Liz and Eben honoured by The National Museum of Computing

Last month, Raspberry Pi co-founders Liz and Eben Upton took a trip to The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) in Bletchley (home of the codebreakers) because TNMOC thinks they’re both really rather good.

A lasting contribution

Liz and Eben received Honorary Fellowships acknowledging “outstanding individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the fields of computing and technology.”

They look like they’re posing their hands weirdly but they’re actually holding small, transparent awards

They had to stand up and talk about themselves. For ages. Which they hate. But it went terribly well and everyone in the audience seemed to agree with TNMOC that they are really rather good.

Having a look around TNMOC which is cool and weird

A computer to capture the imagination

Eben described how frustrating it was in the early 2000s when the number of computer science applicants to the University of Cambridge, where he worked, was declining, and students coming through with good enough programming skills were in danger of becoming extinct. He wanted to create a computer of the kind that had inspired him back in the 1980s β€” namely, the BBC Micro β€” so he set about designing the first Raspberry Pi, in the hope of selling as many as 10,000 units if things went really well. Almost eleven years later, we’ve sold around 50 million.

A wonderful worldwide community

Liz explained how she grew the huge global Raspberry Pi community from the ground up, documenting every step of the prototyping process on our blog and keeping in touch with hobbyists and industrial users as they got to know Raspberry Pi and what it was capable of. It’s thanks to that outreach that 300,000 young people around the world have access to weekly coding clubs run by volunteers who are as passionate about computing as we are, and that businesses and hobbyists alike can draw on a huge global community of expertise when they develop new applications and projects with Raspberry Pi.

We are trained to say nice things about them, but you don’t have to just take our word for it this time. Here is what TNMOC director Jacqui Garrad said:

β€œWhat Eben and Liz Upton have achieved is remarkable. Their success in engaging young people in the world of technology makes them the perfect honorary fellows for The National Museum of Computing. Eben and Liz Upton represent the best parts of computing and community organising. With accessibility and community at the heart of everything they have achieved, TNMOC is delighted to be able to welcome them into our community – one that shares the values they embody. We are over the moon to have their expertise and experience on board, and we look forward to growing our educational offering with their help.”


Paul Webster avatar

Not only a great contribution to the computing of today but also brought new life into running hardware emulations that have allowed the operating systems from bygone ages to be run.
Says someone with a real PDP-11/83 at home that has not been turned on for years (for fear of it destroying itself),

Jose Commins avatar

If the award size was proportional to how many people they’ve inspired then an 18-wheel lorry would be needed to carry the awards back!
Also a great thanks to all the team at Pi making it happen every day :)

Alan Robertson avatar

Congratulations to Liz and Eben, very well deserved. Its staggering to think how many Raspberry Pi computers there are in the world now! I love the style and captioning on the article BTW, especially for them holding their awards πŸ˜‚

Xien Chou avatar

Well done Eben and Liz but don’t forget Pete Lomas and Rob Mullins and the others without whom Pi wouldn’t have made it! Pi is a real achievement and deserves to be recognised!

Liz Upton avatar

Oh god, so much this: I’m surrounded by brilliant people every day at work, and Raspberry Pi relies on every single one of them for its success.

solar3000 avatar

You’re history!
I mean that in a good way.

Rob Ward avatar

So good to see the dismal years of beige boxes with unused locks in the 1990’s creating an experimenter’s desert eventually replaced with a real computer with I/O pins in the 2010’s. Also eventually a very worthwhile improvement on the Beeb’s 8bit port under the keyboard. So good to have an inspired alternative to the closed and complicated mentality of the USA ’86 PC’s. Thanks also to the users whose sharing knowledge have contributed to the RPi success as well.

JBeale avatar

I have enjoyed doing a good number of R-Pi + sensor projects, eg. sonar that measures water level in a well, radar that measures car speed, camera that records wildlife traipsing through the backyard. I agree with TNMOC’s opinion about them both!

Don Isenstadt avatar

Congratulations! To both of you and of course the whole team for the raspberry pi and the whole software/social ecosystem that surrounds and supports it.

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