Meeting the Baker: Eben Upton of Raspberry Pi
Launched on February 29, 2012, the Raspberry Pi, a computer the size of a credit card, has become one of free software’s success stories. Despite the difficulties of manufacturing – there was briefly a limit of one per customer – the Pi, as it is popularly called, has sold nearly 900,000 copies and could easily sell a million by its first anniversary. “It’s completely incredible,” Upton says, looking back all that has happened.
Now 34, Eben Upton has been programming since he was 10 years old, starting with early computers like the BBC Microcomputer, the Commodore, and the Amiga. As an adult, he has been a member of the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, the founder of Ideaworks Game Studio, and most recently, a chip engineer. For much of his life, he has been a free software user and enthusiast, but before Raspberry Pi, his main contribution to free software was with BlueCove, a JSR-82 J2SE implementation to communicate with Bluetooth on OS X and Windows.
Upton did do the original port of the Linux kernel for the Pi.