£20 PC Raspberry Pi hits £2,000 on eBay -

A preproduction version of the £20 PC aimed at encouraging a new breed of developers in the UK has hit eBay, with bids climbing over £2,000 so far.

The Raspberry Pi is a small USB computer that has been developed to bring computer programming skills into the UK's schools. The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that it would begin development last May and has piqued Whitehall's interest.

Ahead of a full release, ten numbered beta boards were made available on Ebay, costing over 100 times of what schools will pay for the low priced miniature PCs.

The Raspberry Pi comes in two flavours, Model A priced at £15, and Model B at roughly £20.  The top bid for one of the Model B computers has reached £2,100.

“I think it is great, the amount of interest is very impressive,” Braben told TechEye.  “We were expecting in the region of a hundred pounds, and every donation helps to get the Raspberry Pi off the ground, as so far it has all been paid for out of our own pockets.”

“The popularity probably comes down to the fact that it fills a niche in the way that it can be played with unlike a normal PC.”

Braben tells us that though there is not a definite date set, there should be larger scale production soon with a full release expected later this month.

There's a resurgence in interest for computer science in schools among the IT industry and in government, so the Raspberry could soon see itself widespread across the country. Education Secretary Michael Gove has finally started to commit to proposals, and has discussed the Raspberry Pi as part of National Curriculum reform plans.

“We are still in talks with the government and they are keen to discuss it,” Braben says. “Michael Gove has mentioned the Raspberry Pi on a couple of occasions recently.  However, we can’t announce anything yet.”