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Senecans build software for game-changing Raspberry Pi computer

Toronto, February 21, 2012 – Raspberry Pi, a new fully functional computer set to sell for less than $40, features software built and adapted with the help of Seneca students and faculty.

“These low-cost computers will improve the access to technology worldwide, particularly for students,” said Seneca College President David Agnew. “It is rewarding to see Seneca students and faculty using their expertise to build and adapt Fedora on this breakthrough device.”

The Seneca Centre for the Development of Open Technology (CDOT), in collaboration with the Fedora Project and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, are hosting an event to announce the release of the Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix 14. The release event will be held on Wednesday, February 22 at the CDOT offices (Seneca@York, TEL building) from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix 14 provides a complete software environment for the Raspberry Pi, a highly anticipated computer system designed to spur interest in computer science, software development, and electronic technology among young people. It also allows Raspberry Pi to be used for many of the things that desktop PCs do such as spreadsheets, word processing, games, and playing high-definition video.

“Seneca students and faculty have helped to make Raspberry Pi a reality,” said Eben Upton, Director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. “As a free software-based platform, we're very dependent on Linux and the open source community at large to provide our users with a working environment complete with programming languages, productivity applications and educational software.”

This software release marks an important milestone in CDOT's applied research in building open source software for emerging low-energy ARM systems. ARM chips are known for combining a high level of functionality with extremely low power consumption. This software will power a new generation of computer systems, ranging from the Raspberry Pi to new models of the One Laptop Per Child project to high-density server systems that consume a tiny fraction of the power used by traditional data centres.

“I jumped at the chance to work on this project because I knew it would be invaluable experience,” said Paul Whalen, Seneca Computer Systems Technology graduate, CDOT research assistant and professor. “This year I saw growing student excitement as they learned about the computer and their imaginations are running wild with applications they could create. It’s amazing to think we were involved with bringing Fedora to the ARM architecture in support of devices like the Raspberry Pi.”
Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix 14 - Video

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