TEDx-ers, things are rushing along at a fantastic pace, and we have another fantastic speaker to announce: Eben Upton.
If you own a smartphone, then you already have enough computing power to launch the original Apollo missions into space. However, that hardware costs around £150 and is generally locked away from your prying fingers, making it difficult (not to mention expensive) to explore and understand. Meanwhile, modern software development frameworks enable IT innovation at a staggering pace, but that too comes at the cost of a certain level of abstraction.
As we push humans further away from the bare metal of computers, we make it harder and harder for each new generation of engineers to discover their passion for the technology that is shaping our world at an incredible speed. Eben Upton believes that everyone should be be able to play with an entirely open (not to mention powerful) computing device. What better way to make this possible than to create such a device, and make it cheap.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation was established by a group of University of Cambridge academics and local businesspeople to address the decline in the number of computer science and engineering applicants to UK higher-education institutions. The Foundation is developing a $25 microcomputer (approxiately £17), with the goal of putting programmable hardware in the hands of every child in the UK. If this doesn’t sound impressive yet, then imagine your desktop computer shrunk down to fit in the palm of your hand, and costing a mere £20.
Eben is a founder and trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and serves as its Executive Director; he is responsible for the overall software and hardware architecture of the Raspberry Pi device, and for the Foundation’s relationships with key suppliers and partner organisations. He holds a BA in Physics and Engineering, a PhD in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Cambridge. In his day job, he works for Broadcom as an ASIC architect and general troublemaker. He likes to “Do Good Work” (which should be familiar if you’ve ever read or seen “The Right Stuff”), and so it’s with great pleasure that we welcome him to speak at TEDxGranta Alive & Kicking. Join us in March to see Eben do yet more good good work on stage.