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Raspberry Pi $25 PC Goes Into Alpha Production

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the perhaps-not-vaporpi dept.

Education 137

An anonymous reader writes "Game developer David Braben caused geeks to get excited back in May when he announced plans to develop and release a $25 PC. It is called the Raspberry Pi and takes the form of a USB stick that can be plugged into the HDMI port of a display ready to act as a fully-functional PC. Two months on and the spec of the PCB layout has been finalized and an alpha release has been sent to manufacture. Any doubts this PC wasn't going to happen should now disappear as this alpha board is expected to be almost the same as the final production unit. Although we don't know a release date as of yet, the Raspeberry Pi Foundation is promising images of the alpha boards in a couple of weeks."

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I really want this to come out (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#36922220)

But I am not foolish enough to think that a few alpha boards makes it a sure thing (open pandora), its good news to say the least but I will keep my doubts until I can have one in my hands thanks

Re:I really want this to come out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922322)

Pandora has been released already, it's in production for US$500/EU440. [openpandora.org]

Re:I really want this to come out (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#36922520)

yea tell that to the hundreds of pre-orders still waiting 3+ years later with their thumb up their ass

Re:I really want this to come out (1)

D'Sphitz (699604) | about 3 years ago | (#36923500)

Not sure how they still have hundreds of preorders when, according to their website, I can buy one today and have it within a week. Not that I would order one today...

Re:I really want this to come out (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#36923846)

a month ago they were saying they could not get the boards from china fab and that it didnt matter cause they had somehow rotted away and yes people are still waiting on pre orders

I have somewhat kept track of these guys cause when it was new I was kind of excited, but there is nothing but a endless string of overly hopeful statements backed up by thin air and excuses of why everyone in the universe is screwing up production except the team in charge

Re:I really want this to come out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922596)

But it took so long for them to release it that when they did the specs for it were a joke. I'd never buy a Pandora, especially not for $500.

Re:I really want this to come out (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#36922950)

heh! add 100mhz a screen and some buttons this 25$ dongle is neck and neck with a pandora

Re:I really want this to come out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922450)

the important thing is. if 50.0001% of the customers are black, this will be a racist PC. Jesse Jackson will be on camera. In fact it is always very, very dangerous to get between Jesse Jackson and a TV camera.

Just like security is the opposite of freedom, hypersensitivity over group identities is the opposite of racial harmony. Jackson knows this. His palms are very soft and uncalloused because he knows this so well.

Re:I really want this to come out (2)

ebenupton (2424660) | about 3 years ago | (#36925620)

Very sensible. You'll notice we're not taking pre-orders for these boards until we have them in *our* hands. Eben Upton Director, Raspberry Pi Foundation

Re:I really want this to come out (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#36925700)

And I appreciate your not pulling a Tucker on us!

keep up the good work

what? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 3 years ago | (#36922222)

Any doubts this PC wasn't going to happen should now disappear as this alpha board is expected to be almost the same as the final production unit.

these are good news, but only an announcement, there are many reasons a mass production can still fail.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922626)

Reread that quote. The submitter is saying it's guaranteed not to happen. As written it means "Any belief this PC was going to happen should now disappear". Of course, it could just be that the submitter can't write coherently, and the editors didn't notice.

Re:what? (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 3 years ago | (#36924128)

Either that or you can't read correctly.

Re:what? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 3 years ago | (#36924236)

"Any doubts this PC wasn't going to happen should now disappear "

They perhaps have updated the summary to clarify that it should no longer be doubted and it will most likely be going into production because the production and alpha boards would be the same.

Re:what? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 years ago | (#36924580)

I wonder who was doubting it. It might be a novel application but its specs aren't far removed from what you'd find in various low end set top boxes.

PC? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922244)

PC as in IBM-compatible Personal Computer based on intel x86 family of processors running MS DOS/Windows?
Or just a embedded computer with lesser specs than the average mobile phone?

Re:PC? (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | about 3 years ago | (#36922346)

Looks to be some ARM with 128MB RAM, one USB and one HDMI + analog TV/audio.

You are probably not going to get many bitcoins using that machine.

Re:PC? (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | about 3 years ago | (#36924428)

But does it have the space to store my intertubes?

Seriously, I remember the original post and the debate over wifi connectivity.

Re:PC? (3, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 3 years ago | (#36922360)

I realize in your haste to try for first post you neglected to glance at TFA, so here you go:

It uses a 700MHz ARM11 processor coupled with 128MB of RAM and runs OpenGL ES 2.0, allowing for decent graphics performance with 1080p output confirmed. ... We can expect it to run a range of Linux distributions, but it looks like Ubuntu may be the distro it ships with. That means it will handle web browsing, run office applications, and give the user a fully functional computer to play with as soon as it's plugged in.

Re:PC? (1)

anyGould (1295481) | about 3 years ago | (#36922708)

I can see myself buying three - one to tape to my TV for a media center, one to carry around my USB computer, and then one to actually hobby-tinker with.

Maybe a fourth for my daughter...

Re:PC? (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 3 years ago | (#36924172)

I can't see a standard Ubuntu running well with only 128MB of RAM. They'll need to do some heavy customization to make it fit.

Re:PC? (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | about 3 years ago | (#36924472)

I can't see a standard Ubuntu running well with only 128MB of RAM. They'll need to do some heavy customization to make it fit.

It's already been done, it's called Xubuntu/Lubuntu (take your pick).

Re:PC? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922832)

Yes, shockingly enough this $25 device has lower specs than your $400 phone.

Re:PC? (2)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | about 3 years ago | (#36924460)

Or you can go the Apple route and deliver it for $100 with the same specs but double the magic. Who needs specs when you have magic!

Re:PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925272)

*coughDisneycoughcough*

Umm, right... (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 3 years ago | (#36922288)

Any doubts this PC wasn't going to happen should now disappear as this alpha board is expected to be almost the same as the final production unit.

Because nothing ever goes wrong, right?

Re:Umm, right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922476)

Well... Any doubts that they were not serious about it can be dispelled at least. No idea if it will actually see store shelves, but at least they are very serious about trying to get it there at least.

Wow (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about 3 years ago | (#36922336)

David Braben? Of Elite [wikipedia.org] fame? This was cool enough already!

Re:Wow (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | about 3 years ago | (#36926126)

I wonder if the board will run Elite. Well actually I'm not wondering, I'm sure it will.

It sounds cool, but... (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 3 years ago | (#36922358)

I'd much rather trade the HDMI for some sort of Ethernet, and maybe a few GPIOs or something.

I see something like this as much less of a "game console", and much more of a device I'd glue to my alarm system, and to my sprinkler system, and to my thermostat, and to my garage door opener, etc..etc...etc...

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 3 years ago | (#36922396)

I'd much rather trade the HDMI for some sort of Ethernet, and maybe a few GPIOs or something.

Great, but the point of this is to actually be hooked up to a monitor to use it as a computer.

I see something like this as much less of a "game console", and much more of a device I'd glue to my alarm system, and to my sprinkler system, and to my thermostat, and to my garage door opener, etc..etc...etc...

It's not a "game console" nor is it meant to be a microcontroller like you apparently want to use it as.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (2)

Lisandro (799651) | about 3 years ago | (#36922436)

You're thinking Arduino [arduino.cc] . If performance is a concern you can try the Arduino-compatible ChipKIT 32 [digilentinc.com] from Digilent, which is an Arduino-compatible device using a more powerful PIC microcontroller.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 3 years ago | (#36922484)

I don't care what it was "made for" - I'm talking about what I'd want to "use it for".

That's the point. All of these little microcontroller type units are good - but when you start wanting to put some heavy-duty services on them, they fall short. For $25, I'd much rather have a machine that I can run a "real" Linux system on. HTTP, SSL, SSH, Perl, Python - whatever. Much better development environment than the embedded microcontroller-type stuff. Even for things like Robotics, etc, too.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#36924754)

How exactly are you going to connect your alarm system, sprinkler system, thermostat, garage door opener, etc..etc to a device with only an HDMI and USB connector?

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 3 years ago | (#36924910)

That's why I said "maybe a few GPIOs or something".

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | about 3 years ago | (#36924838)

but when you start wanting to put some heavy-duty services on them, they fall short

Sure, it's a $25 PC.. you want a $25 PC to do everything a cheap smarthphone can do? Probably you can develop one device under $25 that can do all you want and drown in money. Try taking the device and the specs and figure out WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH IT, instead of complaining because is not what you need, needs that probably you have already sorted out with something else which is *gasp* actually designed for what you want/need.

Seems like it could run a Quake2 server, a simple Proxi (traffic sniffer) or an Educational Platform (wamp moodle) w/out problems. Oh oh I can do a lot of things and profit the shit out of that device, but I'm from marketing so what do I know.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 3 years ago | (#36925114)

But that's my point. The "things that are already designed to do that" aren't as well suited. I don't want to have to install/learn a new development tool/language/environment to use something like Arduino. It also doesn't have all the services and support I need on-board. It may be "designed to" interface to my sprinkler, but does it have a whole LAMP stack in it, that would let average-joe-developer develop a robust web-based application for a sprinkler control system?

I'm sure there are a billion things it could do, I'm more interested in what I'd want to do with it. As for a "desktop" machine - who knows. I don't know a lot of people that have HDMI-capable TV's, but aren't able to spend more than $25 on a desktop system. I personally have a 52" TV in my living room. I bought an HDMI cable for my laptop 3 years ago to hook it to my TV. I've used it maybe once or twice - because it's a pain to use a computer on a living-room TV set, and I didn't have any reason to really ever to that.

Also - we have about 50 or 60 computers in the office. The other day I bought a Boxee box, and needed an HDMI monitor to connect it to. There was not as single monitor in my office which had an HDMI connector, and all the DVI-to-HDMI adapters I tried never worked correctly. So using this with a typical computer monitor, in my sampling, probably won't fare so well.

So - I'm just stating my personal opinion of the device. I could never foresee any desire to connect it to a TV and use it as a desktop. I could see a HUGE opportunity for a tiny, $25, "full" Linux machine (none of this flakey uCLinux crap), in an embedded space.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (2)

That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | about 3 years ago | (#36926074)

I agree with you on the HDMI since theres not a lot of TV or monitors with that available in developing nations where this device would be actually useful. I'd say (taking numbers our of my ass) that the share of conventional ctr/hdmi TVs is 60/40. BUT, it does have composite video out.

So - I'm just stating my personal opinion of the device. I could never foresee any desire to connect it to a TV and use it as a desktop. I could see a HUGE opportunity for a tiny, $25, "full" Linux machine (none of this flakey uCLinux crap), in an embedded space.

Try plug computers/servers from sheeva and marvell, they have more grunt and additional things like WIFI and BT, even homeautomation interfaces.

After reading bits of www.raspberrypi.org I found that the focus is in education of computer science, it has support for C and Python.

It's funny since the FAQ from that page would null 80% of the missunderstandings in this whole discussion.

When will the device be available to purchase?
We anticipate the device will be available to the general public later in 2011.

How do I connect a mouse and keyboard?
Mice, keyboards, network adapters and external storage connect via a USB hub

Does the device support networking?
The Model B version of the device includes 10/100 wired Ethernet. Wi-Fi will be available via a standard USB dongle.

What are the power requirements?
The device is powered by an external AC adapter, and consumes around 1W at full load.

Will there be a buy-one-give-one program?
Yes. We plan to implement a program of this sort.

Will the device be available internationally, or just in the UK?
We intend to ship worldwide from launch. We may establish a distribution network in due course.

Will there be a minimum order quantity?
The minimum order quantity will be one unit.

Are you accepting pre-orders?
No. We are adequately funded, and don’t want to take your money until we have finished hardware.

---------- Provisional SPEC --------------

Provisional specification

700MHz ARM11
128MB or 256MB of SDRAM
OpenGL ES 2.0
1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
Composite and HDMI video output
USB 2.0
SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
General-purpose I/O
Optional integrated 2-port USB hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller
Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)

I will always wonder if the submissions on /. are intentionally poor because otherwise, nobody will discuss anything. Lets call it SOURCE!BAIT
 

Re:It sounds cool, but... (3, Informative)

jcombel (1557059) | about 3 years ago | (#36922460)

FTA, there's a rad $35 model in development that will have more RAM by a hair, an extra USB, and ethernet. will probably get a few myself.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

repetty (260322) | about 3 years ago | (#36922488)

I'd much rather trade the HDMI for some sort of Etherne...

From the designer:

Key differences between the alpha and final boards are:

* The alpha board is roughly 20% larger than the credit-card-sized final board. As you can see, our size is already dominated by the area of the various connectors.

* The alpha board has six layers rather than four, and uses a variety of expensive HDI features (blind and buried vias, via-in-pad) which we wish to eliminate from the final board.

* The alpha board has various test and debug features which will not be present on the final board.

The ICs used in the design are an ARM-based application processor (center) and an SMSC LAN9512 USB 2.0 hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller (right and down from center). The SDRAM is mounted on top of the application processor in a PoP configuration.

Following the example of the BBC Micro, we intend to launch both a Model A device (lacking the LAN9512, and with 128MB of RAM) at the $25 price point, and a Model B device (including the LAN9512, and with 256MB of RAM) for a $5-10 additional cost. We remain confident of shipping before the end of 2011.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922560)

Referencing the BBC Micro! That is *sooo* cute.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#36922580)

One thing I don't see is where the power comes from. Is there power available over HDMI? Or is there another port for a wall wart?

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 3 years ago | (#36923892)

Yes, HDMI will provide up to 500mA at 5V, same as USB 1.1/2.0.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925488)

Nope.
HDMI spec section 4.2.7 supply is 55mA max demand is 50mA max.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925074)

One thing I don't see is where the power comes from. Is there power available over HDMI? Or is there another port for a wall wart?

Coax power supply

Re:It sounds cool, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925492)

There's another port for a wall wort.

Eben Upton
Director, Raspberry Pi Foundation

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 3 years ago | (#36923082)

Sounds like that would move it away from the intended market, which is "Plug-and-Play" "Just Works" style uses.

I always imagined this as a future replacement for the OLPC except for the requirement of an HDMI-compatible video display. I think perhaps a coax RF connector would be more useful for a majority of the undeveloped world.

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#36923876)

I see something like this as much less of a "game console", and much more of a device I'd glue to my alarm system, and to my sprinkler system, and to my thermostat, and to my garage door opener, etc..etc...etc...

Try this: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardEthernet [arduino.cc]

I got mine hooked up to the home router and I can control the stuff connected to it via my mobile phone's web browser (from anywhere on Earth!)

Re:It sounds cool, but... (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 3 years ago | (#36923982)

From the article:

a USB 2.0 hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller are present on the board

No need to choose.

USB Stick??? (1)

timestride (1660061) | about 3 years ago | (#36922374)

I'm confused-- how is this a USB stick if it plugs into an HDMI port? Wouldn't that make it an HDMI stick? Inclusion of a USB port does not make it a USB stick.

Re:USB Stick??? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 3 years ago | (#36922398)

Likely it means the form factor is of a USB stick. I would imagine it needs at least an HDMI port, a USB port, and some sort of power input.

Re:USB Stick??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922506)

Pretty sure they will power it through the USB port. (it'd certainly be the easiest way)
That is what most small computers like this tend to use. Saves a huge amount of space to just use USB power.

Now that I look at the picture of the board though, it appears to have a bunch of wires coming out of it on one long side.
Who knows. Guess we will know in a little while.

Re:USB Stick??? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 3 years ago | (#36922558)

IIRC its USB at one end, HDMI at the other, and will be powered by the HDMI port. The usb is for keyboards and other peripherals to connect to it.
The Model B will have a ethernet port in the middle.

Power (1)

knarfling (735361) | about 3 years ago | (#36922646)

I looked at the comments on the announcement page. (Did I violate /. standards by reading the comments from the link even if I didn't read the article?) From what I could see, the board runs on 6V-20V rather than the 5V provided by USB. One discussion seemed to revolve around why they had to use 6V and if they could find a 5V to 6V converter cheap, while another wanted to know if they could power it with PoE.

Re:USB Stick??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922526)

I'm with you ... log.wtf();

Re:USB Stick??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925034)

Why can't you plug into both :)

Although in this case the USB connector is a *host*, so you can plug in keyboards, mice, USB storage devices, etc.

At $25 I can waste some money (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 3 years ago | (#36922412)

With a price point of around $25 I can waste some money and probably come up with some interesting uses even if I break a few.

Re:At $25 I can waste some money (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#36922514)

Indeed. This will be pretty neat to tinker with at hotels.

Re:At $25 I can waste some money (2)

mroracle (117624) | about 3 years ago | (#36922852)

I'm excited, when I first heard of this I started to look for ideas of what I can do to use it. USB Bluetooth radio and WiFi Dongle, plug it into the HDMI input in the TV built into my fridge and have a nice terminal that can query my recipe database! From the size I do have enough room in the door, and to my surprise the built in TV did have HDMI input.

That's going to be cheaper... (1)

m50d (797211) | about 3 years ago | (#36922602)

than the HDMI-> VGA adapter I'll need to use it with a cheap display. I guess you have to pick a single port when you're going cheap, but DVI would have been a lot nicer.

Re:That's going to be cheaper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36922860)

It means anyone with an HD TV (You know, lots of them!) will be able to use it on a nice big screen instead of having to buy a specific monitor for the purpose.

Re:That's going to be cheaper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36923104)

More and more devices are moving towards HDMI and away from DVI... this is just future-proofing in action.

Re:That's going to be cheaper... (1)

rthille (8526) | about 3 years ago | (#36923266)

Likely, an HDMI port sporting TV will be cheaper than a "monitor" for a given size. The trouble is finding one small enough to be cheaper than the small monitor you were thinking of...

BTW, does it seem funny that the HDTV this thing plugs into probably runs linux or a similar os, and probably has more compute power as well?

Re:That's going to be cheaper... (1)

m50d (797211) | about 3 years ago | (#36925148)

In terms of physical dimensions, sure, but I doubt it for resolution. I picked up a 1440x900 monitor for $30 three years ago, even a 1280x720 TV would cost a hell of a lot more.

the year of Linux in the schoolroom (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 3 years ago | (#36922706)

and I guess that means 'on the desktop (or bedroom TV)' too.

Now if someone can come up with a set of teaching aids, or lessons that show a teacher what to do with this device, demonstrating computing principles as it goes, then there's really no reason not to buy one of these for every schoolkid in the world.

I might have to buy some ARM stock if governments collectively place an order for a few billion of these :)

Interesting but... (2)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 3 years ago | (#36922850)

No screen so you attach it to HDMI port. No input device unless you attach it via USB. No internet unless you attach it via USB, no storage unless you attach it via USB, you also have to connect the power cord (can it even run off battery pack?), etc, etc.

Remind me again why this isn't just something to be used as a garage door opener or sprinkler timer? Sure it's only $25, and would be fun for hobbyists, but by the time you add all the rest of the needs for basic programming and interaction I don't see it fulfilling their grand vision of a "computer" in ever students hand. It's only slightly more useful than the Linux liveCD that runs off a USB flash drive. It also stretches the definition of "computer" if you have to add all those things to make it useful. Seems an old pentium or x386 would be more useful in their current state and cheaper as well (free). I'm not discrediting the whole idea but I think their grandiose vision is a bit off.

Re:Interesting but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36923154)

No screen so you attach it to HDMI port. No input device unless you attach it via USB. No internet unless you attach it via USB, no storage unless you attach it via USB, you also have to connect the power cord (can it even run off battery pack?), etc, etc.

So, like a desktop? For $25?

Remind me again why this isn't just something to be used as a garage door opener or sprinkler timer?

Because there are much cheaper solutions for that?

Re:Interesting but... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 3 years ago | (#36923162)

I'm pretty sure it's powered from the HDMI port, and I think anyone who intends to use this probably has, or can get, a cheap(probably free) USB keyboard/mouse setup. I see these in the trash and on Craigslist for free all the time.

As far as the internet, it's a bit troublesome that I don't have a USB wifi adapter, but I'm sure I can grab one for $20 @ some big box store, bringing my total 'working computer with net' cost to about $50.

Re:Interesting but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36924638)

If it's powered by the HDMI port, there's no way you'll be able to power a USB wifi adapter off of that too.

Re:Interesting but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36924952)

Raspberry PI will have a coax power supply.

The device will be available in two models: Model A has just one USB port but no Ethernet port; Model B has 2 USB ports and an Ethernet port.

Oh, HDMI will support audio; and I believe the board will have analog audio output too.

Re:Interesting but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925944)

The HDMI specs calls for pin 18 to carry +5V (50ma) but I would imagine that is the HDMI host (in this case the Raspberry PI) supplying that... so not only does this require power for itself, it has to supply that as well.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36923202)

Isn't that the case with all computers - you attach peripherals? I can't buy a basic box that will run Ubuntu for $25, and even if I could, it is the small form factor that makes this desirable. Like a plug computer but much cheaper and with a display option by design. I'd be interested in seeing how versatile it is once a final product comes about. Cheap NAS controller with USB disk(s)? I've already got an embedded NAS box for about that price, and with SnakeOS on it, with transmission and a USB stick, it's invaluable as a torrent device, network drive via SAMBA and lots of other stuff. This looks like it might also do web camera stuff for home security as well as lotsa more. Count me in.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 3 years ago | (#36923282)

Also, regarding storage: "Storage is catered for by an SD card slot." from the original release article.

Classroom usage (1)

kiwix (1810960) | about 3 years ago | (#36923368)

The main intended use is for classrooms.

The keyboard and screen would be permanently in the room, and each student brings it's own computer. Using this approach, students can have complete control over the computer (i.e. root access). Agreed, you could achieve similar results with a bootable USB stick, and permanent computers in the classroom, but with this approach students can plug the computers to the TV at home, even if they don't have access to a real computer (they still need to buy a keyboard, but that's pretty cheap.)

And by the way, the website says it has an SD slot, and there will be a version including an Ethernet port.

Re:Classroom usage (1)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | about 3 years ago | (#36924136)

Ethernet port? Wonder if it could take power from that?
Heck, once wired up the local keyboard becomes pretty redundant.

Re:Classroom usage (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about 3 years ago | (#36925170)

I'm also thinking you could plug in a cheapo little bluetooth adapter, and connect a wiimote to it. That would be sufficient controls for web-browsing, emulators, media playing from the couch.

Re:Classroom usage (1)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | about 3 years ago | (#36925228)

You sir/madam are a chuffin' genius.
One could then have an "Internet enabled" TV that was stuck with the OEM's walled garden or lacklustre codec support.

Re:Classroom usage (1)

adolf (21054) | about 3 years ago | (#36926052)

Maybe. Does it have hardware support for video decoding? (And just as importantly: Are there drivers for this?)

The only way we're able to get away with playing MPEG4-ish video on cheap, low-powered portable devices these days is because of the amount of work being done in specialized hardware instead of with software.

If all the Pi provides is a glorified framebuffer, I'm strongly inclined to say that it's not going to be a very fun video player.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

defiantredpill (2056302) | about 3 years ago | (#36923488)

It's low power vs 200-350 watts for a used 386 or pentium, the screen and keyboard are meant to be left at the station(at the school maybe) and shared by who ever is using it. and yes it will need at least a few gigs of flash. Try fitting a XO in your pocket.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 3 years ago | (#36924406)

Add an ADC, an DAC and a few binnary I/O ports and you can have an alarm/garage controler, but to have a PC like we define it now, you'll only need to add networking.

I think calling it a PC streches a little less the definitions.

Re:Interesting but... (1)

adolf (21054) | about 3 years ago | (#36924788)

For $25, it'd make a damned fun sprinkler timer. Just saying.

It's also bound to be far more miserly of power than an old Pentium, and more efficient (in terms of Joules per unit of work) than a normal 386.

Besides: Who needs local storage if you've got network connectivity?

Re:Interesting but... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#36925806)

I don't think it can handle the cycles to perform the sprinkler function. Don't think it can do the math to prove or disprove your second statement. Don't think it has enough storage to maintain your third.

*snort snort*

Is this $25 before or after the m$ extortion fee? (0)

phonewebcam (446772) | about 3 years ago | (#36923078)

Or could it be they're waiting until it's widespread before pouncing with the only business model they have left?

Re:Is this $25 before or after the m$ extortion fe (1)

revlayle (964221) | about 3 years ago | (#36923492)

wat

Re:Is this $25 before or after the m$ extortion fe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36924170)

Patent fees[1]- They make more profit form mobile phones with android than with windows phone due to this.

[1] most are dubious either due to being obvious or prior art but the costs of fighting them are simply too great for even most large corporations to fight

Re:Is this $25 before or after the m$ extortion fe (1)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | about 3 years ago | (#36924408)

I think you are confused. This is not a generic box shifter that has to pay the £35-ish MS tax (e.g. Dell, Toshiba etc). This is a small tech outfit and Windows won't even fit on their board. The target is going to have to be a Linux of some kind. So no MS tax to pay (end the EU is looking into that at the moment - good thing too, it pisses me off having to pay it).
However...because it does not run Windows, it will not be welcome in UK schools which require students to use MS Office. That's not a stated policy, but it is a direct side-effect of the various choices the exam/school boards etc make. So this device is doomed to fail. If it does gain any kind of traction, MS will just increase their education discounts "for the good of the children" and lock-in another generation.
I dearly hope I am wrong.

quite expensive for having virtual no I/O devices (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 3 years ago | (#36923516)

I'll call it a PC when it is complete and turnkey.

Re:quite expensive for having virtual no I/O devic (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#36925774)

I wonder if the chassis has enough stability to turn a door locking mechanism..... Hmm.. Better go patent that one. See ya! :>

What I see happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36923952)

So it's powered over the HDMI port. That's cool, that saves one cable dangling off the back of the thing. But as I recall, HDMI ports and plugs aren't exactly known for their willingness to stay together. Add a keyboard and ethernet cable dangling off the back of the thing, and you have an "Oh shit it came unplugged and lost all my work" situation just waiting to happen. So what then? You need some sort of custom stand (since no two tvs seem to have their ports in the same place) or some sort of cable management solution to keep the thing from getting yanked out? Sounds like a piss-poor decision to me.

Replace the HDMI male connector on the thing with a female, and toss a six foot cable in the box (you can get quality HDMI cables for $0.66 a foot or less these days) and you solve the problem completely. Otherwise I can see a lot of frustrated consumers either from losing work at an accidental disconnect, or the HDMI connector getting snapped off of the PCB.

Just this AC's 2 copper

Doubts should disappear? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 3 years ago | (#36924222)

"...this alpha board is expected to be almost the same...we don’t know a release date as of yet..."

Yeah yeah, pull the other one.. My doubts will disappear when I seen the thing on the shelf, and at 25 dollars

Re:Doubts should disappear? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#36925746)

For the purpose of demonstrating the power of the new Pi, they used one to hack every box on the Internet that has any record of it and its price, and divided the price by 1000.

Now THAT'S a sales maneuver that's worth its price in puddin' and Pi.

No laughs? Fine. I'm gonna use my Pi to brute force everyone's wifi. I'll show you all!!!

I just hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925268)

... Jeff Fox has seen this incredible idea before passing away.

> "What the world needed was a good $5 computer that was simple to understand."

Why do the good ones go earlier?

*snort* (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#36925348)

10 PRINT "Most useful device ever!"
20 GOTO EpicFail

Re:*snort* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925546)

C:\FAD>pi25
Out of memory
C:\FAD>&%^!*ing POS!!!!!
Bad command or... wait.. I agree.
C:\NODNOD>

Re:*snort* (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#36925568)

Okay, you beat me on that. I hate anonymous, but I bow. lol

From the Raspberry Pi team (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36925350)

Greetings Slashdot people
Thanks for posting a link to our site. If you have any questions, I'm very happy to answer them here.

Eben Upton
Director, Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Re:From the Raspberry Pi team (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#36925584)

How many licks does it take to get the the center of the chassis?

Every Student? (1)

Shamanin (561998) | about 3 years ago | (#36925558)

Do students nowadays all have a HD television with an HDMI port?

Re:Every Student? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#36925654)

I don't buy things until it's almost completely necessary; I bought a 46" HD flat with minimal specs for $400 a few weeks ago and it's excellent compared to what I'm used to. I'm not a student (I'm 31), so my demand is way below what it used to be, let alone the overall demand ratio of today's young.

With parents, status symbolism, $%#! length sustenance, nownownow needs... I'd say yeah. Most do :)

Wait, I said 'most'. I guess my answer to your question of "all" is no.

Now let's do a study on how many students will buy their first HD w/ HDMI just to try out the Pi. Heh.

Re:Every Student? (1)

ebenupton (2424660) | about 3 years ago | (#36926040)

No, but most of them can pick up an old analogue TV for free at the refuse tip (at least in the UK). Eben Upton Director, Raspberry Pi Foundation
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