Why everybody wants a slice of Raspberry Pi

Story highlights

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that costs little more than a textbook

Originally designed to encourage school children to learn programming skills

The mini-PC now hugely popular with DIY geeks, who have used it to power their own creations

CNN  — 

In a world where computers are increasingly powerful and are concealed within ever more glossy slabs of aluminum, the Raspberry Pi (RPi) offers surprising proof for the virtue of moderation.

Resembling little more than a credit card-sized scrap of exposed circuit board, the RPi is a fully programmable PC that runs a free, open-source Linux operating system, plugs into any TV, can power 3D graphics, connects to the Internet and, with a little ingenuity, be used to create your own personalized robot slave.

The computer’s miniature frame is crowded with two USB ports, an SD card slot, an Ethernet connection and microchip in the middle – all powered by a universal USB mobile charger.

Read related: Robotics kit for grown-up kids

Not only is it the world’s smallest personal computer but, perhaps most importantly of all, at just $25 the RPi is also the world’s cheapest.

Eben Upton, the UK-based University of Cambridge profes