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Raspberry Pi $35 mini system starts shipping

The credit card-sized Linux system is being delivered to first 10,000 customers worldwide this week.

Raspberry Pi is one sweet little board.
Screenshot by Eric Mack / CNET

Raspberry Pi, the $35 Linux system about the size of a credit card, is fully baked and ready to eat... er, ship.

The system was designed by a British nonprofit with the idea of encouraging people everywhere, particularly young people in developing countries, to become more interested in programming.

It went up for preorder at the end of February, and the first batch sold out in minutes. That first crop of 10,000 units of the ARM-based system was received by distributors RS Components and Allied Electronics a few days ago, and they say shipping to customers worldwide will commence this week.

The system is smaller than most smartphones and comes with Ethernet, HDMI, and two USB ports, and an SD card slot, and it runs off a 700MHz ARM chip with 256MB of RAM.

If you missed the first wave, RS Components is still taking registrations to get in line for the next batch.

"We are working very closely with the manufacturer to bring subsequent batches of boards into stock so that we can fulfill every customer order for Raspberry Pi as quickly as possible,"said Glenn Jarrett, Head of Electronics Marketing at RS Components in a statement.

Raspberry Pi's Liam Fraser put together this comprehensive tour of the Pi that shows it in action performing some basic tasks like Web browsing, games, and photo editing. It might try the patience of those of us used to cruising along on our 3GHz systems, but clearly represents a huge and affordable leap for the rest of the world and those that might not yet even know what those letters stand for.