On July 14th, the Raspberry Pi Foundation's founder, Eben Upton, announced that a new version of the Raspberry Pi "B" model, dubbed the model "B +". Get this... It still ONLY COSTS $35!
The Raspberry Pi
is a computer that is roughly the size of a credit card and can be connected to a TV (via HDMI) and a keyboard and you're off and running (after loading an OS on the SD card :). I'm using Raspbian which is a Pi-specific version of Debian Wheezy.
These little computers can be used for hundreds of applications since they are inexpensive and very small. I use one in my reception area to display information, using Open Office, on the LCD TV that we had installed. The attorneys love it when we put up visiting clients logos with a welcome message!
One of the things the Pi is most used for is robotics and automation. The original Pi had 26 GPIO pins (General Purpose Input/Output) and the B+ model has 40! There are folks out there creating cool robots with the Pi, which works perfectly for this due to its low power consumption and small foot print. Check out what people have built!
Here are the highlights of the model B+:
- 4, count 'em, 4 USB ports (earlier versions only had 2)
- MicroSD - you can now trash the SD Card caddy you used previously
- 14 additional GPIO pins (and the first 26 are exactly the same as they were in previous versions)
- Improved audio - the Pi works great as an entertainment PC
- Lower power consumption - the B+ draws anywhere from .5-1 less watts (important if you're running your robot on batteries or if you built a "carputer" that runs from the vehicle's cigarette lighter)
So there you have it, a quick primer on what's new with the B+ model of the Raspberry Pi. If you don't have a Pi, order one up and check out some of the cool things you can do with them.