The Pi Store opens

 
Raspberry Pi

Another landmark today for what must be one of 2012's most successful new technology products, the Raspberry Pi. You've seen Apple's App Store, Google Play and Amazon and Windows online shops for apps? Well, now there is a Pi Store.

The people behind the ultra-cheap computer have decided to harness all that geek enthusiasm sparked since the Raspberry Pi's launch in February and create a one-stop shop where anyone can share games, applications and tools developed for the computer.

Eben Upton, the former Cambridge computing academic who came up with the idea for an affordable device that would encourage a new generation to get coding, has just blogged about the new store. He says he hopes it "will provide young people with a way to share their creations with a wider audience, and maybe to make a little pocket money along the way".

If that does happen, it will also provide useful evidence that the Raspberry Pi is reaching the audience at which it was originally targeted. Interest in the device has far exceeded expectations - the team thought originally that they might get 10,000 out this year, but I'm told more than 750,000 are now in the hands of users around the world. One user has compiled a map charting the Pi's global spread.

But my suspicion is that the main buyers so far have been 40-somethings who look back with nostalgia to their teenage years messing about with a BBC Micro or a ZX Spectrum. When I spoke to Mr Upton this morning, he confirmed that this was pretty accurate - "there's a strong bias towards adults who are computer literate" - but said that was changing a bit.

"Schools that are lucky enough to have an enthusiastic ICT teacher - or even a physics teacher - have been getting them."

But he accepts that the Raspberry Pi foundation, having successfully launched the hardware, now needs to focus on its original educational objective. The uncased device and the lack of much educational support is intimidating for teachers who are not particularly techie.

There are big plans to change that in 2013. "The intent is to have something that can go into a generic classroom environment," he said.

By the time Raspberry Pi celebrates its first anniversary at the end of February, more than a million will have been sold - an amazing achievement for what has been a shoestring operation dependent on voluntary efforts and the enthusiasm of the community. The next step is to build a more professional organisation which can fulfil the original vision - to transform the way children use and understand computers.

 
Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent Article written by Rory Cellan-Jones Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

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  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 82.

    #6 if your claim that "I'm the lead developer for the country's leading disaster recovery company" is true, and you are thankful that you saved £25 by not buying a Pi, then I think you ought to ask for a pay rise.

    Of course other computers can do the same thing, the point has always been that the Pi is so cheap that it can be used without worrying whether it gets damaged.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 81.

    Why o Why didn't you call it ...The "Pi Shop"
    peeps could buy the apps and feel hungry too...
    :-)

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 80.

    the hype behind the pi was so much and so little inventory of the product and the initial promised price is no longer

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 79.

    Less is more

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 78.

    68. Piggyback

    50% of the computers I've ever used haven't had built in monitors or keyboards.

    The whole idea of the Pi is to get people beyond the "beige/black box that does word and the internet" idea of computers.

    To intrigue and excite and not just be product most people know how to use but don't understand.

    And to be cheap enough to mess with and not worry about too much.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 77.

    I turned my Raspberry Pi into a webserver for my blog. Given it costs less than £3 a year to leave the Raspberry Pi powered 24/7, its massively cheaper than any server to run for a basic blog.

    Look up "Pi in the Sky" where someone made a balloon to take sub-orbital pictures with a webcam and a Raspberry Pi. On You Tube there is a 7yr old boy who made his first computer game on one as well.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 76.

    Just tried the CPC Farnell site. It's showing as in stock there.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 75.

    # 72. zack87
    "When I ordered mine at RadioSpares, they indicated a waiting period of about 2 weeks"

    ==
    I got mine from NewIT, and it was delivered a few minutes under 24hrs of placing the order, but that was a couple of months ago...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 74.

    @72 Maplin has them in stock. Be quick!

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 73.

    68. Piggyback
    Lack of screen and keyboard, for one.
    ==
    Funny, 'cos I plugged a USB keyboard, an HDMI-DVI cable to connect it to a monitor, and a USB mouse, and somehow that seems to work, much like any other computer, all of which also require the same external devices to work...

    You can use a raspi without those, just an ethernet connection.

    It's a mostly a headless server, not a desktop

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 72.

    @Gary : When I ordered mine at RadioSpares, they indicated a waiting period of about 2 weeks - maybe worth looking at ? (Either I'm being lied to with over optimistic announces or Allied Electr. are having more stock problems than RS ? Anyone checked with Farnell ?)

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 71.

    @Piggyback 68: "Lack of screen and keyboard, for one."

    I have to admit I am confused: you're saying that the fact that it doesn't have a screen or keyboard fixed to it make it less of a proper computer?

    Because apart from laptops and very few models (a few Macs) that's the case for EVERY computer .. or did we reach the point where people don't know what a computer is anymore ?

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 70.

    68 Piggyback: "Lack of screen and keyboard, for one."

    On that basis my 3.5GHz quad-core i7 main development machine isn't a "proper computer" either, because I have to plug an external screen and keyboard into it....

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 69.

    Zack87; Thanks for the info; Allied Electronics; I buy parts from them all the time. I found the Pi on their site. I will place an order; They say I may have to wait for a few months.

  • rate this
    -17

    Comment number 68.

    63.
    D Dortman

    Er..... it IS a "proper" computer.

    In what way do you think it is not?
    =======

    Lack of screen and keyboard, for one.

    The other "advantage" is that it doesn't take up much space - well no, not having a monitor and keyboard does that. And uses up less power. All very nice, but the target audience - fledgling young coders - why would they care? They want all in one solutions.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 67.

    Rory you made a typo, 3rd paragraph "encourage a new generating to get coding", don't you mean 'generation' ?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 66.

    @giovanna: "Now, what is it the Pi can magically do that my computers cannot?"
    --
    Ermm, take up a lot less space and use a lot less power, and cost a lot less ;-) Ideal for systems where you need some computing power, but don't have the size/power/cash budget for a full sized unit.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 65.

    @Gary : It seems there are 3 distributors : radiospares, Farnell, and Allied Electronics (N. America only) - you can find the links on the official raspberry Pi page, on the right "Buy a Pi"

    the "Pi Store" is more software-oriented. (I know, they could avoid some confusion and at least have links pointing to the pages where you can actually order the Pi and its accessories)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 64.

    @gary go to UK farnell they sell them.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 63.

    15. Piggyback "might as well buy a proper computer and do so much more"

    Er..... it IS a "proper" computer.

    In what way do you think it is not?

 

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