page. Scroll all the way down to the portable pocket C.H.I.P. case! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1598272670/chip-the-worlds-first-9-computer/video_share

 

Wow!

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It is interesting but check out the delivery dates and just what you have to add before you get a workable (for your needs) system.

 

Meanwhile the Pi B+ has dropped to $25 since the Pi v2 came out making it a pretty decent option for low power needs where you don't need the extra compute power of the v2 Pi.

 

https://www.raspberrypi.org/price-cut-raspberry-pi-model-b-now-only-25/

 

 

Samsung has some interesting offerings that we may see more low cost, low power designs based on too. This article also discusses the C.H.I.P.

 

http://www.linux.com/news/embedded-mobile/mobile-linux/830466-samsung-debuts-yocto-based-linux-iot-boards

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Stan,

Agreed. I had the same issue with my first edition Pi. I bought a 32GB SanDisk extreme SD card for its drive and back then it cost $40added to the 40f or the Pi. I liked the battery enclosure and other ideas. But like you say, if one is not hobbying, thin client and refurbished fully equipped systems are about the same price for equal capabilities or better.

 

But, it does give a push to kids and adults to try Linux, or other OS', understand how each module of a computer works, and do some coding even.

 

My take is that people today still spend $50-? Buying coffee table books for show. They may not ever read them a second time, but it was worth it.

 

These are more fun and even if the owner lost interest his or her friends can play with it. Or better yet give it to a child and start their imagination rolling. These are the erector sets of today.

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I'm having a hard time trying to figure out where its niche will be. The Rpi was obvious and I think that its simplicity (hook up a USB keyboard, a USB moust, an SDcard (that comes with the package most people buy) and plug it into an HDTV and "Viola!" you have a computer that anyone can use (not just a hobbiest). I'm using one on WiFi to connect up an old - but reliable - color laser printer to the network located in another room. For the price it's hard to beat.

 

Add the Arduino and it's a pretty nifty development platform.

 

Not sure where this device will fit in.

 

WDR

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I'd guess it is aimed at folks building the computer into another device, dropping off all the bits not needed for that use really lets you drop the price. The Pi A and the Pi compute module is are examples. On the module all the optional bits trimmed off leaving just the core computing ability. The development kit is available now, the compute module alone will be available later, I didn't see any pricing on the module but the development kit is $100 or so.

 

https://www.raspberrypi.org/raspberry-pi-compute-module-new-product/

 

Lots of folks trying to gain a foothold in this space and willing to take some losses on initial sales to make sure they get their foot in the door. You need to shop carefully so you don't end up with something that needs a bunch of non-optional bits to be usable for your situation.

 

 

I'm happy with my old Pi B v1 that is pretty slow for a desktop replacement (the B+ and Pi 2 are far better) running as an NTP server on my local network. It eats almost no power and the Adafruit GPS HAT kit was about $50 with a good antenna. I have been too busy to do much with my Pi 2, want to try another multi-media setup on it soon but the grandson also wants to get his hands on it for use as a Minecraft server, I may have to order another couple just to have one left to play with.

 

With a decent pre-configured SD card in the $10 - 15 range https://www.adafruit.com/categories/285 the cost to set up a Pi is pretty low as long as you have the other bits (keyboard, HDMI cable, mouse and 5 volt 1 amp power brick) in your junk box.

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The survey lists a lot of small computers if you are looking for something to play with, worth looking at even if you skip the survey.

 

http://www.linux.com/news/embedded-mobile/mobile-linux/831550-survey-best-linux-hacker-sbcs-for-under-200

 

 

The 53 hacker-friendly Linux and Android SBCs under $200 are briefly described in the list below, in alphabetical order.

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The survey lists a lot of small computers if you are looking for something to play with, worth looking at even if you skip the survey.

 

http://www.linux.com/news/embedded-mobile/mobile-linux/831550-survey-best-linux-hacker-sbcs-for-under-200

 

That ought to do it! I had no idea that there were so many hardware hacks out there in so many conformations with as much capability at such low prices.

 

Thanks, Stanley.

 

WDR

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