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Gooseberry Launches Android-based Raspberry Pi Rival

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the where-are-mullberry-blueberry-and-lingonberry? dept.

Android 170

New submitter masternerdguy writes with this snippet from Tom's Hardware about yet another tiny, Linux-capable single-board computer: "The manufacturer claims that the Gooseberry is 'roughly 3 x more powerful in processing power,' and twice the RAM (512 MB) [compared to] the Raspberry Pi. The Gooseberry does not come with analog video and lacks a LAN port, but supports Wi-Fi. At this time, the board only supports Android 4 ICS and Ubuntu without graphics acceleration. However, Gooseberry is offering premade images for Ubuntu. Support for Arch Linux is 'expected in the future.'"

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So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (3, Insightful)

undefinedreference (2677063) | more than 2 years ago | (#40720805)

Even the Raspberry Pi is nothing special. I've been working with cheap tiny COTS SBCs that run Linux for many years... Clearly the average person working in IT/software development/etc has absolutely no awareness of this market.

Re:So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (5, Funny)

Aeros (668253) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721001)

Yes, you are clearly much more aware the the average bear. Where is the appropriate place that we may worship your knowledge? I just want all of us to know.

Re:So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721135)

Yes, you are clearly much more aware the the average bear. Where is the appropriate place that we may worship your knowledge? I just want all of us to know.

Funny that's not how I interpreted that at all.

Then I'm not the sort of douchebag who looks for the worst in everyone so he can condemn it. "What's that? Did he stick his neck out 0.001 inches so now I can cut it verbally? Did he say something I can use against him even if that means twisting it around? Hah! Gotch, biatch!" Nah I don't want to live like that.

If that makes you happy then you go and have fun with that. Tell me how fun the end of that path is. Don't worry. It's popular so you will have the company of like-minded people. Just think about if that's what you really want.

Re:So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (0)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721275)

Where is the appropriate place that we may worship your knowledge?

My recommendation is any place that makes or sells SBCs, and you can make your worship in the form of collecting some freakin' knowledge of your own about the subject.

Re:So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (4, Informative)

undefinedreference (2677063) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721531)

GIYF: https://www.google.com/search?q=linux+sbc [google.com] Come back and complain about my stating the obvious once you've finished reviewing those 1.7M results (this query just scratches the surface - try linux+arm, linux+mips, or linux+[processor model] to get even more options, ranging from SoCs through SoMs and SBCs).

Here's a site that posts press releases about embedded Linux devices/SBCs/etc all this time (and has for at least a decade, I believe): http://www.linuxfordevices.com/ [linuxfordevices.com]

The only thing these new products have are marketing departments that can catch the attention of a big tech press site or two. The spin from there is incredible, considering they're not really doing anything that hasn't been done thousands of times before.

Re:So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721549)

I could be mistaken, but I don't think he was doubting you on that point. I'm quite certain his reply was sparked from the latter part of your post:

Clearly the average person working in IT/software development/etc has absolutely no awareness of this market.

Re:So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40722053)

I could be mistaken, but I don't think he was doubting you on that point. I'm quite certain his reply was sparked from the latter part of your post:

Clearly the average person working in IT/software development/etc has absolutely no awareness of this market.

My penny's worth.
For my sins, I *used* to design microcontroller boards etc (some of the boards I designed are still being used at a number of wind turbine sites), I am now out of the IT game (almost) altogether, but still maintain a listening watch on SBCs etc (private projects, personal amusement.)
Previous job had the amusing experience of watching a better than 'average person' from the IT department trying to develop software for an embedded linux system, with no understanding of the hardware or its limitations (or, being honest, linux either). Great fun was had.

undefinedreference was correct, in my 30 years of playing the IT game, my experience has been that the average electronics engineer knows more about the SBC market that the 'average person working in IT/software development'.

The 'average person working in IT/software development' nowadays is usually a functional moron with a bit of paper stating that they 'know' about computers/networking/software (about on a par with 'It's a UNIX system! I know this!', but nowhere near as entertaining) who might be able to do monkey tasks like quote you all the specs on the current generation of Intel cpus 'OTTOMH' like as if they're gods, but can't fucking explain what *any* of the things they've vomited up from memory really mean (fun thing to do: ask them what's an ALU?), the sort who probably have bought a Pi, which is now sitting in its box in a drawer somewhere (gathering dust), along with all the other 'tech' gewgaws they have purchased over the years in a feeble attempt to boost their 'honest-I'm-a-true-nerd/geek/whatever' status.

(Yes, I have to deal with one of these 'average person working in IT/software development' types at my current place of employ; yes, I have just woken up in a bastard of a grumpy mood;yes, I haven't had any coffee yet; Yes, I think a whole bunch of pseudo-geekoidnerdtypes will buy things like the Pi and do fuck all with them but, as it will drive the price down, I don't care).

Re:So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721117)

What are six words you NEVER, EVER want to hear?

Hai, Ah be yo new neighbah!

Links? (3)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721273)

to where I can buy a cheap linux ($50 usd or less) board that's got ethernet & USB 2.0 and enough horse power to run Quake III at 30fps? Seriously, I've been looking and I can't find them.

Re:Links? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721349)

Where ? It's simple. In two years from now.
Moore's law works.

Re:Links? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721421)

Where ? It's simple. In two years from now.
Moore's law works.

With non-removable Windows and UEFI BIOS for ARM -- maybe. Most hardware manufacturers are completely clueless about people who use development boards.

Re:Links? (4, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721561)

They're getting very, very close to that price point. The VIA mini/micro ATX boards have run about $75 for about five years now. There's a number of $45 motherboards that with processor and ram clock in around $65. I really don't think you can get a whole lot cheaper than that and still reliably run windows.
 
Most of those machines I described will run Quake 3 at 60-120fps.

raspberry pi is special because of value (3, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721749)

Yes, there are many little COTS SBCs that run linux. However, they don't give the mix of capabilities that the Raspberry Pi does for the price that it sells at.

Re:So, unless it's cheap, what is the point? (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721757)

According to TFA, this will cost 40 British Pounds, which translates to US $62. Of course, compared to the Raspberry Pi's availability, price is probably not an issue - this too got sold out.

The More Competitors the Better (5, Insightful)

shione (666388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40720833)

Good to see more manufacturers jumping on the pcb computer craze. So long as these can't run windows (which microsoft wouldnt do since it would eat into their profits), Linux marketshare will only grow. (I'm counting Android as Linux too).

It looks very probable that these pcb computers will be the starting point towards building smart automated appliances in the home.

List of more tiny Linux PCs (5, Informative)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40720931)

While we're on the subject here's an overview [raymii.org] of other tiny Linux PCs, including handhelds like the Pandora and the Ben Nanote. The list of course excludes what potentially could be the most widely deployd tiny Linux PCs, cellphones and 7-inch tablets running Android.

Re:List of more tiny Linux PCs (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722045)

I thank you kindly for that link. Lots of toys to fondle and play with!

LOLFAIL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721029)

> Linux marketshare will only grow

Yeah, if they sell 10 of them, the linux user base will double!

Think different.
Think BETTER.
Think Apple!

Re:LOLFAIL (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721565)

Linux systems are moving a half-billion units a year. That's quite a lot on a planet with only 7 billion humans, half of whom have no technology above the Iron Age.

Re:LOLFAIL (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722095)

Many people buy more than one thing. There may only be 7 billion people on earth and half of them may not have much technology but there are nearly 6 billion cellphone subscribers (as of last year, and still climbing) USA had 331 million cell phones and there were only 316 million people.

Re:LOLFAIL (0)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722203)

I was only counting smartphones, tablets, PCs and such things in the half billion per year. ARM processor sales have outnumbered the Earth's human population for several years if you include semi-smart embedded devices.

Re:The More Competitors the Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721433)

Yes, because Microsoft has been gunning for having Windows running on every refrigerator and dishwasher and having Linux on little PC boards that are merely conversation pieces for geeks who watch them boot up and do nothing else are a real threat to Windows.

Re:The More Competitors the Better (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721477)

Linux market share? There's no way these systems are competing with any modern Desktop / Laptop or even a Tablet.

These systems like the Rasberry Pi are hobbyist toys at best. They're pretty much limited to learning programming and embedded projects. Trying to use them as a desktop system (I own a Raspberry Pi and I've tried it) is an exercise in frustration. I can type faster than AbiWord or LibreOffice can display the characters (I'm just an ok typist, nothing special). I hate to say this, but my old Commodore 64 running GEOS was more responsive as a word processor. Trying to use any web browser is painful. Either you're using one of the stripped down browsers (Midori / Netsurf) which are functional but they're a bit slow and don't support features like javascript which most sites require or you're using Chromium or Iceweasel and it grinds to a halt at the first sign of a script.

Now if you're typing at a bash prompt or using vi over SSH then you're fine. Even using X under LXDE or fluxbox works fairly well as long as you don't do anything to heavy. You can certainly use a basic graphical text editor or something like IDLE and of course the basic operating system GUIs like file managers work. But that's really about the limit of what you're reasonably going to be doing on the desktop. They're just not up to fulling the role most people expect as a modern computer, even a low powered one. So I don't think it's fair to say you're increasing Linux market share in the sense it's normally used (Laptops / Desktops or even typical Android devices)

Re:The More Competitors the Better (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721991)

It looks very probable that these pcb computers will be the starting point towards building smart automated appliances in the home.

Not without getting a hell of a lot cheaper - I.E. down in the $3-5 range. Most appliances are in the sub $100 range, so adding $40 pcb computers is going to be a non starter.

Re:The More Competitors the Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40722135)

"I'm counting Android as Linux too"

Don't, its dalvic.

More powerful, way more open (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40720837)

Unlike the Pi, this board has an actual modern CPU (an ARMv7 Cortex-A8 at 1GHz), a more open SoC (Allwinner A10, which is a chinese ARM SoC and isn't bound by the aura of Broadcom NDAs, and also has a sane boot process unlike the Broadcom chip in the Pi that needs a GPU binblob to even boot), and its GPU (ARM Mali400), while closed (as all mobile GPUs are currently), is actively being reverse engineered and an open source driver is expected in the near future. It certainly is not perfect, but it seems a lot more palatable than the slow, outdated, and Broadcom-proprietary-to-hell-and-back Pi.

Finally, an affordable ARM SBC that doesn't actually suck. This one I'll buy.

Re:More powerful, way more open (3, Interesting)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40720849)

It sucks a bit harder than the MK802 [engadget.com] , I think. If they end up similarly priced, then the Pi is still a better deal.

Re:More powerful, way more open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721019)

You say it sucks like the MK802 and then you link to a positive review of the MK802 done by people that actually used and bench-marked it. I'm not sure how valid your opinion is.

Re:More powerful, way more open (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721177)

Finally, an affordable ARM SBC that doesn't actually suck.

It sucks a bit harder than the MK802 [engadget.com], I think

I merely meant to point out that the MK802 was a bit better than the Gooseberry (and already available for some time, at approximately the same price). I used a comparative scale of "suckiness" because that was the terminology used by the OP. I could equally use a scale of "awesomeness" and say that the MK802 is "a bit more awesome" than the Gooseberry.

LOL (2, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721059)

Every mention of the Raspberry Pi has comments to this glorious Allwinner chip the chinese seem to be pedaling. Sounds like Kim Jong Ill himself cast the silicon with his very fingerprint! The goal of the Pi is low cost, not performance.

Re:LOL (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721157)

Except...

Kim Jong Il was Korean, if I recall correctly? Notwithstanding the issue of his place and date of birth...

Re:More powerful, way more open (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721579)

$25 and you can buy it, vs $62 vapourware.

Re:More powerful, way more open (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721773)

I'm sure you meant the other way around? According to TFA, despite the $62 price tag, it sold out very quickly.

Re:More powerful, way more open (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722017)

There's a big difference between a test run with no immediate plan to make more, and sustained production. In the former case, especially the price doesn't matter -- fixed costs dwarf any per-item ones so the price is only a wild guess.

This said, the amount of memory on Pi cripples it, and it's good to see attempts to make devices without this flaw.

Re:More powerful, way more open (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722279)

The RPi is now producing 4,000 a week and shipping as many as are coming off the production line. Availability can be a bit spotty, but I had someone drop four on my desk yesterday, so they're definitely around...

The point of the RPi seems to be missed on many of the 'competitors' though. It's cheap, has a load of GPIO pins, and runs a general purpose OS. It's designed as a modern BBC Micro - something that schools can use to teach programming and can use to control things like robots, not as a low-end Linux computer. The fact that it runs Linux is entirely incidental (and, actually, a compromise: the original plan was to have it boot directly into a REPL programming environment, just like the BBC).

Re:More powerful, way more open (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721783)

According to TFA there was some supply but they're sold out.

Re:More powerful, way more open (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721805)

Since it's already more expensive than the Raspberry Pi, why not throw in an ethernet port as well? Also, for the OS, they could have tried Minix 3.2, instead of Android, and had lower demand on CPU and memory. I think that a choice of OSs for these - say Android and Minix - would be ideal. Not just for licensing reasons, but also b'cos Minix is a far smaller footprint.

On a different note, I think that this will be a platform that both Linux and Minix can be successful on, not PCs. Main reason - a non-x86 CPU, for starters, and then really low memory requirements. I wouldn't try running X, KDE or GNOME on it, but it sounds ideal for running something like Emacs. ;-)

Re:More powerful, way more open (3, Funny)

inasity_rules (1110095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722183)

Andrew Tanenbaum? Is that you?

Re:More powerful, way more open (4, Interesting)

Alistair Hutton (889794) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722179)

The Gooseberry is basically the main board from the wave of 7 and 8 inch android tablets currently coming out of China without the touch screen or chassis. My Momo8 tablet is pretty much exactly the same spec as the Gooseberry but with twice the ram and storage. You can probably tell what tablet the Gooseberry comes from by looking at the shape of the board, has a fairly distinctive rounded corner.

Re:More powerful, way more open (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722299)

The Gooseberry is basically the main board from the wave of 7 and 8 inch android tablets currently coming out of China without the touch screen or chassis

I haven't the time to check, but if anyone is interested they could check reference designs from ARM's site - maybe this board is one of the reference designs provided by ARM to the China White Box cellphone factories
 

*Yawn* (5, Insightful)

WildTangent (982186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40720839)

This is nothing more than a tablet PCB some guys sourced from a manufacturer in Asia that they're selling as some sort of development kit when it lacks even the most basic of facilities for hardware development such as JTAG headers, or GPIO pins. Call me when somebody actually tries to compete with the Raspberry Pi instead of pulling this jump-on-the-bandwagon crap.

Re:*Yawn* (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40720869)

Most Raspberry Pis are bought by people who will never do any hardware development at all. They're bought as servers and media players. For that purpose, this alternative should be quite suitable, as it has more RAM and a much more capable CPU than the Raspberry PI.

Re:*Yawn* (2)

WildTangent (982186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40720883)

... They're bought as servers and media players. For that purpose, this alternative should be quite suitable ...

Without a LAN port? Good luck.

Re:*Yawn* (2)

csumpi (2258986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721065)

This board apparently has wifi. That's a great plus. Wifi signal is much easier to find than an ethernet cable.

I don't understand why you think wifi is not good enough for a home server/media player. I watch movies on my laptop over wifi, works awesome.

Re:*Yawn* (1, Troll)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721413)

And so much slower / more unstable than a physical connection.

And who thinks it's hard to find an Ethernet cable? You buy a box off them (20-25 ft.) off of NewEgg for $100, and grab one whenever you need one. It's like complaining that you have to open a refrigerator door to get at some food.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721459)

So you carry your refrigerator around with you everywhere?

Re:*Yawn* (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721581)

And so much slower / more unstable than a physical connection.

That's not my experience. Wifi is surprisingly responsive these days, and while the theoretical speed maximum is never reached, there is plenty of bandwidth left. For a mini home LAN, it's excellent.

wifi sucks for lots of data (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721759)

Compared to gigE, it takes a LONG time to back up dozens of gigs of data via wifi. Even at 5GHz with wide channels and line-of-sight.

Re:wifi sucks for lots of data (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722107)

Compared to gigE, it takes a LONG time to back up dozens of gigs of data via wifi. Even at 5GHz with wide channels and line-of-sight.

And just exactly where are you going to either get or put those dozens of gigs of data? Talk about unreasonable expectations.

Re:wifi sucks for lots of data (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722479)

One of the applications for these boxes are backup servers. Not servers that store data, but servers that move data around to make a backup of PC A onto another PC B. In other words, servers that move bytes around. Wifi sucks balls at moving bytes compared to gigE. There is no question about it.

Wireless is great, but only if it's unreasonable to expect a cable. For phones or tablets. A laptop on the move. For the rest, I'll take my wired Cat6 cable over Wifi every day of the year.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722243)

Unless you live in a house with 1m thick stone walls.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722349)

Speed is reasonable these days with 80211n, it comes close to 100Mbps. But the latency is still horrible compared to wired.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721785)

Yep, 1080p with DTS is TOTALLY watchable over wifi. Good luck with that mate.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721921)

Wifi for servers and media players? For music and low definition video, maybe. I wouldn't wager it doing much better than 720p video if even that unless it were right next to the access point, and even then it would be sketchy.

Re:*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721073)

The cheaper Raspberry Pi doesn't have a LAN port either. The more expensive one has a USB-to-LAN chip onboard. You can just plug in a cheap USB Ethernet adapter and have the same functionality with this. Or just use the Wifi.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721129)

The WiFi is something I've been hoping for. But I'm having a hard time finding a spec on the dimensions, it looks like 2x or so larger than RPi.

Re:*Yawn* (2)

WildTangent (982186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721225)

You can just plug in a cheap USB Ethernet adapter and have the same functionality with this.

With what USB port? It only has the micro-USB charging port that can be converted to USB-host with the appropriate adapter. Go ahead and look up the full specs, they're not even mentioned in TFA.

Re:*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40722121)

The Raspberry Pi is the same hardware wise. They just hide it better, because they put a hub with integrated Ethernet adapter on the board. These systems are all based on SoCs which are meant to be used in portable devices, hence the single USB port. There are other SoCs which are designed with more connectivity in mind, like the one that's going in the Google TV 2, but the ultracheap ones that are available now (including the Raspberry Pi) are tablet and cellphone SoCs.

Re:*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721171)

...and lacks a LAN port, but supports Wi-Fi

From the summary. I'm not trolling, I don't understand why this wouldn't be good enough for most people - feel free to explain.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722157)

I don't understand it either. I been designing, building, and programming my own systems since the early '80's and that doesn't even touch my professional work for the US Navy. I can twiddle bits with the best of 'em. I may be overreaching here but it seems that many expect medium to high-end performance from a bread-board computer (actually much smaller than a breadboard). I would also hazard that they are conflating 'hobbyist' with 'usable by anyone'. Oops!

Not my problem. I just want something to create my own OS from scratch ;-).

Maybe... (2, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40720841)

they'll make enough of these fucking things that I can actually buy one!

LK

Re:Maybe... (1)

ambidextroustech (2597091) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721039)

they'll make enough of these fucking things that I can actually buy one!

LK

It's all about price. The Gooseberry and ODROID-X are all above $100, which makes it not nearly as desirable as the Raspberry Pi @ $35.

If these PCB computer makers want my business, they'll have to sell below $50 because I can find a PC that at least has a hard drive for that price.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721085)

Yep. $35 is really hard to beat. By the time it gets to about $50, I can get a used PC for that price, sure, it won't be ARM but that's really no big deal.

Re:Maybe... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721827)

The Gooseberry was mentioned to be $62. A lot less than $100. $50 is a tall order for such a system, especially given the wish list of open specifications of all the parts in the board - which is what makes the learning tool worth it.

Re:Maybe... (1)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721767)

I ordered my second RasPi on the 23rd of June, it shipped on the 17th of July.

Production is in full swing and there are very few people desperate to get hold of one now. Add to that the restriction of one per customer has been dropped. For £30 (delivered) you could have one (or more) in much less than a month.

I prefer the taste of Raspberries over Gooseberrys (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40720913)

But I would probably prefer the taste of Katty Perry's cherry chapstick over both!

Re:I prefer the taste of Raspberries over Gooseber (0, Offtopic)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721037)

I sure hope your boyfriend doesn't mind it.

My new machine will be even better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40720919)

The new Dingleberry 5000.

Who needs those... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40720967)

I already have a dangleberry

ready for TSA at the movie theater? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721003)

that's right it's only a matter of time before you need to submit to the cancer beam to get in to see the MPAAs latest farce! Land of the free, dude!

I want Slackberry (2)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721013)

Any berry board running Slackware derivative ARMED Slack.

size? I/O? Power? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721033)

Does anyone have a link to page with useful information about this board? What is the physical size? What sort of I/O headers does it have? What is he power consumption (both active and idle)?

Re:size? I/O? Power? (4, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721143)

There is a FAQ on their site:

http://gooseberry.atspace.co.uk/ [atspace.co.uk]

They acknowledge they don't really fully know what they have, it's a circuit board they've found and are offering.

Re:size? I/O? Power? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721155)

None of those questions are relevant as the board is not available to buy. The company only made (or obtained) a small batch which have all been allocated.

Looking at the photo of the board, it's obvious from its shape that it was designed to fit inside sort sort of gadget. So presumably these boards came from the gadget-maker - either as rejects, unsellable gadgets or as surplus/bankrupt stock. Whether there'll ever be any more would depend on the success of the original gadget these were used to make.

No LInux currently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721175)

Linux is projected/hoped-for, but without a date. From the FAQ, http://gooseberry.atspace.co.uk/?page_id=108 [atspace.co.uk]

Unfortunately, due to a slight change in the board, existing working Linux distributions are no longer functional on the board. This leaves only Android ICS as the compatible OS out of the box . We are confident that this is fixable issue but it may take time and when it will be resolved is still unknown.

'Vaporware Class-3: May congeal with sufficient arm-waving.'

We need a freedom friendly version of the Pi (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721179)

The price doesn't bother me so much as the dependency on non-free drivers/firmware for these devices. Even a $100 USD device wouldn't be that bad if it was freedom friendly. I would buy a few hundred if someone would design one without any proprietary dependencies. For a project that is geared toward education they do a lousy job at offering something that is truly hacker friendly. The alternative is for these projects to reverse engineer the "Intel" graphics chipset which all or many of them are using. Or whichever other graphics chipsets would work and then use them.

We need a LIBERATED version of the Pi (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721893)

A liberated version? Why not start w/ the Alwinner, and then use chipsets from companies that don't have much, or any IP w/ them. Leave out the GPU - and use any ethernet and WiFi SoCs that are fully documented. Using this combination, one should get a fully Liberated platform.

On the software end of things, why not use something like HURD? If you can get emacs running, nothing else should be needed - no X, no GNOME and no proprietary GPUs. Only that the footprint of the HURD is not well known as yet, but if they replaced the Mach microkernel w/ a fork of Minix, they could have the liberated OS that this platform needs. And teach a whole bunch of people the wonders of emacs, and let them work from there.

I still have a VIA Epia (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721193)

...that's been running as a bare HTPC for several years. OK, support still sucks for these boards in every sense of the word, shoehorning the drivers in has been a nightmare (on Windows and Linux) but fortunately I picked right first time and have only ever had to do that once.

It still runs Slackware 8.

If not for the stupid amount of money I spent on it (even back then nearly £200 for board and brick was a bit steep, but I needed compact and quiet), then I'd be binning it and investing in a pair of RasPis.

Re:I still have a VIA Epia (2)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721809)

Like you I have been using VIA for my home server needs for a few years. The Artigo A1000 [via.com.tw] actually. Until the RasPi was announced and all of a sudden the little black box died.

When I consider my RasPi stable enough to run as an rTorrent/web server I'll be using even less power and be even happier.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721207)

Who cares? Let me know when someone who can actually make these has bloody supply. I'm an IT Manager for a training institution and I'd love to deploy these.... if they fucking existed in commercial quantities!

Re:Yawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721673)

commercial != strip-mall institution

But what about Snozzberry? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721247)

Oompa loompa doompa dee durd
If you're into this, you are a nerd.
And you will live in nerdiness too
Like the Oompa loompa doompa di do!

Amazing demand for little ARM PCs (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721251)

Raspberry Pi presold sight unseen over 350,000 units while restricted to one-per-customer. They ramped up the factory to 4,000 units a day [raspberrypi.org] - a run rate of 1.5 million units a year. They're little bare project boards. We're not even sure what we can do with them yet. Now that the schools they were intended for can order them in the bulk appropriate to the use of entire school districts full of students they may ramp quite a bit. School districts order in the dozens of units for test/dev and for deployment up to tens or hundreds of thousands so in the launch enthusiasm for RPi they were pretty much shut out so far. It doesn't hurt at all that their HDMI video output is standard input for flat panel monitors and TV's these past few years, so displays for them are everywhere and likely to last far longer than the PCs they came with.

If a bunch of hardware OEMs aren't snapping to attention over this they should be. The march of tiny low power ARM platforms seems to not want to stop. Now we have the Android TV dongle, five of these SBCs including the one in the fine article, a Kickstarter for OUYA [kickstarter.com] that raised $5.3 million so far in 11 days from 41,000 backers who have no guarantee the product will ever even be made, on the strength of the reputation of the participants and the description of a product that isn't anticipated even being made until 9 months out - if they succeed in making it at all. That so many would put so much of their own personal money on only the promise of a thing is evidence of immense underlying demand for something.

Of course over in China and India they're making about a thousand different kinds of low-cost Android devices including a 7" tablet that costs $40 [bbc.com] and runs Android ICS. Then there's the Nexus 7 tablet which sold out in retail stores around the planet on launch day [gottabemobile.com] and the 16GB version is even sold out on the Google Play store until further notice [google.com] and the 8GB version probably soon will be - most of them were presold before they even hit the shelves. This one alone may move 10 million units the first year or more. Maybe much more. It's a product that may have buyers camped out at retailers awaiting fresh shipments like they were iThings.

The iThings are going great by the way, moving about a 500,000 units a day between iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch - every one a neat little ARM PC. And they just opened up the China market, which is like a whole third of everybody.

At last report little Android ARM PCs that also happen to have cellular phone capability are also doing well, activating 1,000,000 units a day - a run rate of 365,000,000 per year and still growing at a 2.5x pace year over year. And early next year come little ARM SOCs with 75% more processing power and 2x the graphics power for about the same price - and the SBCs that are made from them. Wow, the pace of progress here is stunning. It's like the early '90s again in PC land.

The traditional PC is stagnant. If you have one that's not too old you probably can suffer through another couple years with it, or until it fails completely, and save the money you would have put to a new one on one of these amazing new things. It's not like your laptop isn't already overpowered for what you're using it for. People have a certain budget for neat new gear anyway, and with adequate laptops costing $300 it's not like there's not money left over in the US market even if it is time to update your PC. The traditional PC market isn't going to collapse right away but I think it has peaked, plateaued, and begun its long gradual decline. In time, all things end.

All of these new things work wonderfully together, and work great with traditional PCs too. They're almost all thin clients as well as being neat little PCs that use almost no power. If I was a traditional PC OEM I would be terrified. I would be mortified. I would be thinking about how to profit from this. Well, no I wouldn't because I'd already be working this thing like a rented mule since years ago, but you get the idea.

Re:Amazing demand for little ARM PCs (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721691)

in all fairness there is no guarantee the pi will be made, heres the deal, they have already sold 350k but have shipped a fraction of that, then they up production (like it really takes that much, they should be buying their own used pick-n-place line by now) with untold thousands STILL on backorder and lifted limits

they are selling phantom products like mad with no promise to not up and vanish once their monetary goal is reached regardless of product produced

I seriously doubt they would do it, but its totally setup for a large scam ... which is shit business

and I am sorry I retired my 1ghz PC nearly a decade ago

Re:Amazing demand for little ARM PCs (1)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721849)

I'll refer you to my earlier comment [slashdot.org] .

I have two of them and pictures to prove it.

It's not a scam, there are lots of people out there who own them. Get an order put in and see if you like playing with something that you can afford to break by wiring it up to all sorts of (low amperage) gear.

Re:Amazing demand for little ARM PCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40721895)

Except for the fact that they've already shipped close to 200,000 of the little buggars - so you are quite behind the times.

Two separate international distributors are producing 4,000 boards a day.

Both offer unrestricted ordering (although they'd rather you get in contact to order more than 10) and one offers a lead time of only 4-6 weeks on those orders.

Raspberry Pi foundation has no monetary goal to meet - their goal has always been educational. Why would a company in that field want their own manufacturing - Apple are one of the most profitable computer companies of the day and THEY don't even have their own production lines!

If you retired your PC a decade ago you're old enough to know that GHz metrics aren't the best measure of general performance (even given that this thing isn't designed to replace that anyway - if you ran that old PC for a year you'd spend on electricity the same amount as a RasPi costs!)

Anything else ?

Re:Amazing demand for little ARM PCs (1)

KenSeymour (81018) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722463)

Mine is waiting for me at home. When I get home I'll find out how good it is or if I wasted my $35.
I got my order in in April so I waited 4 months. Now I hear you can order more than one.

Re:Amazing demand for little ARM PCs (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721823)

I wouldn't say the PC is declining; it has just plateaued.

It's been said many other places and times, but what seems to be happening is that more and more niches are being filled with their own computer form factors - mainframes, workstations, PCs, netbooks, mobiles, and now pure-hobbyist computers.

(Also, though PC development has slowed, it's still progressing at a respectable rate: my 3 year old computer is outclassed by new ones, both in graphics card (mine has 1/2 to 1/4 the VRAM of comparable new laptops), CPU (1/2 the cores, though eqiv. clock speed), and especially hard disk (mine's a spinny thing, not solid state)).

Like you said, a new computer isn't necessary - a 3-year-old one can do all day-to-day stuff - but development continues, and performance still improves noticeably. Boot times, in particular, are still dropping.

Re:Amazing demand for little ARM PCs (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722043)

When you buy an SSD - now about $75, it comes with a utility to migrate your boot drive to it. If you do that you will see at least a 30x improvement in drive I/O - which will make an old laptop PC seem like it's from 10 years in the future. It turns out that the slowness of spinning rust drives have held back latencies for far too long. Solid state is where it's at these days, and giving a 5 year old PC a solid state drive catapults it a decade into the future. It's far better than buying a new PC. It was fast enough already for everything the customer wanted to do except booting, so this is almost too much progress.

The Linux kids have known this for quite some time, as we installed knoppix on pens long ago and were like "Holy Cow! How did that boot so fast?"

Re:Amazing demand for little ARM PCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40722461)

LOLOLOL your so fucking wrong its funny. Wake me up when these things can run skyrim, visual studio, ableton live and photoshop. In b4 the inevitable 'get a mac for creative programs and a console for games" troll.

Rival? (2)

jampola (1994582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721779)

Twice the size, nearly 3 times the price, no GPIO headers, no expansion for the RasPI Cam and Display. Oh, and it runs Android (seriously, apples and oranges anyone??) Yep... I can really see it rivaling the Pi.

This is the kind of headline I expect to read over at Gizmodo. For shame /., for shame.

Re:Rival? (2)

SilenceBE (1439827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40721909)

nearly 3 times the price

Maybe I'm bad at math but the farnell quote for me was +/- 45 euro. The gooseberry would be +/- 55 euro's. How is this 3 times the price ?

Talking about Apple and oranges why do people always compare with the cheaper (not existing) model ? It's an intellectual dishonest comparison especially if (some) in the same sentence bitch of the lack of Ethernet port.

no GPIO headers

Yeah great for the 10 people who do hardware design with those things. And then when you want to interface with the outside world I rather have a board that teams up with an arduino. If I remember the first quotes of the gertboard it will even be cheaper and there are tons of documentation already out there. No need to invent the wheel twice.

no expansion for the RasPI Cam and Display

Yeah because the RasPI cam is the only camera that is available. And display ? The things has a standard LVDS header so you can pick up one of the hundreds (cheaps) displays and connect it with ease. How are those LVDS boards coming which have been discussed in the past on the RPI forum ? Oh, and it runs Android

Every A10 device out there is capable of booting Linux on a external SD out of the box... . So no it doesn't run Android. It runs Android AND linux.

For shame /., for shame.

You aren't an employee of the RPI foundation with any chance ? You guys have the tendency to have very long toes. The funny and remarkable thing is that the RPI needed to spark a whole new interest in cheap computing devices but anytime somebody talks about an alternative or an alternative comes to the market, they get it arms... .

Re:Rival? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40722021)

the farnell quote for me was +/- 45 euro

Let's stamp out this incorrect usage of +/-. That only makes sense when expressing a potential variance of error range.

If I say that something costs £45 +/- £5 means it can cost in the range of £40 to £50. Writing just "+/- £45" makes no sense.

If something costs in the region of £45, the accepted presentation is ~ £45.

Re:Rival? (1)

SilenceBE (1439827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722257)

Boy you must have a surprisingly thrilling life if you are gonna try to nitpick over this. And even then you are partly incorrect.

+/- also comes from the latin plus-minus which means "more or less"... . Look it up.

Allwinner A10 (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722015)

The CPU is an Allwinner A10 [allwinnertech.com] , designed and built in China and selling for about $7. It's an impressive piece of technology.

That board, though, looks like the guts of a tablet or notebook [google.com] , not a development board. There are a number of development boards available [wits-tech.com] at various price points. For $70 you can get an A10 in a box with connectors, [liliputing.com] suitable for entertainment applications.

Geode? (1)

0ld_d0g (923931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722123)

How does it compare to the AMD Geode (x86) based SBCs? I've slapped on Voyage Linux (debian) on one of those for a project I'm working on. The great thing for me is that I can simply copy binaries of my project over from my ubuntu dev box without any cross-compilation. Makes debugging much easier.

Fuck android (3, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40722269)

Why use something weak like Android when you can have a real Linux distro?

Possible Robotics Platform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40722281)

Lacking in details. For years I've been looking for a decent robotics platforms beyond the virtually useless world of microcontrollers on the market. Android phones are almost ideal.. so I wonder.. The ideal board would have:
- Lots (30+) of fast I/O lines (USB to DB25 connectors crudely work for stepper motors and various sensors)
- Audio I/O (stereo out is common on smart phones but stereo in would be more useful)
- Video camera (smart phones have one but stereo would be ideal)
- GPGPU capability (e.g. Cuda or OpenCL; a build in FPGA would be truly sweet but an easy way to encode HDL into it would also be needed)
- Drivers for a broad range of computer peripherals
- Lots of fast memory (the more the better)
- A reasonably fast processor (2ghz Arm is fine)

This will enable building humanoids, autonomous quadrocopters, etc. One major key to good walking bipeds, for example, is rich sensory feedback.

Where are the sources? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40722321)

Yet another GPL violating hardware device. Please people, don't support companies that fail to provide the sources to GPL binaries.

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