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C.H.I.P. - the $9 computer | Black Hole Tec

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C.H.I.P. - the $9 computer

Submitted by Brecht Theys on Sun, 05/24/2015 - 19:35

Here at BHT, we’ve always wondered: “how cheap can a computer get?”. Let me first define what we mean by a computer. First of all it has to be able to function as a workstation. Therefore it has to have the ability to open Microsoft word and Excel. Free programs, such as Open Office will do too. It also needs to be able to be connected to a display monitor using a HDMI cable, since that is today’s standard. Another thing it has to have is a socket to attach different 

peripherals to, ranging from mice to keyboards or even printers.
Well, a couple of nerdy people (no offence, we’re all nerds ourselves here) came together to make a cheap computer that can do all these things and more. We’re talking about C.H.I.P. of course. For those who haven’t heard about C.H.I.P., chip is an $9 computer that can be used as a workstation. Not only that, chip is also highly portable, since it is only as wide as a double A battery and as long as a lighter.
Now, most of you must be thinking : « something that small can hardly have any computation power . » Well, you that were thinking that, you’re partially right, but also wrong. Chip has a 1 GHZ processor, 512 MB of ram and 4 GB of storage. Yes, I know, this isn’t a lot, but it is enough to run LibreOffice, so you can edit spreadsheets. basically, chip has the computation power of a very cheap Chinese smartphone.
But that’s not all, C.H.I.P. can also connect to the internet, since it has a wifi receiver built in. It also has Bluetooth capabilities, meaning you can in theory connect it to your phone to back up important files. Or you can use the Bluetooth to connect a wireless mouse to it.
Now, this is cool and all, but chip doesn’t have a built-in monitor, so how am I supposed to see what I’m doing, I could be breaking it not even knowing. Well, good news, chip can also connect to every single kind of monitor, but it will cost you extra. You’ll have to buy a VGA or HDMI adapter, but don’t worry, they won’t be pricey either.
Chip also teaches you how to code, since it comes “pre-loaded with Scratch”. You can write programs and run them using chip to test them out, learning how to code in the process.
Now, some of you must be wondering where they can buy one of these. Well, here’s the bad news, they aren’t available yet, the company is still trying to gather more money on Kickstarter. Backers of this project will receive rewards, so it is worth checking it out, you can visit their page by clicking here.

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