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Raspberry Pi gets an app store

Raspberry Pi, a $25 credit-card sized Linux computer introduced earlier this year, is getting its own app store.

Raspberry Pi, a $25 credit-card sized Linux computer introduced earlier this year, is getting its own app store.

News of the store opening was announced at the Raspberry Pi website. "Today, together with our friends at IndieCity and Velocix, were launching the Pi Store to make it easier for developers of all ages to share their games, applications, tools and tutorials with the rest of the community," the nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation wrote at the website.

"The Pi Store will, we hope, become a one-stop shop for all your Raspberry Pi needs," the announcement adds. "Its also an easier way into the Raspberry Pi experience for total beginners, who will find everything they need to get going in one place, for free."

Twenty-three free titles will be part of the store's initial inventory, including LibreOffice, Asterisk, Freeciv, OpenTTD, and Iridium Rising.

The makers of the diminutive Raspberry Pi began taking orders for the computer in March and immediately sold out the first run of the product.

Raspberry Pi is essentially an uncased motherboard with 700MHz ARM processor. It's designed to run word processing, video applications, and Internet access, and includes connections for data input/output, display support, and networking.

The basic unit ($25) includes 250MB of RAM, a micro USB port, Blu-ray support, HDMI port, two USB ports and RCA video and audio connections. Ethernet support can be added for $10.

Linux flavors supported by the device include Fedora, Debian, and ArchLinux.

Rivals emerge

Since the Raspberry Pi's introduction, several other single-board, low-priced computers have been introduced to the market.

The $60 Cubieboard appeared in September. It has a 1GHz ARM processor and 4GB of RAM, and runs Android as well as Ubuntu and Linux.

At the same time, the $89 UG802 appeared, which runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) by default. It has a 1.6GHz dual-core ARM processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, USB ports, HDMI connector, and microSD slot.

Another unit arrived last month, the $57 A13-OLinuXino, which has a 1GHz ARM processor, a 3D Mali400 GPU, and 512MB of RAM.

Meanwhile, developers continue to find interesting applications for Raspberry Pi. For example, researchers at the University of Southampton encased one of the units in Legos and made a Minecraft server out of it.

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