When the phrase as cheap as chips was coined, it’s doubtful they were thinking about the price of computers.
But Raspberry Pi has released the world’s cheapest and smallest computer that packs enough punch to match much bigger machines.
The Raspberry Pi Zero is so small and costs only £4, so magazines are clamouring to give the device away as a freebie.
The computer may be small but is filled to the brim with 512 megabyte of RAM memory and a 1 GHz processer that delivers a performance equal to that of a premium desktop machine a decade ago.
Raspberry Pi can sell so cheap because technology has advanced so much in the past 10 years.
Raspberry Pi Zero
Advances in producing better performance from smaller and smaller chips and components for mobile phones, tablets and notebooks has allowed most of us to free ourselves from those huge boxes and monitors than cluttered our desks.
The Raspberry Pi Zero measures just 65mm by 30mm, comes with two USB ports as standard, a micro SD slot and a mini HDMI slot.
The operating system is Raspian, a version of Linux, which runs games like Minecraft and self-coded programs.
“The aim of Raspberry Pi is for people to get their first taste of programming with a cheap machine that can plug into a TV or keyboard,” said a spokesman for the makers.
“Zero is an even cheaper option for those who find cost a barrier to entry.
“We have built tens of thousands of the machines as we expect a huge demand.”
How to get your Raspberry Pi
The computer is free on the cover of issues of the Raspberry Pi magazine MagPi and can be bought from element14, The Pi Hut and Pimoroni in the UK and Adafruit and in-store at Micro Center in the US.
Raspberry Pi is a charity based in Cambridge, England.
The organisation was formed when a group at Cambridge University had concerns at the level of programming skills in schools.
Research determined that computer users were not programming any more as games consoles, tablets and phones provided them with apps and software and that the cost of machines for top level computer science was becoming prohibitive.
Raspberry Pi was born as a cheap alternative – and so far millions have been sold worldwide.