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Raspberry Pi's $25 Model A Hits Production Line

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the house-automation-brain-perhaps dept.

Hardware 105

hypnosec writes "The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that the cheaper variant of the Raspberry Pi — the Model A — has entered production phase. Model A of the credit-card sized computer has been stripped of its Ethernet port and a USB port, leaving just one USB port. This model comes with 256MB RAM, but as it is less complex compared to its predecessor it will consume less power, thus opening up quite a few new usage scenarios. The Foundation has posted the first image of the $25 Model A on its site and noted 'We're anticipating that those of you who buy the Model A will be using it for different applications from Model B owners.'"

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It's true! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151473)

I'm using my model A for frosty pissing.

Re:It's true! (2)

ipquickly (1562169) | about 2 years ago | (#42151867)

I'm using my model A for frosty pissing.

Go ahead.. plug it into a 220 V outlet first tho.

Refresher (1)

Icyfire0573 (719207) | about 2 years ago | (#42151499)

I thought the model A and B came out at the same time? Did the B come out first for the enthusiasts to fund the reduced model. (I know the stated goal of the A is for education) whereas the goal for the B would presumably be for hackers. That being said I am actually borrowing a friends RPi to see about it's use as a serial console and I am not disappointed.

Re:Refresher (5, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#42151557)

The plan was for the B to be released first as the intial release was aimed at early adoptors and developers, the model A would then follow soon afterwards.

However that was back when they throught demand for the Pi would be in the tens of thousands. With the manufacturing partners scrambling to meet demand (and being frustrated by SoC lead times) they did not want to divert SoCs away from model B production to model A production.

Now that the situation is starting to improve and stabalise they are finally bringing up the model A production (though how long it will be before they are readilly available is anyones guess).

Re:Refresher (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152967)

The plan was for the B to be released first as the intial release was aimed at early adoptors and developers

No, that was a ret-con to save face after the initial problems with the B-model.

Visit their site and try to find any official pages that say it's for developers. It's a mantra that is chanted on the fora but has no basis in fact.

The very first answer in their FAQ says:

"It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does".

Nothing there about being experimental or developmental.

Too little too late? (4, Informative)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | about 2 years ago | (#42151503)

I'm wondering if the model A will really have much of a market.

The end of the market that the A might have been useful in may well have been overtaken by the top-end of the M-series ARM processors, especially with companies like STM now pitching boards like the Discovery STM32F4 [st.com] for $20 or so.

Yes, it's got less RAM, less MIPS and so forth -- but it *is* 100% open and incredibly capable for what it is.

Re:Too little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151599)

The STM32 chips can do some wonderful things, however, there's only limited overlap.

- if you need a real operating system / file system type paradigm and megabytes of RAM, an all-on-one-chip solution can't compete with something like the pi or a beagle.

- but, for a serious embedded application, the pi's weak SDcard socket may be a serious disadvantage.

- also it's lack of openness or ease of producing a customized version - unlike so many of the other boards, it is emphatically NOT an evaluation or reference design.

Re:Too little too late? (3, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#42151755)

It also lacks HDMI.... Nobody really cares about how open this board is except for the few loudmouths on this site. The fact that the boards sell out so quick is proof.

Re:Too little too late? (0)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#42151991)

It also lacks HDMI....

Got to wonder how these crazy fools plugged HDMI into it then: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=164893 [raspberrypi.org] . And the picture from TFA sure as hell seems to have an HDMI port sitting on the side there.

Re:Too little too late? (1, Informative)

Kawahee (901497) | about 2 years ago | (#42152143)

I think you've misread the comment, the GP isn't saying that the Raspberry Pi lacks HDMI.

Re:Too little too late? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42153155)

Why are you posting a link about the raspberry pi, to prove that the STM32 microcontroller has HDMI?

Try reading the datasheet for the thing actually being talked about: http://www.st.com/internet/evalboard/product/252419.jsp [st.com]

There is NO HDMI. Not to mention it only has 1mb of flash and 192kb of ram.
This device isn't even in the same class of computing devices! It's a micro-controller, not a micro-computer. Micro-controllers do not natively do video out at all, you would need one fast enough to manually bit-bang composite video signals out of an IO pin. You would be hard pressed to find a micro-controller fast enough to bit-bang HDMI signals, let alone output it.

Pointing out that a completely different and unrelated device such as the rasp-pi has HDMI, does not at all follow that every microcontroller and 8 pin chip out there can also output HDMI.

Re:Too little too late? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152971)

The fact that it sells so well is proof that lots of people don't care so much that they'll boycott the product.

It is not proof that only a few loudmouths on this site are the ones who care, and no one else.

Two entirely different sets, and not mutually exclusive.

Re:Too little too late? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 2 years ago | (#42157973)

i care, i just don't care enough not to buy one.

Re:Too little too late? (4, Insightful)

c++0xFF (1758032) | about 2 years ago | (#42152117)

Completely different markets. The RP is NOT a microcontroller. It is not an Arduino. It is a full ARM computer (albeit a slow one compared to what you have on your desk). It's as if you ripped out the motherboard from your phone or tablet and made it more hacker friendly.

Where you have some overlap is the RP gives pinouts for connecting some hardware, but the way you talk to that hardware is completely different.

And when you talk about the RP having more RAM, I should put that into perspective. The Discovery board has 192kB. The RP has 256MB. These aren't even close to being the same class of device, much less the same market. Read the article ... can you see the one you linked to bring used as a media center? Of course not, it's an absurd idea.

There's plenty of market for the model A. If anything, the model B had taken up a lot of that market (only ten bucks more and you get Ethernet, one more USB, and more RAM).

Openness really doesn't matter to the RP's target market. If you're working on a microcontroller, your goal is to eventually move beyond the prototype stage and make a product. Openness matters in that case. But the RP isn't a prototype board (though it could be used as one). Instead, it's the product, already finished for you (just add a case and power supply). Openness matters a bit when it comes to drivers and access to SPI and whatnot, but the documentation for that is available, and I've yet to hear any complaints.

Re:Too little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152573)

The common 8b avr boards to ARM dev boards to RasPi's to surplus phone and tablet boards to PC's.

There's room for plenty to play. Pick what best suits your project and skill level... and have fun.

Re:Too little too late? (1)

imp (7585) | about 2 years ago | (#42152379)

Also lacks an MMU... These chips have been available for quite a while, as have designs based on them...

Re:Too little too late? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#42154217)

Exactly. Chips with no MMU (Cortex-M4 et al) cannot run real linux because an MMU is a fundamental requirement for real linux (or any other serious operating system). Otherwise, Cortex-M4 is ARMv7 just like Cortex-A8.

OTOH, Freescale i.MX233 is only ARMv5 and is VERY lightweight, but does have an MMU. As a result you can run real linux on it [olimex.com] .

In the above I use the expression "real linux". There is also a bastardized linux called uClinux [uclinux.org] which can run without an MMU. Of necessity, there can be no memory protection between processes, and there can be no fork. There is a vfork to allow multitasking, but any program which fork's (and that's practically every non-trivial program) has to be customized compared to the version for real linux. (See Q2.5 in the above link)

Wrong acronym (1)

lucm (889690) | about a year ago | (#42156863)

Forget all this MMU nonsense, what this thing need is MMX!

Re:Too little too late? (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#42154729)

I'm wondering if the model A will really have much of a market.

The irony would be that the "Model A" and "Model B" naming was a homage to the BBC Micro [wikipedia.org] , which originally came out in Model A and Model B versions. The more powerful "BBC B" (32KB instead of 16KB and more ports) turned out to be far more popular- it overshadowed the cheaper Model A and became the "canonical" version to the extent that most games and software required the BBC B and didn't bother with versions that would run on the Model A.

History repeating itself?

Cool but SLOOOOOOW (5, Informative)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | about 2 years ago | (#42151619)

I got my model b last week and it's been pretty fun so far. But one thing that kinda sucks about it is its speed. Even overclocked to 1Ghz it's pretty painful to do anything on. Not to mention it wasn't 35 dollars to get it up and running. I wrote this a few days ago for another site but it is pretty relevant here too.

.

How a $35 computer cost me $90 bucks..

So a long time ago I signed up to order one of these cool little Raspberry PI $35 dollar card sized computers. After a month or 2 I finally was able to order it. After a .
week or two I finally was able to hold it. After a day or two I finally was able to actually use it..

I’ll explain. It’s JUST the little pc, nothing else.

SO I had to buy the following:
1x 1k 5v USB wall wart. $20 bucks.
1x 16 Gig Class 10 SD Card $20 bucks.
1x Micro USB to USB Cable $10 bucks.

Factor in the cost of the PC with shipping $43.79 + $20 + $20 + $10 and now that $35 dollar computer is actually almost $94 bucks..

That said, it’s actually kinda cool. Not as powerful as one might like but cool none the less..
As a test I set it up running the debian installer [this took about 6 hours], setup to compile XBMC [this took about 2.5 hours] and went about compiling it..
On my main rig the compile takes all of about 8 minutes [after a make clean], on the RPI it took over 12 hours. 12 HOURS to do what my main rig can do in 8 minutes!.

Now I understand it's "only" a 35 dollar PC so one cannot expect a whole lot out of it, but in reality it's NOT a 35 dollar pc. It's a 90 dollar phone guts without the phone parts.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (4, Insightful)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | about 2 years ago | (#42151707)

Hey, I picked up a microUSB 5V wall-wart supply for $9.99 at the local equivalent of Walmart and just used an old Class 4 SD card I had laying about so my $94 Raspberry Pi only cost me $44.99.

Actually I lie -- I had to buy an HDMI cable and I can't find a spare ethernet cable either so I'll have to fork out some more cash.

But come to think of it -- neither my DVD player nor my TV came with an HDMI and my PC didn't come with a network cable so I guess that no matter what you buy, there are always "essential extras" to factor in.

And my Pi didn't come with a mouse or keyboard either -- what's with that?? :D

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (2)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#42153827)

Hey, I picked up a microUSB 5V wall-wart supply for $9.99 at the local equivalent of Walmart

Yes, and it happened to work for you. You risk having to go through multiple different brands because a) USB wall-warts are generally crappy and lie about their specifications and b) the Pi power design is not very forgiving. Incidentally, the first hardware revisions were not just unforgiving but quite broken, but they were not pulled from the market and no replacements were offered.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154555)

I have found Blackberry ones are good to go for if you can find them. Same kind of quality as the Apple ones but obviously much much cheaper.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (5, Funny)

johnw (3725) | about 2 years ago | (#42153869)

I can't find a spare ethernet cable

The rest of it rings true, but this is just too far fetched. Ethernet cables are like wire coat hangers - they breed. I try to keep them confined to my study/shed, but they have to be purged regularly to stop them taking over the house.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154177)

I bet the reason the other guy couldn't find a spare one is because you've got them all.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

lucm (889690) | about a year ago | (#42156897)

I can't find a spare ethernet cable

The rest of it rings true, but this is just too far fetched. Ethernet cables are like wire coat hangers - they breed. I try to keep them confined to my study/shed, but they have to be purged regularly to stop them taking over the house.

That's why wireless cables are so convenient, they take less space. Also even if the 802.11n jacks are more expensive than RJ45s at least they are not just the right size to allow someone to plug in a USB cable by mistake.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#42153977)

they sell HDMI cables at my local dollar store for $2. They aren't the greatest quality but the work fine. 16 FBI SD card was only $10. I had 3 or 4 USB chargers lying around from old devices. even so you can get the power supply for $3 from Dx.com and the cable for $2. sure you could spend 45$ on all the extras butyou can easily get them for 20$. However you could also get one of those android TV sticks for $90 with all the accesories. so if you aren't going to use the GPIO pins you might be better off getting that.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | about 2 years ago | (#42151721)

It all depends on where you shop.
I can get a usb box for $8, discount SD card $5(just 1Gig - but enough to run what I'm running), usb cable $4 - and all this from one store right beside where I work.
But most of these I have lying around in boxes I haven't looked into for at least a year or so.

Or I could buy a $449.99 128Gig SD card and quintuple the price of my rig.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151751)

Most people have phone chargers and SD cards laying around anyway.

What is it too slow for? It's not a desktop PC. I mostly just SSH into mine and it's only noticeably slower than an expensive desktop/server PC when I compile stuff on it. It also plays any HD movie file I care to throw at it with no problems, and has streamed HD content from the 'net with no problems.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151777)

That's funny. When I repeatedly pointed this fact out on slashdot, without fail, it was moderated down. Slashdot has some serious hatred for truth when it comes to the Pi. The Pi is going to cost you ~$75-$100 to get up and running. For the money, you can get superior hardware. The catch is getting software to drive that hardware. For now, because of software complications, the Pi remains attractive. But that time is quickly coming to an end. Soon you'll have much faster hardware much more memory (1-2G), built in SATA (with port), HDMI, actual ethernet (vs ethernet on USB), WIFI, a case, power supply, and in many cases, an IR remote, with well supported software, for roughly $55-$75; delivered. Meaning more and faster hardware for less. Hell, some of the newer hardware even comes with gpio, SPI, and I2C.

I expect within another couple of months, there will be far superior solutions for less money available. Until such time, the Pi will likely remain attractive. Having said that, I've never really understood which segment the A-model will address.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151881)

dx.com

It's all already there, except for the IO pins if you want to do serious embedded type development. But for the price of four of these Pis you could get a chinese 'google tv' adapter with 1gig of DDR3+4-8 gigs of ram, an RK3066 dual core ARM+Quad Core Mali 400, one or two usb ports, 802.11n, HDMI out (no Composite support unless you drop back to move expensive single-core options. But they have ethernet as well.) and a USB Connectable Cortex-M0, M3 or other model development board (probably STM, but I think there were a few other brands up on there.)

Point being, without the 'made in britain' option, there's very little to warrant the Pi over alternatives that leverage hardware multiple generations newer for a modest increase in cost (Probably less when you figure in cases and such. The RK3066 boards I mention start around 60-65 bucks with case, PS, and cables. The Pi comes with... what?)

Additionally the RK chips are on par with if not better than the Broadcom junk for openness. And at around triple-quadruple the performance (Dual core at up to double the clock).

The Pi fanism should really end now.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#42152457)

dx.com

It's all already there, except for the IO pins if you want to do serious embedded type development. But for the price of four of these Pis you could get a chinese 'google tv' adapter with 1gig of DDR3+4-8 gigs of ram, an RK3066 dual core ARM+Quad Core Mali 400, one or two usb ports, 802.11n, HDMI out (no Composite support unless you drop back to move expensive single-core options.

Those may be fine if you only wish to run Android on them, but running Linux on those would be a real pain. Go ahead and research e.g. the Mali-400 support and you'll quickly see what I mean.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (2)

guruevi (827432) | about 2 years ago | (#42152489)

I see this comment a lot and it makes me cringe. The Pi, the Arduino and these Android mini-PC's have totally different markets though.

The Arduino has a power usage of ~1-25mA (depending on what your code does), the core can get down to 0.2mA at 1MHz and if necessary in the picoamps range in standby mode.

The Pi has a power usage of 300mA (model A) to 700mA (model B)

The Androids have a power usage of ~2500mA

This makes a huge difference in development and powering these types of devices. The Androids will probably never run on battery (unless it's a car battery), the Pi will run for a while on a set of AA or D batteries (depending on what you want to do), the Arduino runs a really long time on a 9V battery.

The Arduino is built for RT, the Pi less so but has nifty I/O anyway and the Androids will probably never even have an SPI header.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42153837)

Plus you can build an 'Arduino' for $3 plus a piece of perf-board.

If you're leaving pretty blue PCBs in your final gadgets you've got too much money.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#42153871)

The various mk802 clones seem to typically ship with 2000mA power supplies and apparently often work even when powered from random USB ports. Their actual power consumption therefore cannot be all that different from the Pi.

The Pi model B throws away at least 75% of its power on voltage conversion/power regulation; a better design there would make it a lot easier to use batteries.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | about 2 years ago | (#42152055)

That's funny. When I repeatedly pointed this fact out on slashdot, without fail, it was moderated down. Slashdot has some serious hatred for truth when it comes to the Pi. The Pi is going to cost you ~$75-$100 to get up and running. For the money, you can get superior hardware. The catch is getting software to drive that hardware. For now, because of software complications, the Pi remains attractive. But that time is quickly coming to an end. Soon you'll have much faster hardware much more memory (1-2G), built in SATA (with port), HDMI, actual ethernet (vs ethernet on USB), WIFI, a case, power supply, and in many cases, an IR remote, with well supported software, for roughly $55-$75; delivered. Meaning more and faster hardware for less. Hell, some of the newer hardware even comes with gpio, SPI, and I2C.

I expect within another couple of months, there will be far superior solutions for less money available. Until such time, the Pi will likely remain attractive. Having said that, I've never really understood which segment the A-model will address.

yah this is the 1st post I have ever been modded down for. Lol kind of funny. I wasn't really even bashing it, just stating some facts. Yes there are "cheaper" parts I could have bought, such as a cheaper, less powerful wall wart. A cheaper and slower sdcard. A cheaper and shorter usb cable. But I wanted to give my little RPI the best I could. I did say it was cool a number of times in the post, but people see one negative word about the PI and it's downmod central. Sheesh

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152409)

People don't want anything to do with reality on Slashdot when it comes to Pi. Hell, its a shit storm should someone actually mention most current Pis actually have a hardware which effects all USB devices (ethernet included).

Its rare I come to slashdot anymore expecting any semblance of intelligent discourse. Hell, I don't even use my 5-digit UID anymore.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42153189)

That's funny. When I repeatedly pointed this fact out on slashdot, without fail, it was moderated down.

That's because any developer, you know the target market for the pi, would have a huge pile of all of those things already laying around.

It's like claiming to be a geek, but bitching about having to spend $50 on a 3 foot ethernet cable at the normal peoples store for your computer. Which also didn't come with an ethernet cable, or hdmi/dvi/vga cable.

Or like claiming you are a geek and bitching about the $200 it cost at the puter store to have them reinstall windows after you got a virus, or just installed too many startup programs and it ran too slow.

Hey guess what, if you buy a bare-bones hard drive, it won't even come with a data cable or screws, just a bare-bones hard drive! What a scandal!
You purposly avoid buying a consumer hard drive that comes with all that crap in the box just to save a buck, then bitch that you saved a buck by excluding all the extra stuff.

Little tip, that's why they sell consumer gear in nice pretty boxes with everything you need, and separately sell low cost bare-bones devices for those of us that know what we are doing with it.

Proclaiming you are at a level of understanding when you clearly don't even own basic computing gear anyone at that claimed level of understanding has boxes of laying around, is lying, and exactly why you got modded down.

Either do it yourself and save the money, or pay someone who knows how to do it. You can't have it both ways. The Pi is clearly not marketed at you.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (2)

VVrath (542962) | about 2 years ago | (#42153989)

There seems to be a huge difference in the amount people are spending on supporting peripherals for the Raspberry Pi. I just bought a set of twenty for my classroom (breakdown below) and ended up spending GBP855 in total - around GBP43 each. TBH I could have trimmed this down further, as the USB Hubs and multiple sets of HDMI-DVI adaptors are to make it easier for pupils to switch between the Windows PC on their desk and the Raspberry Pi; they only have to swap two cables instead of three, and HDMI connectors are a lot more user friendly than DVI for frequent connections/disconnections.

Had it been available the model A would have been ideal for our usage - the Raspberry Pi's will not be connected to our network for security reasons, and the extra RAM and additional USB port are of no great benefit for our use case (teaching pupils about alternatives to the Windows OS they have been using since primary school, teaching programming in a sand-box that won't endanger the rest of the network).

Breakdown for those who care:
20 x Raspberry Pi @ GBP23.98 each
20 x Cases @ GBP4.20 each
20 x Micro USB PSUs @ GBP4.90 each
20 x HDMI Cable @ GBP0.80 each
20 x HDMI - DVI Adaptor @GBP 2.24 each
20 x HDMI - DVI Cable @GBP 2.71 each
20 x 4 Port USB Hun @ GBP1.32 each
20 x 4GB Sandisk SD Cards @GBP 2.60 each

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151957)

Build on your "main rig" and run on the pi. Duh.

Yes, I don't understand the Pi. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152031)

It seems designed for the electronics hobbyist, given that it comes with no case, no wall-wart, and no cable. Electronics hobbyists have that stuff in a box somewhere, so paying for it again would just kind of waste their money.

However, from the point of view of an electronics hobbyist, I just look at the web site and think "where the fuck is the datasheet?" I don't order $1 parts, let alone $25 parts, without first looking into what kind of bullshit is involved in using it.

I see it has some GPIO pins, but there's no mention of their capabilities (analog/digital, are they all I/O capable or only some input and some output, etc.) and so I'm left to guess that I could probably do something with it. I guess.

However, I can also look at the datasheet for an AT89S52 [jameco.com] and see exactly what's involved in using it, and at $1.75 a piece, I can order a dozen of them for $25 so if I break a few it's no big deal. ...and I did, and they're quite useful little things. At $1 a piece (they were cheaper when I bought them) you can toss one into any project. I used one along with an FT245RL [mouser.com] to build a USB programmer for the chips (which I programmed via my parallel port since I didn't have a programmer yet). Since then I've generally be using them to interface with my computer, by connecting them to FT245RL and programming them to read from SPI ADC chips or some other digital chips. They're actually quite ideal for filling the gap between a PC and the electronics world. PCs lack I/O ports, and generally aren't very good at real time tasks. The little CPU in the AT89S52 can do real-time tasks then send the data off to the PC via the FT245RL which has a 64-byte buffer. I once used it to build an eight channel EEG, with it simply doing the timing so that the samples were read at the correct rate, and driving the SPI bus of the ADC chips. ...and that in-circuit programmability is wonderful since, if my code doesn't work, I just type new code and run the command to program it -- I don't even have to touch the electronics.

However, as for the Raspberry Pi, I don't know what I'd do with it. Presently I'm using one of the AT89S52 to gather wet/dry bulb measurements to monitor humidity levels. The data is sent to my computer, where ploticus turns it into a graph that an HTML page in my web browser constantly refreshes. I suppose I could try to do that, but the Raspberry Pi has no RTC, and thus can't properly collect the data without another computer involved. So either way I have to use my PC, and the Pi costs $35 (if I want that network port so I can get the time) or $25 and some clever hack to let it communicate with my computer to send the data there since it has no way to time stamp it. ...or I can use my AT89S52 + FT245RL solution for about $6. (Hey, if the Pi can ignore the costs of cables, power supplies, and SD cards, I can ignore the cost of a USB socket, cable, power supply, and a home-made circuit board. ...or actually, I don't even need the power supply because those two chips aren't going to draw 100 mA, so it can be USB powered.)

I do see people on the internet amused by using an Arduino to make an LED flash. Perhaps the Pi is marketed towards those types.

Re:Yes, I don't understand the Pi. (4, Informative)

maevius (518697) | about 2 years ago | (#42152169)

I think you are missing some points here.
1. The pi runs linux. You can use c/c++, python, perl, bash scripts, almost anything else you want
(1a). You have hundreds of libraries to go with that. Also thousands of programs to pipe info.
2. You can connect a 3g, wifi stick or anything USB instantly
3. You lose absolutely no time on hardware design. It might just be me but I like have my hardware done and just worry about software
4. The community will point out almost all the hardware/software limitations or bugs of the pi and you know in advance what you are getting yourself into
5. You have portable code. If you program for linux, it runs on most hardware that runs linux (some recompilation required)
6. The community has started building addons (see arduino shields) which can achieve much more

As a software developer who used embedded linux and arduino class hardware, I love the pi because it solves all the problems I don't want to worry about. I also love that I don't have to test it on different hardware/software configurations. My target will always be raspberry/debian. I undestand that this is not what some people want/like but for "rapid" embedded development the pi is number one and because of its community I think it will be for a long time to come.

Re:Yes, I don't understand the Pi. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152817)

says the LED blinker

Re:Yes, I don't understand the Pi. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154683)

I was going to reply to him, but your reply sums it all up in four words.

Re:Yes, I don't understand the Pi. (1)

havana9 (101033) | about 2 years ago | (#42153609)

The biggest problem I found so far with the Raspberry Pi is the buggy and broken USB driver. Bening based on an USB-on-the-go implementation in hardware, and not in a standard EHCI host implementation a lot of devices that are working without problems under Linux, like printers or usb-to-serial adapters like the ones used on Arduino duemilanove, aren't working reliably with the Pi. I hope that this problem will be soved soon, because is clearly a deal-breaker to use the Pi on general embedded linux applications. If you think the Raspberry Pi as a toy computer to be used by children with only a mouse and a keyboard, a dodgy USB driver isn't a big deal, but if one likes to use it for more general purposes not knowing if a given configurations works reliably it's a big problem.

Re:Yes, I don't understand the Pi. (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#42152395)

You can add an RTC trivially and your last line is spot on, it is designed and marketed for people that arent you. Its meant as a bridge to get people to where you are.

Re:Yes, I don't understand the Pi. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#42152469)

However, from the point of view of an electronics hobbyist, I just look at the web site and think "where the fuck is the datasheet?"

There was a datasheet some time before the release, but I haven't been able to find it anymore. Maybe it's still buried on their website somewhere, or available by request. It leaves me to repeat your comment: where the fuck is the datasheet?!

Re:Yes, I don't understand the Pi. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152857)

http://elinux.org/RPi_Documentation

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152119)

Setup a cross compiler on your main rig.

It will still take 8 minutes and now you can compile whatever the hell else you want in 8 minutes as well.

I soldered on a 20x4 character lcd and an ir sensor and I have a wonderful little device that streams my movies and hulu as well.

I think it was well worth the price.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

krelvin (771644) | about 2 years ago | (#42152339)

you over paid for a lot of the stuff... $5 for 1.8A 5v MicroUSB PSU (includes cable), $6 16GB Class 4 MicroSDHC card with Sdcard adapter.... free shipping on both.... I use a WiFi USB Dongle ($12) no keyboard, no mouse headless... great little device. Have 3 of them.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (2)

guruevi (827432) | about 2 years ago | (#42152425)

You well overpaid for everything. Even Amazon has this stuff for cheaper.

5V USB wall-wart: $4 + free shipping
USB cable: $2 + free shipping
16GB SD Card: $12 + free shipping
Case for Raspberry Pi: $10

Total: $63

And that's simply for prototyping. If you buy the necessary items in bulk you can get the add-ons down to $10.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 years ago | (#42152517)

You forgot the 3x shipping which would be about $300 to my part of the world.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42153125)

So basically your entire point about the Raspberry Pi being far more expensive hinges entirely upon you living in a part of the world where everything is going to be that expensive? The Raspberry Pi might have cost you $90, but most people don't pay that much.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42153881)

Where in the world can you get your hands on a Pi but not cheap USB wall warts, USB cables and SD cards?

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152703)

And really, what geek doesn't have spare USB cables and SD cards lying around anyway?

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152467)

My god! You overpaid for all your accessories. By double or more.
-s

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152521)

It is not the RP's fault that you are not properly equipped to use it. I have atleast 30 different 5 v dc supplies sitting in a box. It was trivial to find one with appropriate stats and modify the connector. And even if you buy it they can be had for 6 dollars from Jameco.

I have more SD cards than i know what to do with. So free as well. Cables for HDMI and ethernet are also lying around. So for the properly equipped it is a $35 plus shipping PC.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | about 2 years ago | (#42152885)

Iâ(TM)ll explain. Itâ(TM)s JUST the little pc, nothing else.

SO I had to buy the following:
1x 1k 5v USB wall wart. $20 bucks.
1x 16 Gig Class 10 SD Card $20 bucks.
1x Micro USB to USB Cable $10 bucks.

So, it's actually not a PC. It's a circuit board with some chips and connectors. I think that has always been abundantly clear.

Look at it a different way: If you want to use this as if it were a PC, you are going to have to add some stuff to it. Same, in a way, with PCs still requiring a monitor and keyboard in addition to just the box where most of the magic happens. On the other hand, if you don't want all that, you don't have to pay for it. The Raspberry Pi is a component, and you can use it to build something that resembles a PC, but also, say, use it as a controller for a robot. Or both at the same time.

And yes, compared to a modern PC, the Raspberry Pi is slow. Again, I think this has always been abundantly clear. It's not like the Raspberry Pi foundation went around advertising their product as "$35 gets you a box that does everything your PC does as fast as your PC does". That's not what the Raspberry Pi is for. We already have PCs for that. The cool thing about the Raspberry Pi is that it is cheap, cheap enough that you can tinker with it, give a couple to some kids and let them tinker with them, and see what comes out. If a few boards go to waste, it's not a huge cost. The Raspberry Pi is exciting exactly _because_ it isn't a PC.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

dissy (172727) | about 2 years ago | (#42153225)

So let me get this straight. You expect them to include all these useless extras we already own simply to push the price up for the rest of us?

When you went to the store and bought your computer, did you go back the next day to stand in the return line and bitch at the poor guy at the counter because that computer didn't come with an LCD, keyboard, mouse, etc?

Do you purchase a car and return it the next day because you need to purchase gas and oil and have regular maintenance done?

Do you sue your landlord for selling you a house that you can't live in without also paying for electric, water, and gas service?

The raspberry Pi is exactly a $35 computer. With nothing else. Nor did they claim it came with anything else (and specifically state it does not)

It is no ones fault but your own that you are not equipped to use it properly.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42153889)

Not only that, he wants us all to pay double or triple the normal prices!

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 2 years ago | (#42153447)

Quick check on ebay, you paid far too much

Micro USB to USB Cable $1.6
16GB class 10 SD-CARD $14.25
USB Charger $3.2

Total $19.05 - that's a lot less than $50

So, a $54.05 PC, sounds much better than a $90 PC

(UK prices inc p+p converted to dollars, normally we pay higher prices for anything electrical, costs including VAT(sales tax) at 20%)

Monster Cable (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 2 years ago | (#42153463)

Monster Cable can make it even more expensive than that, but you're making it hard for them if you're not buying a $15 Ethernet cable for your Pi as well. All the kit you describe can be had, including an Ethernet Cable for less than $20, if you're happy to take just a 4G or 2G SD card. That will be plenty if you are networking it up or using local storage via USB.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 2 years ago | (#42154075)

I don't know where you shop for hardware but I'd love to be your supplier. The numbers you're quoting are pure fiction.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

jeremyp (130771) | about 2 years ago | (#42154521)

1x 1k 5v USB wall wart. $20 bucks.

You should have bought a powered USB hub. That way your peripherals aren't reliant on the Pi's power supply, which is iffy (you power the Pi itself off one of its ports).

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154533)

This is kind of how I felt by the end. They really need a $50 option that includes a wall wart, 8gb sd card, and a case.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154541)

My interest in it decreased a bit after I figured out the $25 computer was now a $35 computer (they weren't going to sell the $25 one for a few months, and the $25 one didn't include an Ethernet port). Plus shipping and tax made it close to $50 by the time I was done, double the initial $25 quote. If I was just told it was $50, I might have been a little more excited.

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (1)

Wolfrider (856) | about 2 years ago | (#42154731)

--I feel yer pain, man. I really wanted a Pi back in November of 2011; after the delayed-shipping debacle, I said the heck with it.

--Finally ordered one of these for $59, after finding out about it due to a Slashdot comment:

http://www.indiegogo.com/cubieboard [indiegogo.com]

--It has a SATA port, 1GB RAM, and comes with a 4GB Nand Flash ++ power cable included. Haven't received it yet, but so far the only accessory I've bought for it is an HDMI -> DVI video cable adapter for ~$8.

--I'm gonna put Squid + SSD drive on it and see if it can replace my old P4 Squid server :-D

Re:Cool but SLOOOOOOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42156235)

Any good tinkerer should look around and find out who has what on the bottom shelf or the discount bin. Over the last couple of months I purchased each of the items you listed for other projects I'm doing or just to have spares.

Wall wart $1.99 @ Value Village. They have dozens of them. You just need to know what you're looking for.

16 Gig SD $7.99 @ electronics liquidator in the industrial mall.

Micro USB adapters and cables $1.25 @ dollar store. I spent $15 and have pretty well every combination of A,B,Mini and Micro male and female on my work bench and a couple of spare 3' CAT5e cables.

That would have saved you about $28 and brought your outlay down to $55.04

PS: Mini DVI to DVI cable $1.45 @ online store in Hong Kong. There are 3 or 4 sites I deal with that ship free worldwide. Yes, that's $1.45 including shipping via snail mail. Allow 3 or 5 weeks for delivery.

a humidity/temp controller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151661)

Anyone know of linux software that can do what this [linuxjournal.com] hardware/embedded software/firmware can do to control humidity/temperature? It needs to turn electrical outlets on/off like in the linux journal article (relays), to control temp and humidity. The idea of the project is to control a room's temp by controlling two fans placed inside flexible ducting run from the room to two outer room locations, one to a cold room, one to a hot room, so that if the monitored room needs heat, it exhausts from a duct tube with a fan in the end of it, the air near the floor to the cold room, and pulls hot air from the hot room to the monitored room with the duct exhausting near the ceiling of the monitored room. And if the room is too hot, the fan in the "ceiling" duct reverses or a second fan/duct near the ceiling pushes hot air from the monitored room to the hot room, and pulls cold air from the cold room and delivers it to the monitored room. The humidity control would also work to pull/push air from rooms with varying humidity (or from outside) to the monitored room as needed when temperature control is secondary.

Can this be done without using embedded or real-time kernel software, just a regular script or simple written program running in a linux distro with a html or other interface to enter temp or humidity limits? Without being an expert in snmp or embedded languages?

The raspberry pi would be perfect for this and far cheaper than the board in the article (which I already own and is sitting in its original box because of the complexity of the software/code). That is if the raspberry pi can control relays.

Re:a humidity/temp controller? (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 2 years ago | (#42152499)

You may be better off with an Arduino for this. The power usage is way less and it's a microcontroller built for real time processing. There are shields for Ethernet and modules for relays, humidity and temperature that are really cheap if you're not good with electronics.

Re:a humidity/temp controller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42153939)

I work with HVAC control systems for a living, and for what you describe there's absolutely no need for real-time at all. Unless your controlled room is extremely small you'll have many seconds to even minutes between any needed control actions - easily done with even the sloppiest of timing on the slowest of hardware.

My first thought as an easy way to control the fans is X10 modules. I have the 'firecracker' module (little serial dongle that can command the X10 RF receiver) on my server and it turns lights on/off. A program called 'bottlerocket' has been in the .deb repos for years, and I run it via a cron job to turn the lights on in the morning. Easy enough to whip up a script that turns your fans on/off with it. The handy thing here is you can just purchase modules, no building required. Alternatively, use the pins of a parallel port to turn things on/off. You'd have to build a relay board with appropriate isolation, of course.

The harder issue would be getting the temp / humidity inputs into the computer. I know there are some I/O interfaces available but I've never used them so don't know much more than that. All my tinkering has been with boards like Arduino or some leftovers from work, then communicate via serial/network to the PC. You could of course use an Arduino to bring the sensors in, and monitor via serial, but for a simple control loop like you describe the Arduino could do the whole thing handily.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151665)

Suspended page? LOL does that mean the Parity News blogspam might be coming to an end?

This Will Fail (0, Troll)

DavidD_CA (750156) | about 2 years ago | (#42151705)

Granted it's cheap, but anyone considering this should really just get an iPad.

The Model A might have a USB port, but it totally lacks apps and does not have a Retina Display. The onboard storage is so limited, why even bother? And without WiFi, it's nearly useless. Not to mention the base of accessories the iPad already enjoys.

Seriously, a $35 Raspberry Pi and an $899 Surface Pro... all anyone needs is an iPad.

#OnSlashdotEverythingIsInferiorToIPad

I love my Pi (1)

John Allsup (987) | about 2 years ago | (#42151743)

I love my Pi, it's nice and small
And on that little circuit board is all
You need to learn to code as fun
For fun and joy are needed
To get the learning process done.

Re:I love my Pi (1)

John Allsup (987) | about 2 years ago | (#42151759)

Guilt and regret for not playing with my Pi for a few days. He or She (She is probably more correct) is called Dorothy. The name traces its lineage through an unbroken chain of components, each dorothy having some in common with the last, to my first purpose built Linux computer.

Re:I love my Pi (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 2 years ago | (#42154121)

Now I feel boring for naming my Pis Pi-A, Pi-B and Pi-C... Better vi /etc/hostname right now...

seriously? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151749)

It's friday night. Go out, get shitfaced, and blow your load into some fat girl pussy. You'll thank me later.

Even more useless! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151789)

I do not understand the appeal of this thing.

It is literally a cheap piece of shit. The USB doesn't even work properly on the full fledged model, so I can only imagine what this version is going to do. They're still using an antiquated SoC that runs ARMv6 instead of ARMv7, that requires proprietary hardware licenses to unlock MPEG decoding, and is otherwise completely closed source.

The only really useful thing about this board is the GPIO ports. It's not powerful enough for anything really useful (ever try running LibreOffice on one of them?), so it completely fails as a general purpose computer. The only thing I really see them used for is situations where something like an Arduino or other embedded board isn't beefy enough, or the person behind the project has no clue what they're doing and wants to do something ridiculous like using a fully fledged Python installation to turn an LED on and off every so often.

So I don't understand why people are still going gaga over these things. I still have no clue what sort of situation you could come up with where a Rasberry Pi would be the "correct" answer (rather then an answer that doesn't really fit but might work irregardless). It seems to me like a lot of people are actively going out of their way to find a use for these things, sometimes going so far as to create imaginary problems that only the Pi can solve. I don't get it.

Re:Even more useless! (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about 2 years ago | (#42151821)

The USB doesn't even work properly on the full fledged model

They fixed it in the latest release... I have tried it with the new ISO... works great. :)

Re:Even more useless! (4, Informative)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#42153965)

They fixed it in the latest release... I have tried it with the new ISO... works great. :)

No they didn't. Isochronous transfers are still broken.

Re:Even more useless! (1)

dissy (172727) | about 2 years ago | (#42153237)

it completely fails as a general purpose computer

And a screw driver completely fails as a hammer.

It is specifically sold as a development board, the only people that claim it is a general purpose computer such as yourself have literally made that up and pulled it from their ass.

When you buy an item that is named "refrigerator magnet", then yes it will make a poor car and a poor airplane and a poor life boat. Fucking Duh!

Re:Even more useless! (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 years ago | (#42154297)

It is specifically sold as a development board

Lots of people keep saying that but it ain't so. It was specifically created as a play/learning tool. That's not a denigration; it's a simple fact. I think it serves well in its intended role.

Development boards are Olimex, BeagleBone, et al.

You make a good point and I have no issue with it except for that minor quibble.

THIS is why you buy a Raspberry Pi... (3, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about 2 years ago | (#42151811)

Tinkering and coming up with cool (if impractical) uses... and quite frankly, that's what computing has lost over the years... Doing strange crap with the user port of your C-64 was damn fun, IMNSHO.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5npkz0xY1fo [youtube.com]

Thanks to the Pi for bringing that tinkering fun back....

Re:THIS is why you buy a Raspberry Pi... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42152603)

What a load of crap. Shitty hardware for it's own sake is retarded. The C-64 was fun at the time because it was cutting edge and empowering. The Raspberry Pi is neither. Want to use GPIO? Got to buy a "Gertboard"(Who the fuck is coming up with these shitty names?)! No peripheals worth a damn(GPS, IMU, pressure transducer, or microphone).

If you want to reconstruct that bygone era, give me several USB 3.0 ports, ethernet, wifi adapter, decent GPIO pinout, HDMI/VGA, and a good 16bit 192khz soundcard DAC/ADC. Put enough headers on the board & make a sensor board that includes Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, 9DoF IMU, absolute and relative pressure transducers, and several 5V relays. Run the majority of the header pins to a solder-able proto-board section, and sell the mother and daughter board both at $70/piece.

This could easily be done with an Allwinner A10 and an Invensense MPU-9050. Raspberry Pi was obsolete on arrival.

Re:THIS is why you buy a Raspberry Pi... (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about 2 years ago | (#42152727)

Well don't buy it! And you explain the 1 dislike on his YouTube clip!

I thought his mini arcade thing was awesome!

He mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154893)

You mad?

Re:THIS is why you buy a Raspberry Pi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42157109)

You absolutely do not need a Gertboard to use the GPIO, I2C or SPI interfaces built into the Raspberry Pi. You do not need any add on to use the pins on the Raspberry Pi, except wire to wire them to what you want to communicate with.

Why bother? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42151823)

Why just today, right here, PhDs in engineering assured me that I can 3D print electronics at Kinko's. A bonanza, even!

Is it open? Does it have shitty hardware? (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 2 years ago | (#42152721)

The first Pi had chipsets that were known for years to be full of bugs and problematic. Then they went with proprietary blobs that free distros couldn't distribute and weren't open source.

Is this more of the same? When will we get a Pi that isn't buggy as hell? Eat your vegetables before you have dessert, guys.

Re:Is it open? Does it have shitty hardware? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#42152825)

its less of the same

same crap, less features and ram

Re:Is it open? Does it have shitty hardware? (2)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#42153975)

On the upside it will not have a broken USB hub to contend with, only the broken USB host.

Order now (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#42152821)

and you might get it by summer.!

Potato? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42153031)

Have the boffins got it running off a potato yet?

What about raising the price of Model A? (1)

efornara (1165681) | about 2 years ago | (#42153043)

From the blog:

we’ve not been able to build them, because to do so would mean that we have to cannibalise Model B parts – and that would mean that people who are experiencing the backlog would have to wait even longer

Of course, you would not want to let people wait a few weeks for a Model B. People who have been waiting for months for a Model A on the other hand... I said it before elsewhere, and I repeat it here: just raise the price of Model A to bring its profit margin on par with Model B, and let the market decide what it wants! The reasoning that $25 was crucial to reach education is not even used to justify Model A anymore. Now it's for robotics, automation and media centers.

I had to. (2)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#42153085)

Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?

Sorry.

It's been done with the model B. (3, Informative)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | about 2 years ago | (#42153391)

That's hard to do without the ethernet port, but it's been done [slashdot.org] with the model B.

Fix The Power Connector Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42153271)

Everything about the machine is great, but the choice of a micro B USB jack for power sucks too much to ignore. It's like the coolest car you've ever owned in your life, but there's a big spike sticking up right in the middle of the driver's seat.

Wrong modifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42153309)

The current model draws about 0.5 Amps on standby giving it limited appeal for remote logging/light battery applications.

Personally I think the bigger issue is lack of basic protection of the GPIO pins (you can easily destroy a PI by shorting out the pins). The lack of some basic peripherals (i.e a real time clock and some ADC channels) is also a bit frustrating - although I've managed to get some ADCs working well over the SPI.

I would trade the composite video socket and maybe a few dollars for the unit to ship with ADCs and protection on the GPIO pins as I think these are the biggest factors that might stump people early on when trying to get the thing to interact with the real world.

Having said all that, I'm very much enjoying the PI, (I'm currently using it to control a simple test rig for my PHD)... I remote desktop to it from my flat!... losing the ethernet port would be a big no-no for me.

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