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Pi to Go: Hot Raspberry Pi DIY Mini Desktop PC Project

timothy posted about a year ago | from the tab-a-slot-b-fruit-x dept.

Portables 134

MojoKid writes "Hot Hardware recently set out to design a custom mini desktop system with the popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. People have configured the device for a variety of applications, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, the goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. This small DIY project is just one of many examples of the flexibility of the Raspberry Pi's open architecture. And to think you can even run Quake and Minecraft on it."

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This can't be real (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892229)

They used an off-the-shelf project box made the old way in a gloopy factory? Luddites. They should have 3D printed a case which would have taken days and weeks of design and tweaking and dozens of prototype runs. All that to end up with a ridged wobbly blob. That's the future.

Re:This can't be real (1)

MojoKid (1002251) | about a year ago | (#43892289)

Ha! That's pretty funny and you're right. Should have used one of these: http://hothardware.com/Reviews/The-Definitive-3D-Printer-Roundup-Cubify-Up-Solidoodle/ [hothardware.com] :)

Re:This can't be real (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892523)

Those don't look big enough to print a knob, let alone an 8$ project box. Why anyone would spend hundreds of dollars for the privilege of making 8$ parts is beyond me.

Re:This can't be real (1)

mikesnap (2928031) | about a year ago | (#43892567)

You're right, $8 project box it is. -The Author

Re:This can't be real (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43893001)

Wait, usually my little sarcasms get the instant -1. Either my Space Nutter Downmod buddy is on vacation ... or ... we've hit peak 3D, or 3D fatigue. Or reality is sinking in.

Pi Madness (5, Insightful)

maxrate (886773) | about a year ago | (#43892309)

This simply isn't newsworthy.

Re:Pi Madness (4, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#43892793)

They built a crappy laptop. What many people are missing is that the Raspberry pi is best for two groups of people. Underprivileged kids who will use the Pi as the basis of a scrounged together machine. Or for people needing a fairly decent machine for their embedded project (robot, car computer, etc).

To simply reinvent the laptop seems like a waste of a Pi.

Re:Pi Madness (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43893715)

They built a crappy laptop. What many people are missing is that the Raspberry pi is best for two groups of people. Underprivileged kids who will use the Pi as the basis of a scrounged together machine. Or for people needing a fairly decent machine for their embedded project (robot, car computer, etc).

To simply reinvent the laptop seems like a waste of a Pi.

an underprivilidged kid scrounging together a machine from a Pi would indeed be news...

everyone I know who has bought a pi has a job.

Re:Pi Madness (3, Informative)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43894089)

If underpriviliged kids want a PC they would be far more successful dumpster diving a couple of discarded PCs and an old crt and cobbling those together. Probably cheaper too.

Re:Pi Madness (3, Interesting)

Errtu76 (776778) | about a year ago | (#43894139)

Not to mention a chance of finding some interesting data on those discarded harddrives.

Re:Pi Madness (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43892837)

That was my thought, despite what the summary says, this isn't particularly portable. You still need to get a monitor and a keyboard. There are other better projects for this. I get that it's Pi, but seriously, this has been possible for quite some time.

Wake me up when somebody can do something similar to the OpenPandora on a budget. I've got one and it's great, but the cost is still on the high side due to the small number of units ordered.

Re:Pi Madness (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43892919)

It actually has a 7" TFT LCD monitor. The fact that it looks like a full size monitor makes the case look a lot bigger than it is as well.

Re:Pi Madness (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43892965)

I stand corrected, I guess that is included. Still, doesn't look like the best shape for something that's portable.

It's an "all in one" (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43893093)

It's an "all in one", like those touch enabled Windows 8 PCs that HP is trying to foist on us, except obviously without the Windows 8.

Re:Pi Madness (1)

niko9 (315647) | about a year ago | (#43893333)

This simply isn't newsworthy.

Agreed.

The least they could have done was put the board into a Happy Hacking Keyboard or an IBM Model M spacesaver. This way you'd only need a monitor or TV when you're "portable" and still use it as a keybaord when your home.

Re:Pi Madness (2)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about a year ago | (#43893603)

At the price for all the major and minor components, they have to be what, 2/3s the way to the price of a Nexus 7 + Bluetooth keyboard.

Idiots.

Not the right tool for the job... (4, Interesting)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year ago | (#43892311)

Beaglebone Black is more powerful, for similar amount of money.

Re:Not the right tool for the job... (3, Interesting)

olsmeister (1488789) | about a year ago | (#43892399)

To expand on this statement. [roboteurs.com]

Re:Not the right tool for the job... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43893383)

The author has some serious misleading information, probably not his intention, but is misleading nonetheless.

For instance, it's not a "Solid Tie" for the ethernet. The Pi has ethernet over USB, so it can't be compared with the Black having the Ethernet over a dedicated PHY interface. Also the clock specs comparison is outright retarded as it's oranges to apple (The Pi has a armv6l vs armv7l of the BBB). It's like comparing clock speed of a P4 with a Intel i.

Re:Not the right tool for the job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43893103)

It doesn't have analog audio out or composite video, which is the reason I've chose the Pi for my projects (typically emulators).

Re:Not the right tool for the job... (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#43893479)

Agreed...

Call me old school, but I prefer to at least have the option. Not every hardware has HDMI and SPDIF or AC3.

Re:Not the right tool for the job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43893917)

still slow.
I thought it had a quad-core 1.7GHz CPU like odroid-u2.

You're kidding me, right?!?!??! (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#43892339)

Someone puts some electronics in a box and that's newsworthy???

If so, then I've got a suggestion for you. Just follow me around at work for a week and you'll get enough stories for a year of stories like this.

Re:You're kidding me, right?!?!??! (3, Insightful)

mikesnap (2928031) | about a year ago | (#43892585)

Most technology is classified as electronics in a box. If you have such an interesting job where everyday would bring in thousands of views then seizing the opportunity to post your amazing work would be a good idea. -The Author

Re:You're kidding me, right?!?!??! (4, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about a year ago | (#43892819)

I put my Raspberry Pi in a box [hylobatidae.org] and it appeared on national radio. :-(

(Full documentation here [hylobatidae.org] . It's a 1970s transistor radio with WiFi, streaming Radio 4 over a SSH tunnel to the UK, time-delaying audio playback by eight hours or so, in order that everything gets played back at the correct local time in Seattle.)

Re:You're kidding me, right?!?!??! (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#43893237)

I just checked out the 'elevated by Rgba and TBC' - might fine. I haven't kept up on the demoscene since I was introduced to it in '89. Amazing stuff, then and now, and some wizard programming.

Re:You're kidding me, right?!?!??! (4, Insightful)

toygeek (473120) | about a year ago | (#43893523)

And that *deserved* to be noticed. That's a very neat project! Useful, original, and creative. Certainly far more creative than the kludged together "computer" mentioned in TFA.

Yours demonstrates the complete opposite end of the Raspberry Pi spectrum. Putting a computer where you'd least expect one, which I think is what the Raspberry Pi excels at in at least this aspect.

Re:You're kidding me, right?!?!??! (0)

Lord Ender (156273) | about a year ago | (#43893061)

It's Sunday afternoon. You have something more newsworthy? Submit it your damn self.

Raspberry C64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892349)

This is cool but has been done before with more interesting cases:-

http://retrotext.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/its-complete-post-is-coming-soon.html

Shitberry Pi (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892389)

There are so many other SBCs out there, why does everyone keep focusing on this one particular piece of trash? It's an old, piece of crap ARM11 design that has literally nothing amazing about it what so ever. Even the price isn't that great. As has been pointed out before, you can go to geekbuying.com and get plenty of smaller and more capable (e.g. multi core Cortex A8/A9s) boards for similar money that have HDMI, audio, and full Android support right out of the box. The only entity who won from the Shitberry Pi was Broadcom, who was able to unload a bunch of otherwise worthless inventory.

Awesomeberry Pi (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43892805)

There are so many other SBCs out there, why does everyone keep focusing on this one particular...

Its actually a reasonable comment, and for future reference on that could have been made without the bad language(I do it for effect, but it rarely adds anything), Other boards (and Android TV sticks) provided real advantage over the pi from price, to power...someone even suggests openness, and many(including me) think it has sacrificed too much in memory, and CPU(for that price)...and for me misses a critical SATA header.

The reality is the best technology does not win, It gained support by having good intentions(and succeeding in them)...revolutionise Computer science education (hell its now made in Wales), and has become the the most supported board out there...there are three distribution for XBMC alone, and some really cool things done with it. I own one it works great

Re:Awesomeberry Pi (2)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about a year ago | (#43892859)

If someone finds me a similarly-sized Raspberry Pi alternative for $35 (plus reasonable postage and packing) that has a semi-decent GPU, USB, ethernet, audio and GPIO, and runs Linux - I will buy it and report back.

(The BeagleBone Black looks interesting at $45. I think I might get one of those anyway...)

Re:Shitberry Pi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892973)

http://www.geekbuying.com/item/MK808-Dual-Core-Android-4-1-Jelly-Bean-TV-BOX-Rockchip-RK3066-Cortex-A9-Mini-PC-stick-307415.html

Re:Shitberry Pi (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about a year ago | (#43893209)

http://www.geekbuying.com/item/MK808-Dual-Core-Android-4-1-Jelly-Bean-TV-BOX-Rockchip-RK3066-Cortex-A9-Mini-PC-stick-307415.html

$42, but free shipping so I'll let that slide - no ethernet or GPIO, but does have built-in WiFi and 8GB flash storage and includes a mains adaptor. Will run Linux (with hardware-accelerated OpenGL ES) via the unfortunately-named Picuntu [cnx-software.com] .

Interesting. Anyone got anything better?

Re:Awesomeberry Pi (1)

wmorrow (16909) | about a year ago | (#43893109)

What's in the same price bracket that has a SATA header, and you have personally used? The Cubieboard looks promising.

Re:Awesomeberry Pi (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#43893253)

Nifty little projects like this remind me a bit of the things that used to show up in Steve Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar in Byte.

Great news (1)

DMiax (915735) | about a year ago | (#43892391)

With all the posts RPi s used in so many outstanding projects, it's certainly refreshing and newsworthy that someone is using it the way it was designed to be used, and running the software that it was designed to run!

Sorry, guy who used it to monitor sharks [raspberrypi.org] , you are just not as cool.

This just gave me an idea... (3, Insightful)

maxrate (886773) | about a year ago | (#43892397)

Buy a notebook computer.

Re:This just gave me an idea... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#43892795)

I bought an inexpensive Acer Aspire One. It's not your aunt's netbook. Dual Core (but slow) processor, and it's undocumented but you can cram 8 gigs of RAM in it.

8 gigs in a 3 pound laptop. VirtualBox runs great on it.

Re:This just gave me an idea... (1)

YukariHirai (2674609) | about a year ago | (#43892813)

While you can do that, to some of us, DIY is more fun.

Re:This just gave me an idea... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43893009)

It's also easier to interface (and power) a Pi with low level hardware, as opposed to a notebook.

The Raspberry Pi was never meant as a computer to run spreadsheets on. It's a hacker toy.

Shitberry pi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892409)

I'm about ready to toss mine in the scrap heap. $35 computer; you get what you pay for. Would be OK if they did not use SD memory with it's reliability and clocking issues. It really is a slice of shit.

Re:Shitberry pi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892993)

Finally someone raises a reasonable point -- it is a piece of shit design, done around an old shitty processor, and a Shitnopsys USB core that's not worth a damn. Requiring a driver to take an interrupt per microframe is a great design for USB HS. I guess that's what you get when you take retard IP, make a a retard PCB, and sell it to the mongloid masses.

Re:Shitberry pi (1)

Grench (833454) | about a year ago | (#43894075)

I had these issues to begin with. But then I used a better power supply and these issues went away. The quality of the power supply unit really does affect how reliable your Pi is. I'm aware that the way they implemented USB power is far from ideal, but they have achieved the goal of producing a (quite surprisingly) powerful computer for $35.

Mine has been running for months with no downtime. It's a Samba4 domain controller, Horde groupware mailserver, DNS server, web server, SNMP poller (running Cacti), print server, and it runs Crashplan to automatically back up data from my family's PCs to an attached USB hard disk. I know I'm not the original target market for the Pi, but dammit I *like* mine, I think it's perfectly good at doing what it does for my needs, and I know I'm not using anywhere near its full capabilities (the GPU component of the Broadcomm SoC is supposed to be surprisingly powerful). It's also silent and draws very little power - which is why I used it to replace the old AMD Sempron box that was doing the same set of jobs previously.

Sure, it's not running the latest version of the ARM processor, or running the Ethernet connection independently from USB. But then if it did, it'd be larger and would cost more to build. Cut them some slack; they're doing something amazing - they're getting kids interested in how computers actually *work* instead of just using one to check their Facebook pages, and it's cheap enough that it doesn't really matter too much if they damage it.

ho8o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892429)

triuMphs 3ould soon

Used? (0)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#43892443)

Doesn't anybody buy used computers? I get perfectly usable Core Duo machines from my local thrift store for $25 apiece, and they do a heck of a lot more than a Pi.

Re:Used? (4, Informative)

mikesnap (2928031) | about a year ago | (#43892611)

My project goal was to utilize what the raspberry pi was able to do and learn about linux programming on a small scale. I have plenty of computers that could be utilized if I needed a computer that is faster or has larger capabilities. -The Author

Re:Used? (1)

sidevans (66118) | about a year ago | (#43892635)

Doesn't anybody buy used computers? I get perfectly usable Core Duo machines from my local thrift store for $25 apiece, and they do a heck of a lot more than a Pi.

True, they weight a lot more, take up a lot more space, and they use a lot more power!

Re:Used? (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43892677)

Most of that weight and space are occupied by the monitor and the keyboard. However you minimize the motherboard, the setup cannot be smaller than these devices. A notebook also does a good job on protecting them in transport position.

Re:Used? (1)

sidevans (66118) | about a year ago | (#43892913)

I couldn't agree more! And that's why I've owned notebooks as my main system for the past 3-4 years.

However with the price of power these days, a Raspberry Pi is probably the best bang for buck you can get when it comes to power consumption and usability combined. A Raspberry Pi will serve much better as a CarPC or low voltage system than any 2nd hand dual core desktop system, if you have the space and power at home for desktop systems, now worries then.

I've got 4 Pi's waiting at my office, 1 for my RC Car, 1 for my Quadrotor, 1 as HTPC and 1 to play with. Even a tiny desktop, failed-ITX for example, can't really be used on a quadrotor without a whole bunch of major power mods, on the other hand, the Pi is perfect for the task :)

Re:Used? (2)

dido (9125) | about a year ago | (#43892857)

Indeed. However, power usage is something to consider. A model B RPi uses a piddling 3.5 W, whereas a Core 2 Duo E6850 by itself consumes nearly 20 times as much power (65 W). If you're running it 24x7, that's the difference between 17 kWh per month and 327 kWh per month. With an electricity cost at about 12 US cents per kWh (US average), that translates to a US$37.20 per month difference. The cost of the Pi is thus more than made up by electricity savings in just a month. Other factors, e.g. the fact that most Core 2 Duo machines will likely have fans and other moving parts that will reduce its overall reliability, that a Pi is much smaller overall, etc, are probably serious considerations. It really depends on what you want to be able to do. The one I bought sees use as a HTPC and home file server (among other things), and it is more than ideal for the purpose. I was considering buying an ITX Atom board for this purpose before I settled on a Pi: the power consumption was what decided the issue.

Re:Used? (2)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43893189)

Please check your math, it's an order of magnitude off. Often whole houses don't draw 327 kWh/mo.

Per my calculations, R-Pi will cost 30 cents/mo, and an E6850 will be $5.70/mo. However if you close the lid of the notebook it draws much less, about 23-25W, and then the costs drop down to about $2.50/mo. Nobody worries about such a piddly expense.

For example: 3.5W * 24 hrs/day * 30.5 days/mo = 2.562 kWh (30.744 cents/mo.)

Re:Used? (1)

stymy (1223496) | about a year ago | (#43893321)

You could easily end up spending more on electricity than on the computer - especially if you use it as a server.

Raspberry Pi is only very minimally open (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892457)

The Raspberry Pi is not open hardware at the board level (schematic but no gerbers) nor at the SoC level (no full reference manual on the Broadcom BCM2835 device) nor at the boot level (booting and boot options are handled by the proprietary VideoCore IV) nor at the GPU and DSP levels (the VideoCore is entirely closed/under NDA). In fact, the only fully open thing about Raspberry Pi is its old and rather obsolete ARM11 processor.

So why exactly is anyone associating the word "open" with Raspberry Pi?

Far more open is the similarly priced BeagleBone Black [beagleboard.org] , which provides full gerbers, full SoC reference manual, and full open source boot control (U-Boot). The BeagleBone Black's TI SoC does have a closed GPU, but since the board isn't aimed at running games nor consuming media like the Raspberry Pi is, it hardly matters. And the BeagleBone Black is far more capable in almost every other respect.

It's cool that Raspberry Pi has helped to bring ARM board prices down, but it shouldn't be called an open platform when it's mostly closed.

Re:Raspberry Pi is only very minimally open (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43892529)

Sign the right NDA and most of what you are missing becomes available.

Open does not mean what you think it does. The cult of RMS thinks open means you give away house and everything in it.

The rest of us consider open to be fair and non-discriminatory terms, as we have for longer than you, RMS, GPL or the entire Loony libre movement has been alive.

Does it feel lonely where you are. (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43892667)

The rest of us...

Hold the bus; There is no us, there is a you. lonely and on your own you. I am little tired of your subterfuge, why don't you say it proudly and openly. I support Apple, and pretend I care about BSD. You regularly attack RMS, who wrote a rather nice free compiler and started a movement that I benefit from daily. I don't care if you like or believe in RMS who has been consistent about his beliefs for forever (win lose or draw), but I rate him more than your Cook who simply opened his mouth and Lied about not paying Tax...the things that pay education and hospitals, and I look forward to him lying about Apple being a ringleader in raising the price of books.

Your off-topic

Re:Does it feel lonely where you are. (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43892957)

No, I won't hold the bus, you're an ignorant douche clouded by being a rabid fanboy. Its clearly just me who feels this way since ... this is the very first time anyone has pointed this on slashdot ... Okay, its the first time on this particular thread? The warping of the word 'Open' by RMS cultists isn't exactly a new debate on slashdot, yet here you are trying to pretend I'm the only one who says such radical things!

I support Apple, BSD, Linux, and Windows, I do say it proudly, so go fuck yourself. I'm not a fanboy. I support the best tool for the job. You're just a zealot too stupid to know when your favorite tool sucks for the purpose at hand.

RMS is a rather well known douche to everyone outside the GPL zealots fan club, you have to be pretty oblivious to the world not not recognize that you're either part of his worshippers or likely don't find him the least bit impressive.

'Your Cook'? Seriously? He's not 'My Cook'. He's just a guy who runs a company. I don't give a shit about him, YOU DO.

I don't attack RMS for his accomplishments, which are many. I attack RMS for being a douche who does far more damage than good because he has this hippie commune fantasy about how the worlds politics should be and if you disagree with him, you're an evil bastard. Good, he's consistently a douche, that doesn't change anything. He's likes to think he's got the power over the world that Steve Jobs or Bill Gates had, but he doesn't, he's not anywhere even close.

Everything he has written is being or had been replaced by an alternative without his political looney bin ideas, what does that tell you? So he started GCC, big whoop. It was never 'good'. It has always been just 'better than nothing'. I've written a compiler or two myself, but I didn't pretend that was impressive. Incase you haven't noticed, GCC is a big example of how to do it wrong in the open source world right now. Its big, bloated, a pile of crap and its management has its head so far up its ass the rest of the open source world and computer world in general has put their full might in creating a new compiler JUST to get away from his crap.

GPL has its place, but its not like it wouldn't have existed without him. Its not like he was the creator of an original idea that no one had thought of before, copyleft wasn't new when GPL came into existence, just the new name for it.

And lets get one thing clear, without Linus and Linux, you wouldn't even have any clue who RMS was. And if you pay close attention, the Linux that is ruling the world, isn't based on RMS's work EITHER.

Again, Open was a word being used for something different than your or the previous posters skewed little perspectives for longer than any of this stuff you rant on about even existed.

People like you give open source a bad name due to your ignorance and zealotry.

And yes, this is intended to make all you fanboys lose your shit and rant off about how wrong I am, all the while proving my point for me. So please, go ahead and respond ...

I love cook and hate stallman...oh nos Android (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43893219)

>And lets get one thing clear, without Linus and Linux, you wouldn't even have any clue who RMS was

I've cut your personal attacks on me(oh no you called me a zealot what will I do...against someone writing 13 paragraph rant), and your hatred of GPL(I am sorry that some programmers don't want to program free for Apple). I'm surprised you didn't realise that GCC is a big deal, Apple have being trying to get rid of it for years :).

What is ironic is Apple subverted BSD so easily by buying off the main programmers, and handing out a few Apple laptops they destroyed the real BSD community rather than nurturing it. You can get (real)Unix with vastly improved performance simply by running a mixture of GNU and Linux (built under different ideals under one license.) GPL wins again.

Say it you loooove apple. xxx. The fact that GPL won and well BSD lost is history. Apple should have learnt to share, or chosen the kernel by Linux under Stallmans linus...lie that other operating system. The one with 1.5Million activations a day...runs on the Pi too...Android :) I notice its desktop figures continue to rise as well unlike Apple (down 22% and 2% woops)

The bottom line is Apple should have shared. Its part of their downfall. The sad fact is Apple would have been better aiming for the Microsofts Market share instead on Linux...will they never learn. Cant help think your graphics and file system performance are a little slow :)

I hope your shares do better...maybe you should try Microsoft instead.

Re:Does it feel lonely where you are. (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about a year ago | (#43893139)

Get a life guy, this has nothing to do with Apple and even mentioning it, or Tim Cook, is off-topic. There are many people on this site who have no love for Richard Stallman, myself included. I don't a rat about him or his dogma, and I don't care for having it shoved down my throat.

I like having the freedom to choose what license I want, without his or your input. Please keep your software religion to yourself.

Re:Raspberry Pi is only very minimally open (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892827)

In my 10-year career (not counting my studies while I was already involved in the industry as an enthusiast) you are, literally, the only person I've seen who considers "signing the right NDA" to be "open".

Re:Raspberry Pi is only very minimally open (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43892929)

Is 10 years supposed to be a long time? I've come close to having uptime longer than that. You're lack of experience shows in your comment.

Well, not really, you're just making shit up, this very discussion has come up on slashdot thousands of times, so if you haven't seen it before, you've really got no business posting on slashdot, anonymous or not, its like a weekly flame war.

Re:Raspberry Pi is only very minimally open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43893529)

"Open" means publicly open. This is the accepted meaning of the term for everyone in this industry, and it always has been. It is used to mean the opposite of "restricted". However, it seems that "everyone" excludes you. By your logic, a top-level military secret would also be open.

I can only conclude that you are completely detached from the prevailing semantics in the industry, or more likely, some kind of oddball hater of openness.

PS. Or perhaps a simple troll, as I see you've now been mod'd.

Re:Raspberry Pi is only very minimally open (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43894177)

Sign the right NDA and most of what you are missing becomes available.

While the term "open" may mean different things to different people, "open" never meant "you have to sign an NDA to get the spec".

as we have for longer than you, RMS, GPL or the entire Loony libre movement has been alive.

Actually, this has nothing to do with loony ideology, and everything with hard-nosed business decisions. For any software or hardware I buy, I want competitive pricing and long term availability. Designs that anybody can implement freely give me that automatically. Anything that requires an NDA or a license likely is not competitively priced and may disappear or increase in price overnight at the whim of the company issuing the license; that adds a huge amount of risk and cost to my projects. Sometimes, I have no choice but to accept that extra risk and cost, but as soon as someone comes up with an "open" alternative, I'll switch to that.

The rest of us consider open to be fair and non-discriminatory terms,

Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, you, and a bunch of law firms? A small "rest" that is. More like the "residue" at the bottom of a barrel.

Re:Raspberry Pi is only very minimally open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43893685)

"Closed GPU doesn't matter because it's not powerful"

What?

OMG what a great idea (4, Funny)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#43892465)

A desktop computer you can carry anywhere, someone should have thought of this 30 years ago. It really needs it's own category name don't you think?

What about the 'kneetop' or perhaps the 'stomachtop' or maybe the 'palmtop' .. hmm, they're just not *quite* right are they?

Re:OMG what a great idea (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | about a year ago | (#43892569)

or just use the old name from 30 years ago for these things, transportable's.

Re:OMG what a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892733)

*luggable

Re:OMG what a great idea (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#43892801)

I have a Compaq Transportable. Amber Plasma display and all. I think the processor is a '286.

Re:OMG what a great idea (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#43893733)

I have a Compaq Transportable. Amber Plasma display and all. I think the processor is a '286.

All the ones I saw were 8086, (I have a clone we bought in asia in 1986, you have to re-seat the daughter boards every time you move it...)

Re:OMG what a great idea (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#43893747)

This one? [oldcomputers.net] Not many of those out there, Compaq was struggling by then.

Compaq does not get a lot of love for it's machines from the '80s, but those of us that used them have a certain fondness.

flexibility of the Raspberry Pi (3, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43892575)

well gee golly shit, here I am putting my computers in paper bags for the last 30 years, and its bout time someone made a computer that can run quake, its been sitting on my shelf for 17 years and no computer to run it

"mini desktop computer that could be taken anywher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892621)

So... Like a laptop?

and how much did the whole thing cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892645)

uhm, they wont mention it because it would defeat the whole purpose of RPI in the first place.

Rasberry Pi is about education (3, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43892707)

uhm, they wont mention it because it would defeat the whole purpose of RPI in the first place.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/about [raspberrypi.org]
"There isn’t much any small group of people can do to address problems like an inadequate school curriculum or the end of a financial bubble. But we felt that we could try to do something about the situation where computers had become so expensive and arcane that programming experimentation on them had to be forbidden by parents; and to find a platform that, like those old home computers, could boot into a programming environment."

The pi is about education, and part of that is the price. Its the price of replacing a whole board or simply swapping an sd card. The fact that you might plug one into a $2000 TV even is not the price we are talking about. Its about the cost of hacking the computer without worrying about its price.

Re:Rasberry Pi is about education (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#43892809)

Here in my locality, Dell is sucking all the used computers out of the market as vigorously as they can. When I was in my 20's I would have died for a few old PCs to experiment with. I learned 'networking' back in the 90's with a bunch of old boxes and 10base-5 cards and some coax. Today, Dell and their 'community recycling' programs yank the old hardware away by capturing everything donated to Goodwill, and assuring that NONE of it ever gets resold.

I'm not sure a Raspberry Pi is a good replacement for letting kids mess around with castoffs. But it's a good thing nonetheless.

Re:Rasberry Pi is about education (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | about a year ago | (#43892917)

One word for you : Craigslist.
Assuming you're in a locale with decent CL usage, there's no better techno-recycle center.

Re:Rasberry Pi is about education (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43892879)

The Raspberry Pi can't emulate what the C64 and BBC Micro did though: let you make titles that rivaled commercial platforms.

Back during the heyday of the C64, video games could easily be developed by one person or a small team, coding was comparatively simple, with enough time and with a bit of effort you could code games that were similar to commercial games that appeared in arcades 2-3 years previously. Today's kids have grown up with multimillion dollar games lead by large teams of programmers, composers and artists. Rather than Pac-Man, today's kids have grown up with Skyrim. When you can't make games that are similar to what you consider to be "good games" the motivation to program (which is what gets most kids interested in programming, I mean, not many kids decide one day they want to learn arrays and merge-sorts) is diminished.

Re:Rasberry Pi is about education (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43893039)

Coding a video game can still be done by one person, and in fact, good games (smaller) are often led by one developer who is the mass of the project and a few other people helping out.

Keep in mind that iD, Epic and Crytek were all basically started by one guy who made almost all of the engine and game the first time around, then once money came in from smaller successes, they turned into the power houses we see today.

While the Pi can't do what my laptop can, that doesn't mean its not incredibly capable of making a good game.

The PRIMARY ingredient in a good game is GOOD GAME PLAY, not graphics or sound.

It has to be fun first and foremost.

If you watch the recent wayland demo using the VideoCore properly, you'll see that while its just a dinky, old ARM core, the GPU core is FAR FAR FAR more powerful. The original purpose of this chip was more of a video card type of thing than general purpose processing and video output. Its meant to power pretty displays more than it is made to run a general purpose OS doing general purpose things. The Raspberry Pi's use case is a lot different than what the chip was designed for, so don't under-estimate the available processing power and capabilities, we've not seen what this chip is truely capable of yet. I expect to see the same sort of impressively cool hacks on the RPi as were done on the C64 and Amiga to get unexpectedly impressive output.

Re:Rasberry Pi is about education (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43893119)

yea and ID and epic started back on the 8 bit machines when it was simple as well, even making something like pong on a current system is considerably more ballooned out. You dont just flip a switch, tell it to draw some pixels on a 40x40 grid (or whatever low res your machine had) and off you go. You cant even draw a pixel on a modern machine without importing gobs of libraries and learn how to use those as well as basic game fundamentals.

Business model for bootstrapping a developer (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43893131)

Keep in mind that iD, Epic and Crytek were all basically started by one guy who made almost all of the engine and game the first time around, then once money came in from smaller successes, they turned into the power houses we see today.

So in this analogy, how would "money come in from" a Raspberry Pi game?

Re:Rasberry Pi is about education (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43893095)

yea thats a great warm and squishy fact is its bad for classrooms, you dont just plug it in boom instant python, and these expensive computers get trucked to the dump on pallettes cause they cant give a 3ghz P4 away anymore, which is easier to deal with and has far more programming options than python, which is a terrible language to start with

Keyboard/mouse? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about a year ago | (#43892701)

without the need for cabling or setup

Unless you want a keyboard or mouse?

EIther way as others have said, this really doesn't seem newsworthy. We're talking about some very basic case modding and a little custom wiring here.

Re:Keyboard/mouse? (1)

wmorrow (16909) | about a year ago | (#43893133)

One new thing they did here was put a heatsink on the SOC. I have not seen that before. Earthshaking innovation, I know.

To: the critics, (4, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | about a year ago | (#43892779)

You are perfectly correct: we should discourage people from entering the field of electronics by focussing upon advanced projects. Yes these projects are exciting to read about, but they are impractical for the novice to attempt building. It's impractical because it's too complex to understand, too expensive to botch, and tedious for those who don't have the construction skills. We should also discourage people from entering the field of electronics by instilling the mentality that it ain't worth trying if it ain't new, thus ensuring that any project is out of reach of the novice.

After all, we wouldn't want to encourage people to get into electronics by pointing to articles about stuff that they can actually try doing.

Re:To: the critics, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892823)

Shut the fuck up, you dumb nigger.

Go back to Kenya with your buddy Baquack Obamailure.

Re:To: the critics, (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892945)

You are perfectly correct: we should discourage people from entering the field of electronics by focussing upon advanced projects

Of course not. However only small children manage to achieve some trivial feat and then run to their mommy and daddy to show what they did. We accept that because for those children it is a good achievement. But we do not go to the national TV to announce that little Johnny figured out, all on his own, how to open a car door. From the inside.

This project is good as an educational tool. However it does not represent any particular challenge for somewhat more experienced audience, at Slashdot or elsewhere. It is not newsworthy, and it does not prompt (me, at least) to copy it.

Here is something that I would copy in an instant. R-Pi supports cameras. Take a camera, attach it to the R-Pi, find or write the software that encodes the video into industry-standard streaming formats (H.264, MPEG4, MJPEG), add audio, add motion detection, integrate with some DVR software (best if open source) - THAT would be EXCELLENT. Those cameras cost ARM9 and a leg today, about $500-600 (ACTi ACM-1231, for example.) It would be not easy to do, but you don't need to do it all in one sitting. I contemplated the project myself, but I'm too busy to do anything about it.

Re:To: the critics, (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about a year ago | (#43893167)

I understand what you (and others) are saying. Yet everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere frequently involves some pretty basic stuff.

Now I'm not going to argue that this is the best article for that since it leaves out a lot of details that can help out that novice. Yet the article will expose the novice to some of the parts, tools, techniques, and terminology. Keep in mind: newcomers probably won't know what a project box is, nevermind a single-pole/single-throw switch; they are unlikely to have sliced and spliced cables together; and may be at a loss on how to keep things neat and secure.

Of course too much was going unsaid. Things like how you properly construct the cable, from getting the pins right to how you solder the wires together and deal with heat-shrink; or exactly how they selected the power supply. Yet I don't think that takes away from the notion that stories about trivial projects like this helps to introduce people to the world of electronics.

I would also argue that projects like this are far from trivial. To someone like ourselves it seems trivial because we've been able to do stuff like this for ages. For the novice, it'll probably end up in hours of frustration, faulty connections, and blown components.

Re:To: the critics, (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43893395)

Keep in mind: newcomers probably won't know what a project box is, nevermind a single-pole/single-throw switch; they are unlikely to have sliced and spliced cables together; and may be at a loss on how to keep things neat and secure.

I'm afraid you are targeting people with so little knowledge of electronics that they are not very likely to ever embark on such a project. They would be better off building a battery-operated flashlight first, or learning how to hold a soldering iron. Besides, what makes you think that a housewife who never built a computer from ready made parts will have any sudden desire to build this thing? With hot glue? That is ridiculous; I don't even *have* hot glue here, it's worse than duct tape. If you cannot manufacture the cutout with 10 mil accuracy, buy a box that is made for you. Don't fill 100 mil of gap with hot glue. It's an example of how NOT to do things.

Things like how you properly construct the cable, from getting the pins right to how you solder the wires together and deal with heat-shrink;

The linked article does not have this information. It says that the VGA cable is directly soldered to the R-Pi board, but doesn't show where and how. It is entirely useless because there are no schematics, drawings, or anything of engineering nature whatsoever. All you see in the photos are multi-conductor cables that go somewhere and do something. How would this be of any use to anyone??? Well, if I need a R-Pi in such setup I can benefit from knowing that I can buy a cheap LCD at Amazon, but that's hardly news for anyone who cares to search. The box is not something I would advise a newcomer to do (how many have a milling machine at home? Milling plastic is not easy.) Better to just buy a box that is made for R-Pi.

I would also argue that projects like this are far from trivial. To someone like ourselves it seems trivial because we've been able to do stuff like this for ages. For the novice, it'll probably end up in hours of frustration, faulty connections, and blown components.

Sure. That's why you need to publish the schematics, not just photos of the board running Quake. Anyone can load Quake on R-Pi, there are instructions. But your specific interface to this LCD and that battery and that power switch deserves a drawing. Otherwise the article is no help.

Re:To: the critics, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43892949)

There's lots of great sites for people learning the basics, however this is a news site!

As a beginner project sure, this is great. As a subject for discussion it's kinda boring. There's nothing novel here.. nothing all that unique about the hardware, it's configuration, or it's intended use.

While I'm being negative.. that electrical tape job makes me wonder if it's even soldered together under there.

Re:To: the critics, (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about a year ago | (#43892953)

This project barely has anything to do with electronics. They had a box with a small display attached. They stuffed the raspberry pi and cables into the box. I get trying to promote things that are accessible for the less experience, but what in the article would actually help a newbie learn? It is a useless piece of fluff split over a few pages and is only there to garner page views.

Re:To: the critics, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43893021)

Won't make a difference here -- Slashdot is populated by a perpetual army of retards (see Tarduino) who think that wasting $35 on a PCB and running a bunch of software on it that other people wrote makes them capable in terms of electronics.

Re:To: the critics, (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43893089)

This should be on slashdot because ...

If you were smart, you'd just get any one of the VESA mount Raspberry Pi cases and mount the pie on the monitor

Oh, and in a 10 second Google search, here are a few that do the same thing but you know, a long time ago.

http://blog.parts-people.com/2012/12/20/mobile-raspberry-pi-computer-build-your-own-portable-rpi-to-go/ [parts-people.com]
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1952418207/all-in-one-raspberry-pi-case [kickstarter.com]
http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/05/17/raspberry-pi-in-oak-case-with-monitor-piday-raspberrypi-raspberry_pi/ [adafruit.com]

You can find all the required parts by visiting pretty much any website of a large Raspberry Pi dealer (Adafruit, Element14) that has a dedicated RaspPi section and you'll find a list of all the parts, ready made, to be shipped to you to do just this.

Its not like this guy had to even 'find parts'.

And these are cooler (alas, the don't really qualify since they don't have monitors attached):

http://supernintendopi.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]
http://raspi64.blogspot.com/2013/03/all-buttoned-up.html [blogspot.com]

If this kind of crap post belongs on slashdot, so does everytime I take a shit, as its equally as impressive and as rare of an accomplishment.

Re:To: the critics, (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43893125)

I didnt know that screwing a board to a box was now electronics, no wonder the world is going to shit and the best we can ever hope for is clones of the same crap we have now featuring innovative idea's like speakers facing forward!

Re:To: the critics, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43894137)

You are perfectly correct: we should discourage people from entering the field of electronics by focussing upon advanced projects.

IMO the raspberry isn't a good way to enter the field of electronics.
I think that it would be better to grab an FTDI-cable and start toggling the signals. Then hook up a microcontroller to it. (It provides 5V and an UART.)
Once you are used to programming and playing around with a microcontroller all other steps will be small.

The raspberry has its place as a small replacement for things that you can use a full scale computer for but once you want to play around with electronics it becomes problematic. A simple thing like hooking up a couple of quadrature encoders? Having an operating system in it makes it hard to ensure that the pins will be read in time but on an 8-bit microcontroller without the extra fluff you won't have any problem at all.

Raspberry doesn't really give you easier GPIO-access than a PC with a parallel port.

Hmm. (1)

Jaktar (975138) | about a year ago | (#43892955)

This would have been much cooler if they'd have VESA mounted the PI to the back of a slightly larger monitor and used their engineering skills to make a power supply and then hot glued that to the back of the monitor. Opposite the power brick they could have put some velcro and attached a multimedia keyboard/mouse combo controller.

Portable indeed.

Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43893029)

You could get a nice 7 inch table for ~$80 that has everything is nice small all-in-one package that includes a touch screen and speakers.

Cue arguments about GPIO pins...

Would be nice in an old Macintosh case (1)

Camembert (2891457) | about a year ago | (#43893099)

The linked computer looks very homebrew. It is of course still a nice diy project. (in diy the construction fun is as important as the end result, it is not really important that you can buy a cheap laptop). More attractive, I think, would be reusing an old all-in-one MacIntosh case for this. that would be really a kinda portable all in one computer. Seamlessly attaching a correctly sized lcd screen may be difficult, but that is the fun of diy. Perhaps this has been done already?

......cool (0)

jimmetry (1801872) | about a year ago | (#43893607)

Well..... if that's front page news on Slashdot, you kids will love my stuff when it's ready :)

So buy a low-end tablet (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43893735)

If you want a generic portable computer with an ARM CPU, buy an Allwinner-based tablet. [amazon.com] Those use the Allwinnner system on a chip, which has an ARM core and costs about $7 in quantity. They're under $70 in the US, around $30 in Shenzhen.

Am I missing something? (2)

jw3 (99683) | about a year ago | (#43893943)

"fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup"

So, basically, a laptop?

Seriously -- how is that news? People have been doing it for years now. Here is a random google link from 2012: http://blog.parts-people.com/2012/12/20/mobile-raspberry-pi-computer-build-your-own-portable-rpi-to-go/ [parts-people.com]

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