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Raspberry Pi Beta Boards Unveiled

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Hardware 161

First time accepted submitter anwe79 writes "Those of you who have been wishing for a Raspberry Pi this Christmas will sadly not get your wish granted. However, you may be happy to hear that populated beta boards have now been produced. Beta of course means the boards still have some more testing to undergo. But, if all goes well, those inclined should be able to get their hands on production boards in January!"

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161 comments

Wake me up, please. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38467876)

Itâ(TM)s essentially a microprocessor project board, of which there are both many and more âoematureâ already around. As to the price-point, watch for that to change to a more realistic number as the Pi Team faces the realities of sourcing the parts and finding a manufacturer. Bravo and all thatâ¦

Re:Wake me up, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469812)

Wrong on so many counts....

It's a Linux machine, not a microprocessor project board.
There are no other devices like this on the market at the price point.
Cost of boards are set - $25 for model A, $35 for model B. All sourcing and manufacturing is in place. Components for first 10k batch already purchased.

Vaporware until it is in my hands (1, Insightful)

bingbangboom (2457958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38467894)

I've been let down before.

Their Own Worst Enemy, Yo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38467912)

Races other than blacks have been enslaved in the past, discriminated against, denied civil rights, mistreated, hated, and oppressed. But blacks as a group have the highest rates of anything like rates of violent crime (proportional), drug abuse, spousal abuse, children born out of wedlock, illiteracy, alcoholism, obesity (especially their women) and theft and simultaneously the lowest rates of high school graduation, home ownership, scientific achievements, business ownership and college degrees.

Like I said other races have faced terrible racism. Think of the Jews just to name a recent one. But the Jews do much better for themselves than the blacks and their worst persecution was much more recent than US black slavery. Unlike the blacks there's Jews alive today who remember the Holocaust. As a group, the Jews consistently beat the blacks on any of the metrics I wrote above. So do the whites. So do Asians.

The whole "oh noes its not their fault it's because of RACISM" really starts wearing thin. Maybe that (barely) explains one or two of the metrics above. It does not explain all of them. It does not explain why others who also faced racism do so much better, why they're more civilized and successful. It is a true valid comparison of apples and apples.

So WTF is wrong with black people? I mean if somebody does believe they are genetically inferior (true racism) they have a lot of justifications for feeling that way. It's not like they just woke up one day and said "hey I'm going to try something new, I am going to start hating black people!". No, they get the idea from seeing how most black people are and wondering if they're going to get mugged by some gang member for accidentally making eye contact.

I don't think it's genetics I think it's their anti-achievement culture. Any black person in the ghetto who wants to get out of the ghetto by bettering himself is harassed, intimidated, beaten up for "acting white". They keep themselves down. It's no one's fault but their own. It's as simple as that.

Re:Their Own Worst Enemy, Yo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38467968)

It's definitely cultural. In Europe, you see the same thing with muslims. (usually the black north african muslims but also arab muslims when they stick to their communities).

Take a typical black kid, raise him by rich white old people in Hawaii, give him a teleprompter and he can be elected President of the United States.

Re:Vaporware until it is in my hands (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468006)

I'll wait till it boots myself. I've been really let down before.

Re:Vaporware until it is in my hands (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468206)

I've been really let down before.

by niggers?

Re:Vaporware until it is in my hands (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469098)

If "niggers" means "Texas Instruments" then yeah.

Re:Vaporware until it is in my hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469736)

I'll wait till I can build a super beowulf HD remix cluster edition of Pis so I can finally take over the world. With Math!

I cant wait to taste that pi (5, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38467910)

Of course I am still under the "it doesn't exist until I can blow it up my self doing something dumb" crowd but it's making good progress

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38467970)

Of course I am still under the "it doesn't exist until I can blow it up my self doing something dumb" crowd but it's making good progress

It *is* making "good progress". But where these types of projects usually hang up is when they finally get to the stage where they need to put together the infrastructure to source parts, manufacture, and market the *product*. At this point, they generally realize that they just don't have the organization and resources necessary, and the sub-$100 price point is out-the-window unrealistic for the volume they can realistically project to move...

   

Reality is coming (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468156)

Dunno, I was in the same camp, no way they would actually ship at the stated prices, expect a doubling which would make it too expensive to be interesting. Or at least less interesting than the many other similar project computers and/or microcontroller products actually shipping. But if they are expecting to begin shipping next month and still holding to the original price they are either really going to pull it off or are truly idiots with zero business sense. I'd give em even odds at this point. :)

But why is it front page news every time these guys pass gas? If they ship it, that is news. Heck, when they auction off these guys I'd guess that would be news too. But d we need a story every month even when there isn't any actual news to report?

Re:Reality is coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468390)

I believe they decided that they are, in fact, doubling the price for the first production runs to get them going.

So it looks like your intuition was correct. The promise is that later runs will be back down to the $25 and $35 prices they were aiming for, depending on the model (with or without networking, essentially).

Re:Reality is coming (2)

ajo_arctus (1215290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469218)

I don't think that's true. I try and follow the project as best I can, and I've not seen that claim made once. The first 100 (this batch) are going to be auctioned on ebay, but that was always the plan. They've got another 9,900 boards that are unpopulated, and if testing of the 100 goes well they'll be populated and sold for $25/$35 in Jan.

Re:Reality is coming (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469916)

Only ten of the first 100 will be auctioned off.

Re:Reality is coming (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469226)

From what I gather - that was more because they had so much demand, they figured it was sensible to use market forces rather than have way more orders than they can handle. Jolly sensible, if you ask me - they get some capital from the initial sales, early buyers can still get it, people who would have bought it early, but don't care *that* much can wait a bit, get it at the advertised price. Better than having them all sold out for the first 4 months, making who gets it a random luck thing, and not gaining from it.

Re:Reality is coming (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469522)

Not true. The first 10k batch will be sold at the advertised price. $25 for the Model A and $35 for the Model B.

100 boards have been made for testing, 10 of those will be auctioned off if they work OK. Once all testing is done, the 10k batch will be ordered. That will be sometime in early January if all goes well.

The people behind the project have LOTS of experience in running big companies, so that's not an issue. And as for saying this is non-news. Hmm, I would have thought the first boards of what may be a game changing device coming off the production line would be news in most peoples book.

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468626)

Perhaps you missed it, but Broadcom is selling them the silicon by tacking it on to larger production runs, so they've got as much as they want at quantity pricing.

They've already bought the other parts so sourcing isn't a problem(for the first 10k anyway).

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/302 [raspberrypi.org]

And clearly they've got the marketing down, otherwise you wouldn't be discussing it:)

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (3, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469420)

It *is* making "good progress". But where these types of projects usually hang up is when they finally get to the stage where they need to put together the infrastructure to source parts, manufacture, and market the *product*. At this point, they generally realize that they just don't have the organization and resources necessary, and the sub-$100 price point is out-the-window unrealistic for the volume they can realistically project to move...

I think Raspberry Pi's price goal is pretty ambitious but at the same time it's not outrageous. It's basically running the same parts you'd find in any cheap ass media player. You can pick up media players for less than $100 and if you cut out the case, packaging, power supply, application software, optional software licences (e.g. AC3, Dolby), reseller margins, and just ship the barebones product you could do it for the price they're proposing. Or if not exactly then not far off it.

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469654)

Sourcing the parts and getting it made really isn't a problem. I've done it for electronics with even more limited demand than this for a similar sized, similar part count board. There are assembly shops that can do runs of assembled boards right from just one example to hundreds of thousands, they do all the parts sourcing for you, you just give them a BOM and they organize it all. Most the parts on the Raspberry Pi will be common parts (resistors, capacitors, standard connectors, various ICs that get put into many different products) and are very easily sourced.

I've managed it *as an individual* with no organization backing me using these services.

I would agree on the marketing-the-product bit. The electronics really isn't a problem these days unless you're making something really odd with very unusual parts. Nothing about the Raspberry Pi is hard to source, especially since one of the team actually work at Broadcom and therefore can probably easily source the only thing that might cause problems, the SOC.

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469678)

Sourcing the parts and getting it made really isn't a problem. [...] I've managed it *as an individual* with no organization backing me using these services.

If you did it for under $100 then you must value yourself cheaply. $100 doesn't even buy an hour of my time.

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468044)

You're too dumb to be too dumb.

Wanna be dumb? Here's a tip: get 120V AC (or 240VAC if you're in Europe), plug one lead into the chip ground and the other into the chip's VDD.

It's like watching the destruction of a fictional space-thing - the chip's shape stays intact, but there is a horizontal planar explosion through the seams.

+1, informative

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468158)

that does not sound nearly as fun as hooking mains up to a loudspeaker

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (-1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468254)

Well, then hook the mains up, you fucking queer!

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (0)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468298)

you are my hero !
Someday in my 50's I will switch from prescribed amphetamine to alcohol.
When that inevitably happens, I wish to be as aggressively manly as you are.

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468406)

He sounds more like a scrawny little bitch who still lives with his mommy. Justin Bieber could probably beat the shit out of him.

Re:I cant wait to taste that pi (1)

EETech1 (1179269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469108)

Funny, that's how they demo'd my Cerwin Vegas at the store. Had them wired to a power strip, just waiting for you to flip the switch! BWWWWWWWWW

Cheers

Design flaw? (4, Interesting)

Keruo (771880) | more than 2 years ago | (#38467984)

I think that surface-mount usb power connector will fail eventually since the images seem to show it not welded through-board.
Maybe they'll fix it on later models.(or it is already, but I'm not seeing the throughwelds from the pictures)

Re:Design flaw? (4, Interesting)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468026)

The surface mount USB on my Beaglebone fell right off. The glue holding it failed with hardly any stress. There are big lands to solder it to, but they didn't use these. They only used glue. What the heck is the attraction of these stupid mini and micro USB connectors anyway? Give me a soldered-through full-A connector any day.

Re:Design flaw? (4, Informative)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468332)

What the heck is the attraction of these stupid mini and micro USB connectors anyway?

The Raspberry heads stated that they wanted to be compatible with cheap phone chargers...

Re:Design flaw? (0)

sahonen (680948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468342)

You can't automate soldered-through component assembly. SMD can be automated, and is therefore vastly cheaper to do. That's the attraction.

Re:Design flaw? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468890)

Look up wave soldering.. Fuckwit.

Re:Design flaw? (4, Interesting)

Gourou (123409) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468248)

From the earlier post of the bare boards (http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/402) the holes are there for the micro-usb, and the project has been geared towards clumsy hands plugging and unplugging the ports a lot so I'd expect a robust connection.

Re:Design flaw? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468474)

All your worries can be solved with the right enclosure. The USB connector will be as sturdy as you make it. For example, encase this entire board in resin... nothings coming off it. That's the simplest solution, and it might cause overheating, but if you sit down and think about it, there are a lot of other ways of making that connector more secure.

They won't leave a lasting impact. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468480)

as a short penis
thrusting inside receptive anus
come raspberry pi

I yawned (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38467994)

Wikipedia says the point of these is to "inspire learning computer science". Do you really need one of these to day that? This things seems really pointless to me. If you really like computer science just write code on your home computer. If you really want to write code for embedded microcontrollers, you already have plenty of cheap (or as cheap as they can be) options.

This raspberry pi thing is rather pointless. In addition, this is neither news for nerds nor stuff that matters. Slow holidays Slashdot?

Arduino, anyone? (3, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468094)

I think you've brought up a very good point: Are there *already* "mature" products that do these things? The Arduino product line comes to mind. There is MUCH to like about Raspberry Pi, but little chance we'll ever see these things marketed for a reasonable *hobby* price. Prototyping something and saying the parts cost xyz does not really address realistic cost of the infrastructure necessary to actually source, manufacture, and yes, *market* something like this, which in all reality is very niche.

And, Arduino already exists in this market. This is not a troll: What does Raspberry Pi expect to do that something in the Arduino line does not? What are Raspberry Pi's close "competitors" in terms of expected use similarity? And, is there room for more than one or two competing products in this niche?

Re:Arduino, anyone? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468124)

This is a full blown Linux box, unlike Arduino. I'm planning on hooking up a small USB-SP/DIF board [minidsp.com] . With a USB wifi adapter and web interface controlled by my phone, I'll have a cheap, pocket sized, remote controlled "bit bucket" for my concert recording hobby. I doubt you can do that with Arduino, or at least not without major hacking.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468268)

This is a full blown Linux box, unlike Arduino...

I keep hearing this. But no, NO, it is not a "full blown Linux box". Or anything close.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (4, Informative)

CnlPepper (140772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468434)

Bullcrap, why don't you go and watch the video of it being demo on their website. It's running an ARM version of ubuntu.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468490)

I doubt this board can handle UnIty.

Kidding. But everything official says Debian, Fedora, Arch. I'm fine with those. Please don't make me go back to ubuntu just because they're more eager to build for ARM.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468554)

It has no io peripherals and no storage. It is NOT a "full blown" Linux box regardless of what they have cobbled together to force it to run in some very limited way.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468680)

eh, sd card slot, hdmi out, and usb.. it appears to cover the peripherals and storage. There's also RCA video out and audio too.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469082)

I guess you guys have different definitions of "full blown" and "only bare skeleton" with each other.

for the record I don't count my android as a full blown linux box.. even though it has onboard memory and it's sd card slot is populated and it has a display attached along with an input device.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469544)

Well, I'm lucky enough to have a Raspberry Pi alpha board. And it basically can do the same stuff (albeit a bit slower, except the 1080p30 encode!) than my Linux desktop.

Runs LXDE, Midori via a USB wireless adapter, USB keyboard and mouse etc. Have run various X apps. Plays back 1080p30 video, runs Quake at 1080p at around 30fps.

Using Debian. Ubuntu isn't supported - they don't have Armv6 anymore.

I personally think it will be very good at its intended purpose.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468142)

Rapeberry PI does not appear to be positioned as an Arduino competitor, but rather as an accessible (monetarily) computer. Please explain how the Arduino is even remotely positioned as an accessible computing platform.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/09/arduino-arm-products/

96 MHz, 256KB RAM... fast, but have fun trying to run any software a typical consumer would be willing and able to use...

Now if it had 640KB RAM, well now.. that ought to be...nvm

Re:Arduino, anyone? (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468160)

Arduinos are for retards. They're for all the people who seek validation being able to get LEDs to blink without knowing any annoying facts like operating voltages.

The Raspberry Pi, however, is a BASIC stamp. That means that the real money-makers, the ones who know microcode, get back to work.

Raspberry Pi microcontrollers are already at work in the utility(they do everything SIEMENS PLCs do at a fraction of the price), finance(oh, those floating points - give us those pennies!), and defense(improvised bombs, which will never be used against us) sectors.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468290)

Raspberry Pi microcontrollers are already at work in the utility...

Are they really? Already? Source, please.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468550)

The poster surely meant that the same microcontrollers that the raspberry pi uses (broadcom), not the raspberry proper.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469600)

Roku 2 uses the same SoC. BRCM2835

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468324)

Dude, everyone is at a different level in their development when it comes to learning. Everyone has to start somewhere and those that start with Arduinos are not "retards" as you so graciously put it.

I don't think these Raspberry things are all that good. There is unlikely to be datasheets or documents on the processor for you or me, just for those that can purchase 100K units. I'd rather start with a small ARM7/9 board or MIPS board where the SoC manufacturer releases documentation. Seriously, Broadcom hides all the interesting functionality in a binary CFE (Common Firmware Environment - a BIOS like thing) and they will not tell you how the device really works. That's pretty much my gripe with the Raspberry. It has great features and great price, too bad it isn't documented better (at all).

Re:Arduino, anyone? (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468452)

Arduinos are for retards. They're for all the people who seek validation being able to get LEDs to blink without knowing any annoying facts like operating voltages. The Raspberry Pi, however, is a BASIC stamp. That means that the real money-makers, the ones who know microcode, get back to work.

OK, WTF, time out. Can someone please explain this strange new trend of trolling with the intent of making yourself look stupid? I think it started on either 4chan or Fark, but it's been showing up here a lot lately. When I learned to troll, I was taught that the idea was to make the other guy look stupid.

Kids these days. Personally, I blame the excessive use of psychoactive prescription drugs in our schools.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469624)

You were doing well until you made yourself look like a Scientologist.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (2)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468182)

Isn't the raspberry pi significantly more powerful and cheaper?

Re:Arduino, anyone? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468314)

Isn't the raspberry pi significantly more powerful and cheaper?

Is it? As yet, it *is not* in production, so on both of those points, it's impossible to say. It would be nice, though. And of course AFTER you add in the cost of an io device like a keyboard and of course a storage device, what's the total price now? Without some way to interact and store code, it's no more than a chip on a board.

Seriously, tooting about a $25 *nix computer is a bit disingenuous unless one also mentions that without spending about $200 or so more, there isn't much you can do with it. And then we're in the cheap laptop territory, yes?

I'm not saying it isn't interesting from the home-brew computer standpoint, but by itself, it's not a very useful "full blown computer".

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469144)

If you don't have a pile of input devices and a wall of old lcd/crt/tv's, well, you may just be on the wrong website.

In other words: You don't need to go dump "$200 or more" to get this thing running. You grab your old stuff that's missing a feature or three, and you use that.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (4, Insightful)

spongman (182339) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469232)

$200? hardly.

$10 for a keyboard/mouse if you can't get hold of an old set.
$3 for a micr-USB charger, if you can't find a powered USB socket.

what else? a TV, an internet connection, a table, a chair, service from the power company, adequate nutrition. this stuff adds up!

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469724)

You forgot an universe :-) Universes are expensive...

Re:Arduino, anyone? (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469384)

yeah, i'm confused. i just saw that arduino retails at 15USD at the local hobby shop. it has a 16MHz atmega328 and 32KB flash memory. these raspberry guys are promising a board that is the same size and has 700MHz arm11, 128MB ram, and sd card slot at 25USD??!!?1
seems bullshit to me. if it were possible to do it so cheap, somebody would have been selling these by now.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469782)

That's because it's the Arduino that is overpriced -- they're basically selling you a board with a $1 microcontroller and surrounding peripheral circuits for $15.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468188)

> Are there *already* "mature" products that do these things? The Arduino product line comes to mind.

Beagleboard and pandaboard and various 32-bit demo/development boards provided by the device manufacturers come to mind. Beagle/panda would run circles around arduinos.

Re:Arduino, anyone? NO HDMI ! (2)

redelm (54142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468246)

The Raz' closest competitor are the plugs (Sheeva, Guru, Pogo-, ...) and they are OK for ssh. Arduino is fine as a microcontroller, but is no GP computer.

What is unique and very interesting about the Raz is HDMI output. It can easily be a small xterm, or any other app you can compile for ARMv5t and stick on the SD card. Or email / web-browser on the network model. Not fast, but useable.

Re:Arduino, anyone? NO HDMI ! (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468842)

The Raz' closest competitor are the plugs (Sheeva, Guru, Pogo-, ...) and they are OK for ssh

The sheevaplug I have is powerful enough to run Gnome 2 in a vnc session. It also has built in storage and an SD reader.

"What is unique and very interesting about the Raz is HDMI output"

That's not unique, the Guruplug Display has HDMI also, though I have no idea if that ever really took off and I have a feeling debian had decided not to support it. It is more poweful than the Pi, and has twice the RAM.

The unique thing about Rasberry Pi is the proposed price though, with the Guruplug display at $200. Though that does come with a case and power lead, 4 USB slots and two micro-SD readers.

Re:Arduino, anyone? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468344)

And, is there room for more than one or two competing products in this niche?

If, by niche, you mean sub $100 ready to go project boards with USB and HDMI? I don't know of any others just lying around at the moment. Beagle / Panda are getting close, but they are a) bigger, and b) more expensive.

In the sub $100 project board space, there always seems to be room for a bunch of players, kind of like "free games."

Re:Arduino, anyone? (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469928)

The Arduino is an advanced microcontroller. The RaspberryPi is a minimilist Linux computer. Not an embedded thingy like iPodLinux either; it's capable of running a real, conventional distro with glibc, Xorg, etc.

Re:I yawned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468684)

The point remains. Why would anyone buy one of these? Let me dish out a few points:

1. If it's running a linux kernel that means that you're going to basically be writing software in C/C++/Whatever for it. Why not just do that on your large linux box at home?

2. Looking at this thing it doesn't seem to have a large number of I/O and its processor is overkill for most embedded processing. When I said other cheap options I was thinking about PIC and other embedded micros but Arduino is another example to.

3. What market is this suppose to address? The cheap subtablet market? I don't get it. Most hobby projects will be better, cheaper and easier on a simpler micro and if you want to write large software, just use your home linux box. In either case there is already stuff on the markets for these very niche markets.

4. I have a hard time thinking this is a learning tool since if you really want to get into embedded hardware, picking your own micro and laying out the board is not a hard thing to do and you'll learn a lot more in the process. There are only so many projects that need a small overpowered processor and none of them are hobby/learning projects.

Re:I yawned (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468898)

1. My large linux box can't be put into as many places as this, makes a lot more noises and consumes a hell of a lot more power.

2. You missed the part of the board that exposes all the other GPIO pins on the processor then?

3. Cheaper than 25 bucks? And I can program them using the languages and runtimes I'm used to? With all the operating system features I have come to know and love? With HDMI output? Sign me up...

4. And as full systems such as this become cheaper, who will need to bother doing that any more? The embedded space is becoming more and more dominated by systems running linux already, this will only accelerate.

This is a learning tool for computer science in general, not just embedded programming. You lack imagination.

I wanted one for Christmas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38467996)

I've been checking the website every day for like 6 months.

no mounting holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468034)

There are no holes in the board for mounting it to a case which seems like a major oversight. Maybe the RPi is good for education, their mission, but for my own projects I'll probably go for a BeagleBone [beagleboard.org] . It costs about three times as much (the RPi is absurdly cheap), but at least it has documentation and mounting holes to go with its 50% faster processor.

Re:no mounting holes (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469662)

Yeah, I'd like something with openness like the beagle (so an ARM from... TI, Atmel, NXP, etc - no NDA bullshit, single quantity readily available) and the price of this thing.

I don't really care if they cut the speed down to 3-400MHz and drop video to do it, but maybe I'm an edge case...

Unsuitable for teaching (3, Insightful)

cachimaster (127194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468106)

This board is perfect if you want to learn to program ARM assembly or cross-compiling but the ARM architecture it's one of the most closed and patent-restricted technologies out there. Teaching ARM is the equivalent to teaching Visual Basic Programming, common but very closed architecture.

So it's not really open, even if the PCB design is open.

A truly open system would be OpenRISC [openrisc.net] , there are dev. boards out there like this [orsoc.se] one (I'm not affiliated to OpenRISC in any way). They are more expensive because are made with are FPGAs, but that's what you should learn in school.

Wait until work to learn proprietary stuff.

Re:Unsuitable for teaching (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468174)

You could use these boards to teach Linux (operations, programming, etc.), cross-compiling techniques, embedded programming and lots more. Sure OpenRISC might be pure openess but it does not hurt to learn and teach practical stuff that could be put to use making a living.

Re:Unsuitable for teaching (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468230)

What other $25 Linux boxes are out there for teaching Unix, web programming, and other high level stuff? I don't think teaching ARM assembly was high on their list.

Re:Unsuitable for teaching (1, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468338)

What other $25 Linux boxes are out there for teaching Unix, web programming,...

Show me WHERE I can buy one of these for $25?

Remember the OLPC project? Weren't those supposed to be sub-$100? How much did they end up being?

These are *not* in production (or anywhere near production) yet.

When (if) these make it to production, expect the price to be more than $25.

Re:Unsuitable for teaching (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469272)

If you take a look, they have been pretty open about how they plan to achieve that price - it looks reasonable. Not saying it's 100%, but it's entirely possible.

Re:Unsuitable for teaching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469674)

It *will* be available, early in the New Year, from the Raspberry Pi website. So yes, they are very close to production. Not sure why you think otherwise.

It *will* be sold at the advertised price. A lot of time and effort (and money) has been expended making sure of that. So please, DON'T expect the price to be more than $25 for the Model A and $35 fro the Model B.

Re:Unsuitable for teaching (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468356)

most closed and patent-restricted technologies out there. Teaching ARM is the equivalent to teaching Visual Basic Programming, common but very closed architecture.

So it's not really open....

Take a look at Qt on Pi...

Re:Unsuitable for teaching (1)

CnlPepper (140772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468468)

God forbid you might like to use the board to teach C, C++, perl, python, pascal, BASIC,..... this thing is designed for kids in a classroom and for use at home on the TV.It is designed to be dirt cheap so breaking one isn't going to be a problem.

Bending USB the spec? (3, Interesting)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468260)

They appear to be bending the USB spec quite seriously. A USB device is allowed to draw up to 100mA before enumeration, and up to 500mA after being enumerated and negotiating for high power. They talk about using up to 700mA with networking connected -- it's not clear to me how it could enumerate without booting first -- so they seem to be giving the middle finger to the USB specs. I predict unhappiness when people find that only some USB power sources are going to tolerate the load.

Is it so hard to put a couple of holes in the board to solder wire to?

Mounting holes? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468536)

Is it so hard to put a couple of holes in the board to solder wire to?

Is it so hard to provide screw holes holes for mounting?

Also, it's usually considered a good idea to put all the connectors on the same edge and line them up flush so you can put the thing in a box.

Re:Bending USB the spec? (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468548)

Well, I would imagine that this is so that you can use any old USB power supply that you have on hand. You know, the same ones used by all decent modern phones, the Nook, some cameras, etc. If you shop around, you can score a 120V to USB power supply for well under $5, and most everybody has a micro-USB cable lying around.

Some monitors even have USB hubs built-in. Easy enough to hook a cable from the monitor to the Raspberry PI for power, and another cable from the Raspberry Pi to the monitor for USB connectivity. Add a mouse and keyboard, and instant computer with a minimum of parts.

Re:Bending USB the spec? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468786)

That spec is all but irrelevant these days, as many, many mini- and micro-USB chargers exist that give far more than this with no negotiation at all.

Perhaps the spec needs changing to reflect the real world usage?

Re:Bending USB the spec? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469062)

USB 3.0 allows 900 mA, the battery charging spec 1.5 A.

Re:Bending USB the spec? (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469148)

As someone who's built USB devices I can tell you it's a gamble anyway. I've seen busses give 500mA without negotiation and I've seen busses that won't put out 500mA after, and I've seen busses where the manufacturer realized people wanted to charge things so they put out something like 1500mA.

As for devices that plug in to USB but require more than 500mA to run check out the BeagleBoard - it requires more than 500mA to use most peripherals (network) but if you run on anything more than 500mA the thing starts overheating. As for the architecture let's just leave how I think about it as "I actively avoid purchasing devices that use OMAP".

Re:Bending USB the spec? (2)

redelm (54142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469394)

Half my 6 USB chargers claim 1+A output, the other half 500 mA (older). Who knows what they really do?

I strongly expect Raz went for USB power to avoid all the national electrical approvals necessary for wallwarts. Remember, this is a shoe-string outfit. Just get a phone charger with someone else' approvals. They probably chose micro- over mini- because the former are more likely to make 700+ (iPod & smartphone draws).

Re:Bending USB the spec? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469664)

No a usb power supply at 700ma is actually a standard:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_External_Power_Supply

Re:Bending USB the spec? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469778)

The charging specification does not require enumeration.

http://www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs
Battery Charging Specification, Revision 1.2
Section 1.4.7

Try to keep up.

prediction.. (1)

fliptout (9217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468534)

If this cheapo pc made for TVs gains any traction, we'll start seeing them built in to the TVs. Surest way to commoditize this stuff.

Re:prediction.. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468804)

Most modern tvs probably have more power than this already.

My Samsung plasma (a couple of years old now) already has a UPNP/DLNA network media player, youtube interface, app-installer type thing and a variety of other stuff built in. Meaning it's already got a general purpose embedded computer in there, it's just feature limited at the moment.

Absurd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468590)

Why does slashdot never publish my comments? I've made several on several articles and I don't see any of them.

Re:Absurd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38468806)

It's a conspiracy, but you'll probably never find this post to realize it.

Best scheme for power supply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469444)

If you need more USB ports than provided on-board, you'll need a powered USB hub. Use one of the downstream ports from the hub to power the RasPi, and plug the mother-cable (I'm sure there's a better term, but I'm tired) into one of the RasPi's USB ports. Voila.

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