Why the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero is perfect Programmer’s Gift for New Year’s 2016

“Right now it appears that we’ve sold every individual Zero we made (that’s roughly 20,000 units) and most of the 10,000 MagPi issues with cover-mounted units; people are scouring the country for the last few Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury and Smiths branches that haven’t sold out”

Raspberry Pi Foundations creator Eben Upton on the sales of the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero in an interview with Wired Magazine

Raspberry Pi certainly knows how to spring as surprise on Programmers!!

Just why you thought it couldn’t get any better with the improved US$35 Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (Deer, 2015, February 3), Raspberry Pi Foundations creator Eben Upton outdid themselves.

This time the Welsh foundation has gone even lower and better with the launch of the Raspberry Pi Zero (Collins, 2015, November 26) on Thursday November 26th 2015. The Raspberry Pi Zero is a US$5 minicomputer designed for one purpose; to get kids without access to a computer the ability to learn how to write code.

Why the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero is perfect Programmer’s Gift for New Year’s 2016 (2)

At US$5, it’s so cheap, it costs only £4 in Wales and comes free (Hern, 2015, November 26) for with any purchase of the £5.99 MagPi magazine. Already, as of Friday November 27th 2015, they’ve sold (Rundle, 2015, November 15) some 20,000 Raspberry Pi Zero.

So how powerful is the new, cheaper and smaller Raspberry Pi Zero?

US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero – Give the Gift of Programming for 2016

The petite Raspberry Pi Zero which has dimensions of 65mm by 30mm by 5mm, was inspired by a conversation that creator Eben Upton had with Alphabet CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt in 2013 (Mizroch, 2015, November 26).

Why the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero is perfect Programmer’s Gift for New Year’s 2016 (1)


It has all the necessary hardware needed for programmers to produce code, and runs on Raspberry Pi Foundation’s custom built Open Source Linux program Raspbian. It comes with programming IDE (Integrated Development Environment) Scratch and Sonic Pi, with the added distraction of Microsoft owned Minecraft (Deer, 2014, September 26) for those times when you need to chillax between intense coding sessions.

Sprinting on a 1GHz ARM processor, which is 40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1, it also has the support of a Broadcom BCM2835 Application Processor that’s useful for interfacing with external devices that you wish to send commands. This can be done via a 40-pin GPIO header that has the same pin configurations as the original Model A+/B+/2B Raspberry Pi.

The processor is supported by a 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, it comes with a microSD card slot to store your programs on a micro SD card. The single Micro-USB sockets allows you to connect various peripherals such as the US$60 Raspberry Pi 7” Touchscreen (Deer, 2015, September 8).

Why the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero is perfect Programmer’s Gift for New Year’s 2016 (3)

Finally there is also a composite video header for connecting to older monitors that’s complemented by the more modern Mini-HDMI port. This makes it possible to connect this likkle but tallawah Raspberry Pi Zero to a HDMI display, such as a HD screen or a television set (Deer, 2015, November 9) so that you can see what you’re doing.

In this day and age, many HDTV basically have a resolution so high, it’s almost pointless to buy a Computer display, as if you’re a serious programmer, you’ll do most of your programming in the living room.

More importantly, it’ll get your children engaged in the wonder and power of learning about programming instead of watching what’s on Television come the Year of the Monkey in 2016!


  1. Deer, L. (2014, September 26). US$2.5 billion purchase of Mojang by Microsoft – How Minecraft will help Microsoft Reaching Future Teenage Gamers to build on Xbox Success. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/09/us25-billion-purchase-of-mojang-by.html
  2. Deer, L. (2015, February 3). US$35 Raspberry Pi 2 Model B to run Windows 10 – Why Windows Developer Program for IoT is Microsoft ‘s IoT Push. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/02/us35-raspberry-pi-2-model-b-to-run.html
  3. Deer, L. (2015, September 8). How the US$60 Raspberry Pi 7” Touchscreen can be used as a Touchscreen Controller. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/09/US60-Raspberry-Pi-7-Touchscreen.html
  4. Deer, L. (2015, November 9). What Does TV Mean to You and the Samsung SUHD Revolution. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/what-does-tv-mean-to-you-and-the-samsung-suhd-revolution/
  5. Rundle, M. (2015, November 15). Raspberry Pi Zero already sold out, says ‘amazed’ founder. Retrieved from http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-11/27/raspberry-pi-zero-sold-out
  6. Collins, K. (2015, November 26). Raspberry Pi’s latest computer costs just $5. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/news/raspberry-pis-latest-computer-costs-just-5/
  7. Hern, A. (2015, November 26). Raspberry Pi’s latest computer so cheap it comes free with magazine. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/26/raspberry-pi-zero-computer-cheap-free-magazine-magpi
  8. Mizroch, A. (2015, November 26). How Google Inspired Raspberry Pi’s $5 Computer. Retrieved from http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/11/26/raspberry-pi-rolls-out-5-computer/



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