Raspberry Pi Computer

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Posted

post-6734-1330516909146.png

The Raspberry Pi single board computer was released today for commercial sales. For a barebone board costing £22, it can do 1080p video over HDMI, has USB and WiFi and can be powered from a micro USB connection. The project is aimed at school children, but this tiny (and cheap) device can do a lot more. It can run XBMC and with the support of 1080p over HDMI, it could be your budget mediabox.

 

Respect to Eben Upton and the engineering team.

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If you put an Apple logo on it the famnbois will be here in a flash to tell you how awesome it is and how everyone who doesn't buy a dozen right now is lame and gay and has bought into the Microsoft propaganda.

 

But it's not from Apple so the fanbois will be along presently to tell you how lame it is and how stupid you are to buy it.

 

I'm not sure what schoolkids are supposed to learn with it. It can be used as a simple mail, browser & possibly video workstation but when it comes to programming, it's got nothing except the very limited ARM processor-based market. Even with QEMU it's too slow (and SD cards are too small) to host emulate another OS with even basic software.

 

The main market is call centers which don't need it because they use multiple virtual machines or sessions (like Citrix) on blade servers.

 

Edit: fixed.

 

woof.

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But it's not from Apple so Darknight will be along presently to tell you how lame it is and how stupid you are to buy it.

'Ang on, I thought Darkknight was the one always slagging Apple and its consumers off.

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'Ang on, I thought Darkknight was the one always slagging Apple and its consumers off.

You're right. Which other numbutz did I confuse with DK? I know there's at least one giant Cupertino apologist toadie here.

 

woof.

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I'm not sure what schoolkids are supposed to learn with it. It can be used as a simple mail, browser & possibly video workstation but when it comes to programming, it's got nothing except the very limited ARM processor-based market. Even with QEMU it's too slow (and SD cards are too small) to host emulate another OS with even basic software.

 

ARM assembler is easier to learn than x86 assembler, so I can see cheap ARM boards like this being a good tool for university comp-sci courses. Maybe that's what people mean by "schoolkids"?

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They do mean schoolkids in the traditional sense; The point being that the initiators of this (and similar) projects feel that kids don't get a chance to get their hands dirty like those growing up in the 70s and 80s.

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Posted

Yeah, but you can learn that just as easily with an emulator on a PC - which schools/unis already have.

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If you put an Apple logo on it the famnbois will be here in a flash to tell you how awesome it is and how everyone who doesn't buy a dozen right now is lame and gay and has bought into the Microsoft propaganda.

 

But it's not from Apple so the fanbois will be along presently to tell you how lame it is and how stupid you are to buy it.

 

I do not really think this is the kind of product an average Apple fanboi would be interested in. Even if it was made by Apple, what do you expect a high end user would do with it?

 

 

I'm not sure what schoolkids are supposed to learn with it. It can be used as a simple mail, browser & possibly video workstation but when it comes to programming, it's got nothing except the very limited ARM processor-based market. Even with QEMU it's too slow (and SD cards are too small) to host emulate another OS with even basic software.

 

The main market is call centers which don't need it because they use multiple virtual machines or sessions (like Citrix) on blade servers.

 

Edit: fixed.

 

woof.

 

And I thought this would be a perfect machine for small embedded solutions when Arduino does not have enough raw power.

 

woof.

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So you think designing/programming embedded systems deserves a place in primary and secondary schools right up there with readin', writin', 'rithematic & history? This thing is a solution looking for a problem.

 

woof.

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I'm not saying they'll be successful, but for a long time, there was nothing like that for kids that DO have the inclination to learn about what goes on inside a computer. The trend (with Apple very much the main protagonists) is for computing devices to become complete black-box devices, and I can only cheer on this kind of back-to-basics initiative.

 

And if you think the Pi is fun, have a look at the Arduino.

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Well I know nothing about this stuff (cos I didnt build one back in the 70s 80s) but if I was a kid now and Dad wouldnt by me a laptop - but I could build my own computer for pocket money I would think this is a great idea. Kinda like half the fun of owning a bike as a kid is being able to pull it apart and being able to fix it yourself - gets us back to being practical and not just consumers....

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Schools already have PCs they can run emulators on for learning programming though - the only think (as far as i can see) that this offers is that you can see how the hardware connects more clearly, yet still not as clearly as on a good diagram.

 

When I started uni we had to put one together ourselves from a bag of parts and that really gave you an understanding of what was going on. This thing's all surface-mount though, only the most sadistic lecturer would make a class assemble it by hand.

 

I'm pretty much with BD here - it seems to be a gadget in search of a niche.

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If they really want to teach kids about computing, they should make them build the thing themselves first and then program it. Like when I was a kid and had to walk to school barefoot in the snow...

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This is nothing new. 'Raspberry Pi' is one of those 'Open Source Hardware' products like Arduino, et al. It's just new, cheaper, simpler and performs better than Arduino. BTW, there are good number of creative and innovative products created with Arduino.

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I am not sure Arduino and the Raspberry Pi belong to the same realm, Arduino is more oriented to electric/electronic projects while the Raspberry Pi is (at least for the moment) a cheap low end PC.

 

You can use the Arduino for prototyping things with prototyping shields.

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The launch of the Raspberry Pi reminds me of when Mrs AB and I were able to save my BIL from slipping into an inevitable intellectual decay back in the early 1980s . . .

He had by that time already been incarcerated as a political prisoner by the old DDR on two occasions and was being denied access to all but the most menial jobs, ending up as an unwilling member of a gang set to work manually repairing the streets and tram rail system of the then steadily-decaying City of Dresden.

We purchased an Amstrad CPC464 in the UK as a pressie for him and by good fortune we were able to get it across the BRD-DDR border unseen in the boot of our car.

By the time of our next visit a year later, when we delivered an add-on floppy disk drive to replace the standard built-in cassette tape drive, my BIL had taught himself not only how to write programs in BASIC but had also taught himself how to program in its cumbersome machine code. We thought this a remarkable achievement given my BIL's complete isolation from anyone able & willing to guide him in the work, the total lack of any computer-related technical magazines in the shops and the absence of any sort of publically-accessible computer industry throughout the country.

All this stood him in good stead when the BRD purchased his freedom in 1986 and he was able to begin making his own way in the computer industry im kapitalistischen Ausland.

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I think one should take the advantages of this with a pinch of salt.

 

Parents bought their kids computers in the 80s, hoping they would get something like...

post-24808-1330545014985.jpg

 

But what they really got was...

post-24808-13305450374741.jpg

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Ask yourself "which one is smiling?". Who is the big man now?

 

The Raspberry Pi has become huge worldwide now. Which surprises me as I can only see niche uses for it at the moment. Even in education. The price must be the main advantage for some. But many already have access to a cheap or used PC.

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