Linux News Today: Meet micro:bit, a Raspberry Pi Zero Alternative to Help UK Kids Learn to Code
Today we would like to introduce our readers to an upcoming single-board computer (SBC), which promises to be as tiny as the famous Raspberry Pi Zero board.
Meet BBC micro:bit, a project initiated by British public service broadcaster BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) in an attempt to help kids from the UK (United Kingdom) get started with coding.
Every 11-year-old student in the UK will be able to use the BBC micro:bit pocket-sized computer to code and bring their ideas to life, in the form of applications, scrolling stories, animations, or games. Fedora Project has even published a story on how to learn programming using micro:bit and Fedora Linux.
“A royalty from the sale of this BBC micro:bit merchandise helps promote digital creativity amongst young people in the UK,” reads the product’s website, from where anyone can pre-order the tiny SBC right now (see available online stores at the end of the article).
micro:bit’s technical specifications
The BBC micro:bit single-board computer is as tiny as 4cm by 5cm, it features multiple sensors, support for multiple operating systems, including GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows, support for mobile platforms like iOS and Android, open source hardware, and programming capabilities via USB.
On the top side, we can find three digital/analog input and output rings, a power port ring, a ground ring, two programmable buttons, and 25 individually programmable LEDs. Them, on the bottom side there are a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ CPU, the Bluetooth smart antenna, a MicroUSB port, a 20-pin edge connector, compass and accelerometer sensors, as well as the battery connector.
The good news is that BBC micro:bit is available for pre-order right now from The Pi Hut or Pimoroni for the sum of £13.00, which means approximately €17 or $19. It’s not as powerful and cheap as Raspberry Pi Zero, but consider buying one to help UK kids get started with programming.