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DNova
Jan 11, 2006



SpaceAceJase posted:

What gives you the impression that anyone here thinks it's anything more than what it is? It's a tiny ARM computer.

No, he's right. Most people just don't get it which is fine, but I don't understand why some of them feel the need to poo poo on the idea. If you don't like it or see any potential in it, then don't loving buy one.

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Cunning Plan
Apr 15, 2003


I'm really interested in this project, as one of the stated aims is to get kids interested in "proper" programming; now, it's great that they've put together what looks like a nice bit of cheap hardware, but for me the interesting bit (and make-or-break) of the project will be the software.

Personally, I got started with programming on the BBC Micro. This was a great system, because I was able to get up and running really quickly (I guess at the age of about 9-10 or so?) drawing some cool stuff on the screen, with everything integrated and ready to go the moment the machine was switched on; no frustrating OS settings, installations or libraries to have to screw around with. Stuff like LOGO (a simple language where you entered/scripted commands to direct a "turtle" to draw lines on the screen) really made me "get" the fundamental ideas behind programming. Then I took IT in secondary school, and was disheartened when it was all about Word and Excel.

Now, it'd be great to think the Pi will be a platform for introducing this kind of "fun" element into school-level computing education, but I do wonder at exactly how it's going to be used in lessons. I know people slate BASIC, but I think it's that sort of language-level in terms of simplicity that would be needed for the sort of level I'm thinking of; e.g. a class of 10 year olds, with exercises along the lines of "here's a program that draws a square. Modify it so it draws a triangle" . Probably the closest/most suitable thing I've seen in recent years is Processing.

Kaludan
Jul 2, 2009


nickdab posted:

Right now, I don't think we have to worry about that. I was listening to tuxradar and from what they were saying it sounds like everybody on this project has a day job and this is just a thing they've been doing with their free time. I'm sure that if it generates enough interest somebody will try to figure out a way either to make a profit off of it or to destroy it, though.

I hadn't thought about putting XBMC on it and making a media center, but that is a brilliant idea. You could have a really cool HTPC setup for under $100. I'm excited about all the cool things dedicated hobbyist could do with a system this cheap.

Liquidate might not have been the right term. Throw money at to slow down or impede is what I was getting at. HP and Dell make major bank off of keeping the cost of the entry level PC higher than it needs to be.

Based on it's size, price, and the fact that it's capable of 1080 HD playback means it's going to bump heads with everything trying to exploit the media trend of online streaming services and remotely hosted home office solutions.

I imagine a comparison to the incumbent automotive industry quashing electric car technology would be apt.

I could also just be a negative nancy.

Modus Trollens
Sep 12, 2010



Kaludan posted:

Liquidate might not have been the right term. Throw money at to slow down or impede is what I was getting at. HP and Dell make major bank off of keeping the cost of the entry level PC higher than it needs to be.

Based on it's size, price, and the fact that it's capable of 1080 HD playback means it's going to bump heads with everything trying to exploit the media trend of online streaming services and remotely hosted home office solutions.

I imagine a comparison to the incumbent automotive industry quashing electric car technology would be apt.

I could also just be a negative nancy.

you over estimate people

average joe isn't going to buy something without a case and deal with Linux. Most of my friends don't even know what the gently caress Linux is or that there is something that isn't Windows/OSX.

SPACE HOMOS
Jan 12, 2005



What surprises me the most is the cost. I don't know much about ARM11 but by the sounds of it this little thing can do a lot. I know that ARM is used in a lot of consumer products and phones, and smart phones are getting pretty powerful. So all that on a little board thats 25 bucks? Thats a great price for a learning tool. Look at this FPGA board that one class (really just a lab) requires:


100 bucks in the bookstore, 80 online (really 50 if you use your school email). All that does is simulate gates, yet the raspberry does so much more and is cheaper? I want to get my hands on one and think its a great idea.

Edit: Also I kind of think that having not much resources on the board is a good idea. I've never agreed with the whole "memory is cheap" way of teaching in CS classes. So having to learn to program within a limit may teach more proficient coding. I remember doom running well on a 486, yet some games come out today and run like poo poo on i7s with gtx 570s (CLOD).

SPACE HOMOS fucked around with this message at Feb 25, 2012 around 03:25

HolyDukeNukem
Sep 10, 2008



SPACE HOMOS posted:

What surprises me the most is the cost. I don't know much about ARM11 but by the sounds of it this little thing can do a lot. I know that ARM is used in a lot of consumer products and phones, and smart phones are getting pretty powerful. So all that on a little board thats 25 bucks? Thats a great price for a learning tool. Look at this FPGA board that one class (really just a lab) requires:


100 bucks in the bookstore, 80 online (really 50 if you use your school email). All that does is simulate gates, yet the raspberry does so much more and is cheaper? I want to get my hands on one and think its a great idea.

Edit: Also I kind of think that having not much resources on the board is a good idea. I've never agreed with the whole "memory is cheap" way of teaching in CS classes. So having to learn to program within a limit may teach more proficient coding. I remember doom running well on a 486, yet some games come out today and run like poo poo on i7s with gtx 570s (CLOD).

FPGA's can't really be compared to a full on processor. The design of FPGA's is to design logic systems(like microprocessors). They were never designed to be fully usable out of the box. It's not a commodore 64 or anything like what the raspberry pi wants to deal with. Most people who want to learn FPGA's want to because they plan on doing ASIC design or other forms of logic and low level hardware design, not coding. Its much much cheaper to use a mass produced microprocessor and pcb it to a few necessary components.

Tiger.Bomb
Jan 21, 2012


kcncuda71 posted:

FPGA's can't really be compared to a full on processor. The design of FPGA's is to design logic systems(like microprocessors). They were never designed to be fully usable out of the box. It's not a commodore 64 or anything like what the raspberry pi wants to deal with. Most people who want to learn FPGA's want to because they plan on doing ASIC design or other forms of logic and low level hardware design, not coding. Its much much cheaper to use a mass produced microprocessor and pcb it to a few necessary components.

Plus if you set up your FPGA like you want, you can get one hell of a lot of performance out of it.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



I still think the thread title is incredibly apt. I'm a baby goon, my family's first computer was a Packard Bell running a Pentium @ 75MHz. I kind cut my teeth on DOS, but there was still Win3.11 and other GUIs in place for me to use. I sure as hell didn't learn very much about PC hardware until later, when I tried throwing Linux on the box. I sure didn't pick up a real low-level understanding until my most recent job where I'm responsible for hardware design and maintaining a BIOS for a few platforms.

I think this board should do wonders in getting the next generation of engineers interested in STEM. A nice understanding of hardware/software at a young age should result in some very clever kids entering college. I think I learned more about CS loving around programming my TI-83 in middle school than I ever did from a formal CS class.

ExcessBLarg!
Aug 31, 2001


movax posted:

Too much of the lower-level workings of modern systems (x86, etc) are being lost to NDAs and vaults in a handful of company basements.
It's actually the opposite. The x86/x86-64 processors are ridiculously well documented from a software perspective. And the IBM PC platform is still essentially backwards-compatible with machines of 30 years ago.

The problem with learning systems programming on x86 is that it's super-loving complicated. Unlike the C64 where one person really could learn the entire ins-and-outs of the machine, the scope of the x86 and PC platform is insanely large. It is very well documented, but also very difficult for any one person to fully understand.

Beyond that, the barrier to entry is pretty high. It's definitely doable for an individual to write a PC OS that'll boot off a floppy disk and can be used with a PS/2 keyboard. But with many machines shipping with USB only, you either need to implement a USB stack in your OS (very large) or rely on a bunch of BIOS emulation code, which somewhat contradicts the idea of working with the "bare metal."

In contrast, embedded ARM platforms aren't too bad. There's definitely more to them than a C64, but it's a reasonable platform to write a bare-metal OS that can be interacted with via RS-232, GPIOs, perhaps even VGA. The ARM ISA is also really nice and it's great for learning systems programming on.

But there's three big problems with little ARM boards.

First, a lot of the documentation on it isn't freely available. Yes, you can find a very old version of the ARM Architecture Reference Manual if you Google for it, and the ARM Information Center has a good deal of information too, but the sheer number of topics on that site that say "This document is only available in a PDF version to registered ARM customers." is downright infuriating.

Second, there's not really such a thing as the ARM platform. Rather, ARM cores are integrated into a bunch of different Systems on a Chip (SoC) that implement fairly different platforms from a systems programming perspective. Many of these platforms have little-to-no public documentation and implementing support for them essentially requires an NDA. Yes, you can go read the code that comprises Linux kernel support for them, assuming it's been mainlined or at least easy to find, and there exists a development board you can actually purchase at reasonable cost (sub $100) and run code on. But that's not really an ideal way to learn.

Third, the plethora of embedded ARM platforms, with the lack of any one standard, and the fact the embedded space is evolving very rapidly means that any one device/platform has fairly high chance of becoming unmaintained and obsolete in just a few years. This leads to there being a bunch of half-baked software implementations that "get the job done", at least for a little while, but don't serve as a solid basis for use in teaching over a period of many years.

As an example, a few years ago I found the Gumstix Basix (PXA255) platform to be one of the best sub-$100 options for teaching embedded systems programming. Unforunately Linux support was somewhat half baked and never (to my knowledge) mainlined. Documentation was spotty and incomplete. And after just a couple of years, it was discontinued with no perfectly-backwards compatible upgrade path.

So yes, I'm excited about the Raspberry Pi project. $25-35 is an awesome pricepoint for being able to get the boards into the hands of students, even kids, and let them fool around with it without huge replacement cost concerns when they inevitably ESD, destroy, or otherwise mangle them. There's enough developer interest in the project that, if it doesn't become a "standard platform", it at least gets mainline Linux support and a software ecosystem that can support it for a solid five years or more. And although it's based on a Broadcom SoC (who are typically the most stingy with documentation) it appears the project has enough clout to get at least some documentation into the hands of folks who are interested in doing bare metal hacking.

If it works out, I see it as being a great boon to embedded/computer systems education on a number of levels. While it would be great for it to serve as the modern-era's equivalent of the C64 for folks who want to learn how to bare-metal hack, it could seriously improve the state of present embedded systems teaching by serving as the standard cheap platform that folks can actually write solid time-enduring teaching material for.

ExcessBLarg! fucked around with this message at Feb 26, 2012 around 01:39

Gehenomm
May 1, 2008

Ask me about hitting on mathematicians.


poemdexter posted:

If I can shove this inside of a gutted atari controller, I'll have the coolest media center PC ever.

I'm shoving this inside one of these i have laying around:

http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Arc...30277894&sr=8-2

...coiling the USB wire to the motherboard, and building an internal battery pack (plenty of room in there), so the only wire coming out of it will be the HDMI running to the TV.

Pochoclo posted:

So when will they ship to Argentina, and how much can I expect to pay for them? Let's see, adding taxes and shipping... that'll go up to 100 dollars. Which is like paying 500 bucks for us.

Hey, i'm right across the river from you and i'm ordering a few of these when the second production run drops to give away to my techie mates over here, we don't have import taxes on personal use items under 50 dollars over here so if you still want one and don't mind the wait drop me a line. You would only be paying unitprice+shipping.

Pochoclo posted:


gently caress third world economies.


Nope, gently caress greedy politicians that impose crazy-rear end taxes on imports.

Gehenomm fucked around with this message at Feb 26, 2012 around 17:47

DrMelon
Oct 9, 2010

You can find me in the produce aisle of the hospital.

Gehenomm posted:

I'm shoving this inside one of these i have laying around:

http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Arc...30277894&sr=8-2

...coiling the USB wire to the motherboard, and building an internal battery pack (plenty of room in there), so the only wire coming out of it will be the HDMI running to the TV.



You should put MAME on the RasPi and have yourself a super-simple arcade cabinet setup along with your media centre!

bobua
Mar 23, 2003
I'd trade it all for just a little more.

What's the next step up from one of these that is actually available?

I've seen prototyping 'system on a board' pc's and what not, but as far is complete, tiny pc's made to be incredibly low power but still run a real OS aren't just $100, everything I've seen has been closer to 200+ out the door.

Lot's of people hack linksys nas's and run linux, but as far as a REAL board you can buy for this purpose, this thing seems pretty unique, especially for the price point.

Longinus00
Dec 29, 2005
Ur-Quan

bobua posted:

What's the next step up from one of these that is actually available?

I've seen prototyping 'system on a board' pc's and what not, but as far is complete, tiny pc's made to be incredibly low power but still run a real OS aren't just $100, everything I've seen has been closer to 200+ out the door.

Lot's of people hack linksys nas's and run linux, but as far as a REAL board you can buy for this purpose, this thing seems pretty unique, especially for the price point.

What do you consider a real OS? If you want more power then there's the beagleboard and pandaboard. There's likely some mips solutions if you look hard enough and aren't shy about crosscompiling.

http://search.digikey.com/us/en/pro...=TI_BeagleBoard
http://search.digikey.com/us/en/pro...0-00-ND/2349866

blunt
Jul 7, 2005



Looks like the first batch is going on Sale 6am (GMT) Wednesday:

Raspberrypi.com posted:

The Raspberry Pi Foundation will be making a big (and very positive) announcement that just might interest you at 0600h GMT on Wednesday 29 February 2012. Come to http://www.raspberrypi.org to find out what’s going on.

Twitter posted:

@barsteward:
@Raspberry_Pi Do I need to be up at 6am on my day off to order it or is this an announcement that requires action at a more sociable time?

@Raspberry_Pi:
@barsteward I'm not allowed to say (arcane contractual stuff) - but I *can* say that you'll be furious w/ yourself if you miss it.

Tiger.Bomb
Jan 21, 2012


blunt posted:

Looks like the first batch is going on Sale 6am (GMT) Wednesday:

That's a very reasonable 10PM here! I will definitely check it out!

SpaceAceJase
Nov 8, 2008

and you
have proved
to be...

a real shitty poster,
and a real james


45 minutes till these things go on sale

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003


10 minutes and the main site is kicking out 403s.

Frank Dillinger
May 16, 2007
Jawohl mein herr!


IOwnCalculus posted:

10 minutes and the main site is kicking out 403s.

I'm not surprised, that poor site must be getting hammered right now.

Captain Muffin
Apr 25, 2007

Women like you are the reason this chickens late in the first place.

Well this is exciting, its like trying to pre-order a Gamecube and get tickets to Glasto all in one. I like the fact that I have a throat infection and I'm up at six am using a very powerful computer to try and order a much less powerful computer.

doomisland
Oct 5, 2004



Does anyone have a direct link to where to order this?

inpheaux
Jul 12, 2001



Their Twitter claims they're "live", but .org is still timing out and .com is still "Down for Maintenance". Welp.

Edit: Static site is up. You should be able to preorder through Premier Farnell or RS Components, but both of those sites are clearly experiencing the most traffic they have ever received at one time, so good luck.

inpheaux fucked around with this message at Feb 29, 2012 around 06:07

Frank Dillinger
May 16, 2007
Jawohl mein herr!


sites up!

Edit: aaaaand the distributor's pages are down.

Frank Dillinger fucked around with this message at Feb 29, 2012 around 06:11

ComradeCosmobot
Dec 4, 2004

I am going to fight capitalism even if it kills me.

I think it is wrong that people like you should be comfortable and well fed while all around you people are starving


Apparently they've paired with two "licensed manufacturers" in the UK, Farnell and RS Components to get them produced in bulk, and are selling them now, but the actual units still aren't in the UK.

One direct link is here (and is only soliciting names and e-mails, rather than taking orders):

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/general...?id=raspberrypi

And both sites are timing out half the time or more, so good luck buying.

Mthrboard
Aug 24, 2002


According to the site, you can order from

http://rswww.com/ (RS Components)

or

http://farnell.com/ (Premier Farnell)

It says to search for Raspberry Pi, and then follow the normal shopping and checkout process. However, so far RS Components just has a link to register for more info on the board, and I haven't been able to get the Farnell site to load.

Pweller
Jan 25, 2006

Whatever whateva.

Now the Farnell site is hammered down. RS Components seems to be working though.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003


RSC seems to be to 'register interest' in a Pi.

Farnell and RSC are both timing out for me now.

IOwnCalculus fucked around with this message at Feb 29, 2012 around 06:14

Rescue Toaster
Mar 13, 2003


You can't even register for the RS Components site with a non-UK address... so I dunno...

Farnell has an 'export' site, that seems alright, no idea what shipping will cost. Actually clicking on the 'Preorder' button just gives an error every time though.

I wish I had a screenshot of the Raspberry Pi guys smuggly bragging how they were 'totally aware' what the load would be like and had it all figured out.

ppp
Feb 13, 2012

by angerbot


IOwnCalculus posted:

RSC seems to be to 'register interest' in a Pi.

"If you're only seeing "register an interest" on RS's site, you're on the wrong page."

via twitter

Captain Muffin
Apr 25, 2007

Women like you are the reason this chickens late in the first place.

Well RS is down as well. I am confused, RS usually only offer next day shipping and they are fantastic (for work when we urgently need poo poo) but unless they have done a deal I can see the shipping in the UK costing only a little less than the board.

ComradeCosmobot
Dec 4, 2004

I am going to fight capitalism even if it kills me.

I think it is wrong that people like you should be comfortable and well fed while all around you people are starving


ppp posted:

"If you're only seeing "register an interest" on RS's site, you're on the wrong page."

via twitter

Nice of them to say that when that's exactly the page that you land on when you follow their instructions to search for "raspberry pi" on their site.

Pweller
Jan 25, 2006

Whatever whateva.

ppp posted:

"If you're only seeing "register an interest" on RS's site, you're on the wrong page."

via twitter

When I search for 'raspberry' it automatically takes me to that page, so I'm going to go ahead and say that it's their website that's wrong.

e: why wouldn't they just link to the correct pages?

Social Media
Jan 21, 2010

you make-a my dreams come true


I can't get Farnell.com at all and RS won't take non-UK registrations

Chance
Apr 28, 2002



If you're here you're in the wrong place, there is no right place hahahaha.

Social Media
Jan 21, 2010

you make-a my dreams come true


At least they'll start taking preorders after the first batch.

Prize Loser
Nov 28, 2005

It's casual Friday! Pants are optional!

I'm a little disappointed that they're doing limited availability for shipping choices for their first run, but not terribly surprised (I imagine it's a pain in the rear end to get one distributor to cooperate, let alone enough to serve 192 countries). Would have been nice to know that I didn't have to get up at midnight night to try, though.

GeneralZod
May 28, 2003

Kneel before Zod!

From twitter:

quote:

So we appear to have completely broken RS and Farnell's websites. Keep trying; that redirect should be moved *at some point*.

"We're melting their server - F5 harder!"

Chance
Apr 28, 2002



I was surprised that they said worldwide shipping and launch before and yet only have european stores, I mean at least one on this side of the ocean would have been nice.

Pweller
Jan 25, 2006

Whatever whateva.

Chance posted:

I was surprised that they said worldwide shipping and launch before and yet only have european stores, I mean at least one on this side of the ocean would have been nice.

The page does say that there is some sort of 'distribution network' that is supposed to allow you to get a unit shipped from within your country presumably.

ComradeCosmobot
Dec 4, 2004

I am going to fight capitalism even if it kills me.

I think it is wrong that people like you should be comfortable and well fed while all around you people are starving


Pweller posted:

The page does say that there is some sort of 'distribution network' that is supposed to allow you to get a unit shipped from within your country presumably.

I managed to get deep enough into Farnell's site just to find that they don't have any North American distributors at all, so that's not actually true. (RS does have a US distributor though, not that they have the Raspberry Pi available for sale on it.)

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Rescue Toaster
Mar 13, 2003


I'm glad I only had to stay up to midnight here, what a waste of time.

Sounds like anyone in the US is just screwed. Even when Farnell's 'export' site finally comes back, who knows what shipping will cost, usually with regular electronics component distributors they really screw you. Guess we'll have to see how much they cost on ebay, (my guess is at least $100), or when the second batch becomes available.

btw, Farnell's US branch (both are owned by element14 or something) is Newark. But it's not on Newark's site.

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