APC Releases Rock and Paper Computers



The Raspberry Pi has been openly embraced by the hacker community for all sorts of projects.  From roll your own set-top boxes to Amateur Radio uses, it’s become a fast favorite of the hacker community.  Not to be outdone, APC has released two new computers that are sure to peak interest of the hacker community and anyone who wants a nice, simple computer without worry of viruses or other malware.


The Rock computer is a board only device that runs a customized version of Android 4.0 that is designed to work with a keyboard and mouse.  The Rock has a Via ARM Cortex-A9 chip running at 800 MHz, 512 MB of DDR3 Ram, 4GB of NAND Flash Memory, 2D/3D Graphics Acceleration capable of resolutions up to 1080p, HDMI, VGA, 2 USB 2.0 ports, microUSB (OTG capable), Audio out/Mic in, MicroSD Slot, 10/100 Ethernet, and for the hackers it includes a 20 pin ARM-JTAG Header, Extra GPIO, SPI and I2C Busses on the header.  This all fits in a board that measures 170×85 mm which is in the Neo-ITX Standard.  This board should fit right in with those who love hacking and working on the Raspberry Pi.  This board is now available for $79 dollars from APC.


The Paper Computer is similar to the Rock, except that it eschews the VGA port and comes with a case made from Recycled pressed cardboard with high-grade aluminum.  It will be available for preorder in March for only 99 dollars.


If you are the hacker type, APC has also made the kernel, bootloader and other code available in their library.  The even have pinouts for those wanting to use it to power other projects, and cad files so you can make your own custom case.  These are essential bits that APC has not forgotten.

Either of these would make great little boxes for playing media on your TV, streaming video from the web or maybe even running your favorite project.  This is one category that I am really excited about as it’s taking me back to the days I played with electronic circuits and more when I was a kid.  How you play has changed and instead of just building things like a crystal radio, you can build things that can do pretty amazing stuff.  I hope to see more of this kind of stuff in 2013.

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.