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Pico boo!

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I remember people used to talk about market disrupters and truly the Raspberry Pi was just that. In a world that looked like it was falling into a corporate-owned walled garden of locked-down “smart” devices, like the Apple iPad and Google Nexus phones, came 10 thousand bare-naked Raspberry Pis that happened to run Linux. Who’d be mad enough to want to buy one of those? Forty million Pi sales later and here we are…

It’s not like the Raspberry Pi was unique as a device. Beagle and Arduino had similar single-board computers, but at much higher prices and without necessarily the software backing it up. At the time I read a lot of Pi criticism pointing out the better specs of competing devices, while completely ignoring the software and price point.

It’s not quite the same, but when the Apple iPhone launched there were better and more capable devices such as the Nokia E90. However, Apple put the software in place and made its device easier to use and to develop for.

If anything, the Raspberry Pi – much like the Apple iPhone – sparked the imagination of developers around the globe. It drew together a community to develop the software and put in place a charitable body to drive the logistics and direction of hardware development. So nine years on the Raspberry Pi Foundation is able to release the $4 Pi Pico, which it’s designed entirely itself and can ship worldwide without a hitch. Remarkable.

We’re having our annual look at the best Raspberry Pi projects in conjunction with Tom’s Hardware, because our very own Les Pounder has jumped ship and works for them now, creating endless top-notch Pi news, reviews and projects. The dirty splitter! (Don’t worry Les still writes for us.)

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