Is the Raspberry Pi Zero The First Computer Shipped As A Magazine Supplement?

When I was a teenager it took me two years to convince my parents to buy me a computer. I would have taken anything, big small, TV output, LCD display, whatever, just programmable please. I finally got one but it took too long, mostly because even home computers were expensive at the time. Well, times have really changed, haven't they!?

Yesterday, Eben Upton, one of the creators of the Raspberry Pi, announced the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero. It's much smaller than a "normal" Raspberry Pi, has fewer connectors but is more powerful than the first Raspbery Pi and can act as a fully functional as a desktop computer as it has an HDMI (mini) out and old fashioned TV interface (for which a connector has to be soldered onto the board). Even better, to get one, just go around the corner to a newsstand (at least in the UK) and pick up the latest edition of the Magpi magazine for 6 pounds in which the Raspberry Pi Zero is included as a supplement. Wow, I just imagine myself as a boy having done that instead of having had to preach to my parents for years about the need for having a computer.

I wasn't quite sure when I started writing this article but while writing it, I found this video in which Eben confirms that the Pi Zero is the first "real" computer ever shipped as a magazine supplement! True, an SD card is needed as a mass storage device in addition to an HDMI cable to connect it to a TV as well as a mouse and keyboard which easily exceed the price of the Pi itself, but hey, compared to two years preaching that's a hurdle that can be overcome easily as all of these things are available in abundance and can probably be gotten second hand for next to nothing.

A "real" computer as a supplement in a computer magazine that can be bought at a news stand! I'm sure the late Steve J. would agree, this is insanely great!