Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 28th Aug 2011 21:19 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems We all know platforms like the Beagleboard, which are cheap hardware platforms which can be used in all sorts of projects. A new entry into this market is Raspberry Pi, a British ARM board which is slated to be released in the fourth quarter of this year. For a mere $25, you'll have a fully-configured ARM-based 1080p-capable mini-motherboard. The device is still in development, and only a few days ago, the alpha version of the board was demonstrated running Quake III.
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raspberry-pi
by jimerickson on Sun 28th Aug 2011 21:55 UTC
jimerickson
Member since:
2011-08-28

i will be buying several. glad to see this developed. can't wait!

Reply Score: 2

nice
by Calipso on Sun 28th Aug 2011 22:11 UTC
Calipso
Member since:
2007-03-13

I've been waiting for this to be released for a while now. Was always worried that it's a dream and nothing will actually come of it. Glad to see it's still alive and well!

Reply Score: 2

RE: nice
by Lennie on Sun 28th Aug 2011 22:23 UTC in reply to "nice"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I've been waiting to buy a Beagleboard device with a seperate touchscreen and 2 batteries for a while now. Which sells for about a US $200 Which I think is a pretty good deal.

https://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/

Somehow never did, I guess I don't know how this market is going to develop.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: nice
by Calipso on Sun 28th Aug 2011 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE: nice"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

I like the touchbooks but they're not $200. They're $400

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: nice
by Lennie on Mon 29th Aug 2011 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: nice"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Yes, my mistake.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Sun 28th Aug 2011 22:11 UTC
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

I'm a dirt-poor university student, but if they can give me something small, cool, and quiet THAT cheaply, I'd be a fool not to buy at least one.

Reply Score: 3

Awesome!
by Morgan on Sun 28th Aug 2011 22:53 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I had read about these a little while back (from Hackaday I think) and I was excited then. I'm definitely going to buy a few to tinker with, and I might even come up with a nice barebones case for them once they are in hand.

It's ARM, so no porting of Haiku ;) , but the potential is still wide open for a device this small! ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Awesome!
by biffuz on Mon 29th Aug 2011 09:08 UTC in reply to "Awesome!"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

It's ARM, so no porting of Haiku ;) , but the potential is still wide open for a device this small! ;)


There was an ARM port being worked on, I don't know its condition now.

Reply Score: 2

BZZZT! Wrong!
by tidux on Mon 29th Aug 2011 13:54 UTC in reply to "Awesome!"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

The Haiku guys are focusing on x86 for R1, but several people in IRC have said that ARM is one of their big goals for R2.

Reply Score: 2

RE: BZZZT! Wrong!
by Morgan on Mon 29th Aug 2011 14:27 UTC in reply to "BZZZT! Wrong!"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That's awesome! I don't hang out on IRC, haven't since the 90s (I know, what kind of Haiku fan am I???) but this makes me even more excited for the Raspberry Pi! Hopefully it will be a viable target device.

I consider myself extremely fortunate that both my laptop (Dell Latitude D620) and my desktop (HP SFF dc5100) are just about fully supported under Haiku as of the current build. Even wireless works on the Dell, minus WPA security. The laptop I was pretty sure of since the Latitude line has a long history of being supported under BeOS, but the desktop was a gamble.

Well it looks like I will be getting at least one R-Pi to be reserved for Haiku when the port is available, and a couple more to play around with in Arch Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: BZZZT! Wrong!
by jonas.kirilla on Mon 29th Aug 2011 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE: BZZZT! Wrong!"
jonas.kirilla Member since:
2005-07-11

There's some talk on the raspberry page on some Linux driver(s?) for it not being open-source. That could be a hurdle for Haiku. Maybe it's just the 3D gfx, in which case a port might still be worthwhile.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: BZZZT! Wrong!
by Narishma on Mon 29th Aug 2011 16:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BZZZT! Wrong!"
Narishma Member since:
2005-07-06

From what I understand, all the drivers will be open source. What won't be is the firmware that runs on the GPU. So basically if you're writing your own OS, you'll have to implement the public interface, then upload the binary blob to the GPU and use that interface to communicate with it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: BZZZT! Wrong!
by Morgan on Tue 30th Aug 2011 05:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BZZZT! Wrong!"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't think that will be a problem for the Haiku team, as they are already using the more permissive MIT license anyway. They don't have to worry about X and all its problems either; they will hopefully be able to smoothly integrate whatever binary GPU blobs might be necessary.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: BZZZT! Wrong!
by tidux on Mon 29th Aug 2011 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE: BZZZT! Wrong!"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

The D620 is fully supported? Damn, now I wish mine hadn't cooked itself to death. I'm running an E6410 now - do you think I'll have a problem with it?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: BZZZT! Wrong!
by Morgan on Tue 30th Aug 2011 05:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BZZZT! Wrong!"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm not too familiar with your current model, but the D620 had no real issues with Haiku, at least in my configuration (Core2Duo 1.8GHz, Nvidia Quadro NVS video, Dell wireless 1390 aka Broadcom 4311). I think the only thing that didn't work at all was Bluetooth, and I don't think there is full Bluetooth support in Haiku yet. The SATA hard drive works fine too, I think Haiku sees it as regular ATA though.

As an aside, the D620 is also about 90% Hackintosh compatible out of the box under Leopard. It's pretty much the same specs as the first MacBook Pro, with the exception of the graphics chip, which works fine if you use the legacy enablers. The versions of the D620 with Intel GMA 950 video work perfectly without enablers, of course. The audio requires one of the custom kexts too, but I don't remember which one. Everything else, including wireless and Bluetooth, are automatically recognized as "genuine" Apple hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Awesome!
by henderson101 on Wed 31st Aug 2011 13:02 UTC in reply to "Awesome!"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

It's ARM, so no porting of Haiku ;)


Why? Most of the source for Haiku is in C or C++, C and C++ compilers exist for ARM, so it's really just a case of someone doing the hard graft to bootstrap to OS core.

I mean, they were planning a PowerPC port until Apple bailed on the PowerPC and left the PowerPC without a real desktop home. ARM is the obvious successor to that wish for multi target. I'd be sad if Haiku only ever ran on IA-32 or x86-64 as it started out on PowerPC and Intel was much later, after most of the cool stuff was already in place.

Reply Score: 2

Cool
by Bringbackanonposting on Sun 28th Aug 2011 23:47 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

I'd buy one for sure. Great idea.

Reply Score: 2

Cool
by Luke McCarthy on Mon 29th Aug 2011 00:50 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

It would be cool to mod one of these inside a keyboard, so you have an all-in-one mini PC like an 80s micro.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Cool
by FunkyELF on Tue 30th Aug 2011 12:24 UTC in reply to "Cool"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

It would be cool to mod one of these inside a keyboard, so you have an all-in-one mini PC like an 80s micro.


Yeah... that'd be a great idea. Incorperate a powered USB hub on that keyboard and I'm sold.

Power to keyboard (weird right?), power to monitor, HDMI from keyboard to monitor, wireless mouse.

Would be a pretty clean design.

Reply Score: 2

ifancyshop idiot
by ozonehole on Mon 29th Aug 2011 02:32 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

Thom, isn't there a way to automatically send all posts containing a link to ifancyshop to /dev/null?

Edited 2011-08-29 02:32 UTC

Reply Score: 7

cool
by ano69 on Mon 29th Aug 2011 03:03 UTC
ano69
Member since:
2006-07-07

This is cool, this is the new Lego! I'm going to buy several of those for playing around with them. Cool for robotics, mesh and ad-hock networks research, low-power servers, etc.

I'm only worrying if they can cope with the demand.

Reply Score: 3

Awesome!
by kristoph on Mon 29th Aug 2011 04:01 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

I'll definitely but a few to play with. It's really awesome to see a computer capable of 1080 at $25!

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Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 29th Aug 2011 04:37 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

I read about these some time ago.. Interesting, could be cool for many different applications. One thing I would like to know however is how it can handle 1080i with what type/quality post deinterlacers - if any.

For $25/$35 it seems like a fun toy to play with at the very least.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by mail4asim
by mail4asim on Mon 29th Aug 2011 05:53 UTC
mail4asim
Member since:
2005-07-12

I had similar high hopes from Sheevaplug, but

1) It used an old processor that's no longer supported
2) Supply was always restricted and took months to get the device. And there was NO communication from the vendor.
3) Had bad power supply and the company acknowledged the problem, but offered NO easy solution other than purchase a 27 dollar replacement power supply.
4) Promised the cost would come down to 50 from 99 in a year, but that never happened, instead newer models are more expensive.
5) All the new models with the exception of the latest one still use the ARM5 processor.
6) Unfriendly tech support and lack of "user friendly" developer tools.

If Raspberry Pi can come up with a lowcost alternative, and resolve the issues that plague Sheevaplug, then it would definitely be a success.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by mail4asim
by Lennie on Mon 29th Aug 2011 12:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by mail4asim"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I wonder about that, will they be able to get the prize right. Or will it be more expensive and will people just stay on the fence.

Reply Score: 2

Yes
by danieldk on Mon 29th Aug 2011 06:38 UTC
danieldk
Member since:
2005-11-18

I'll probably buy two. One to set up as a media center (since it can hardware-decode 1080p and has HDMI output), one that I'll probably use as a low-power server.

I think the Raspberry Pi will have a huge impact. Another commenter compared it to lego, and that's exactly what it is. Modern-age lego that will be fun for all kinds of projects.

Edited 2011-08-29 06:39 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Yes
by ilovebeer on Mon 29th Aug 2011 17:21 UTC in reply to "Yes"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I'll probably buy two. One to set up as a media center (since it can hardware-decode 1080p and has HDMI output), one that I'll probably use as a low-power server.

I read yesterday that while it can do 1080p decoding, the HDMI port is limited to 720p output - a serious disappointment if true. Certainly not worth bothering with as an htpc platform.

Reply Score: 3

Heck yeah
by anarchisttomato on Mon 29th Aug 2011 08:06 UTC
anarchisttomato
Member since:
2010-05-17

It may be more of a play thing, but the price is just right, and well worth a try. Hope they send some to us folks at Linux Journal! ;)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Mon 29th Aug 2011 08:24 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

how does 700mhz of ARM map against X86? I had a p2 333mhz machine running quake 3 easily back in 1999. 700 mhz is a lot of processing power depending on what the machine is doing.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by renox on Mon 29th Aug 2011 09:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

> how does 700mhz of ARM map against X86?

Depends a lot of which ARM!
Some ARM doesn't have FPU..
The website says that it's an ARM11 which means that it has "32 bit SIMD", Jazelle, DSP, Thumb-2, but the FPU is optional and I don't know if the Broadcom BCM 2835 has one..

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage
by Narishma on Mon 29th Aug 2011 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Darkmage"
Narishma Member since:
2005-07-06

It doesn't have SIMD instructions but it has an FPU.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by viton on Mon 29th Aug 2011 14:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

I had a p2 333mhz machine running quake 3 easily back in 1999.

... at 1920x1080?

Edited 2011-08-29 14:09 UTC

Reply Score: 4

How much for a usable computer though?
by joshv on Mon 29th Aug 2011 08:31 UTC
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

As a stunt, making a "$25 computer" is cool and all, but it will take a lot more to make a functional computer and those extra parts cost the same as they do for a traditional computer.

Yes, it's a cheap motherboard, so you save a bit building a fully functional computer, but you don't save all that much. You can get a functional AMD motherboard + GPU + CPU for $70, and that motherboard will include things like SATA ports, and more than one USB port - not to mention about 4x the CPU power.

The ability to power the motherboard from non-traditional power sources is neat and all, but show me a monitor that runs on 4 AAs.

Edited 2011-08-29 08:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

...and at least 20-30 times the power consumption, about 6 times the size (and that's talking mini-ITX), and a lot more noise since it will require cooling of some sort.

Totally pointless comparison.

Reply Score: 7

joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

...and at least 20-30 times the power consumption, about 6 times the size (and that's talking mini-ITX), and a lot more noise since it will require cooling of some sort.

Totally pointless comparison.


And why will any of those things matter to third world educators?

Also, by the time you build a fully functional system the power consumption won't be all that stellar, as you will be powering a monitor and a HDD (third world folks aren't going to be able to afford much SSD). So you are not going to be running any usable computer based on this off of petal power, AAs or small scale solar cells.

Third world educator aren't going to much care about size and noise either. In fact, with a standard form factor they can probably pick up a housing very cheaply on the used market. Good luck finding a housing for Raspberry Pi - maybe they can fashion one out of adobe or something.

Reply Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Many third world schools don't have mains electricity so they can't run 110/220V computers. However they can run the Strawberry Pi via an inexpensive solar cell, lantern battery or cheap hand generator.

A case can easily be made from wood or plastic in a local backstreet workshop.

A 12v portable TV or old laptop screen can be used as a monitor.

People in Third World countries may be poor but they aren't stupid.

Reply Score: 5

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

And this isn't for 3rd world nations. First and foremost this is for the benefit of the education system in the UK. What other extra benefits this may have are just gravy.

Of course in the UK I would think that getting a desktop x86 based computer would be fairly easy. The market there is probably saturated with plenty of people trying to find any way they can to get rid of their old equipment.

The real impact IMHO of the rpi will be for hobbyists. Cheaper than the arduino, more connectivity options (via available pins) and dramatically more horsepower.

I personally would like a microusb power connector so I power it from my computer with a $1 cable. Also microusb cell phone chargers have enough power to run the rpi (1W running quake3!) and should be available most anywhere in the world now, including some developing nations that have gone with cell phones in lieu of running traditional analog phone lines.

Edited 2011-08-29 21:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

I'm really impressed
by biffuz on Mon 29th Aug 2011 09:33 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

I'm really impressed by this - for the specs, the speed, and of course the price.
I was trying to turn my old NAS into a micro fanless server after removing the hard disk. It's a PPC and runs a rootable Linux, but I gave up because it is a prehistoric yellowDog 3.something and I don't have time to spare to try to compile a newer one. This board can be a perfect replacement.

And for the speed... it is a more convincing demo than that of the AmigaOne X1000. And it is two orders of magnitude cheaper.

Reply Score: 2

v Comment by Wafflez
by Wafflez on Mon 29th Aug 2011 13:58 UTC
RE: Comment by Wafflez
by MattPie on Mon 29th Aug 2011 14:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by Wafflez"
MattPie Member since:
2006-04-18

No power over ethernet, meh, one more addapter to plug onto my AC power socket, no thank you.


Stop complaining. ;)
http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=368

Built-in POE would be nice, but you don't hit a price point by adding a bunch of stuff that only a smallish portion of your user base may use.

Reply Score: 4

I am really juiced up about this board
by bryanv on Mon 29th Aug 2011 17:10 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

At $25 a pop, I'd like to buy about four of them.

Reply Score: 2

Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

At $25 a pop, I'd like to buy about four of them.

Me, too. If there is a buy-one-give-one option, I will do that also.

That demo was very impressive. I hope they do a good job, and this opens up a market for more competitors in this area.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by AaronMiller
by AaronMiller on Mon 29th Aug 2011 22:29 UTC
AaronMiller
Member since:
2011-05-23

I would buy one too... Would be fun to experiment with OS development for ARM with one of those devices.

Reply Score: 1

mogwai82
Member since:
2010-03-15

I like the idea and starting to quite fancy one myself. One of the main aims of the hardware is to boost UK schools IT classes to tech more coding and computing theory than just Excel and Word skills, or at least that's how the press is talking about it (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/28/ict-changes-needed...). I'm just not sure that this shift required a new piece of hardware to achieve this.

Surely there must be a glut of redundant ~2GHz P4's kicking around schools and offices that would be perfect boxes to 'tinker' with at probably no cost at all. All they then need is a nice Linux installation and you have all the compilers, boot-loaders and development apps you could wish for to teach coding. I have a fear that they got a bit hung-up on the example of the BBC Micro as a model of doing IT right but I think that hardware is not the issue for schools - it's the training, support and ambition of the teachers that could be improved.

Although I started coding in BASIC on my Spectrum and BBC, it was getting games to work in DOS on my 486 and coding C and eventually Java that really got me going - you can do all this now.

Heck, who needs hardware at all, just give the kids a Virtual Machine to break as they see fit in lessons.

But what I think could make this work in schools is if it gets Gov't support as you then have a standardised bit of kit that schools can get, which along with training materials, software and peripherals could give a great, standard platform to focus efforts on to make the biggest impact on national IT eduction. That is very much like the BBC Micro effort in the '80s. It wasn't just the hardware, the reason it's called the BBC is because of the BBC program that schools could use with the kit.

Reply Score: 1

ummm
by transputer_guy on Tue 30th Aug 2011 16:33 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

I think I could slap one of these in so many different places, under a keyboard, back of the LED monitor, one for the TV too and one for a MagicJack phone. For the future I see uses in Lego Mindstorms type of robots once the software catches up.

The thought of Haiku on it could be sweet too all though it would need Flash to be usable for the kids.

I even wonder if Win8 could run, probably not.

This so takes me back to the innocent days of the Acorn Electron and BBC computer. To think I spent maybe several thousand quid on my Beeb.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ummm
by steve_s on Wed 31st Aug 2011 10:07 UTC in reply to "ummm"
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

For me the fact that they're primarily targeting to run Linux on this is a bit of a minus, in that Linux is a highly complex OS environment. That will inevitably make this device less amenable to the kind of tinkering that we did on our BBC Micros and Acorn Electrons as kids. Linux makes for a much less innocent experience than the old Acorn MOS of the BBC and Electron did.

On the plus side, the RISC OS Open project has shown interest in porting to the platform, and Eben Upton (one of the main guys behind the project) has indicated on the RISC OS Open discussion boards that he'll try to ensure that the RISC OS chaps can get their hands on machines from the first production run.

As a former RISC OS user and programmer I know that it, along with the ARM chip, is a great target for budding new young programmers to tinker with. The relative simplicity of the OS makes it much more easily understood, and the close integration with the ARM instruction set makes it a great choice for tinkering.

Reply Score: 2

A Natural Fit For AROS
by bloodline on Wed 31st Aug 2011 13:19 UTC
bloodline
Member since:
2008-07-28

I want one as a primary AROS machine... That is something that could be real fun... Nice simple machine plugged into your TV with a nice simple fully featured OS ;)

Reply Score: 1

Why Linux?
by kryogenix on Fri 2nd Sep 2011 02:30 UTC
kryogenix
Member since:
2008-01-06

I'm all for a cheap ARM-based computer. This computer would be more than adequate to run software needed by the majority of folks out there. In fact, it's near as quick as some machines I use daily BUT....

Touting it as a modern "home computer" is a stretch. I learned so much about computing from the Atari 8-bit and Atari ST simply because the OS's were so basic and you were really close to the metal. Linux takes all that away. Especially for a 10-yr-old wanting to learn how "programs work".

My kid shouldn't have to learn how Widget Libraries, X-Windows, the kernel and interprocess communication work together before he can truly understand the machine.

A simple tiny OS in the background w/ a structured version of BASIC with a rich set of 2D/3D graphics statements would be perfect. Something similar to a 3D version of Atari's old Player/Missle graphics would work. Also encourage assembler programming on the hardware.

Requiring binary blobs to talk to the GPU is kind of lame but I don't know of any truly open GPUs still being manufactured because everybody took this crap from vendors cuz they wanted to play that shiny new game and Call of Duty framerates meant more to them than "open" or "great efficient design".

I'll probably buy a couple though.

Reply Score: 1