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Eben Upton Muses on the Raspberry Pi, Scratch and, His Love For Parallela

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,14 days | from the boot-to-emacs-for-maximum-terror dept.

Education 71

super_rancid writes "In a 7,000 word interview with Raspberry Pi's founder posted on, Eben Upton talks about the challenges of managing such a successful project, what may be in the Raspberry Pi mark 2, and why he wishes he'd backed the Parallela Kickstarter." On interesting answer: "We were thinking of booting into Python or booting into Scratch. For younger kids, boot into Scratch. Have an environment where it’s Linux underneath, boots into Scratch and hold down a key at a particular point during boot and it doesn’t boot into Scratch it just drops into the prompt. So you can play with Scratch for six months, once you’re happy with Scratch you turn over the page and 'Hold down F1 during boot,' and it’s like 'Oh look - it’s a PC!' So I think that’s something we’d really like to do."

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Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308003)

First troll! You are a bunch of fuckers!

Error establishing database connection (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308023)

That's not very parallel of you.

Hold down F1 during boot - It's a PC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308029)

That's retarded.

It's like having to hold a button on your oven while it cooks your food.

Switching to the "PC mode" should be *sticky*, like a jumper, or boot option (in a text file).

Scratch is cool but... (1)

pastafazou (648001) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308141)

the stage size sucks. My kids were able to start some really cool stuff, but the tiny stage meant a lot of their projects turned into dead ends.....

Re:Scratch is cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308373)

It sounds like they're ready for

Re:Scratch is cool but... (2)

pastafazou (648001) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308709)

hmm, just had a look, and from the examples it looks like processing is all written code. I don't think my 8 year old is ready to start learning about syntax. Scratch is extremely visual, as in the actual code is invisible to the user. They build their programs with colored blocks that snap together. It's really done well as far as getting kids to start thinking logically. I'd like to see it expanded so they can continue to develop more advanced projects. Switching them to pure code isn't really an option at this point.

Re:Scratch is cool but... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44309471)

Time to move up to Alice []. My kid was using Scratch for a while and got bored (hit a wall). Just found Alice and plan to install and go through the tutorials with her this weekend.

Re:Scratch is cool but... (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | 1 year,14 days | (#44310009)

Your 8yo is already learning syntax in school, just in English and math rather than python and C. It shouldn't be out of the question to start teaching them how to do what they already understand via pure code at the same time as you move them up to a more advanced visual environment.

Something like a math homework checker for instance. A test of a completed math problem that they enter that prints correct or incorrect then loops would be easy to code and make sure they always get a perfect score on their math homework.

Re:Scratch is cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44310911)

Does Build Your Own Blocks have the same limitation?

Re:Scratch is cool but... (1)

kubajz (964091) | 1 year,13 days | (#44318787)

I was unpleasantly surprised that Scratch 2.0 cannot be downloaded and run on my computer - I had to run it "from the cloud". It's so sad because I really wanted to use it with my kids when we were offline, and the new Scratch has a lot of what I missed from the older version 1.4 for years, making it much more useful to actually teach my kids programming: the ability to easily clone objects in runtime, lists as a data type, and the ability to create custom blocks. At least they're saying that an offline editor will arrive sometime this summer....

Phratch Re:Scratch is cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#44326601)

You could try Phratch...

They should make it a better media player (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308143)

That's what people are buying it for, after all.

More RAM (1)

macromorgan (2020426) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308163)

Unfortunate to hear the SoC can only talk to up to 512MB of RAM. I have one of the original Pis with 256MB... how I'd love a GB or more (call it a model C).

Re:More RAM (4, Informative)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308187)

Not enough room on the SoC, apparently. 512 MB is the max that will fit, without a complete redesign (which no-one wants to do, not enough value in it).

Re:More RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44311211)

Why not a redesign? What's so great about the current one? The power leaks so everyone has a costly extra powered hub. The GPU closed source, so you're stuck with a blob. The capacitors are located a thumb press away from snapping...
Why not address this issues? Why not try going one step further and create something better? ARM are British, they have a philanthropy program as part of their tax plan. Did anyone try approaching them about donating a more modern license? After all, it's in ARM's best interest to make sure a generation of programmers are brought up on RISCs. And they can't argue with some good publicity...
ARM can even adopt it as a reference design of sorts for their low power industrial line. In the spirit of Google's Nexus but for embedded devices like routers and such...

Re:More RAM (2)

OdinOdin_ (266277) | 1 year,14 days | (#44312467)

Why not a redesign? What's so great about the current one?

It was cheap! Someone else already paid for all the relatively expensive SoC development work on it. Wasn't a large order of SoC chips originally canceled by a large customer of Broadcom. So this is a contributing factor to making the Raspberry Pi fly. Maybe this is a myth I read but I've always believe this to be the story.

Now of course we can have this (RaspberryPi Mk1 A/B) level of specification/performance cheaper if we build / design something new today, but everyone today expects more, as your posting explains. So the problem is confining the project to the project goals.

Good on Ben for doing a grand job of that.

Re:More RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308251)

I think a less than 1$ PIC with a few kilobytes of memory is more suited to learning.

Re:More RAM (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308369)

I'd rather use a 1$ AVR.

Re:More RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44309007)

Not when you need all of the required hardware to program them, and the proprietary dev tools, and the lack of languages, and have to wait for wipe/re-program. Fun in electronics, but shit for learning until you're designing circuits.

Not with that CPU (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308271)

More RAM is utterly pointless. The slow CPU can hardly make good use of what's already there. Even with 2GB, it would still not become a usable desktop system. The Raspberry Pi is slower than your Mom's smartphone. It is a single core CPU with just 700MHz and a low end instruction set. Even slow ARM based NAS devices have beefier CPUs than the Pi. I own a Pi and other ARM devices. The only one I'm not using is the Pi.

Re:Not with that CPU (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308403)

It'll be a decent desktop system once Wayland is actually usable on it. But yeah, even writing HTML in the desktop is currently made unpleasant by the sheer lagginess. I now use it as a server, and edit my files from OSX through netatalk.

Re:Not with that CPU (4, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308627)

However it's really good at doing things that use the GPU, it's a lot more stable and faster than the alternatives at that price point. A single core 700MHz CPU with 256/512MB RAM and 128MB of VRAM was all we had a couple of years ago and we did really well with it. Sure you won't drive the most modern accelerated GUIs with it but a static, usable GUI works pretty well.

Disclaimer: I have developed a professional embedded advertisement system on the RPi with currently about 50 Pi's deployed.

Re:Not with that CPU (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44309517)

It's a single core 700MHz CPU with a low end instruction set. It's not comparable to a desktop CPU of a few years ago. You have to go much more than a decade back to find a desktop that slow: It's comparable to a Pentium 2 at 300MHz. Yes, if you only need Playstation 2 level graphics or video, the GPU saves the day. That's what the chip was designed for after all. But even a simple web browser needs more CPU power these days or the user will learn to hate that slow wannabe computer. When we had our 8-bit computers, they were actually quite advanced for the time and the software that was available did not expect much faster systems. We did not learn on disposable hardware that's barely able to run common applications.

Re:Not with that CPU (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,12 days | (#44334299)

We did not learn on disposable hardware that's barely able to run common applications.

Back then there wasn't the wealth of common applications in the hands of users, so they were happy to take what they could get. But business was being done on Unix systems and on mainframes and minicomputers and that software very much would not run on the PC.

Re:Not with that CPU (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308649)

More RAM is utterly pointless. The slow CPU can hardly make good use of what's already there. Even with 2GB, it would still not become a usable desktop system.

Hello Mr. Monoculture.

Your MP3-player doesn't even have 256MB ram. Does that make it pointless to add more since it won't turn into a usable desktop system if you do?
The Pi was never meant to be a desktop system or even a media player. Just because a lot of hobbyists picked it up as a cheap replacement for HTPCs or the gazillion different ARM developer cards doesn't mean that 2GB ram would be pointless for its intended purpose.
It have been clear from the start that the Pi is intended to be an educational toy to teach children how computers work. The step to boot into a programming language will make sure that the kids of today will have the same opportunity to learn that todays programmers had when they were young.
So, you are among those that use it outside of its intended modes of operation. That is great since it increases the market for the device but it feels a bit too much to use arguments that indicate that anything that doesn't turn the Pi into a desktop system is pointless.

Re:More RAM (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308417)

Try either of these: [] [] and run [] on it.

I haven't powered my Pi up once since I bought the simpler one with 1GB of RAM.

Dx: they have quads if you don't need the GPIO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44310301)

Plus much faster prototype boards available from in the 50-65 dollar range (IE dual core with 1 gig of ram.)

Re:More RAM (1)

sgnn7 (2127164) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308569)

As hinted by the interview (and from some other sources), next model is in the works with better specs than Model A/B.

What's next? (3, Funny)

XNormal (8617) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308247)

In the back of your mind, you havenâ(TM)t got Raspberry Pi 2?

No, not Pi 2. It must obviously be named 2 Pi.

Re:What's next? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308347)

Raspberry Tau?

Re:What's next? (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308967)

Awesome idea. My hat is off to you, sir!

Re:What's next? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | 1 year,14 days | (#44309167)


Where are my mod points when I need them!?

Undecipherable summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308305)

Must be on slashdot

I'd like to see his thoughts on... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308309) useless and overhyped the Pi is today - and has been since more than a year back - when compared to the some of the so much more capable "Android sticks" that cost not much more. Yes, everyone knows that the Pi has a composite video output and a dedicated ethernet output, but that's not what it all comes down to, especially since most of the "Android sticks" come with 2 (or more) USB ports and Wi-Fi these days. What are his thoughts on offering the barely usable amount of 256/512 MB of RAM and just a single CPU core (spreading applications across multiple cores for smoother multitasking is the gain here, not eventual software that threads) when there are $35 "Android sticks" that come with 1 GB of RAM and two CPU cores that are even clocked higher?

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (5, Informative)

Nevo (690791) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308401)

I think you misunderstand the purpose of the Pi. The Pi was developed to be an educational tool for high-school aged kids. The fact that hackers and makers found it useful and jumped on the bandwagon is a fortunate side effect, but wasn't a design goal of the Pi.

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308427)

"More capable" and "Android sticks" are four words that don't really belong together.

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (5, Interesting)

Grench (833454) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308505)

Useless? Nope. It's not exactly a stellar performer, but it has a lot of uses. Remember, it's designed as an educational product, rather than as a PC replacement. It is not as powerful as your average desktop PC. But it is not useless.

My own Pi runs Samba4 (it's an Active Directory domain controller for my home Windows PC network, and runs a DNS service), it runs CUPS (for network printer sharing), it runs CrashPlan (for backing up my other PCs' data), and it runs the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack so that it can run some dynamic web-based services - the ones I use are Cacti and Observium (for graphing/monitoring my Cisco devices), and Horde Webmail/Groupware.

This is exactly what I used to use an old AMD Sempron box for. Granted, that AMD box was free, and more powerful - but it's bigger, noisier, makes more heat, and consumes more power than the Pi does.

I think the Pi is a fantastic project. It would be nice to see a more powerful ARM CPU and extra RAM on the next version of the board, but I'd be just as happy to see Ethernet being separated from the USB bus, and a SATA connector with the option to set your Pi up to boot from a hard drive out of the box (note that mine does run off a USB hard drive, but it still has to use the MicroSD card as a bootstrap - a SATA controller could also mean faster I/O throughput).

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (3, Insightful)

omnibrain (1917284) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308675)

So please show me the GPIO Interface of your "Android Stick".

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | 1 year,14 days | (#44309179)

Presuming it can be plugged in - there's always the IOIO [] , though that does add another few $$ to the price. But since most people tend to use their RPi as little more than a media streamer or bitcoin mining host for FPGA's / ASICs, etc. then the Android devices are a better option - and GPIO can be added on later if they wanted to (and can then be re-used if they switch/upgrade their Android device, etc.).

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (1)

Agripa (139780) | 1 year,14 days | (#44312925)

If the latency included with IOIO was acceptable, then any USB I/O device could be used.

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (2)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,14 days | (#44309309)

get one based on A10 and you will have plenty of GPIOs

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (4, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308783)

I think you underestimate how useless the Android sticks are and how underpowered it's GPU. The RPi GPU clocks at whatever the CPU clocks at (700MHz), the Mali GPU at 500MHz, the MK802 clocks not at 1GHz but is underclocked to somewhere around ~780MHz to keep it relatively stable. Mind you that you can also clock the RPi to 1GHz if you don't mind a relatively unstable board (800MHz is typically okay).

I developed an embedded media platform on the Pi and I've tested some other designs as well, the Android stick while being $15-25 more expensive was slower doing ffmpeg tasks and had problems handling more than one video stream, at 100% CPU (ffmpeg conversion tasks) the Pi would chug along for hours while the Android would regularly reboot and heat up tremendously in the process, it also demands a lot more power (roughly double that of the Pi). The Pi overlays one video stream on the other without much of a hiccup. If the Android did any good it was detecting issues with my programs when they were unexpectedly interrupted.

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,14 days | (#44309507)

But now you can get quad-core sticks for $100 or less. So while the Pi is still cheaper, it's not that much cheaper. The issue is as you say reliability. The cheap ones tend to be garbage.

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (1)

guruevi (827432) | 1 year,13 days | (#44316135)

Quad Core CPU, Single Core GPU vs Single Core CPU, Dual Core GPU. The CPU is not really the problem on most of these platforms, it's the GPU. With RPi now getting Wayland builds that finally use the GPU (mind you, everything (compositing etc) was done on that paltry 700MHz ARM CPU which is really only meant to be an interface to the GPU)

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,12 days | (#44333767)

Yes, the RK3188 trails the competition (Exynos quad, Tegra 3) slightly in GPU performance, but spanks it in every other category but storage performance. Well, beats it in every other category, spanks it in a few. Still Mali 400, but they gave it a 25% clock boost. And meanwhile, the Mali is the only ARM GPU for which there are passable FOSS graphics drivers. If you want some assurance of being able to use the hardware for arbitrary purposes in the future, you should still be opting for a Mali-based solution. Nvidia has made some noises about open-sourcing the drivers for their ARM-related GPUs (in Tegra) which they claim is "doable" in exactly the way that it isn't for their mainstream GPUs; they don't actually name Microsoft but the idea is that they don't have partners in a position to prevent them. We'll see; I'm not holding my breath for that any more than I am for Rockchip to start putting out kernel releases on a reasonable basis. But since Exynos is arguably the least closed of all of the quad-core ARM platforms, if you're not happy with Tegra (and I'm not) then rockchip with mali is all that's left.

I ordered a MK908 for $62, if all goes well I will post the link if it's still active. It was on in4dealz, which is one of those sites that has many sketchy reviews and many good reviews even after you filter out all the obvious astroturf.

Re:I'd like to see his thoughts on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44309617)

The pi has a few huge advantages.
1. It's better designed. No, it's not perfect but it's better than the oddball hacked up reference implementations you get from an android stick
2. It has a large community. Lots of people, lots of eyes, lots of experience, better documentation. The random andriod stick is made by one company, no documentation, very small community.
3. It doesn't run android. More specifically, it does not run a badly optimized android image with weird Chinese bloatware installed on to it. Making a good android device requires a lot of time, effort, and expertise. (Most of the big mfgrs can barely get it right.) None of which you find on your android stick.

Boot into a REPL is the right path (4, Interesting)

thelovebus (264467) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308367)

When I first read about the Raspberry Pi I was excited because I thought they were going to recreate this boot to a BASIC interpreter-type of experience we used to have on Apple II's and TRS-80's and the like. That's the sort of experience that they claimed inspired the raspberry pi, and they claimed that sort of programming-based, learning-intensive experience was what they wanted the pi to be about.

So, I was very disappointed to see that by default, a raspberry pi really is "just a pc" that boots into your typical CLI, and the "getting started" instructions actually have the new user start up X right off the bat. Providing scratch and a python IDE are nice and all, but I feel like all the normal trappings of "just a pc" take focus away from the real point of the pi.

Re:Boot into a REPL is the right path (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308651)

When you boot up a Pi you come to BASH. That is your REPL. If you want a different one just type "python".

Re:Boot into a REPL is the right path (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44315229)

When you boot your pi you come to nothing. The Pi doesn't come with an OS, you have to put your own. What you both are talking about is probably Raspbian.

Re:Boot into a REPL is the right path (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44317147)

While I haven't tried any of it yet, reading over this [] reminds me a bit of coding assembly language routines on those old Z80-based systems to do things that the ROM BASIC wasn't capable of (or didn't want you to do).

wrong dept (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308479)

from the boot-to-emacs-for-maximum-terror dept

No. The basic functionality of Emacs is quite discoverable: You press a key, it appears.

For maximum terror, boot into vi. The original one, without visual clues in which mode you currently are (or that there are different modes at all).

Re:wrong dept (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308613)

The original one, without visual clues in which mode you currently are (or that there are different modes at all).

Why not just type :set showmode? Or better yet, add set showmode to your .exrc file so it's on all the time.

Re:wrong dept (1)

psmears (629712) | 1 year,13 days | (#44315685)

The original one, without visual clues in which mode you currently are (or that there are different modes at all).

Why not just type :set showmode? Or better yet, add set showmode to your .exrc file so it's on all the time.

Ah yes, that's the first thing a new user of the program will think of doing. Totally discoverable, and not opaque at all ;-p

Re:wrong dept (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44316633)

It's all in the manual. This is the reason the expression RTFM was invented.

Splitscreen python with turtle graphics (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308483)

Something like this should boot in python, with split screen, half of the screen for turtle graphics (yes python includes turtle graphics in its standard library).
Then we have something like the LOGO environment of old.
While running a long piece of code it should full screen the turtle graphics, with using ESC to terminate the run and return back to split screen.

I support this! (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | 1 year,14 days | (#44308555)

I totally back this, it's a really good idea.

From the dot-the-i's and cross-the-t's department (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44308671)

Parallella not parallela :-)

scratch? (2)

brickmack (2537604) | 1 year,14 days | (#44309055)

Why would you subject anyone to that

editor (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44309187)

"EU: The schematics have been released but not the PCB, and that’s an interesting question. But that’s an interesting question - would we ever release the design of the PCB? The intention has always been to release the design of the PCB; it’s still to release the design of the PCB. The issue is alone is really that you can’t buy the chips. There’s actually another problem we need to solve."

someone needs to edit the note...

Successful? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44309313)

On what criteria? Sure Raspberry Pi was the 'must buy' gimmick of the year that tens of thousands of non-programmers purchased, fiddled with for a few days, and then shoved in the back of a drawer.

Yes, for a much smaller number of people who wanted a self-contained ARM card at the lowest possible price, with a modern video output, the RP can't be beat, but does that really say a lot?

Consider the so-called ARM sticks that can be picked up for tens of dollars, and connected to any LCD TV to convert that product into an amazing 'smart' TV. These USB sticks are VASTLY more powerful than the RP, vastly more user friendly, and can actually run modern Android systems without the horrible compromises of the RP.

Yes, the USB ARM sticks are 'high level' from a hardware POV, whereas the RP is 'low-level', but does that distinction mean a great deal in this day and age? We hear a lot of rubbish about 'binary blobs' but none of these ARM devices are anything like the old simplistic Atari 800 or Commodore 64. The driver software is so complex, no sane user wants to consider how it operates at a low level. They just want good, reliable APIs that talk to the hardware.

The RP is actually a public facing project of a specific ARM manufacturer. Their ARM SoC (the one used in RP) is prehistoric, rather like using the 8088 in the days of the 80386/80486. And before you hit me with a 'cost' argument, the state-of-the-art Cortex chips form Allwinner, Rockchip and Mediatek are all incredibly cheap. Disgracefully, RP still uses a non-cortex part. a fully obsolete ARM v6 design (ALL modern tablets are ARM v7 ISA).

Sorry, everything should be Android these days. I have no love of Google (the owners of Google are actually NSA filth) but Android provides a base standard OS that can do for ARM what Windows95/NT/XP did for the PC. Development platforms that run various programming environments MUST be used on excellent, cheap, powerful, properly supported and properly optimised hardware and OS. Even those that loathe Microsoft adore Visual Studio (if not the latest Win8 or .Net crippled versions).

Ask yourself this question. Why, if the unique aspect of the RP is the 'hands on' hardware, do 99.99% of RP discussions revolve around pure software use- where any modern Android device does an infinitely better job? You do know you can hook up a proper keyboard and monitor to most cheapo Android tablets? You do know these cheapo tablets have 1GB or RAM, and a GPU subsystem that rivals PC graphics from the 7800GTX era of Nvidia? You do know that Android already has low level and high level programming environments that can unleash the full power of the device's hardware?

Raspbery Pi is obsolete ARM hardware at a far from remarkable price. For hardware freaks on a budget who need to put their own ARM card with break-out lines in a device of their own devising, it can't be beaten. For pure software use, it is worse than a very bad joke.

Re:Successful? (2)

horza (87255) | 1 year,14 days | (#44310045)

No wonder you are posting that drivel as anon. Those USB sticks are terribly under-powered, I have a $99 one lying in a drawer as it couldn't handle playing back non-H264 video. There is no way they can handle the kind of uses I hear the Pi is being used for. Even high bit-rate video make the thing blisteringly hot to the touch.

And Android is poor for a general purpose educational device. You can't drop straight into C, Python, etc. You can get some hacks but they are no substitute. As an educational tool, Android is a very bad joke.

The Pi is a great device at a great price, but please keep Android the hell away from it.


Another Rasberry Slime story (-1, Troll)

Animats (122034) | 1 year,14 days | (#44309327)

Since there's no actual even to report, we get a Slashdot story of "musing" by the founder.

At least label these as "paid content".

as always full of shit (1)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,14 days | (#44309735)

> I can’t think of any board that I could build at say $25 or even $35 that would be as good as Pi, let alone better.

Whole frickin Cortex-A8 Allwinter A13 tablet at $30 []

how about RK3066 android stick, Cortex-A9 Dual-core 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash at $35? []

>But it’s a push even at $45. $55 I could imagine that you’d start to get to the point where you can start to get better but it’s interesting that there’s nothing out there
>right now.

yeah, absolutelly nothing out there
no RK3188 Quad-core Cortex-A9 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash at $55 []

oh, he meant nothing from Broadcom :)

Re:as always full of shit (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#44310141)

You listed an Android tablet and two Android sticks. I think you missed the part where he said "as good as Pi", since none of those fit that criteria.

What you should have said was BeagleBone Black, $45: []

Re:as always full of shit (1)

Techman83 (949264) | 1 year,13 days | (#44315043)

I'm genuinly interested in the BB Black, how is the GPU offloading? That's the big surprise I've found with the Pi. It outputs Full HD quite nicely for me, but the CPU could do with a touch more grunt.

Also the community that has sprung up around the Pi is something that shouldn't disregarded. The fact you can hit google and get detailed answers from people doing the same thing as you is quite invaluable.

Re:as always full of shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#44317897)

I don't have one (yet), but from what I can tell the BBB has limited offloading for video decoding and the HDMI output maxes out at 1280x1024 (i.e. no 1080p). So for media purposes, at least, the RasPi still wins.

On the other hand, the BBB seems to have nicer IO capabilities. In addition to more GPIO pins, it can use existing BeagleBone "capes" (similar to Arduino shields) and has a "real" ethernet port (as opposed to being a hardwired USB->ethernet controller like on the Pi). The mini-USB power connector also doubles as a USB-OTG device, which the built-in Linux presents to the host PC as a serial port, mass storage device and ethernet port.

Re:as always full of shit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,12 days | (#44334343)

So two products which don't exist (yet? maybe) and the world's cheapest and probably worst-supported RK3188 stick with clearly inadequate ventilation. And the only one which might have decent GPIO somewhere onboard, if you go to the trouble of hacking some leads on, is the tablet.

I'd love to buy one of those tablets. But this does not answer the question.

You should also be aware that RK3066 is still bad at 1080p, so is RK3188. RK3188 has overheating problems at 1080p so far. RK3066 is just bad at it. Also, the GPU offloading is mediocre. Poor XBMC support, for example, so far. But there is at least good format support in the latest rom, supposedly. So the R-Pi is still pretty good at the most important selling features compared to the price-competitive competition, which is to say 1080p and video support. On the other hand, the USB is pure crap which transcends awfulness. On the gripping hand, cheap USB sticks tend to be overheating little pieces of crap.

Re:as always full of shit (1)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,11 days | (#44336387)

RK3188 has soo much overheating problem at 1080p that my retina android tablet .. just works.
The point was hardware exists and can be manufactured cheaply (in china just like RPI was at the beginning).

Re:as always full of shit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,11 days | (#44336389)

RK3188 has soo much overheating problem at 1080p that my retina android tablet .. just works.

What clock? What GPU clock? Is it actually running anywhere near the theoretical maximum? Hardware can be manufactured cheaply, but most of that cheap hardware is shit, as evinced by Raspberry Pi itself.

Re:as always full of shit (1)

citizenr (871508) | 1 year,11 days | (#44336553)

Cube U9GTV
probably 1.6GHz like all the rest
it cost me $200 and 'just works'

hi (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44340999)

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