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Raspberry Pi Reviewed, With an Initial Setup Guide

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the put-your-fruit-in-order dept.

Education 188

jjslash writes "It has been six years in the making, with the original goal of the project intending to reignite computer programming in schools across the country. Despite those honorable intentions, the $35 ARM-based credit-card sized computer has captured the imagination of programmers, consumers and tinkerers alike, resulting in unprecedented demand for the product. Last month the first 10,000 credit-card sized computers were set to make their way to those who pre-ordered them back in February. TechSpot takes a look at the Pi Model B, covering the basic steps for setting up the computer, as well as basic post-installation tasks those first using it might encounter."

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might as well since this may be a once in a lifeti (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898635)

ime change on /.

frist post

hot grits

portman

Re:might as well since this may be a once in a lif (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898685)

Join the real 'once in a lifetime' club..

Get a first post, modded +5 insightful..
***
It would be nice to see a larger uptake of the RP, a good goal would be to try and get this into the hands of kids as young as possible, so they can get exposure to something other than windows/apple

Re:might as well since this may be a once in a lif (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898771)

Been there myself. It's not all it is cracked up to be. It certainly doesn't impress any cute girls.

Re:might as well since this may be a once in a lif (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898979)

Oh look, there is a girl with mod points hurt by not being cute!

Re:might as well since this may be a once in a lif (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899663)

As young as possible - some kid is bound to try and chew on it and then a lawyer will file a class action because it doesn't taste like rapberries.

Re:might as well since this may be a once in a lif (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899911)

Well if you know how to karmawhore all you have to do is post first.

Re:might as well since this may be a once in a lif (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900407)

When did posting something germane to the discussion, and which actually adds to it, become karmawhoring?

The more amusing quirk of the Slashdot moderating system is when you see a first post modded redundant because 20 other people said the same thing....

Re:might as well since this may be a once in a lif (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899125)

ime change on /.

frist post

hot grits

portman

and niggers. how could you forget them?! if you forget niggers that's racist. so don't forget them.

I'm still waiting (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898661)

I'm looking forward to a chance to play with one of these. Put my name on the list months ago, but haven't peculated up to the top yet. Soon I hope.

Re:I'm still waiting (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898739)

I just got an update email, week of june 29th. It may be nearly half a year after I ordered, but damn it'll be cool to play with finally.

Re:I'm still waiting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899139)

You want something cool to play with? Get a butt plug.

I was too (3, Interesting)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899197)

Then by accident I found the rtl-sdr software radio project. Long story short is that a $20 USB dongle designed for receiving digital TV can also be used as a wideband receiver from 64Mhz to over 1.6GHz. Yes it works on Linux too.

Re:I was too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899225)

This I will have to look into. Thanks for sharing.

Re:I'm still waiting (2)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899959)

TFA is wrong in saying "When the first 10,000 devices shipped in mid-April", Only around 1500 devices were shipped in April I believe, with another 8000 going out during May. This is because the ethernet jack had to be replaced by hand on all 10,000 initial boards which takes a lot of man-hours (more likely woman-hours) to do, and so was done in 2 stages.

Interesting (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898673)

Now you can buy an entire computer for less than a license for the Windows operating system.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898831)

"Now"? Uhh, it has been possible for a few years now to get dirt-cheap smart phones that are well under $100, and still quite powerful. They've got more processing power and memory than the average desktop of 8 to 10 years ago. You can still buy those old desktops these days, of course. You can pick them up for $10 to $20 a piece at many thrift stores and used computer dealers. They can usually run Windows XP just fine, and they're quite able to handle Linux. So I'm not sure why you're just discovering now that cheap hardware exists. It's been around for a long time.

Re:Interesting (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900383)

They can usually run Windows XP just fine, and they're quite able to handle Linux.

I'd switch "Windows XP" and "Linux" around in that quote, for two reasons:

1: Some modern distros require 768 MB RAM or more, and almost all of them are 256 MB+, while XP Home Edition is 64 MB required, 128 MB recommended.
Much of this bloat is in the kernel, which even if built fully modular now has so many hooks and semi-optionals that you can't run a normal distro on minimal hardware.

2: The good old problem with hardware support. All old desktops will have XP drivers, but the same can't be said for Linux drivers. (And when they do, depending on the hardware and type, they sometimes won't work as just generic .ko modules, but need special hooks in the kernel, see #1) You have to do your homework to know you get hardware you can fully use under Linux.

I still haven't had a single machine where everything Just Worked, and I've lost count of how many dozen Linux installations I've done over the years. The closest I have gotten is the current "Dell Optiplex n" machine at work, but even there, the front panel audio detection doesn't work. You'd think that their "n" line which is sold with no OS (ok, with FreeDOS) would have full hardware/driver support in non-Windows, but this doesn't seem to be the case. I suspect they really sell them for a market of pirates that run illegal copies of Windows, plus a few MS Select customers who do their own licensing.
 

Re:Interesting (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900447)

2: The good old problem with hardware support. All old desktops will have XP drivers, but the same can't be said for Linux drivers. (And when they do, depending on the hardware and type, they sometimes won't work as just generic .ko modules, but need special hooks in the kernel, see #1) You have to do your homework to know you get hardware you can fully use under Linux.

While it's true you still have to do some homework, driver support is something that actually has improved tremendously for Linux over the past 10 years. :)

Making installing third party drivers easier can improve the situation even more. It would be fantastic if you could just double-click some driver package, enter sudo credentials, and that's it.

Re:Interesting (5, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899001)

Now you can buy an entire computer for less than a license for the Windows operating system.

You've been able to do that since the turn of the century. Here's the sad part: Long after every computer that can run any of the windows operating systems to date have been put in landfills or as non-working museum exhibits, and everyone who reads this today is dead -- it'll still be illegal to give it to a friend.

Re:Interesting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899715)

And well it should be. Friends don't do things like that to friends.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39900117)

Haha brilliant!

Re:Interesting (4, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899905)

You've been able to do that since the turn of the century. Here's the sad part: Long after every computer that can run any of the windows operating systems to date have been put in landfills or as non-working museum exhibits, and everyone who reads this today is dead -- it'll still be illegal to give it to a friend if you live in the USA .

In Finland, and most other countries in Europe (all countries in Europe?) when you buy software, you own it. You can resell it or give it away as a gift, and Microsoft can do fuck-all about it.

Re:Interesting (2)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900341)

...it'll still be illegal to give it to a friend

Also, I should think, impossible... unless there is some other definition for friend of which I am unaware.

Re:Interesting (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899083)

now? I gave away a 800mhz P3 with 512 megs of ram 3 years ago, sure its not a credit card, but it was a pizza box

just cause you make it small does not mean its the only thing available

(ps waiting on my pi)

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899147)

Just imagine how many you can buy in relation to an Apple Macintosh "license"

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899969)

The license for the last version of OS X was about $25. The dongle, however, was a lot more expensive.

Re:Interesting (2)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899329)

Its been a few years since I left the embedded space (take a hint, recruiter-droids!) but per-device Windows license pricing broke down along the following lines:

Windows CE: $5
Windows XP Embedded: $40

What did Larry say about Java on Pi? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898683)

I want my 2 dollars.

Nothing new except... (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898697)

There's really nothing in this writeup that hasen't already been covered in most of the articles that have been posted here on /.

Well nothing except some elitism from techspot:

from TFA "We assume you're on Windows or you probably wouldn't need this guide"

Re:Nothing new except... (2)

sjwt (161428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898713)

Indeed, they forgot about Apple users!

Re:Nothing new except... (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899177)

Not really. I'd expect a lot more Mac users know how to use a UNIX/Linux command line than Windows users, given that Mac OS X... you know... has one.

Re:Nothing new except... (2, Insightful)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899341)

Most Mac users I know didn't even realise there Macs have a command line, over here it's more of a fashion accessory though.

Re:Nothing new except... (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899983)

Most of the Mac users I know have a PhD in computer science or engineering. Yay for selection bais...

Re:Nothing new except... (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900045)

Fair point :P

Re:Nothing new except... (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900129)

I guess you never heard of cygwin

Re:Nothing new except... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900451)

Or PowerShell.

Re:Nothing new except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899209)

Indeed - We don't want a guide, just one big button to click on!

Re:Nothing new except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39900425)

Indeed - We don't want a guide, just one big button to click on!

I want a big button for my "people" to click on...

Re:Nothing new except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898761)

There's really nothing in this writeup that hasen't already been covered in most of the articles that have been posted here on /.

Tomorrow on /.: "Something something Raspberry Pi, something Apple"
It'll be the third repost of same thing that's been said eighty times before.
Repeat ad nauseum.

Re:Nothing new except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899137)

Tomorrow on /.: "Something something Raspberry Pi, something Apple"

Hey, I saw Robot Chicken's Star Wars Triology too.

Next time you copy something would you attribute it, you mindless lemming?

Re:Nothing new except... (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899181)

What do you have against lemmings? Be nice or I'll Steve Austin your ass back into the stone age!

Re:Nothing new except... (2)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899475)

No need to do the Steve Austin: just walk the lemmings into your target's home and press the Armageddon button. Uh-oh! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, KABOOM!

Re:Nothing new except... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900177)

Tomorrow on /.: "Something something Raspberry, something Apple"

Want to have your product on Slashdot? Name it like a fruit!

But avoid bananas like hell, you know, the slashdotters and their crude sense of humor...

Up yours slashdot... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898751)

Fuck raspberry pi.
Fuck bitcoins.
And fuck the corporate shills you call editors.

Not credit card sized (3, Insightful)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898755)

It's not really credit card sized. If it were it'd look like SELMA from Time Trax. It has two dimensions that correspond with a credit card, but it's a lot thicker. Not that I'm complaining, it's still amazingly small. I just think it's better described as "deck of cards sized" or "pack of cigarettes sized" or whatever.

the $35 ARM-based credit-card sized computer (4, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898781)

I remember back in the good old days when it was called the $25 ARM-based credit-card sized computer.

Re:the $35 ARM-based credit-card sized computer (5, Informative)

dwindura (1165871) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898851)

Model A cost $25 and model B cost $35

Re:the $35 ARM-based credit-card sized computer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39900065)

Model A cost $25 and model B cost $35

Model A is not available to order.

Model B costs $40 [raspberrypi.org] . It is not possible to order it without the mandatory delivery charge, so $40 it is.

"Despite"? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898787)

Fucking braindead slash editors.

Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898797)

What I really need is Skype on it. Any luck with that?

Re:Skype (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898971)

It shouldn't be a problem, eventually. An older version of that chip with a weaker video processor is in some Cicso corporate video phones.

Re:Skype (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899987)

Sure, no problem, just grab the sources for the Linux port of Skype and recompile for ARM. Oh, wait. Maybe there's a reason that depending on single-vendor communication technology is a bad idea...

Re:Skype (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900271)

You are beholden to skype to make a port for Linux/ARM, never good to get locked into a single vendor service.
Or you could possibly try to run the android version on it...

Alternatively you could use a standard communication protocol like SIP, and for that there are a multitude of clients available with sourcecode, most of which have already been compiled for ARM (although you could even compile them yourself if really necessary).

You can even run a full blown Asterisk PBX on it, i do so on a similar ARM based board (the Sheevaplug, makes a very good low power home pbx to in my case handle 4 internal voip handsets, 1 analog line (via sipura adapter) and 3 sip trunks)...

Guess what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898799)

I'm the type of person who expels farts out of their own asshole. Welcome me with open arms, Slashdot.

Alternatives? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898819)

Just out of curiosity, what functional (as opposed to ideological) alternatives to the Raspberry Pi are there in this price bracket?

Re:Alternatives? (4, Informative)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899067)

Depending on your definition of "functional", I believe some of the Arduinos, BASIC Stamps, and the similar are in that range. Of course, these will require custom programming and don't just drop into a self-hosting Linux environment, and don't have video out, but they are fully self-contained computing & IO devices.

While the RPi is pretty weak compared to the current ARM offerings, it does trounce the microcontroller range in computational capability, but its IO would require extra hardware (it's not buffered, etc) to do some real interfacing.

Re:Alternatives? (5, Interesting)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899115)

Just out of curiosity, what functional (as opposed to ideological) alternatives to the Raspberry Pi are there in this price bracket?

None, I think. Only less functional (say, 8-bit microcontroller kit / Arduino stuff?), more expensive ones (like Beagleboard), or used / bulky / second hand gear.

Personally I like the Raspberry Pi a lot for its combination of cheap, small, brand new, and open-friendly. Biggest minus IMHO is that it's not 100% open due to lacking chipset documentation/drivers. Which limits what OS'es you can run or develop on it. Had such documentation been complete, this would be a perfect dev board for alternative OS experiments.

Re:Alternatives? (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899169)

Sheeva plug [globalscal...logies.com] , guru plug, etc.

sheevaplug is $99 (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899249)

admittedly it does have a power supply and case and more memory...but no hardware floating point and no display adapter

Re:sheevaplug is $99 (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900277)

You can get the OpenRD, which is the bigger brother of the sheevaplug, it also lacks hardware floating point but it does have video and audio outputs.
It also has SATA so you can connect an internal hdd.

Early adopters. (2)

MnemonicMan (2596371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898867)

I am going to pick up a Raspberry Pi, once the initial hu-bub dies down. I'm waiting for them to appear in a form that already has a case and a physical power switch however. Shouldn't be more than another 3-4 months or so I would expect. I'm already swimming in computers so there isn't a pressing rush. Still, once I get mine, it'll be a badge that "yes you can have cool stuff."

Re:Early adopters. (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899387)

Hmmm, why don't you just put it in a case and add a power switch? If you can get it set up, I'm sure you can buy a case for $5, drill a few holes and solder the connections to a power switch :)

Re:Early adopters. (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900161)

I'm guessing because it's worth a buck or two for someone else to do that for him :)

Re:Early adopters. (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900179)

If these things were readily available, I'd agree with you... but since they're not, drilling a few holes and adding a power switch shouldn't be all too hard :p

Re:Early adopters. (2)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900399)

Right. He said he was willing to wait. You sound like you can't believe that not everyone has drills, soldering irons, solder, Raspberry Pi cases and power switches lying around.

User friendliness? (5, Insightful)

Announcer (816755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898869)

My 2c worth:

How about making it so that when it powers-up, it's ready to go, without having to set up a user account, etc... just create the image on the SD card, then have the Pi come up to a desktop environment with a few helpful links. One of them should be a user-friendly programming environment that's just a mouse-click away, containing a few useful and easily modified example programs. Make the language something better than BASIC, but just as easy-to-use/learn... "Think of the children".

Re:User friendliness? (1)

LoneHighway (1625681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898899)

That is exactly how they do it on a MeteoPlug weather server on a SheevaPlug. Truly plug and play.

Re:User friendliness? (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898915)

Screw the children. The raspberry sounds like a near perfect platform for a freedom box. [wikipedia.org] Imagine your own personal "facebook" server that knows how to find the personal servers of all your friends without actually relying on the "man in the middle attack" that is facebook itself.

Re:User friendliness? (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899369)

Yeah, and get 20 extra, because the advantage of Facebook is that random family & friends are likely to have an account, while you don't know a single person who has a freedom box. It's like being the only person on the block with a video phone.

Re:User friendliness? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900003)

I believe the Freedom Box is meant to run things like a dynamic DNS client and XMPP / mail server, so you can, for example, already use it to communicate with anyone with a mail client or chat with anyone using XMMP (including Google Talk). That just leaves the more advanced features, but once you're using them there's more incentive for other people that you communicate with to start.

Re:User friendliness? (3, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900139)

the advantage of Facebook is that random family & friends are likely to have an account, while you don't know a single person who has a freedom box.

Network effect. And for those who don't want an actual freedombox, let them run an instance in the cloud, it is still better than facebook's model of centralization for corporate stalking purposes. Amazon has tiers that are essentially free for personal use as long as you stay under cputime/diskspace/bandwidth limits.

Re:User friendliness? (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899215)

Its designed by linux fundies. Of course its going to be hard to use and non intuitive.

default user is "pi" (2)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899263)

The guide adds in another username, but that isn't strictly necessary. I expect they had it come up into commandline mode by default to avoid starting X if it's not needed.

Re:User friendliness? (1)

Ian.Waring (591380) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899847)

There are various flavours of Debian and Fedora that have Python and Scratch already there to use. Not forgetting XBMC and OpenELEC provided as a free standing, auto updated Debian distribution. This little beasty can drive full 1080p video already :-)

Re:User friendliness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39900249)

+5?! Hell no, more like tell the children to get back to their homework.
Giving children the easy route through life is the WORST THING YOU CAN EVER DO AS A PARENT.

The world ain't easy. Learning ain't easy. You make them think this then they are in for a huge shock, and it equally turns a lot of kids off wanting to learn anything.
Give them the most basic understanding of what the thing is, what it runs, where to find information, and possibly even "results" videos of it controlling stuff, be it robots or software on another computer.
Any kid not excited by that will never be excited by that so don't force it on them.
As a programmer from 9, I live and breath it. Electronics, robotics, engineering and countless other things. If a parent forced that on to me, I'd have probably hated them for life, as well as said subjects.
I remember taking apart a VCR and fixing it then putting it together again, when I was 6. I still have it today at 25. Swear I must have been reincarnated from an engineer or something.

As long as it isn't designed by the clueless people who made PHP, it is fine.
Likewise, if you use PHP for web dev, hell, anything, you are a bad person. It is as bad as using ASP.
Every other language under the sun, even Brainfuck, is better as a web server language than PHP is.
PHP is so inconsistent it hurts. So error-prone it makes Windows look perfect. No, learning quirks is not how you learn languages.
Just a shame so many people use it because "yeeaaah open souuurce!" That should never be a reason to use anything, especially when there are multiple better open source languages. (including Perl)
Don't get me started on the developers of it.

And to sum this up... (5, Funny)

ZeroPly (881915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898879)

From the article: "We assume you're on Windows or you probably wouldn't need this guide."

It's hard to explain to the GUI crowd why this is such a big deal...

They emailed shipping dates (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899017)

I'm getting mine on the 28th May (Australia). I ordered it on opening day.

Also,
What exactly does "non-profit" mean? Are they paying themselves? Does making enough money for R&D and staff count as profit? It a non-profit doesn't meet its objectives (i.e. the pi's get sold to slashdotters, and schools balk at it) what happens?

Why don't we see a lot more 'small businesses' doing this for the tax break? There's nothing stopping a non-profit from switching back to for-profit later, right?

Re:They emailed shipping dates (2)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899141)

What exactly does "non-profit" mean?

Something like this [wikipedia.org] .

Why don't we see a lot more 'small businesses' doing this for the tax break?

They are not on the list, and probably they want to use profits to get rich.

There's nothing stopping a non-profit from switching back to for-profit later, right?

I suspect a reorganization would be required to set up a new corporation, with different name, different charter [investopedia.com] , its own board of directors, etc. It's doable, but it's not something you can do just by calling your Secretary of State.

Re:They emailed shipping dates (0)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899359)

Also, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK non-profit. That means different rules from US non-profits. I do not, however, know those differences off the top of my head.

Re:They emailed shipping dates (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900021)

Most of the people working on it are academics (two floors up from me), so they're paid out of research grants and so on. The ones at Broadcom are paid out of the profits from selling the CPU. I'm not sure about the distributor, presumably they make some money, as the computer lab isn't really set up for shipping tens of thousands of little computers...

Where are the mounting holes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899107)

Where are the holes to mount this? I would assume some other entity could make cases n stuff.

Review? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899317)

I kept looking for where to click for the next page after "here are the specs and we powered it up".

slashdot = Raspberry Pi advertising network (-1, Flamebait)

Grieviant (1598761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899363)

Yet another non-story on RPi, the 10th in a row. It's beyond embarrassing at this point. How can one downvote articles that don't appear in the firehose?

Re:slashdot = Raspberry Pi advertising network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899385)

Can you call a something about a charity/nonprofit organization advertising?

Re:slashdot = Raspberry Pi advertising network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899803)

Call it propaganda if you prefer. Or counter-propaganda, if you feel it helps balance the Apple propaganda. Still, at least it's "for nerds", even if it isn't "news".

Re:slashdot = Raspberry Pi advertising network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39900209)

Wow. And I thought I was cynical.

I don't get it (1)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899423)

Congratulation the Raspberry Pi team for getting it made and out the door, but I don't get how it's going to penetrate schools. The unit's only $35, yes, but by the time you buy cables, a mouse & KB, and a monitor you've spent $150-$200 more. That's ~$230 for a seriously underpowered computer-- you may as well spend about a third more and get a very low end PC. These little machines would be great as embedded devices, but general-purpose computing?

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899717)

You're right, the idea is totally ridiculous. It doesn't even come with a case. My netbook was $180 and is far more powerful, comes with an OS that actually works, includes a monitor, includes power, includes a case, etc...

Anyway, it's evolved into a fun nerd thing, just because the idea of a $35 computer is kind of cool. Worst case scenario it can be used as a cheap XBMC type device.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899871)

Wow, it's more powerful, wastes more power, is much bigger and is just 5x the price of the RPi? Amazing, although your puny netbook is still stupid. My laptop is worth only (less than, actually) 5x what you paid for your netbook and is far more powerful, even bigger and has not only one but TWO OSes that actually work.

You're right that different devices can't serve different purposes. I'm on the phone with Arduino's CEO right now and he agreed to refund their customers and close down the company. I'll be contacting the rest of the industry later to give them the bad news. Thanks a lot, if it weren't for you god knows how much more money would have been wasted on this silliness.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899917)

Hello. Please give further insight into how you can run a Raspberry Pi without additionally purchasing a power supply, a case, a keyboard, a monitor, and a largeish SD card. Remember that you'll probably want a USB wifi and external hard drive.

Sure, maybe people already have some of these things. But then the Raspberry Pi is a 2nd computer, which isn't the point of the whole project.

You can't even buy these things at the store, they're not being sold in bulk to school districts or 3rd world nations. All the sales so far have been nerds buying a toy.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39900253)

All the sales so far have been nerds buying a toy.

[citation needed]

Re:I don't get it (5, Informative)

Spliffster (755587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899739)

Do you know what the purpose of the Pi is? An educational computer for children (like the amiga or the atari back when we were young).

It has a TV out and an HDMI Port. I live in Europe, I don't know any family without a TV (well very few, but they don't have a TV by choice and not because they can't afford one, however they have a computer and therefore a computer display). RasPi is a UK Company. The European community is regulating cellphone chargers. They must use an USB Micro-B connector (with 800-1000 mA output). Guess what? This is also the sort of power supply the RasPi needs. Since most Europeans get a new cellphone every 1-2 years, these chargers are disposable (every new phone comes with a new charger even though the old one is still working perfectly).

So display available, check. Power supply available, check.

Now all we need is an SD card, a Keyboard and a mouse (USB). I live in one of the most expensive places in the world. But a cheap keyboard and a cheap mouse would not cost more than 15 us dollars. And if I were a smart kid, I'd ask family and friends if I could buy used ones (which I probably would get donated). NEarly all families already have a mac or windows pc (but might not want their children to break it while experimenting) mouse and keyboard could be used from the already available computer.

Well, now we have only one item left that is missing, the SD card. Many digital cameras are replaced here with smart phones. It's not the same but I see those aging cameras laying around in many house holds. Guess what, they often use SD cards. But since the SD card needs to be reformatted and somewhat inserted permanently into the device, it might be reasonable to buy a separate one.

This leaves us with one extra expense: a new SD card for $20-30, big deal!

I personally think the RasPi team has a very neat design there, don't you?

Cheers,
-S

Re:I don't get it (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899859)

Do you know what the purpose of the Pi is? An educational computer for children (like the amiga or the atari back when we were young).

Quite frankly, I don't know what it is. After so many articles on /. I assumed it to be sensationalism akin to the likes of Bitcoin. I have not RTFA, or any "full articles" on this subject to be honest. Is it the next evolution of the "One Laptop Per Child" project?

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899931)

Right. All the European kids who have an HDTV but don't have more than $30 for a computer. They can just order one online. That is great logic.

It isn't sold with a case, well kids should have no problems with keeping an exposed breadboard in good working condition. It doesn't have wifi, oh who uses that anyway? Sure they'll have to put up with an OS that is crude and won't run many programs, but surely putting up with that frustration will be the first step in them mastering the intricacies of UNIX.

All the constant articles on Slashdot is because Slashdot regularly gets excited about educational tools for poor European children.

Re:I don't get it (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900037)

The point is that the schools can afford to buy a load of them, and can let students take them home for homework assignments. Some students may also buy their own, and then they just need to move an SD card between their home and work ones.

Re:I don't get it (4, Interesting)

Spliffster (755587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900103)

Some people think Desktop with shiny windows if they hear the word computer.

The Pi has (for example) GPIO ports along with SPI, I2C, UART and more. If this is not enough, or you don't want to design your own PCB you might add a gert board [raspberrypi.org] and you get motor drivers without any knowledge of electronics. Now you have a robotics platform. Since it is running Linux one has a plethora of programming languages at hand to do something useful with these features (for example robotics).

Or you may just want to build an appliance which can be controlled via http, IR whatever (media center any one?).

Of course, it can also be used as very cheap desktop or server of some sort. But for people with an imagination beyond the Desktop this little computer is a big deal.

2 millions ordered in that short time without millions of marketing budget tells me that some people might have a vision beyond the Desktop. And that for only $35.

Cheers,
-S

Education and Training Services, Education (-1, Offtopic)

APDTrade (2542216) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899707)

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Disappointed... (5, Interesting)

wet-socks (635030) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899735)

Well mine arrived yesterday. First impressions:

Build quality is a bit iffy - the SD / HDMI and power connectors won't last 5 minutes with frequent swapping and some of the solder joints look to have been "reworked".

Connected keyboard/mouse and HDMI monitor put the Fedora image on an SD card and powered her up.... Kernel panic :( Futzed around for a while and finally found that it didn't like the keyboard I was using (generic cheepie).

Connected the network and removed the keyboard and mouse. Eventually booted to a login prompt on the display. SSH in and all looked good.

Decided to try Debian. That had the same problem with the keyboard as Fedora. Found another keyboard (ancient Fujitsu Siemens one) that it didn't object to and got into the GUI. Biggest problem here was the resolution was some strange one (1896x788 or something) which looked awful on a 1920x1080 screen, but at least I was able to fire up the browser and "surf the web".

Back to Fedora... Tried to get into the GUI again with the working keyboard but startx crashed the first time and just came up with a blank screen the second.

Reflashed the image and had an awful row with the password settings. By luck I'd set a local timeserver when I'd first logged in by SSH (no, I don't give extarnal access to every device on the network so the default timeservers weren't accessible). This meant the passwords were set with a valid date. Second time around the "firstboot" script ran, setting up users but without the time being set, so the passwords were flagged as expired and had to be changed on every login - very annoying.

Finally got into the Fedora GUI but it was slooooooow.

Overall, yes it works. Some effort is needed on the default images if it's to be used by the great unwashed. Need to play with the GPIO as that's where my interest is...

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