Byte-sized revolution 两百元买台电脑?

英語學習點: Vocabulary: Project development 有關項目發展的詞匯

Image copyright BBC World Service

Creating a new computer or software from scratch is the dream of many a budding Steve Jobs. And now this goal is easier to reach than ever.

A new, low-cost computer that can be bought for around £20 (200 yuan) has been launched in the last few days and, according to its creators, could change the way teenagers learn computer science. It's called Raspberry Pi.

The credit card-sized machine has to be attached to a keyboard and a screen and doesn't come with any built-in software - but that's deliberate, as it's been designed to encourage children to sink their teeth into the world of programming.

The pupils of Chesterton Community College in Cambridgeshire were invited to road-test Raspberry Pi and loved it. "That's a computer?!" exclaimed a 12-year-old boy before piling in with his classmates to test his mettle and reprogramme the classic game Snake.

This not-for-profit project is the brainchild of six scientists who set up the Raspberry Pi Foundation. One of them, Eben Upton, remains unfazed by suggestions that today's youngsters are keen on new software but not on how it's made.

Now that the Pi is launched, Upton and his colleagues are already going back to the drawing board to look at new ways to incentivise children into coding.

There are plans to offer "very significant" prizes - perhaps totalling £1,000 (10,000 yuan) or more - to those who impress the foundation with original programming.