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Jul 5, 2008

Raspberry Pi has made its way from vaporware to being a real, tangible $25 computer. There is still a considerable backlog, but it exists!

All code running on the ARM is now open source!

From The Website:


The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.

Specs (click to enlarge):

Best of all, it's just $25!

The OS is stored on an SD card, and while they recommend Fedora, using your favorite distribution is as easy as dd or windd-ing it onto the card. There are going to be 2 models: the more expensive one with more memory, an extra USB slot and an Ethernet port to plug into the Internet.

The idea is that today's computers are so advanced and expensive that kids don't have the chance to learn about them the same way we (or maybe our parents) did, which was just plugging in their ol' Commodore 64 and hitting buttons until they broke something. At $25 or $35, the makers are hoping that parents and schools will give them to kids so that they can start learning about programming and computers the fun way: by playing with them.

Beyond that, this provides a cheap way of practicing your hackzor skillz that won't end in tears! It supports booting bare metal code, so the possibilities are endless.

I think it's a great idea, and I for one am buying one as soon as they will let me, which is supposedly by the end of this month.

What do you all think? Could this actually change the way that computing is taught to our kids? If you have kids, will you get them one? Go CRAZY!

edit: posted:

Ladies and gentlemen, set your alarms!

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 to find out what’s going on.

edit # 2:

Launch was a disappointment to a lot of people. Rasberry Pi chose two companies to manufacture and distribute these: Premier Farnell and RS Components. Their sites pretty much immediately went down with the influx of traffic, as did R-Pi's. By the time a lot of people were able to get back to their sites, all the R-Pi's had already been sold.

On the plus side, the Model A Raspberry Pis--which weren't shipped with this first batch--have been upped to 256MB of memory. Can't say for sure when the next batch come out, but I hope that things have been smoothed over by then so that people will be able to get them. If you or anyone you know did happen to get one of these from the first batch, please post pics and make us all jealous!

edit # 3:

If you're wondering why there seems to be a delay in shipping, here's why: posted:

As you’ll have noticed, there’s been a bit of a delay in shipping the first batch of Raspberry Pis out to people. This is because of a hardware parts substitution that was made in the factory by accident: specifically, where we’d specified jacks with integrated magnetics in the BOM and schematics, the factory soldered in non-magnetic jacks.

Luckily, it sounds like a very minor problem that has already been fixed for the first batch.

edit # 4:

Another delay. Now they need the CE before they can distribute to the EU. CE makes sure the board is compliant with regulations and is safe. I guess that's why this is a developer's release. posted:

Update, 6pm Mar 28: we have spoken with BIS this morning, and they have confirmed that, given the volumes involved and the demographic mix of likely users, any development board exemption is not applicable to us; as a result, even the first uncased developer units of Raspberry Pi will require a CE mark prior to sale in the EU. As we mention below, we are working with RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell to bring Raspberry Pi into a compliant state as soon as is humanly possible.

From what I've heard, Farnell and RS have been nervous about this because of how wide an audience the supposed "developer's release" is going to. I'll try to keep the thread updated as I find out more.

nickdab fucked around with this message at 20:02 on Nov 7, 2012


Jul 5, 2008

Kaludan posted:

Seriously looking forward to this.

I'm still expecting the company to get bought and liquidated by a major manufacturer though.

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.

Jul 5, 2008

From their website:


There has inevitably been some confusion around pricing and parts of the ordering process; within a few days, we hope to have a country-by-country summary of each partner’s policies, showing how the $35 price of a Model B translates into a final cost.

Does this mean they are going back on the price? How can the $35 price of a Model B translate into anything other than $35? Are Farnell and RSC charging extra depending on the country they are selling in? Or are they just talking about administrative costs, like shipping and taxes and tariffs and stuff?

I think the too-good-to-be-true-ness of this project makes me nervous that there is some fine print or something, even though I know that it's a non-profit effort.

Jul 5, 2008

On the emulation front, somebody already made an RPi emulator for the ZX-Spectrum.

It's called Fuse, and the ZX-Spectrum was an 8-bit (!) computer that could play graphical games. Obviously this a bit different than emulating a PSX, but still...pretty neat-o.

Jul 5, 2008

I might lose my mind if this devolves into another gassed OS Wars thread.

Space Gopher posted:

Low-income schools are not interested in doing robotics projects for grade schoolers. If they can scrape together enough of a tech budget for hardware, it's going to go towards teaching older kids computer skills so basic I doubt they even register on the radar of a lot of people posting here: using Windows, typing, browsing the internet, using Office, and so forth. Getting some tiny fraction of kids interested in programming is nice and all, but it's going to take a back seat to teaching a bunch of kids the skills needed for almost any non-manual-labor job today.

That is actually a really interesting point. I think the RPi developers hope this will be a good gateway into programming for students, but most schools are just trying to get their kids to learn Word and Excel because that's what they will be doing for most of their lives. Maybe it will be the higher-income schools who have some extra money to waste? And parents who want their kids to learn programming for one reason or another, but don't want to risk their computers.

But I do think people are getting their panties way too bunched up waiting on a $35 machine from an academic group dedicated to helping children learn.

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