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Raspberry Pi Model A Makes First Appearance

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the any-color-so-long-as-it's-arm dept.

Hardware 101

An anonymous reader writes "It's easy to forget that the Raspberry Pi currently shipping is the more expensive model of the board. It is actually called the Model B as it sports more features than the $25 Model A. The main differences [compared to the B model] include a lack of an Ethernet port and the associated networking chip, as well as the presence of only one USB port instead of two. There was originally going to be less memory on the Model A (128MB instead of 256MB), but the Raspberry Pi Foundation managed to make enough cost savings during a redesign to increase the amount to 256MB on the cheaper version. With all the focus being on the Model B, we haven't actually seen the (near) final Model A board yet. But that changes today, as Eben Upton has just shown off the $25 board."

cancel ×

101 comments

hooray (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40570689)

another day, another raspberry pi slashvertisement.

keep up the good work, timothy!

Re:hooray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40571337)

Hey, either that, uncritical 3D printer fanboyism or delusional Space Nuttery.

Re:hooray (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574705)

My God, it's almost as if Slashdot are posting articles that a large proportion of it's readership might actually be interested in. The bastards!

Re:hooray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40579659)

This is a real product. It has shipped and is continuing to ship. You're not only wrong about your 'space nuttery' obsession, you're wrong about this. Your track record is looking pretty dismal.

Re:hooray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40572857)

Yup, lets just not report the news just because some people don't like the subject! What a great idea!

English please? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40570719)

"The main differences include a lack of an Ethernet port and the associated networking chip, as well as the presence of only being one USB port instead of two."

There are editors somewhere aren't there? That understand English?

Re:English please? (4, Informative)

nadaou (535365) | about 2 years ago | (#40570989)

> There are editors somewhere aren't there?

No, generally not. This is a semi-automated crowd sourced news aggregation site not a tech news magazine. Spend some time at firehose.pl to understand how it works and how stories get voted onto the front page, typically more verbatim* than not.

* if that made you cringe then comfort yourself in knowing that it was only a partially unique experience.

Re:English please? (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#40571005)

I didn't have any problems reading it. Maybe a grammar nazi could point out the issues?

Re:English please? (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 years ago | (#40571227)

"include a lack of an ethernet port" is weird but correct; "the presence of only being one USB port" is weird and wrong, although easy to read.

i love the english language, but i usually hate grammar nazis even more. still, it's a bit ridiculous what gets onto slashdot's front page. since US-centrism is in their official policy, you'd think they would use english correctly.

Re:English please? (4, Insightful)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#40571659)

since US-centrism is in their official policy, you'd think they would use english correctly.

Haha.The American language forked from 'English' in 1776. Any mutual intelligibility is purely coincidental! :)

American Spoken Here (English Misunderstood) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40571969)

Haha.The American language forked from 'English' in 1776. Any mutual intelligibility is purely coincidental! :)

If I had mod points, that comment's score would be going up.

Strewth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40572083)

The American language forked from 'English' in 1776.

Bloody oath it did - bonzer, Bruce!

Re:English please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40572287)

The American language forked from 'English' in 1776.

Fair dinkum.

Cheers!

-Boz from Oz

Re:English please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40572311)

Fair dinkum.

Hey - watch your language!

Re:English please? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40572733)

English - the ultimate free and open source project.

Re:English please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573083)

What's interesting is that American English is closer to what everyone spoke then than British English.

Re:English please? (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40574299)

I think you mean that American English has refused to incorporate bug fixes from upstream.

Re:English please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574027)

That would be a neat little coincidence, but I'd wager it forked before that given we already had regional accents at that time.

Re:English please? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#40574663)

since US-centrism is in their official policy, you'd think they would use english correctly.

Haha.The American language forked from 'English' in 1776. Any mutual intelligibility is purely coincidental! :)

From what I've read, it's more accurate to say that "English" forked from English and American is in many ways closer to what we had in the days of King George (no, not "W", George III).

Except that we cleaned up the spelling a little.

Someone set up us the bomb. (2)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 2 years ago | (#40572383)

C'mon people, has All Your Base Are Belong to Us slipped from the Slashdot lexicon?

Re:English please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573359)

are you retarded?

Interesting. (3, Interesting)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 years ago | (#40570765)

So - no CSI/DSI - for which there are no drivers anyway.
No ethernet port.
I do wonder what that white blob in place of the ethernet/USB hub chip is.
Is it simply a bit of tape, to cover some wires linking the USB directly to the SoC, or something else.

As to why this is an interesting bit of hardware - it's not.
It's interesting because it's a relatively open platform, at a reasonable price point.

Devices I want a model A for.
Wifi weather-station controller.
Heating controller.
Door camera system.

Re:Interesting. (1, Flamebait)

pipatron (966506) | about 2 years ago | (#40570807)

My main issue with the device is that they crippled the openess to include something that no one in this target group actually wants - 1080p video.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40570835)

So how do you know that no one wants that? I for one do want it.

Re:Interesting. (4, Informative)

macemoneta (154740) | about 2 years ago | (#40570859)

My main issue with the device is that they crippled the openess to include something that no one in this target group actually wants - 1080p video.

Unless you want to run XBMC, and turn a dumb TV into a smartTV for $25.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40571105)

And after that you can play...??? Some of the really useful codecs are not licensed for this platform. Please let us know when you find out how to play enough different types of media to call it a "media player".

Re:Interesting. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40571157)

Please let us know when you find out how to play enough different types of media to call it a "media player".

HTH, HAND [google.com]

Re:Interesting. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40571641)

So, I need a $250 game console (or $200 PC) turned on and running a server to transcode files to something the $25 Pi can play? That doesn't make sense, economic or otherwise. I'll pass.

Re:Interesting. (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40571893)

You can use it with any monitor or display having HDMI input as a wireless remote display for any Android device, for one thing. Only 400 million of us have those though, so it's probably a niche application. A few more niches like that might add up to a popular market one day. How many of these were they going to make again?

Re:Interesting. (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40573431)

So, I need a $250 game console (or $200 PC) turned on and running a server to transcode files to something the $25 Pi can play? That doesn't make sense, economic or otherwise.

It does if you already own the PC, and it's up and running in another room anyway for one reason or another, and you already own the TV, and the TV doesn't have its own media player which could connect to a DLNA server or similar, and you don't have a HTPC connected to your TV, or you think you can save enough money by not running your HTPC that it's worth it to buy one of these devices. That in fact applies to a staggeringly large number of households. A much smaller number of them, of course, are going to do this, not least because at this point it takes some knowledge. That doesn't change the potential utility.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574327)

It beats paying another $200 for a 2nd frontend, unless $200-$25 does not come out in positive where you are from?

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575323)

So, I need a $250 game console (or $200 PC) turned on and running a server to transcode files to something the $25 Pi can play? That doesn't make sense, economic or otherwise. I'll pass.

No. You need a better argument. Or a point. Or even a life.
If you have one TV set in the household.. No point.

If you have a £200 computer with a couple of tuners attached to the main TV set, acting as a media server, keep your entire music collection, your video collection and recorded TV shows on it.. And use a script to transcode the newly captured video files into one of the supported codecs, which are then streamed over the network to second and subsequent TV sets.. Including older sets with only composite inputs.. Then yes. It makes a hell of a lot more sense that using a separate $200 computer attached to each set to do the same job.

If your objective is to figure out ways something will not work, however poorly thought out.. you will always be successful. But eternally pointless and unloved. Posting bitter little comments snidely on forums where nobody can punch you in the face.
If your objective is to figure out how to get something to work, you will not always be successful. However, you will be happy when you crack a problem. And people will want to listen to you.. even in person.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575921)

Well, no points for your arguments but a few giggles for the humour. Your barely coherent rambling was way too long to read in its entirety. There might be a career for you in reality TV. Bonus if you make as little sense speaking as you do in prose.

Re:Interesting. (1)

Polo (30659) | about 2 years ago | (#40571715)

Why would you assume that, I do!

Re:Interesting. (2)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 2 years ago | (#40571811)

i bought it because it has 1080p video

Re:Interesting. (1)

ThePeices (635180) | about 2 years ago | (#40571907)

My main issue with the device is that they crippled the openess to include something that no one in this target group actually wants - 1080p video.

Not bad, not bad. I can see you put little effort into your troll post, but everybody loves a trier.

I particularly enjoyed your "nobody wants 1080p" attempt, but unfortunately the trollish aspect was pretty obvious, so it failed to work well.

Next time, try more subtlety in the false statement to see if you can catch anybody out, but in all, ill rate your trolling attempt a 4/10.

Better luck next time dude.

Re:Interesting. (4, Informative)

sirsnork (530512) | about 2 years ago | (#40571001)

The schematics show that when the ethernet chip (also a USB hub) is missing there are two SMD resistors that connect the actual port up to the single USB pins on the main SOC. When the chip is present those resistors are left off and that port goes into the ethernet chip to give both ethernet connectivity and two additional USB ports.

No idea what the white blob is, but it's not something required to make the USB port work.

No idea why the CSI connector isn't attached, seemingly there is nothing stopping it working if the header is attached as it's completely supplied by the main SOC

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40577027)

It looks like the solder for the thermal pad under that missing chip. They probably used the same solder paste stencil for both versions, which means the paste that would have bonded that chip is just a big shiny blob instead.

Re:Interesting. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40571165)

The 'white blob' looks rather shiny to me, with some slight 'striping', I'd guess a fuzzy picture of some unpopulated solder pads...

Re:Interesting. (2)

klaws (66658) | about 2 years ago | (#40576695)

That "white spot" is the ground plane + heat sink for the ethernet/usb hub IC.

POS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40570775)

Why would anyone buy such a crippled device?

Re:POS (4, Informative)

macemoneta (154740) | about 2 years ago | (#40570811)

This "crippled piece of shit" can, among thousands of other things, run XBMC and output 1080p video, turning and dumb TV into a smartTV. Not too shabby for $25.

Re:POS (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40571149)

While crass, the grandparent post is arguably a worthwhile question when you compare the Model A to the Model B.

$10 for ethernet and a second USB port is a smaller premium(and, of course, better integrated) than pretty much any peripheral option, and some sort of networking is an extremely convenient feature. The 'A' seems like a very niche sort of device.

Re:POS (4, Interesting)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 2 years ago | (#40571541)

$10 for ethernet and a second USB port is a smaller premium(and, of course, better integrated) than pretty much any peripheral option, and some sort of networking is an extremely convenient feature. The 'A' seems like a very niche sort of device.

I think most nerds will want the model-B, but note that if you stick a WiFi dongle in the single USB port of a model-A, you do still have a fully network accessible device... but likely it'll be easier to do development for that using a model-B. The main "wins" for the model-A are (1). it costs less, and (2). I believe power consumption is quite a bit lower.... I seem to recall seeing a video where Eben indicated that the networking/usb-hub chip uses quite a lot of power on the model-B.

Re:POS (5, Interesting)

MadCow42 (243108) | about 2 years ago | (#40572933)

I'm using the RPi to drive a prototype device that I'm building. Currently it's just driving two real-time stepper motors (or close to real time), and doing a great job of it. For our production device though, we don't need Ethernet, and only want/need one USB - so the $10 savings and lower power consumption is perfect.

As for why we'd use an off-the-shelf board? Why not - it does everything we need, runs an off-the-shelf operating system, and is easy to program/update/use.

Why re-invent the wheel when we have areas where we can get a lot more value out of our time. As you seem to support - it's a great board!

MadCow.

Re:POS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40573349)

I'm using the RPi to drive a prototype device that I'm building. Currently it's just driving two real-time stepper motors (or close to real time), and doing a great job of it. For our production device though, we don't need Ethernet, and only want/need one USB - so the $10 savings and lower power consumption is perfect.

As for why we'd use an off-the-shelf board? Why not - it does everything we need, runs an off-the-shelf operating system, and is easy to program/update/use.

Why re-invent the wheel when we have areas where we can get a lot more value out of our time. As you seem to support - it's a great board!

MadCow.

Why isn't modded up?

Re:POS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574115)

> Why isn't modded up?

He forgot to sign with the 42, must be a robotic impostor cow pod, gone mad.

Re:POS (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#40575159)

You could but then you may need a USB hub as well.
If you are going to use it as a small PC you will want wifi and a keyboard which works out to two USBs
If you want to use it with XBMC you may need a second USB to add blue tooth, or an IR receiver.
or you could always use a smartphone running this http://code.google.com/p/android-xbmcremote/ [google.com] for a remote.
Of course that is for the minimal hackers out there.
Now if one wants to really get into the spirit of things you can add and SPI Wifi module like this http://www.cutedigi.com/wireless/wifi/wifi-module-with-spi-interface-to-8-bit-mcu-zg2100mc-wishield.html [cutedigi.com]
And then an IR module to the UART on the GPIO http://www.lirc.org/receivers.html [lirc.org] for a complete XBMC solution.
That would leave the USB port free for a card reader, USB memory stick, or Bluetooth adaptor.

Re:POS (2)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#40574019)

Two reasons

1: two USB ports isn't really quite enough, I want enough ports to have a keyboard, a mouse and a USB flash drive plugged in at once.
2: i've had more trouble with the SMSC chip used on the Pi than with other USB ethernet chips

So i'd rather have a model A and pair it with http://cpc.farnell.com/1/1/56475-hub-3x-usb-ethernet-blkgrey-psg90189.html [farnell.com] . Total cost is about the same when you consider that the USB hub with ethernet comes with a PSU that can supply the Pi (they don't mention that in the description but i've bought several and it comes with a 5V 2.5A power supply).

Re:POS (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#40575191)

Yep and if you are getting into the sprit of things you can add your own Wifi using the SPI interface and then make an PS/2 interface with the GPIO for your old PS/2 mouse and keyboard.
Over all that extra $10 for the Ethernet and USB hubs isn't bad but it nice to have the even cheaper option available for those that want it.

Re:POS (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 2 years ago | (#40571217)

This "crippled piece of shit" can, among thousands of other things, run XBMC and output 1080p video, turning and dumb TV into a smartTV. Not too shabby for $25.

Yeah but for $10 more, you can have one with Ethernet and an extra USB port. Really is $35 too much for a computer nowdays?

Re:POS (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#40573443)

This "crippled piece of shit" can, among thousands of other things, run XBMC and output 1080p video, turning and dumb TV into a smartTV. Not too shabby for $25.

Only if you use one codec. No Xvid/mpeg2 etc.

Re:POS (1)

donutface (847957) | about 2 years ago | (#40577213)

This "crippled piece of shit" can, among thousands of other things, run XBMC and output 1080p video, turning and dumb TV into a smartTV. Not too shabby for $25.

Only if you use one codec. No Xvid/mpeg2 etc.

I haven't tested with any 1080p DivX files, but the Pi plays SD DivX/XviD content without a sweat. I think this should comfortably play the majority of videos you throw at it.

Re:POS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575947)

Do you own one?

Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (4, Interesting)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 2 years ago | (#40570831)

How does that Broadcom SoC compare to the current Shenzen's SoC king the disruptive $7 Allwinner-A10 [rhombus-tech.net] SoC?

Bonus: comes with open source GPU driver, unlike RasPi.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (1)

kwalker (1383) | about 2 years ago | (#40571023)

For those of us outside mainland China, how would we get our hands on one of these?

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (4, Interesting)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about 2 years ago | (#40571249)

Some other people doing low-cost A10/A13 board stuff:
Olimex [wordpress.com] are developing an A13-based board currently.

Gooseberry [atspace.co.uk] is an A10-based board sourced from a tablet designer.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (1)

drwho (4190) | about 2 years ago | (#40572935)

Olimex and gooseberry both look decent, but what is the price or target price? I for my rasp-pi-B, but it's too expensive for me to use it to roll out the project I want which would require a larger number of boards at a lower price. I don't care about video I want: 1) low cost 2) 2+ USB ports 3) some rudimentary DSP, a sound card will do and most importantly I want Debian compatibility.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#40571069)

I really like it. Is there a cheap and open system available with it, like an EOMA-68 with mini-engineering board around it?

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40571391)

The A10 runs Ubuntu and Debian armhf. It is already way, way faster in most tasks than the RasPi, even without the GPU drivers being finished yet.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (4, Informative)

Vairon (17314) | about 2 years ago | (#40571791)

The Allwinner A10 has an incomplete 72 page summary of features that calls itself a datasheet [dropbox.com] compared to a fairly nice 205 page peripheral datasheet [raspberrypi.org] for the Broadcom BCM2835 SOC in the Raspberry Pi.

The Allwinner A10, like the BCM2835, uses closed source proprietary libraries to access 3D features of its GPU. The MALI 400 GPU is being reverse engineered which is why there is a preliminary open source GPU driver [gitorious.org] .

The Allwinner A10 CPU/GPU are faster but less efficient and use more power than the Raspberry Pi's BCM2835.

The Rhombus Allwinner A10 has no final cost yet unlike the Raspberry Pi. They are hoping to hit a $15 price point if they purchase 100,000 units. The Raspberry Pi is available today at $35 which was achieved with only an initial 10,000 units purchased.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40572779)

Thanks for the clarification.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (2, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#40573457)

The Raspberry Pi is available today at $35

Stop lying. Its LISTED on a site somewhere, but its NOT available. You can click it, send money and wait till November, thats not selling, thats pre ordering.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (1)

dululu (608910) | about 2 years ago | (#40573917)

The Raspberry Pi is available today at $35

Stop lying. Its LISTED on a site somewhere, but its NOT available. You can click it, send money and wait till November, thats not selling, thats pre ordering.

How is he lying? I've got my Raspberry Pi in my hands, so it is available today. The fact that you hyave a long waiting period doesn't mean that it's not available

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (1)

horza (87255) | about 2 years ago | (#40575671)

When you order a couch, you can wait a couple of months before you finally take delivery. If you order, and they make it clear you will take delivery in November, then the terms and conditions are clear. If your shopping experience is limited to throwing things into a trolley at Walmart then this may be difficult to understand, but this kind of thing is not uncommon in the real world.

Phillip.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40577305)

I eventually got mine. But let's be honest, they really should have just farmed out real, grown-up production from the beginning.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | about 2 years ago | (#40574425)

I agree there, its not "available". You can order it, but it has to be procued first, the people before you in line will have to get theirs, and so it won't be shipped in quite some time.

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40571803)

Bonus: comes with open source GPU driver, unlike RasPi.

Bonus: comes with PRC backdoor built-in! Of course, the RasPi probably does too...

Re:Highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC (2)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40572267)

comes with open source GPU driver, unlike RasPi.

Really? Where are the sources? I know the limaproject is trying to implement one, but I have yet to see an open source driver that does anything more than bare-bones 2D support, let alone actual 3D.

Cue! (0, Redundant)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#40570885)

Cue the "it sucks", "why bother", "too expensive" whinges.

*looks up*

Oh, too late. Already started.

Re:Cue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40575163)

Correct form of "cue"? You're one of them fancy-pants college boys, aren't you?

Yay! (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#40571041)

A Raspberry pie article! I haven't seen one in days, already had withdrawal symptoms.

That said, I'm still trying to order one. WTF? They were supposed to be readily available this week.
After a long time on the waiting list, element14 still gives me the "Real Soon Now!" message.

Re:Yay! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#40571205)

A Raspberry pie article! I haven't seen one in days, already had withdrawal symptoms.

How do you tell? Is the victim curled up in a Pi shape?

Re:Yay! (1)

Zebedeu (739988) | about 2 years ago | (#40576747)

You have to pre-register.
After a while you'll get an email with an order code you can use on the website.
I did it when the Rpi was announced and got the email a few weeks later.

I was really busy at the time, so I ignored the email and forgot about it.
Until two weeks ago, when I decided to follow through with the order. They're expecting to send it "within 10 weeks", which frankly is a lot, but not unexpected.

I'm going to attach an external USB drive to it and set it up in a remote location to serve as a remote backup and a private proxy server (different country, could be useful).

Master & Archimedes models next please (3, Interesting)

drunkahol (143049) | about 2 years ago | (#40571045)

Loving my Model B Pi, but can't help thinking that there's a niche wanting filled for systems that can actually function as a near normal desktop. Something with more grunt, more RAM etc. My phone is a quad core ARM CPU, why not a system a little larger than the Pi for the older audience who remember the Model B, Master & Archimedes the first time round. We have the cashflow and desire to use.
(just don't make an Electron version - even if it has Plus 1 and Plus 3 expansion modules like I had back in the day!)

D

Model A vs. Model B - History Repeats Itself (4, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#40571821)

Seems like history repeating itself here. As Slashdotters may know, the "Model A" and "Model B" designations are a homage to the two original versions of the BBC Micro. [wikipedia.org] In that case (as Braben himself will be aware!), the more powerful Model B was by far the more popular of the two despite its higher cost. The "BBC B 32K" became the canonical version of the computer, with the Model A little more than a footnote.

So is this the same situation we're seeing here?

(just don't make an Electron version - even if it has Plus 1 and Plus 3 expansion modules like I had back in the day!)

Yes... given that the Acorn Electron [wikipedia.org] - intended as a cut-down "home" version of the BBC Micro- was a flop (*) that led to Acorn being taken over, that would probably be A Bad Thing. Also, as far as I know, the Electron was pretty underpowered and needed those add-on modules for any "serious" expansion.

(*) Sort of- apparently what happened was that there *was* quite high demand for it, but they had problems with the custom ULA chip and couldn't get enough out in time for Christmas. By the time they had the problem sorted out in the New Year, those potential customers had bought rival machines instead and Acorn were left with warehouses full of unsold Electrons.

Re:Model A vs. Model B - History Repeats Itself (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#40573325)

So is this the same situation we're seeing here?

Had they gone with the original plan of having half the ram on the model A compared to the model B I would have thought so.

But they decided a while back to put the same ammount of ram on both. That leaves us in a situation where the core hardware that is important to software developers is the same between both models, the only difference is whether or not the USB hub with ethernet is present.

Re:Master & Archimedes models next please (2)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | about 2 years ago | (#40574515)

Loving my Model B Pi, but can't help thinking that there's a niche wanting filled for systems that can actually function as a near normal desktop. Something with more grunt, more RAM etc.

What about nettops, then? Okay, they cost more than the Raspberry PI, but you get a fairly decent, low power and small footprint desktop computer that can run your OS of choice while being a more than competent HTPC.

For what it's worth, I've been using a ZOTAC ZBOX HD-AD01 for more than one year as my main computer (while much more capable hardware is mostly gathering dust) and just the other day Tom's Hardware compared seven of them [tomshardware.com] in great detail.

RT.

USB power limited by polyfuses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40571473)

For the love of glorb I hope the Model A has bigger polyfuses on the USB ports than 140mA. No USB WiFi adapter works with under 200+mA of power so let's hope that has been considered.

No, it's not easy (4, Funny)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#40571551)

"It's easy to forget that the Raspberry Pi currently shipping is the more expensive model of the board.

No, it's not easy - because Slashdot reminds us of every trivial thing about the Raspberry Pi on a daily basis.

Re:No, it's not easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40574427)

Please continue doing so /.

Re:No, it's not easy (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#40575221)

Dude this is Slashdot. Frankly I would rather see stories like this then all the political crap that they are pushing these days. I suggest that you take a look back to the good old days.
http://web.archive.org/web/19990125103314/http://www.slashdot.org/ [archive.org]
And http://web.archive.org/web/19981111190256/http://slashdot.org/ [archive.org]
For examples of the roots of Slashdot. Oh and you have got to love this.
"Booker writes "So IBM announces a 25 gig hard drive... does the world need this yet? Unless this is in a RAID, would you really want to trust 25 gigs on a single drive? What would you use this for? 400+ hours of MP3s comes to mind... " "
As I sit with a 32 gig microSD card in my phone... Have we become jaded to the wonders around us?

Distributer Shipping Still Too Expensive (0)

Luthair (847766) | about 2 years ago | (#40571581)

Earlier this week I received an email from one of the distribution partners to tell me they were accepting orders, fortunately I noticed during the checkout process that shipping costs "couldn't be determined" at that point and would be tacked on later, mucking around with their shipping calculator it appeared that their cheapest rate is $18 or over 50% of the cost of the Pi.

Re:Distributer Shipping Still Too Expensive (1)

nightfell (2480334) | about 2 years ago | (#40573353)

it appeared that their cheapest rate is $18 or over 50% of the cost of the Pi.

Really, *that's* your complaint? That the Raspberry Pi is so inexpensive that a sub-$20 international shipping rate is too high relative to the price of the device for your liking?

Re:Distributer Shipping Still Too Expensive (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 2 years ago | (#40574417)

That's a pretty reasonable complaint. For my situation, shipping is $12 through newark.

35 + 12, + tax.. pretty much 50 bucks. A bit of a stretch from the semi-disposable-25-dollar-PC meme.

I get pi sized parcels from china all the time for $5 *including* the bloody contents, so $18 for something that size is ridiculous. Even ignoring the fact that it nearly doubles the price - If a pi was $200 I'd still feel bad spending $18 on shipping.

Re:Distributer Shipping Still Too Expensive (1)

Luthair (847766) | about 2 years ago | (#40575139)

Exactly, this isn't 1997. I've had computer cases shipped for half that and many online stores offer free shipping on orders around this amount on items significantly heavier (e.g. books).

Re:Distributer Shipping Still Too Expensive (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40575177)

I get pi sized parcels from china all the time for $5 *including* the bloody contents

Exactly - those aren't worth pilfering.

Re:Distributer Shipping Still Too Expensive (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40575399)

If I order a $35 gadget from dealextreme they often mark it signature required, but I still get free shipping from China.

Re:Distributer Shipping Still Too Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40580887)

Neither is a Raspberry Pi, unless your a geek.

oh boy (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40572215)

let me sign up now and wait 6 fucking months if I am one of the lucky ones. Then instead of getting updates on orders I can read about how I should vote for the team being so damned awesome in yet another web e-peen contest! Or read about them doing the maker faire tour instead of getting us some fucking documentation so we dont blow the GPIO ports on the rare, impossible to get chunk of crap, which they are currently clueless about.

PI FOREVER

second thought, fuck that, you can get a better board for not that much more, and wont get ass raped on shipping

Re:oh boy (2)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 years ago | (#40572253)

Would love to see some realistic options if you've got em. Something for the average human that can throw a pre-built linux distro onto an SD card and be off and running. Seriously, not trolling, I've been pining over a raspberry pi forever and I'd love to see some other options.

Re:oh boy (2)

hamster_nz (656572) | about 2 years ago | (#40573371)

A bit harsh... I've got a RPi, cost NZ$53 (US$40ish).including shipping. and 15% tax, so US$36.90 before tax.

Works a bit better than the other ARM boards I've got (the software support is really crap on some no-brander ARM boards).

I've managed to use the GPIO pins for simple stuff too (e.g. with a LVTTL serial to USB) without frying them.

Re:oh boy (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 2 years ago | (#40574153)

if 50 bucks is expensive maybe you should be saving up to pay for rent rather than buying toy computers.

You all started somewhere. (4, Insightful)

ax25-ack (2666807) | about 2 years ago | (#40572791)

I think the project is a good one. I cut my teeth on an on sale TS-1000 from a catalog store Montgomery Wards that had it on closeout for $35.00. Call me stupid, but the hours I spend mashing the membrane keyboard learning every last bit of the z-80 and what it could do still serves me well!

Vaporware (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40572863)

If I cannot buy it, then I consider it vaporware.

Raspberry Pi is a bunch of hype.

Re:Vaporware (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 2 years ago | (#40573205)

and you are also an idiot.

Re:Vaporware (-1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40573905)

the idiots are the ones who bought it, and have yet to receive it

they haven't even began to fulfill the original orders, and here's a new model which they cant produce, yay joy

I wont call it vaporware, but its certainly a tucker

Re:Vaporware (4, Informative)

BlueLightning (442320) | about 2 years ago | (#40574369)

Rubbish. Mine was one of the original orders and it has been fulfilled already. A friend also ordered well after the launch day and has received hers too.

Next...

Raspberry Pi Model C? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40576699)

What is the next spec of Raspberry Pi? Cortex-A15, HDMI 1.3/1.4, GL 4.x/ES 2.x 3D Graphics, on chip Linux/IC, expandable RAM IC 16/32 Gigabyte, replaceable/upgradable ICs, miniXT form factor etc?

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