Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Sep 2011 22:07 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Remember the Raspberry Pi ARM board we talked about last week? Well, while running Quake III is all fine and dandy and illustrates the board is capable of something, it didn't really tell me anything since I'd guess few people are going to use such a board for gaming. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Raspberry Pi team posted another demo today - running 1080p video for eight hours straight. The chip was still cool to the touch. And just to reiterate: $25.
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OLPC
by ARUmar on Thu 8th Sep 2011 22:22 UTC
ARUmar
Member since:
2009-10-08

cant Negroponte and his crew get in on this instead of chas'ng after intel et al for their hardware base and the sub 100 buck touchpaad for kids seems more than just a pipe dream.

Reply Score: 3

RE: OLPC
by viton on Thu 8th Sep 2011 23:12 UTC in reply to "OLPC"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

instead of chas'ng after intel et al for their hardware base

They are not.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/161112/olpc_set_to_dump_x86_for_arm_...

http://armdevices.net/2011/01/09/olpc-xo-1-75-arm-marvell-armada-61...

Edited 2011-09-08 23:14 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: OLPC
by FunkyELF on Sun 11th Sep 2011 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE: OLPC"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

That video was good... it was like watching a 3rd grader ask questions to Albert Einstein, but he kept his cool and answered the questions nicely.

Reply Score: 2

RE: OLPC
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 8th Sep 2011 23:21 UTC in reply to "OLPC"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

We'll see how much the Raspberry actually is when its released and what it actually looks like when in production.

Its exciting that prices are dropping quickly for computers/tablets. I do agree with the general sentiment, that it makes a ton more sense to just re-purpose an existing hardware design, than to create one from scratch. ViewSonic is going to release a 7 inch tab for $200 retail. Heck the kindle is around 100. It also has a huge battery life. Those might be extremely beneficial, when preloaded with tons of books ( do they still have substantial on board storage? Not really sure about that).

Reply Score: 2

RE: OLPC
by joshv on Fri 9th Sep 2011 10:31 UTC in reply to "OLPC"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

This thing is a motherboard, not a PC. Once you add battery, power supply, monitor, input devices, and housing, the price of the motherboard/CPU doesn't factor in to the equation all that strongly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: OLPC
by theninth on Fri 9th Sep 2011 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE: OLPC"
theninth Member since:
2009-08-20

I think many of us have DC-adapters lying around that would handle the job just fine. We have TV sets with HDMI, we have spare keyboards with USB and maybe a SD-card big enough to fit a OS. Many of us would have really fun with that board without spendning extra money.

Edited 2011-09-09 11:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: OLPC
by joshv on Fri 9th Sep 2011 11:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OLPC"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

And the people who might use the OLPC? They probably don't have these things. My point was that the Raspberry Pi is not necessarily a magic bullet for creating a cheap PC or laptop, as the motherboard is a fraction of the total cost of such a machine.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: OLPC
by theninth on Fri 9th Sep 2011 11:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: OLPC"
theninth Member since:
2009-08-20

Oh. I missed that the comment thread was about the OLPC. Then I agree. But as I understand it, the manufactors goal with the board is to get a cheap board to youths to learn basic computer science.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: OLPC
by ilovebeer on Fri 9th Sep 2011 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE: OLPC"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

This thing is a motherboard, not a PC. Once you add battery, power supply, monitor, input devices, and housing, the price of the motherboard/CPU doesn't factor in to the equation all that strongly.

Challenge accepted:

Rasberry Pi w/ethernet: $35

keyboard, mouse, speakers: $13.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823174014

20" lcd monitor: $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824254055

HDMI -> DVI adapter: $4.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814999007

7-port usb hub w/external power: 16.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182146

4GB class 6 SDHC for installing Linux OS: $6.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820208090

That's a full 1080P capable htpc for under $200, with an extremely small footprint and low power consumption. Most people, I'm sure, wouldn't need more then the Rasberry Pi ($35), a remote control with ir receiver ($20), and possibly an sdhc ($7).

Yes, there is potential here.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: OLPC
by joshv on Sun 11th Sep 2011 01:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OLPC"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

I think we were talking about the mythical sub $100 One Laptop Per Child.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: OLPC
by zima on Thu 15th Sep 2011 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OLPC"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, there is potential here.

In a quite atypical market - one which not only "needs" RPi nearly the least, also with a little public secret: prices there are practically the lowest. Another public secret, a little more global and... dirty: the more impoverished a given place, the less available nice deals are; absolute prices of luxuries (such as electronic toys) are higher.

Here, let me try it (one decent, all around inexpensive retailer from my place; you can find others where individual stuff is slightly cheaper, but it doesn't matter so much because we pay for shipping, so add 9 USD to the below prices - yes, I'm converting them)

Rasberry Pi w/ethernet: 55 USD
(that's a guess how much it will end up, at minimum; because it's 35, not $35; and when you add shipping...)

keyboard, mouse: 21 USD
http://www.proline.pl/?p=LOG+920-002563
(though, really, it's less expensive to buy them separately, then it's 11 USD
http://www.proline.pl/?p=KLAWIATURA+WIN98+SB
http://www.proline.pl/?p=A4TECH+OP-720D+BLACU
)

20" lcd monitor with DVI (they are still differentiated by the lack of it here, and I don't think RPi can use D-sub): 151 USD
http://www.proline.pl/?p=IIY+LCD+PLE2008HDSB1
(luckily, it has speakers)

HDMI -> DVI adapter: 6 USD
http://www.proline.pl/sklep.php?prodq=hdmi+dvi&x=8&y=14 (mostly, not sure if the one a bit less expensive is appropriate)

7-port usb hub w/external power: 17 USD (I'm a bit shocked*)
http://www.proline.pl/?p=ASMAX+ASM-HUBUSB-7-A (*though it's not available; but it's the only comparable thing there, so...)

4GB class 4 SDHC for installing Linux OS: 9 USD
http://www.proline.pl/?p=SDSDH-004G-U46 (that's the nearest available, and not much more expensive than class 2)

Under... 260 USD (in a place with at least 2 times lower real wages). A starting point for too many people, I'm sure.

And that's in a reasonably prosperous late EU member state... when talking about ~OLPC-like scenarios, which was the case, it doesn't get merely ~2-3x less approachable, we're talking about something which to you would feel closer to $2k ...or more.

Edited 2011-09-16 00:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

I love this board
by bloodline on Thu 8th Sep 2011 22:43 UTC
bloodline
Member since:
2008-07-28

I'm getting a couple as soon as they are released! The world has been waiting about 12 years for something as cool as this ;)

Edited 2011-09-08 22:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: I love this board
by sakeniwefu on Fri 9th Sep 2011 00:29 UTC in reply to "I love this board"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

I'll try to get at least one when the time comes. I just doubt they'll be able to produce enough units for the huge worldwide demand there will be.
The only dark side I see is the dropped support for Ubuntu. I know ARM is a Babel tower of an architecture, but it worries me just how proprietary this stuff will be. Do I stop getting updates once they stop committing to the kernel?
Are their sources even on the main kernel?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I love this board
by gxben on Fri 9th Sep 2011 12:41 UTC in reply to "RE: I love this board"
gxben Member since:
2011-09-09

The thing is ultra-proprietary with a massive 32 MB binary blob being loaded at bootloader's init with GPU firmware support. Ubuntu support was dropepd because the SoC is ARM11 (ARMv6) and Ubuntu binaries are compiled for ARMv7.

Reply Score: 3

Misleading price
by Sodki on Thu 8th Sep 2011 23:05 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

The model shown in the video will (hopefully) cost €35. The €25 model will not feature Ethernet and will have a bit less RAM.

I still want both of them. :-)

Reply Score: 3

I'm pretty sure that WAS mplayer
by tidux on Thu 8th Sep 2011 23:50 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

Mplayer compiled with support for their specific GPU's hardware acceleration and support for framebuffer output would work fine. As a matter of fact, I don't know of any other Linux video player that can output to framebuffer at all.

Reply Score: 2

panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

I'm not sure, but hasn't vlc the ability to output to the frame buffer?

Reply Score: 2

judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

You are indeed correct, sir. CVLC has been able to give me smooth and perfect video whenever i am in CLI for ages.

Reply Score: 4

gxben Member since:
2011-09-09

Any player can output to framebuffer. And I'm pretty sure that is WASN'T MPlayer at all, because there's barely no GPU acceleration driver (or any easy implementation for one). It's very more likely to be GStreamer in it.

Reply Score: 1

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

MPlayer can use vdpau, so clearly they can use GPU acceleration. You may be right about the demo using gstreamer, though.

Reply Score: 1

josefwunder Member since:
2011-09-02

vlc

Edited 2011-09-11 04:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

I just have one question
by darknexus on Fri 9th Sep 2011 03:00 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

When are they going to release these? I want one, or two, or three! *drools* I've always wanted a fanless ARM system in a netbook form factor, and since the so-called smartbooks are never going to happen, I guess I'm just going to have to build one myself.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Cody
by Cody Evans on Fri 9th Sep 2011 03:20 UTC
Cody Evans
Member since:
2009-08-14

These little things are looking amazing! When it comes out, i'm getting several of the $35 ones and at least 1 $25 one! Now I will finally have an excuse to setup a mythTV server...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 9th Sep 2011 03:44 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

1080P is all fine and dandy but as I mentioned in the previous thread about these, I'd love to see what it can do with 1080i, and the quality of the deinterlacing -- assuming it's capable of that in hardware.

We'll see, but for $25-$35 they're too cheap not to get one to monkey around with.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Brynet
by brynet on Fri 9th Sep 2011 14:31 UTC
brynet
Member since:
2010-03-02

GPU (..including the h264 decoder) is 100% proprietary, and the boot architecture of this device is fucked up.

Do. Not. Want.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Brynet
by ilovebeer on Fri 9th Sep 2011 16:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by Brynet"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

GPU (..including the h264 decoder) is 100% proprietary, and the boot architecture of this device is fucked up.

Do. Not. Want.

Too much emphasis is put on whether or not hardware/software uses proprietary components. The end-user couldn't care less (minus a small handful of exceptions as usual). The only thing that really matters is whether it works or not. And this thing appears to.

Reply Score: 3

"Long term" matters
by Nth_Man on Fri 9th Sep 2011 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Brynet"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

The only thing that really matters is whether it works or not.

"Long term" matters. A lot of software technologies have been proprietary and cheap at the beginning... to be used, at long term, to abuse of people, when the market has grown and there is a vendor lock-in.

In a vendor lock-in, without competition... conscientious people finally get tired of paying for services and products just to serve interests of monopolistic companies. Most of them finally realize about planned obsolescence, about plans that force them to pay, wait, pay, wait, pay...

Money from planned obsolescence is also paid in part by all people, as we are customers of companies that must pay software monopolies, as we are citizens of an affected country and so we have to pay more money in taxes, etc.

That extra money and time does not go to the benefit of people, but to profit some interested parts.

So most of the conscientious people... at short or long term... finally care about free/libre software.

Edited 2011-09-09 18:28 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: "Long term" matters
by ilovebeer on Fri 9th Sep 2011 18:34 UTC in reply to ""Long term" matters"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

"The only thing that really matters is whether it works or not.

"Long term" matters. A lot of software technologies have been proprietary and cheap at the beginning... to be used, at long term, to abuse of people, when the market has grown and there is a vendor lock-in.

In a vendor lock-in, without competition... conscientious people finally get tired of paying for services and products just to serve interests of monopolistic companies. Most of them finally realize about planned obsolescence, about plans that force them to pay, wait, pay, wait, pay...

Money from planned obsolescence is also paid in part by all people, as they are customers of companies that must pay software monopolies, as they are citizens of an affected country and so have to pay more taxes, etc.

That extra money and time does not go to the benefit of people, but to profit some interested parts.

So most of the conscientious people... at short or long term... finally care about free/libre software.
"

While the theory holds water, I completely reject it as being applicable here. No, I do not have a crystal ball that allows me to peer into the future. But, given other devices of similar design, purpose, and intent, there's absolutely zero evidence to lead a person to your conclusion.

And I stand by my assumption that most people wanting to tinker with one of these couldn't care less about proprietary firmware, etc. Does their web/media/whatever server work? Does their htpc work? If yes, then who cares? Most people I know, whether in the software or hardware field or not, don't. Don't forget who the audience is here.

Edited 2011-09-09 18:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: "Long term" matters
by Nth_Man on Fri 9th Sep 2011 18:49 UTC in reply to "RE: "Long term" matters"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

who cares?

People who thinks at long term. Imagine that Bob is a greedy CEO in a market where he has achieved a vendor lock-in. Wouldn't he increase prices? Wouldn't he decrease the quantity of employees in the customer service department?

All in all, he has the monopolistic barriers to avoid new competitors. Its use is there.

Don't forget who the audience is here.

No, I don't forget it. I think that most of them are conscientious ones, with experience with some kind of monopolies.

Edited 2011-09-09 18:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: "Long term" matters
by ilovebeer on Fri 9th Sep 2011 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Long term" matters"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

People who thinks at long term. Imagine that Bob is a greedy CEO in a market where he has achieved a vendor lock-in. Wouldn't he increase prices? Wouldn't he decrease the quantity of employees in the customer service department?

First, there's no way for a monopoly to happen with this type of device. Secondly, your scenario requires one to "imagine" something within the realm of possibility. However, it completely disregards the reality of the market that already exists and what we've observed thus far.

I'd rather not spend my time ponder the world of what-if's.

"Don't forget who the audience is here.

No, I don't forget it. I think that most of them are conscientious ones, with experience with some kind of monopolies.
"

I, in all honesty, have no clue how you've arrived at this conclusion. It seems very out of touch, perhaps you'd like to elaborate some?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: "Long term" matters
by Nth_Man on Sat 10th Sep 2011 09:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "Long term" matters"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

> > Don't forget who the audience is here.
> No, I don't forget it. I think that most of them are
> conscientious ones, with experience with some kind
> of monopolies.

I, in all honesty, have no clue how you've arrived at this conclusion. It seems very out of touch, perhaps you'd like to elaborate some?

Well, it has happened to most of us. Have you been in a situation where you depended on a company and you had to pay what they said and wait what they said and suffer bad customer services because you had no other company to go to? Sometimes the monopolistic company makes sure that the cost of going to another company is too high to be an alternative (for example, data migration due to proprietary data formats + retraining + etc). About state monopolies, yes, they are also monopolies and most of us have suffered similar problems.

Edited 2011-09-10 09:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: "Long term" matters
by Nth_Man on Sat 10th Sep 2011 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: "Long term" matters"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

First, there's no way for a monopoly to happen with this type of device

Privative software allows vendor lock-ins, for example, that is why the prior user was talking about privative software.

However, it completely disregards the reality of the market that already exists and what we've observed thus far.

We have seen a lot of software monopolies, for example. Microsoft was found guilty and convicted, at least three times :-( for paying people to create problems to others, as you can see in the following link and in the antitrust case, in trials in USA and also in Europe.
http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/2000/PX...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: "Long term" matters
by zima on Thu 15th Sep 2011 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "Long term" matters"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Techies, more likely to get such thing, are probably a bit more familiarised with the general history of computing industry or, specifically, what consequences an unsupported & static binary blob might bring few years down the line (and what is the value of open drivers)

Overall, MS was once small and harmless, too. Once, ~"there simply wasn't a single shred of evidence, proof, comment, remark, or anything else that showed any sign there's reason to worry about their product, its manufacturer, or their intent"

Reply Score: 2

Not enough codecs supported in HW?
by -pekr- on Sat 10th Sep 2011 08:00 UTC
-pekr-
Member since:
2006-03-28

I wonder what other formats apart from H.264 are supported. In the comment section of the article linked, the crew is responding that e.g. WebM is not supported in HW, and hence it will not be able to get past basic VESA mode performance. That seems like a bad limitation, no? Or is that only about the firmware update?

Reply Score: 1

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

the crew is responding that e.g. WebM is not supported in HW, and hence it will not be able to get past basic VESA mode performance. That seems like a bad limitation, no? Or is that only about the firmware update?


Difficult to know given that the GPU is proprietary..

Reply Score: 2

proprietary?
by wanker90210 on Sat 10th Sep 2011 17:26 UTC
wanker90210
Member since:
2007-10-26

As long as they have stable dev toolchains I don't care about them delivering it with a proprietary blob. I want to use it for userland projects. Been looking for a convenient to use platform for various projects.

Reply Score: 1

Hope someone cracks open that GPU
by jabjoe on Tue 13th Sep 2011 12:30 UTC
jabjoe
Member since:
2009-05-06

If that GPU gets reverse engineered (and I'm sure avoiding this is what the GPU booting everything is all about), then the dark cloud of it's closeness might be broken up. I know many people don't understand the importance of it being open, but hopefully, after owning one of these, a few years down the line, they will understand. A lot more people understanding the importance of open drivers is itself a big contribution.


The drivers will be frozen in time, if they aren't already. At best we can hope for bugfixs for a while. We can't hope for them to be developed further. With all the flux in the graphics stack right now, it's a bad time to be freezing graphical stuff. Pretty soon after release we will find we can only use kernels that can be used with the close drivers. As it's a userland thing too, parts of the userland will be frozen too. Built in obsolescence. Build in limitations. I still want reassurance it can play any old HD content, not approved content only (i.e. DRM rubbish). I've got a feeling these will be only any use as headless pretty soon if you want to run anything modern on them. I'll still buy one because they are so cheap, and even headless, they are very useful. But I hold hope someone really clever will find a way of opening that GPU.

Reply Score: 2