THINK IT: Interview with Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton

By on May 22, 2012, 3:43 AM

Eben Upton has had an interesting trajectory both as an entrepreneur and academic, founding a couple of startups over the last decade and a half, as well as acting as the Director of Studies in Computer Science at the University of Cambridge.

Now employed at Broadcom as an SoC architect, his latest “on-the-side” venture combines a little bit of each facet and is perhaps its most ambitious yet: reignite programming in schools with a cheap ($25-$35), compact computing platform that kids could buy themselves. But despite targeting students, his foundation's tiny computer has already captured the imaginations of tinkers worldwide.

We recently had the chance to put a Raspberry Pi Model B to the test and are now following up with an interview to one of the visionaries behind this non-profit project born in the UK.

Read the complete feature.

User Comments: 7

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Guest said:

Nice article/interview. Thanks Techspot :)

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Excelent, I love this guy and hope to see more Raspberry Pi around here =)

Guest said:

If I'm honest, the RPi has been a bit of a flop really, reminds me of smartphone beta test. Yeah it's generated LOADS of sales which is good, but it still doesn't have a relatively bug-free or stable kernel, the sound drivers are basically non-existant and bugged to hell, and best of all... Hardware acceleration? What's that? I've never seen lxde (on their OFFICIAL debian endorsed release) take a few minutes to resize a window before, just wow. It's got roughly the same spec as an ipod touch yet if you want a GUI web browser, be prepared for system lockups as you literally run out of RAM.

Guest said:

@Guest above, You do realise that the purpose of the Raspberry Pi is to get kids in schools to learn how to program, right? And considering that the educational release isn't scheduled until September, it can't be considered a flop. Every single person buying the device now should be aware that it is very much still early days in terms of software and support. In fact, they're encouraged to help develop the Pi further by reporting bugs, pushing code (if they can) and generally whatever else they can do depending on their skill set.

Guest said:

Still waiting to get hold of mine... I think there are a ton of projects just waiting to be worked on - the more that are sold, the more software will be written / updated.

Give it a couple of years to bed in before writing it off.

Guest said:

It's got roughly the same spec as an ipod touch yet if you want a GUI web browser, be prepared for system lockups as you literally run out of RAM.

You don't need a gui for programming when you have ncurses and vim, hell you don't even need a gui for watching video in GNU/Linux. It can all be done on the framebuffer without an X session.

And if you do run an X session, it's best to stick to low memory software like fluxbox, mplayer (nogui), elinks | links -g | lynx, mpd / mpc.

The first thing I'm going to do is setup Arch Linux ;)

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The whole idea of RPi is to tinker with it, it's not about the sales (It's non profit you know), nor to make a super computer. Just that, a computer you can tinker with for dirt cheap, so you don't actually mind if you break it and everyone could have access to.

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