$25 Raspberry Pi Model A Goes Into Full Production

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 3 2012 9:52 AM
At long last, the ultra small and cheap Raspberry Pi Model A is now being produced, with the first samples already coming off the assembly line, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced in a blog post. The $35 Model B has been available to purchase for some time now, while the Model A is a slightly downgraded version that will sell for $25.

"We’re having a very busy, very mobile couple of days," the Raspberry Pi Foundation said. "We’ve been talking to Welsh teachers, spending time at the factory in Pencoed, doing EMC testing on the camera boards, picking up engineering samples of the Model A, visiting suppliers, and generally running up and down the south of England and Wales with our hair on fire."

Raspberry Pi Model A

The blurry photo above was taken with a camera phone presumably held by a shaky hand. Better pictures are forthcoming, the company says.

Raspberry Pi's Model A is similar to the Model B, except it comes with half the amount of RAM (256MB versus 512MB), no Ethernet port, and just a single USB port. Despite the downgrades, the designers say the Model A holds appeal because it consumes much less power than the Model B.

"We're seeing demand for the Model A from people making industrial control modules, from roboticists, from people doing automation, for a bunch of headless operations -- and, significantly, for people who want to use the Pi as a very cheap media center."

Are you planning to purchase the Model A when it's available? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.
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I'd prefer the model B. I would certainly look at this for a few of the kids here. Seeing the fact that it intends on utilizing Minecraft on here this can free up my system from being monopolized.

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What's a "headless operation"? I like the media center idea though. If it can run minecraft, it should be able to run a few mpegs and avi files. Wonder how it would handle 720p/1080p quality video though.

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I've actually been wanting to build a touchscreen in the house using some junk parts I can find, and this might actually be a good answer to an expensive, less bulky version.  Instead of needing to use an old Amd athlon 3800+ I had sitting up in a closet, I could pick this puppy up for $25.  

This opens a doors to a lot of neat projects.  It just doesn't seem powerful enough to use as a media center to me... I'd imagine it would have issues loading massive amounts of data, but on the other hand is a very inexpensive alternative.

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OSunday replied on Mon, Dec 3 2012 8:32 PM

Man the raspbery Pi's potential just grows to no end... normally I'd think downgraded versions or different version with very slight variations of products are redundant but considering the HUGE ammount of application the raspberry pi can be used for, there are actually cases were a little more RAM, an Ethernet port and an extra USB port would be redundant for its purpose or use, and therefore a waste of $10 in resources.

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The more I think about this the more I start to like it.  I remember my first PC being 255 Mhz, and thinking how bad it was.  This puppy is 700Mhz, and is cheap as dirt.  While I generally enjoy things being a little faster, slower is always worse. 

Although, I have to say, i'm happy they didn't have these when I was in high school.  I would have been pissed if they expected me to take C++ classes with this thing.  Who am I kidding.. i just played age of empires in programming class.

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OSunday replied on Wed, Dec 5 2012 2:16 AM

Oooh Age of Empires... that was my 3rd grade addiction... and yes, I now apologize for making everyone feel really old -.- aha

But why wouldn't you have wanted one of these things in your highschool classes?! Their potential for education stretches far beyond that of what's been used in the past. My high school and elementary schools all had contracts with Dells for desktops and servers... and if you want to talk about some suck, you can talk about those things.

I'm sure it had something to do with low end desktops having all their resources used up by school software, monitoring and "protection" that left students with almost nothing to use, and a computer that struggled to boot up Microsoft word.

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OSunday:

Oooh Age of Empires... that was my 3rd grade addiction... and yes, I now apologize for making everyone feel really old -.- aha

But why wouldn't you have wanted one of these things in your highschool classes?! Their potential for education stretches far beyond that of what's been used in the past. My high school and elementary schools all had contracts with Dells for desktops and servers... and if you want to talk about some suck, you can talk about those things.

I'm sure it had something to do with low end desktops having all their resources used up by school software, monitoring and "protection" that left students with almost nothing to use, and a computer that struggled to boot up Microsoft word.

My school was smallish, 240 people in my graduating class.  So as you can imagine there was very few of us with actual interest in computers, yet somehow our teacher managed to convince them to give all kinds of things.  I think there was 8 of us in class, probably 16 computers in the classroom.  After we completed our A+ Certification we moved on to N+, and he picked up 8 more computers so we could practice setting up various type of network topographies in the next room.  I can't recall what the computers we're, I just remember them being better than our original workstations.

  So as you can see, if they had these, we most likely would have been stuck actually studying or something.

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OSunday replied on Wed, Dec 5 2012 10:44 AM

Ahh I see, that's still really impressive that you're teacher managed to make that happen for such a small school.
I completed my A+ certification last year and we got to build half the computer we ended up using in class.
I happened to be lucky and going through school at the same time a HUGE technology grant was going through Texas so the teacher took advantage of that opportunity and used some of it to build new computers for her class (Thank goodness she didn't just order them through the dell contractor)
However that was a really unique case and the class had a little bit more power than most courses did since it was offered to students at 3 campuses across my district.

I don't know if you read about it but my district was also the one that had such an excess of resources from that grant that they ordered iPads to be used in classroom for all the students (They weren't given to us, just loaned for our duration as a student) but that was awesome too.
One factor that led to that grant is that where I live is not only one of the poorest districts and counties in Texas I think it ranks in the U.S. as well, so opportunities to take advantage of technology like that was something that otherwise wouldn't have ever happened for a majority of students


But back to the Raspberry Pi! I don't see how you couldn't have done similar things with the Pi?
Aside from A+ certification since it involves troubleshooting and understanding individual components and such but networking could definitely be done with them 

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