Pint-sized Raspberry Pi PC launches its own app store

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just launched a store for programmers to sell software, games, tools, and applications designed for the foundation’s tiny computers. For those unfamiliar, Raspberry Pi is a computer the size of a credit card that the founders want to use for teaching kids programming. The computer is little more than a USB port, RAM chip, and ports for video, audio, and HDMI. Just hook up a keyboard, mouse, and montior and you’re off.

The founders of the foundation, members of the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, realized that compared with the dot-com age of the 1990s, students in the 2000s were unlikely to have serious programming knowledge as computers got more advanced and more expensive. They wanted to create an inexpensive PC that could boot into a programming environment easily and wouldn’t break the bank. Raspberry Pi now has two models, one that costs just $25 and one that costs $35. 

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, “the Pi Store will, we hope, become a one-stop shop for all your Raspberry Pi needs; it’s also an easier way into the Raspberry Pi experience for total beginners, who will find everything they need to get going in one place, for free.” IndiCity and Velocix assisted with the Pi Store, which is offering 23 free titles at launch. 

There is an active programmer community that has grown up around Raspberry Pi, and the charity’s leaders said they hope the Pi Store will offer a place for those people to share their creations with a broad audience. In fact, they are encouraging the winners of the Summer Programming Contest to put their creations up on the store to earn a little pocket change. Developers can put their work up for free or as paid downloads, but even the free works will have a tip jar where fans of a particular piece can give a donation to the creator. The store could also make it easier for new programmers to dive into using the pint-sized computer. 

Image via Gijsbert Peijs

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