The ingenious idea of ​​​​the low-cost computer

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (apro). -When the first computers came out, the ones that were gigantic, made with bulbs (that heated up enormously), it was assumed that they would be highly specialized tools and maybe the world would need five or six of them. But luckily the transistors arrived and the miniaturization eventually arrived. Entonces gracias a la lógica binaria, invented by Boole, de pronto se pudieron se crear computadoras much más powerfules que las primeras machines de los años 1950s y además, a precios mucho menores.

Con los años, el desarrollo tecnologico trajo el desarrollador el entonces de pronto, la computadora se pudo volver personal. The first 8-bit computers came on the market, such as the Apple II, the Atari, the Radio Shack TRS and the Commodore 64. hoy en donde tenemos memorias de 16 a 32 GBytes sin problemas.

Poco tiempo después llegaron los procesadores de 16 bits y el cómputo empezó a florecer. Salieron en poco tiempo procesadores de 32 bits y estos dominaron gran parte del final del siglo 20. Ya para antes del año 2000 contábamos con máquinas muy powerfulas y el term “personal computer” ya era una realidad. Y para hacer más evident its importance, estas computadoras empezaron a ser parte de systems de nomina, de inventories, de bases de datos y de processing de palabras, hasta que de pronto las empresas de software de caron sus products de oficina, en “suites” que contenían hoja de calculus, processor of words, system of presentation of slides and bases of data.

Los siguientes 20 años fueron muy prometedores y llegamos a los 64 bits en la arquitectura de los processors, asunto que se ha mantenido como el estándar en los ultimos años. The amount of memory available to the user has grown thousands of times and now we have systems that a few years ago would have been the dream of scientists from the past.

But all this has a cost. A pesar de que los precios cada vez son menores, es claro que una computadora poderosa y moderna tiene hoy un costo de entre 7 mil a 15 mil pesos, lo cual no es extremamente costoso para todo que pueden hacer las computadoras actuales, pero no deja de ser quezás demasiado oneroso para una gran comunidad de personas.

What to do? Well, Intel developed the idea of ​​the 100 dollar computer, which students are looking for. Sin embargo, por alguna razón este esquema no funcionó. No se hicieron miles y miles de machines baratas y eso limitó la possibility de que muchos estudiantes -incluso de nivel primaria- no tuviesen acceso a los sistemas de cómputo. Hoy en día entendemes que quien no sabe usar computadoras es casi como ser analfabeta y por ende, algo habría que hacerse.

Curiously, the phenomenon of the lack of access to computer systems is not only from the third world. In the United Kingdom, a group of engineers realized that the enrollment of students to learn programming was always lower. Y entonces emprendieron una idea: hacer una computer personal a muy bajo costo. That’s how the Raspberry Pi was born. It was Eben Upton who created the original design of a computer the size of a credit card, which has no screen, mouse or keyboard, but whose cost was 35 dollars. So, you could get a old monitor, a computer keyboard and a mouse that simply needed to be standard, to have a powerful computer with an operating system like Unix, in this case using Linux, powerful and free.

The idea of ​​a low-cost computer was not only successful in schools, but many electronic aficionados bought it for projects in robotics and artificial intelligence. Fundación Pi, which is a charity organization, donates part of the proceeds from the sale of its computers to different educational projects. Today the idea of ​​Upton has sold 30 million units, which makes it an incredible commercial success.

In Mexico, there are a number of public elementary schools that have “computer rooms”, but there are obsolete machines, with outdated or obsolete operating systems, with poor memory, etc. Today, all those machines could be replaced by Raspberry Pi and the keyboards, screens and mice of these old machines could be used, making it possible for students not only to play games with these tiny and powerful computers, but also to show que se puede aprender a programar y crear así un curriculum para el futuro. Los programas de cómputo no están ni remotamente todos escritos. They need more and more programmers who solve the problems we are facing and who, with powerful teams, can help us achieve a better world. Pero para ello requerimos de la mano de worka de los estudiantes, que bien porgan ser los verdaderos creadores del futuro para el planeta.

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