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374 comments

Not vapourware! (5, Insightful)

isCreeper($('Ssss')) (2424986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658670)

After all of the accusations of vapourware, it's nice that they're actually making these.

Re:Not vapourware! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658720)

Whether it is "vapor" or not, if they are still going to ship with only Lin-sux and no proper OS (Windows or OS X) support, then the project is going to nose dive anyway.

Re:Not vapourware! (4, Insightful)

thelonesun (2438194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658762)

I want you to try to make a 25$ x86 computer. No pressure. Go ahead.

Re:Not vapourware! (0)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658882)

It's not x86, it's ARMv6

Re:Not vapourware! (2)

thelonesun (2438194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658902)

He's complaining about it not having windows support, I'm saying that he should make one if he wants one with windows support.

Re:Not vapourware! (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658978)

Even if you did create a $25 x86 computer that could run Windows, you'd have to add $100 for the Windows License.

Re:Not vapourware! (2)

thelonesun (2438194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659024)

Spend double and you've got a crappy prebuilt from an OEM that will satisfy most needs without going through the "trouble" of installing windows. So even if it's possible, it's not profitable or even useful.

Re:Not vapourware! (5, Informative)

weirdo557 (959623) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659198)

about $54 dollars http://www.bifferos.co.uk/ [bifferos.co.uk] but proof that x86 can be done. i for one still root for the raspberry pi though, can't wait to order one.

Re:Not vapourware! (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659370)

but can you run any supported version of Windows with 150Mhz CPU, 32MB of RAM and 8MB of Flash? (even ignoring the fact that it has no display)

Aside from Windows CE or Mobile (which I don't think is what the OP was asking for), I think Windows XP embedded has the lowest system requirements of any supported version of Windows, and its got the same base requirements as XP Pro:

Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
Keyboard and a Microsoft Mouse or some other compatible pointing device
Video adapter and monitor with Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution

Re:Not vapourware! (5, Funny)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659110)

1. Install DOSBox on your Raspberry Pi.

2. Install Windows 95/98 in DOSBox. Windows 95 on DosBox guide. [zetafleet.com]

Re:Not vapourware! (2)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659238)

sure.. if you like a slideshow.

Re:Not vapourware! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659174)

Is that the best you can do? Neither Windows Phone 7 nor iOS are tied to x86 and both are many orders of magnitude better operating systems than anything based on Lin-sux. Seriously, kids, get over your obsession with this crappy kernel and move on to something better.

Re:Not vapourware! (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659252)

how is it crappier than NT or osx?

Re:Not vapourware! (2)

tomarq (804313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658796)

Oh wow... such obvious flamebait. I dub the... troll.

Re:Not vapourware! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659154)

If my post ends in an even number, parent poster is a faggot.

Re:Not vapourware! (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659256)

Whether it is "vapor" or not, if they are still going to ship with only Lin-sux and no proper OS (Windows or OS X) support, then the project is going to nose dive anyway.

Of all the computers that handled your message between your own computer and the slashdot servers, how many were running what you call a "proper OS"?

I bet that even the router in your own house doesn't run Windows.

Re:Not vapourware! (5, Funny)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659432)

I know, seriously. We need Windows on this. What will I do without 5 minute start-up times and without having to restart the thing twice per day??? My crochet work will seriously suffer. Also I am going to be pissed if I get one of these and I do not have 25 pieces of crap-ware I have to remove before the computer becomes usable. Those crap-ware cleanings are an integral part of my budhist training.

And wait. What happens after I own it for a while? Will it slowly slow down and degrade until I have to buy a new one after a year? Or will it run just fine like I hear those "Lin-sux" computers do. Are you telling me I might be using the same computer for many years? What are we, savages?

Re:Not vapourware! (3, Funny)

oztiks (921504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659494)

Err.... isn't the standard /. pun "yes but does it run linux?" now what? "yes but does it run windows?"

For $25 and Linux focused I'm sure Android and Chrome will work just fine. As for OSX, are you talking about making a Hackintosh? please, Apple only supports its own handful of devices/vendors so much to infer your comment must be nothing more than a joke! If you said (f/o/n)BSD then perhaps you'd get my vote.

Re:Not vapourware! (-1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658842)

Until units ship, it's still "vapourware". And, it remains to be seen if the sale price is anywhere near $25.

Re:Not vapourware! (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659320)

They have already sold and shipped 8 units on ebay, for charity. Yes, for more than $25.

For the next 20 hours or so you can bid on one yourself. [ebay.co.uk]

Re:Not vapourware! (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659446)

They have already sold and shipped 8 units on ebay, for charity. Yes, for more than $25.

The current bid is £3,500.00, and it's a bit disingenuous to say it's for "charity", it's to support the Raspberry Pi Foundation, i.e. themselves. Though the proceeds obviously *do* go to a good cause.

As well, these are clearly *NOT* from a production run.

This sort of thing does not really qualify as "shipped".

Re:Not vapourware! (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659016)

Well, everything is vaporware, until it isn't.

Re:Not vapourware! (2)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659114)

Except the Optimus Maximus keyboard. It was vaporware even AFTER it was released.

Excellent news! (3, Interesting)

Fortunato_NC (736786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658676)

To Eben, Liz and crew: Congratulations! Looking forward to watching you revolutionize computer education!

Re:Excellent news! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658734)

Considering this is unknown of outside of nerd circles how is it going to revolutionize education?

since I’ve had tens of you asking me when manufacturing would start every day for the last few weeks

Tens of people! Wow, that's like...the whole world!

Re:Excellent news! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658782)

Douchebag troll alert.

They don't have to "revolutionize" education. If they don't go broke and any number of people can afford to play with this computer where before they couldn't afford one, it's a win.

Now kindly fuck-off with your bullshit attitude.

Re:Excellent news! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658948)

Yes, they certainly don't have to. The point is that the people claiming they will are full of shit since this will never been heard of outside of basement dwellers.

Re:Excellent news! (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659266)

and of course 'professionals' like yourself would never stoop to such unprofessional fallacies like ad hominems...

Re:Excellent news! (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658856)

||since tens of you askig...
|tens of people! Wow, that's like... the whole world!

Could not tens of people be a typo for tons,
Also he could mean tens. What's so bad about that. we speak of dozens of people but dozens are not really that good of a number in the geeks mind it should be metric, thus tens.

Re:Excellent news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658946)

The geek version:

"We've had 2^10s of people asking!"

Re:Excellent news! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659178)

Perhaps it's not the same people every day which would suggest that it would be between 1k and 2k people.

Re:Excellent news! (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659254)

While I honestly don't see the whole revolutionizing computer education thing .. I still think this is going to be an awesome board with all kinds of uses. I can't wait to get my hands on one (or inevitably many) of these.

Can't wait to buy one of these... (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658710)

Bit annoyed that it's not made in the UK.

But at least it's not VapourWare,

Wonder how many of the other "USB PC's" will actually get into production...

Re:Can't wait to buy one of these... (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658794)

direct your annoyance at the uk government which taxes components being imported, but not completed devices.

chances are they would tax completed devices as well thou..

Re:Can't wait to buy one of these... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658844)

looks like they tax both, it is just that the cumulative tax on the components is far higher than the tax on the completed device.

Re:Can't wait to buy one of these... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659352)

How does that work? If you import two items at $10 each and assemble them, is the tax greater on the two $10 items greater than the tax on the final item at $25? I've looked at some similar rules for countries that have VAT//GST and they tax the $10 items at exactly the same rate as the $25 item, so the cumulative tax would be the same.

Re:Can't wait to buy one of these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659002)

> Wonder how many of the other "USB PC's" will actually get into production...

What are the other "USB PCs" you are referring to?

Re:Can't wait to buy one of these... (2)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659122)

Could be talking about the CuBox (http://www.solid-run.com/products/cubox) which wikipedia tells us has begun shipment.

Actually, yeah, which USB PCs?

Re:Can't wait to buy one of these... (-1, Flamebait)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659050)

Bit annoyed that it's not made in the UK.

Manufacturers are The Rich, and the Rich are 1% and the 1% must be crushed.

Thus, in the Leftists' mad desire to destroy capitalism, they destroy the working man's job and the tax revenue stream that transfers money to council housing dolers.

Re:Can't wait to buy one of these... (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659180)

fuck are you talking about?

a broken tax system is no use to business or "leftists".

i'm sorry the $25 computer people haven't saved the world yet.

Re:Can't wait to buy one of these... (1)

bingbangboom (2457958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659318)

Bit annoyed that it's not made in the UK.

But at least it's not VapourWare,

Who cares? Have China pump out volumes for version 1, while the UK makes version 2 prototypes; China then makes V2 while the UK can start on V3.

Still vaporware until it's in your hands.

Here's hoping (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658714)

I'll luck out and get one of the first 10,000. There's going to be a mad dash on their sales page when they finally start selling them.

Ding! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658758)

The world has just changed.

Geek solution (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658826)

This is a geek solution to a perceived problem. Cheap computers won't revolutionise anything, because we have an entrenched culture of anti-intellectualism. With the US and UK being about as bad as each other.

Re:Geek solution (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658872)

Depends on the root problem. The anti-intellectualism could simply be a defense mechanism adopted by people who perceive that things like computing and higher education are not available to them, and so adopt an attitude that what they cannot have is undesirable anyway. If you change this perception, they might begin to abandon the attitude.

Re:Geek solution (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659070)

There's a good chance the motivation is financial. As in IT people threatened by their charges becoming disposable. Or software developers well aware their software is incompatible. Moderation on Rpi threads has gotten brutal, and so now most everybody posts AC.

Re:Geek solution (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659402)

This is how I feel about sex. You read my mind.

Re:Geek solution (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658900)

so how would you go about un-entrenching it?

this is as good a move as any. it's probably more geared toward people that want to geek out but can't afford to. not exactly the USA and UK, though it certainly doesn't exclude them.

Re:Geek solution (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659196)

Honestly, wrap something like this up in a cheap case and sell it like they sell Rokus and you should be able to do something about that. For the things that people actually do like surf the web and do email this would probably be sufficient.

Re:Geek solution (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659274)

I mostly agree, but I still think it will be a great product for many geeks (including myself).

It'll be interesting to see how long the market lasts however. Once everyone who wants one has gotten one (or in my case, probably many) I have to wonder where they will get their continued sales from. Although I guess you can say the same about most markets.

Worrying state of affairs (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658834)

Reading the post (I really suggest everyone does so, it's an enlightening read), I have to say this sounds particularly worrying. The government and local manufacturers almost seemed intent on stopping them from doing the work locally. Does that even make sense?

I can understand higher costs; the West won't accept salaries below a certain threshold, there's unions, and I entirely respect that. However, the schedule problem is ridiculous. A plant thousands of kilometers away from your main sales point can be faster to ramp up production than the shop down the street? We're not speaking about a small-scale project, either! I find this utterly unbelieveable. No wonder so much of the manufacturing goes overseas.

And then the taxing part is plain and simply dumb. You can't control corporations, but that the government actively deters local production? That's like shooting yourself in the foot and wondering why it hurts.

The UK and the West as a whole (I'm entirely sure that the UK is not a special case here) should be ashamed.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658988)

Forcing the manufacturing out of the country allows, among other things, the externalization of pollution.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (3, Insightful)

taylorjonl (842217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659058)

Forcing the manufacturing out of the country allows, among other things, the externalization of pollution.

Wow, really? Forcing manufacturing out of the country because of pollution sounds retarded to me, I would think the jobs would be better for the country.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659226)

Forcing the manufacturing out of the country allows, among other things, the externalization of pollution.

Wow, really? Forcing manufacturing out of the country because of pollution sounds retarded to me, I would think the jobs would be better for the country.

Since when do environmentalists care about jobs? Or, for that matter, since when do they care about "the country"?

Re:Worrying state of affairs (1)

taylorjonl (842217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659334)

Since when does the environment beat out the economy? Only in Nevereverland is that the case.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (2)

tjbp (2499800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659438)

Since when were environmentalists in charge?

Re:Worrying state of affairs (3, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659064)

Right, because we're not all on the same planet.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659172)

Just from reading varying post's on Slashdot, I can assure you we cannot be on the same planet.
welcome to MY reality.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (3, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659294)

True. However, I'd imagine that the pollution generated by printing, stuffing, and soldering components to PCBs to be far less than the crap that arose out of the manufacture of those components to begin with (which was long-ago outsourced to the Far East).

"Manufacturing" a Raspberry Pi isn't really manufacturing in the dirty sense of the word -- it's basically just an assembly process. AFAICT the only real pollutants which might be released in such a process might be some VOCs from the printing processes involved, as much of the rest of the waste can be profitably reclaimed (copper-saturated etchant, for example).

Re:Worrying state of affairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38658996)

The UK and the West as a whole (I'm entirely sure that the UK is not a special case here) should be ashamed.

I agreed with everything you said but this. You should actually know what you're talking about before you make such broad generalizations. Just because the UK does something stupid doesn't mean it has to happen everywhere else, and vise versa.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659094)

I wouldn't take a stand on the taxes, but I'm fairly sure UK corporations are not special as far as schedules and costs go. If they are, then I'd be curious to know why exactly. I most certainly hope no other country ends up taxing locally manufactured products more than externally manufactured ones.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659220)

Customs rules are harmonised across the EU so if what the pi guys say is true for the UK it's probably true for the EU as a whole.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659012)

Individuals importing items as 'gifts' posted from China bypassing taxes has been a sore point for years. In Australia we have the $1000 threshold which major retailers have been complaining about for years. cost of collections arguements etc.

Companies (unfortunately) order volumes over this barriers and traceability, accounting issues etc make it impossible to bypass taxation liabilities.

different to shooting yourself in the foot but still stupid nonetheless. I'd prefer to see tax incentives.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (5, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659060)

And then the taxing part is plain and simply dumb. You can't control corporations, but that the government actively deters local production? That's like shooting yourself in the foot and wondering why it hurts.

The UK and the West as a whole (I'm entirely sure that the UK is not a special case here) should be ashamed.

For those too lazy to RTFA, UK is shooting in the foot using a big cannon then crying big of unemployment [guardian.co.uk] :

I’d like to draw attention to one cost in particular that really created problems for us in Britain. Simply put, if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659284)

Okay, I don't get the tax point. As I understand VAT the total tax on the product when sold should be the same where ever it is manufactured. Lets say your widget sells for $100 plus 20% VAT. You charge $120 and pay the $20 to the government but you get to deduct any VAT charged to you in previous steps. So if you bought the widget from China for $50 and they didn't charge you any VAT then you need to pay the full $20 VAT. If you bought the widget in the UK and they charged you $50 + $10 VAT then you get to deduct the $10 you already payed and just pay $10 VAT.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659436)

but you didn't pay VAT on the import. An import duty isn't VAT. Also, assuming they build in China and ship individual units from China, even to the UK, then there is no VAT, as the price would be small enough to be under the level the shipper pays, and the recipient should write the govt the VAT cheque. It's confusing and silly, and hence the complaints.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (-1, Flamebait)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659076)

> I can understand higher costs; the West won't accept salaries below a certain threshold, there's unions, and I entirely respect that.

Um, I don't.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659362)

So if your boss reduced your wages to $0.50 an hour tomorrow, you wouldn't object?

Re:Worrying state of affairs (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659366)

Why not, do you figure it's fair to work full time and still have to live on the street? Or in the case of the U.K., for the public to end up subsidizing a substandard income so the employee can actually live long enough to report back to work?

Re:Worrying state of affairs (4, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659096)

Government taxes have little to do with it. When most of the manufacturing was moved to Asia, skill sets started to atrophy. It is very hard to find skilled manufacturing managers, engineers, or even operators in the West because there are few places to build up those skills. Likewise, when volumes are low, it's hard to justify the cutting edge machinery that allows for faster turn times and lower costs.

When the corporate CEOs decided to line their pockets by offshoring, they didn't just screw over the people they fired. They made it damn near impossible to ever bring those jobs back. Things will continue to get worse until the Asian factories realize that they can just take the schematics and make and sell the latest iPad as their own, and there won't be a damn thing we can do about it, since we will be completely unable to manufacture it (or anything else) in the West. Even if we were to eliminate all minimum wage and pollution laws, we wouldn't be able to compete, because we've been training them and buying their high tech tools for decades. But the CEOs who made that choice for us will have already retired with their hundreds of millions of dollars, so what do they care?

Re:Worrying state of affairs (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659368)

I'm and engineer and have worked with various CM's in the US and Asia and I have to say you have things exactly backwards. Western manufacturers have given up on the low end since they can not compete with Asia on cost. They focus on the more profitable high end boards and/or doing very quick turns in small and medium numbers. First, lead times are long because factories are already at capacity with more profitable work. Secondly prices are high because you are competing with higher end boards with more profit margin. Why sell you time when they can make twice the profit selling it to someone else? For the places that quote lower prices they are using you to fill dead space between other boards. The volume is low because they only have so much expected down time. Making larger quantities would delay their more profitable business.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659460)

That sounds like you're saying the exact same thing as me, but with a positive spin. Western manufacturers only make small orders. Margin doesn't matter. You can't feed your family on percentage points. Volume is what matters, and all the volume is going overseas. Places like TSMC own the electronics industry.

If western manufacturers are capacity limited, then why aren't they expanding?

tax is dumb, however unions... (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659100)

heh. without unions you would see a lot of work return to the UK ... like children working in coal mines and toxic garbage dumps.... just like children do in asia.

Re:tax is dumb, however unions... (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659162)

heh. without unions you would see a lot of work return to the UK ... like children working in coal mines and toxic garbage dumps.... just like children do in asia.

Unless the UK labor laws are lot weaker than in the USA, loss of labor unions won't result in a return to uncontrolled child labor or unreasonably hazardous working conditions (coal miners will still work underground, but risks will be mitigated when possible). Both are illegal and regulated by the government. In the USA, labor union actions seem to be centered more around issues of pay and benefits rather than working conditions. Employees with concerns about workplace safety have government channels to take their complaints to, they don't have to rely on a union to represent them.

thats funny, straight out of Mao (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659262)

there is no need for democracy in communist China, because the people are already represented in government by the Communist Party.

funny corollary: There is no need for independent labor unions in China, because the government controlled labor union inherently represents the people's interests - after all, it too is controlled by the Communist Party.

as for the basic facts of history about unions and working conditions, well, you are just 100%, flat out wrong. i mean, its like you have tried to lecture me on mathematics by starting out with "the volume of a sphere is r cubed". no, its not r cubed. its not, its not even close, and any 3rd grader knows it from basic examination of the universe that is plain to their god given eyeballs.

Re:thats funny, straight out of Mao (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659326)

there is no need for democracy in communist China, because the people are already represented in government by the Communist Party.

funny corollary: There is no need for independent labor unions in China, because the government controlled labor union inherently represents the people's interests - after all, it too is controlled by the Communist Party.

as for the basic facts of history about unions and working conditions, well, you are just 100%, flat out wrong. i mean, its like you have tried to lecture me on mathematics by starting out with "the volume of a sphere is r cubed". no, its not r cubed. its not, its not even close, and any 3rd grader knows it from basic examination of the universe that is plain to their god given eyeballs.

I'm not talking about China, I'm talking about the UK and USA. And I'm not talking about the history of Labor unions, they've obviously been a powerful force in shaping worker's rights in the past. I'm talking about the present day.

I don't know what you saw in my post that made you think I was talking about historical working conditions or conditions in China.

All I'm saying is even if labor unions disappeared overnight, modern government regulations would prevent a return to the poor working conditions of the past. Perhaps worker's wages would drop, which could be a good thing (if you're an employer and want to compete internationally), or a bad thing (if you're an employee and your skills aren't in high demand).

Re:thats funny, straight out of Mao (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659346)

It's sad that such idiocy shows up on Slashdot nowadays. I miss the intelligent Slashdot commenters of 1999 or so.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659126)

"The UK and the West as a whole (I'm entirely sure that the UK is not a special case here) should be ashamed."

No, they should be justly punished by market forces.

Oh, wait.....

Re:Worrying state of affairs (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659278)

When I read the post, I find it an example of a firm that is either extremely uninformed or extremely idealistic about the work the are trying to do.

First when one is creating a product to be mass manufactured, that fact must be designed in at the beginning, not tacked on at the end. It would be unrealistic to expect any product to be successful without working closely with the people who are going to manufacture it.

Second, profitable competent manufacturers in the west is not going to have excess capacity and skilled labour just twiddling their thumbs waiting for customers. These firms are going to have as close to maximum production as possible, and, as new customers come in, they will adjust schedules or add capacity as needed. In places where standards are not high, and people can be taken off the street to run machines, or it acceptable to have machinery idle just waiting for orders, this is different. In any case the pricing structure for manufacturing is not surprising. China has a lot of excess capacity right now, and they are likely just trying to cover costs. Any firm that keeps excess capacity for quick order in the west is going to have to charge a premium.

And the tax just seems like a red herring. Again, how does one enter into a venture without understanding the tax liabilities. I understand that firms do this all the time, and that is why so many go bankrupt, but really. One has a BOM, and one has access to people who know about this things. Getting to the end game and just then realizing that taxes, schedules, and shipping exists seems really lame.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659506)

And the tax just seems like a red herring. Again, how does one enter into a venture without understanding the tax liabilities. I understand that firms do this all the time, and that is why so many go bankrupt, but really. One has a BOM, and one has access to people who know about this things.

There are ways around many tax issues. To that, perhaps they thought they could get some concession in place between when design started and manufacturing started, they didn't, so they went to the fall-back plan of "make it in China". Maybe they thought that when making millions of dollars of products and pointing out penalties to manufacturing it in the UK, that the government might step in and encourage local business. You are the only one expressing that it somehow surprised them, and not that it was just a hurdle they looked at removing while simultaneously planing on jumping it.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (3, Interesting)

crossword.bob (918209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659286)

And then the taxing part is plain and simply dumb. You can't control corporations, but that the government actively deters local production? That's like shooting yourself in the foot and wondering why it hurts.

It's likely a throwback to a (failed) attempt to bolster UK component manufacture that's now backfiring on us.

Re:Worrying state of affairs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659480)

Now you know why the evil conservatives in the US want the taxes on corps lowered. It KILLS business. The business income is taxed, then the owner is taxed on that income. If you have a small business, they expect you to pay monthly/quarterly ESTIMATES or you get in trouble.

Cool! (3, Interesting)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38658880)

I was checking this out last night and I'm actually quite excited for one to come out. I've been in the industry for years now but more on the superuser side. It'll be a really fun chance to actually have a computer where I have to learn some electronics and programming to really get the most use out of it... kind of like jumping into the deep end of the pond. It'll be my main home computer.

Re:Cool! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659280)

You and 3 other people.

UK and China were the only choices? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659010)

n/t

Re:UK and China were the only choices? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659514)

Where else would you make it and why?

but it turns out that communism is awesome (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659030)

as long as you keep all the 'prison labor' and 'no environmental groups, no labor unions' stuff, and get rid of all the 'social safety net stuff'.

Re:but it turns out that communism is awesome (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659414)

the us has the highest number of prisoners per capita in the world. go capitalism?

Re:but it turns out that communism is awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659468)

as long as you keep all the 'prison labor' and 'no environmental groups, no labor unions' stuff, and get rid of all the 'social safety net stuff'.

Keep telling yourself that. Truth is that we are taxing the people to death here. Both Republicans and Democrats have no solutions. Look at what Ron Paul is saying if you want to know how to fix our economy (including manufacturing).

Sounds like a great learning opportunity (5, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659038)

I usually recommend a USB flash drive for my students in my Unix course (taught on Macs at the school), and leave it up to them which Linux distro to run at home from the Flash drive. With prices this low, I could almost make it a requirement for the course. I'll hold off to see how they fare though.

Is this really a big deal? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659056)

While it looks like fun for a hobbyist to play with, is there really some greater purpose to this device? It seems that most people that can afford an HDMI capable (or even RCA/composite) TV or monitor to plug this into can probably also afford a 'real' computer.

That said, I'll probably buy one just to play around with it, but I don't think it will change my life.

Re:Is this really a big deal? (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659170)

Most people already have a composite TV, making the total cost of this device + keyboard + mouse + power supply under $50, as opposed to a real computer which is about $200.

Re:Is this really a big deal? (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659188)

General purpose I/O pins normally only show up on expensive prototyping boards, not on "real" computers. I think the idea is that this will allow folks who couldn't otherwise afford such prototyping hardware to experiment with such things. I could easily see this being used for school science projects like BattleBots, those computer maze projects, and so on.

Similarly, real computers aren't small enough to trivially embed them into random crap around your house. I can think of lots of really fun pranks to pull with one of these and a small speaker.... :-D But then again, that's hobbyist stuff.

Re:Is this really a big deal? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659296)

General purpose I/O pins normally only show up on expensive prototyping boards, not on "real" computers. I think the idea is that this will allow folks who couldn't otherwise afford such prototyping hardware to experiment with such things. I could easily see this being used for school science projects like BattleBots, those computer maze projects, and so on.

I thought this was what the Arduino series computers were good at. The Arduino Uno costs $29 and includes:

a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328 (datasheet). It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.

I mean, I think the Rasberry is cool and all, and is certainly much more powerful than an Arduino, but I don't understand the hype around it - like the posters here who said "Looking forward to watching you revolutionize computer education!" or "The world has just changed". Do people really think the world has been waiting for a $25 computer they can plug into their TV?

Re:Is this really a big deal? (3, Insightful)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659416)

You could say the same thing about the Arduino vs. one of thousands of sub-$2 microcontrollers.

Re:Is this really a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659454)

which the arduino is based on, in case people are confused by the references to an "arduino computer"

Re:Is this really a big deal? (5, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 2 years ago | (#38659430)

For quick hack-it-together devices, I'd rather have a cheap linux computer with some gpio pins that I can access via something like /dev/port0 than an arduino. I'm not sure that this Raspberry Pi is the perfect solution to that, but it's closer to what I want than a arduino is, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to deal with than hacking something together out of an old laptop or mini-itx board.

If I'm going to go back to playing with microcontrollers, I'm going to be working from a bare chip, custom boards, and assembly language, because to me, that was fun.

Arduinos have their place. This thing has its place. There might be some overlap, but there's a lot of situations where you'd pick one over the other. Choice is good, right?

Re:Is this really a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659360)

I know this may sound weird, but there are a huge number of people out there using Arduino for art and community projects. I even teach it to art majors at a major university. Arduinos are great, but I come across the limitations of AVRs in my own work all the time: slow A/D converters, major RAM limitations, limited PWM resolution, etc. Raspberry Pi might be a major leap forward because I'll be able to stuff it in a sculpture or a small box, power it with an (affordable!) photovoltaic array, synthesize realtime graphics / sound, do significant signal processing on sensor data and so on. In nearly the same form-factor as an Arduino -- and at nearly the same cost. Life changing, maybe not, but hugely empowering.

Big Muff Pi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659082)

I prefer the Big Muff Pi.

Blackberry Kush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38659338)

I'm holding out for the Blackberry Kush.

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