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(UPI)   Want to buy a brand new computer? Got $35?   (upi.com) divider line 115
    More: Followup, Britain, Department for Education  
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11441 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Mar 2012 at 7:46 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-04 07:51:51 PM
The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".

I say this because I don't want the next round of orders sold out by people who are confused about what they are buying. It has no harddrive, instead using a SD card loaded with an ARM port of Linux (not included). It would be completely useless to 99% of people out there.

/use these things at work
//want one to fark with
 
2012-03-04 07:54:00 PM

cgalant: The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".

I say this because I don't want the next round of orders sold out by people who are confused about what they are buying. It has no harddrive, instead using a SD card loaded with an ARM port of Linux (not included). It would be completely useless to 99% of people out there.

/use these things at work
//want one to fark with


They do have the potential to inspire students to become developers though, so they may be more useful than you think.
 
2012-03-04 07:55:38 PM
Such missives pass as journalism in the age of twitter. A fittingly minimalist throw-away piece to describe the release of a minimalist gizmo?
 
2012-03-04 08:00:51 PM
You mean I can't play WoW on it?!?!?

AWWW DURN IT ALL.
 
2012-03-04 08:01:19 PM
They have lined up a distributor to handle the North America side of the businesses. Hopefully they won't mark it up too much.
 
2012-03-04 08:01:27 PM
Disclaimer: I hate WoW.
 
2012-03-04 08:05:52 PM

cgalant: The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".


One of my product ideas that I'm never ambitious enough to prototype is a self-configuring server-in-a-box- you turn it on and show it your wireless network, and it becomes a node in a large distributed online file-sharing/social-networking platform. Basically your own personal cloud server- each node encrypts private files then distributes them across all the other nodes. The more users, the more total file storage. Assuming the distributed file system were smart enough, and the routing system were equally smart, you could get low latency file-access from anywhere in the world.

Raspberry Pi fit-for-purpose for that application, you think?

Not that I'm running out to start working on this- even with the state-of-the-art in distributed file systems, there'd be a lot of groundwork that needs done before that could work. I'm not really qualified to design file systems, let alone distributed ones. I write invoice processing and legal document generating apps for a living.
 
2012-03-04 08:10:33 PM

SharkTrager: They do have the potential to inspire students to become developers though, so they may be more useful than you think.


In the right setting, that could be very true. On the other hand when someone reads this article and thinks "oh, i'll get this for little Billy to learn how to program" - they're pretty far off. Where this thing is very cool is the fact that it's an ARM board that provides general purpose IO pins and ethernet in addition to a full-fledged OS at just above the cost of a Arduino - which is pretty exciting for the kind of people who are using those things already.
 
2012-03-04 08:21:29 PM
2.bp.blogspot.com

rasberry pi? pull over
 
2012-03-04 08:22:33 PM

t3knomanser: The more users, the more total file storage. Assuming the distributed file system were smart enough, and the routing system were equally smart, you could get low latency file-access from anywhere in the world.


I've seen this somewhere years ago, but it was software-centric rather than hardware.

The Rasberry Pi certainly 'could' do something like that, but i feel like it would be silly and much easier just to have a multi-platform software solution to do the same thing. My napkin math shows it would cost a minimum of 65 bucks for a Pi + SDHC card for ~13 gigs of cloud space after accounting for OS overhead and distributed parity.
 
2012-03-04 08:25:59 PM

cgalant: SharkTrager: They do have the potential to inspire students to become developers though, so they may be more useful than you think.

In the right setting, that could be very true. On the other hand when someone reads this article and thinks "oh, i'll get this for little Billy to learn how to program" - they're pretty far off. Where this thing is very cool is the fact that it's an ARM board that provides general purpose IO pins and ethernet in addition to a full-fledged OS at just above the cost of a Arduino - which is pretty exciting for the kind of people who are using those things already.


My understanding is that these can be fairly easily added to most recent TV's and connect via wifi to your home network, so some kids may get exposed to programming and some electronics, which is sorely lacking with most modern computers. So while you are correct, I figure it's worth the parents for whom the $35 is wasted for the fraction who get something out of it.
 
2012-03-04 08:26:54 PM
want
 
2012-03-04 08:27:24 PM
The low cost made possible by not spending money on a camera to take a picture of the damn thing.
 
2012-03-04 08:30:04 PM

cgalant: I've seen this somewhere years ago, but it was software-centric rather than hardware.


There have been some software based approaches, none terribly good. I see the real win here in having some kind of e-pliance with no configuration (aside from showing it your wireless network, and if I could figure out how to get around that...)

A similar idea, which Pis are not suited for, are small wireless nodes that automatically peer into a mesh network. Solar or battery powered and cheap, they'd be designed to be rugged and dropped into disaster areas or combat zones to provide communications infrastructure on the cheap.

Can you tell that I'm partially obsessed with getting small electronics to talk to each other and self configure for optimal behavior?
 
2012-03-04 08:32:07 PM
And Republicans say you can't buy abstinence. pffft
 
2012-03-04 08:33:29 PM

SharkTrager: My understanding is that these can be fairly easily added to most recent TV's and connect via wifi to your home network, so some kids may get exposed to programming and some electronics, which is sorely lacking with most modern computers. So while you are correct, I figure it's worth the parents for whom the $35 is wasted for the fraction who get something out of it.


The Rasberry Pi model A has no network interface, the model B has 10/100 Ethernet (RJ45). Neither comes with any operating system whatsoever at the 35 dollar price point. According to their site "soon" you will be able to buy a bundle that includes a "wireless mouse, keyboard, wifi dongle, SD Card reader and all the essential accessories you need." But that is not what you're getting for 35 bucks.
 
2012-03-04 08:36:17 PM
I was wondering when the Pi would get its own thread.
 
2012-03-04 08:37:45 PM
t3knomanser,A similar idea, which Pis are not suited for, are small wireless nodes that automatically peer into a mesh network. Solar or battery powered and cheap, they'd be designed to be rugged and dropped into disaster areas or combat zones to provide communications infrastructure on the cheap.
Can you tell that I'm partially obsessed with getting small electronics to talk to each other and self configure for optimal behavior?


Possible perfect solution for a pirate box? And at the $25 dollar level very possible.
 
2012-03-04 08:39:04 PM

SharkTrager: They do have the potential to inspire Indian students to become developers though, so they may be more useful than you think.


FTFY
 
2012-03-04 08:39:54 PM

sirgrim: And Republicans say you can't buy abstinence. pffft


That's funny. In the same way Linux prevents STD's?
 
2012-03-04 08:55:09 PM
I'll take approximately 3.14 of them.
 
2012-03-04 09:01:51 PM

cgalant: The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".

I say this because I don't want the next round of orders sold out by people who are confused about what they are buying. It has no harddrive, instead using a SD card loaded with an ARM port of Linux (not included). It would be completely useless to 99% of people out there.

/use these things at work
//want one to fark with


SharkTrager: They do have the potential to inspire students to become developers though, so they may be more useful than you think.



Serious question: what sort of project can be done with one of these (specific examples welcome)? I've developed an interest in programming in the last year, but don't even know where to start. I learn best by "doing" and projects, so even pointing a finger toward the just the most basic thing/project, as long as there's some sort of obviously demonstrable outcome, would be helpful. Thanks ahead of time.

/not Indian
 
2012-03-04 09:12:17 PM
Try CodeAcademy, as in dot com. They have a Java course running, online, step-by-step interactive lessons.
 
2012-03-04 09:23:24 PM

Enemabag Jones: Possible perfect solution for a pirate box? And at the $25 dollar level very possible.


Hrm, I had seen that and completely forgot about it by the time I had this idea. $25 isn't bad for a prototype, but I think to be really successful, you'd need something at around $5/unit for networking hardware (power supply would be separate). Interesting starting point, though.

//I don't have the hardware chops to build something at $5/unit, but I could probably build a pirate box and might do just that.
 
2012-03-04 09:26:32 PM
Sounds like it would be good for a single-purpose box. I'd like one to connect to a Drobo and run PS3 Media Server.
 
2012-03-04 09:30:47 PM

SharkTrager: cgalant: The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".

I say this because I don't want the next round of orders sold out by people who are confused about what they are buying. It has no harddrive, instead using a SD card loaded with an ARM port of Linux (not included). It would be completely useless to 99% of people out there.

/use these things at work
//want one to fark with

They do have the potential to inspire students to become developers though, so they may be more useful than you think.


That's the whole point. FTA:

A credit-card-sized low-cost computer designed to help teach children to code has gone on sale in Britain, its developers say.

The Raspberry Pi is a bare-bones computer created by volunteers mostly drawn from academia and the British tech industry hope the machines could help reverse a lack of programming skills in the country.
 
2012-03-04 09:32:46 PM

Enemabag Jones: Possible perfect solution for a pirate box? And at the $25 dollar level very possible.


Oh, it's just a WRT router? Meh. I should find a solution that's a router-on-a-chip.
 
2012-03-04 09:39:43 PM

t3knomanser: cgalant: The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".

One of my product ideas that I'm never ambitious enough to prototype is a self-configuring server-in-a-box- you turn it on and show it your wireless network, and it becomes a node in a large distributed online file-sharing/social-networking platform. Basically your own personal cloud server- each node encrypts private files then distributes them across all the other nodes. The more users, the more total file storage. Assuming the distributed file system were smart enough, and the routing system were equally smart, you could get low latency file-access from anywhere in the world.

Raspberry Pi fit-for-purpose for that application, you think?

Not that I'm running out to start working on this- even with the state-of-the-art in distributed file systems, there'd be a lot of groundwork that needs done before that could work. I'm not really qualified to design file systems, let alone distributed ones. I write invoice processing and legal document generating apps for a living.


May be interesting (new window)
 
2012-03-04 09:48:10 PM
You're all missing the most important thing: can I watch pr0n on it? If the answer is no then it's worthless.
 
2012-03-04 09:58:37 PM
I have $35, but don't want a computer... wat do?
 
2012-03-04 09:59:27 PM

t3knomanser: cgalant: I've seen this somewhere years ago, but it was software-centric rather than hardware.

There have been some software based approaches, none terribly good. I see the real win here in having some kind of e-pliance with no configuration (aside from showing it your wireless network, and if I could figure out how to get around that...)

A similar idea, which Pis are not suited for, are small wireless nodes that automatically peer into a mesh network. Solar or battery powered and cheap, they'd be designed to be rugged and dropped into disaster areas or combat zones to provide communications infrastructure on the cheap.

Can you tell that I'm partially obsessed with getting small electronics to talk to each other and self configure for optimal behavior?


What a small cheap wireless node might look like (new window)

/I really like this guy for only $25, half the price of anything else I could find
 
2012-03-04 10:03:53 PM

SharkTrager: cgalant: The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".

I say this because I don't want the next round of orders sold out by people who are confused about what they are buying. It has no harddrive, instead using a SD card loaded with an ARM port of Linux (not included). It would be completely useless to 99% of people out there.

/use these things at work
//want one to fark with

They do have the potential to inspire students to become developers though, so they may be more useful than you think.


my 6 year old is obsessed with mine craft and skyrim, I was hoping to channel some of the time he spends in front of the computer into early computer skills.

Got any suggestions on books, programs or websites?
 
2012-03-04 10:05:28 PM

Nihilist's Guide to Reticent Entropy: You mean I can't play WoW on it?!?!?


You misspelled "Skyrim".
 
2012-03-04 10:06:45 PM
Also shipping to the US is as expensive as the device.
 
2012-03-04 10:20:54 PM

archichris: Got any suggestions on books, programs or websites?


Link (new window)

/ Arduino not included.
// When he's done building his robot, he'll accidentally know C.
 
2012-03-04 10:21:54 PM
Pretty sure that a 35 buck computer won't run Counter Strike: GO worth a shiat, so fark that.
 
2012-03-04 10:22:09 PM

cgalant: SharkTrager: My understanding is that these can be fairly easily added to most recent TV's and connect via wifi to your home network, so some kids may get exposed to programming and some electronics, which is sorely lacking with most modern computers. So while you are correct, I figure it's worth the parents for whom the $35 is wasted for the fraction who get something out of it.

The Rasberry Pi model A has no network interface, the model B has 10/100 Ethernet (RJ45). Neither comes with any operating system whatsoever at the 35 dollar price point. According to their site "soon" you will be able to buy a bundle that includes a "wireless mouse, keyboard, wifi dongle, SD Card reader and all the essential accessories you need." But that is not what you're getting for 35 bucks.


OS: Free download from their website.
Mouse/Keyboard: Who doesn't have a couple old USB mouse/keyboards sitting around? Even my mother in law (75) has a couple.
SD Card reader: Look again. The read is in there. All you need is the card. Again who at this point doesn't have half a dozen of those going unused? Load the free OS on said card and away you go.
WIFI: I could live with RJ45 for my kid for awhile or a dongle is dirt cheap.

Same thing with HDMI to hook it to an HDTV as a "monitor". Only a very small amount of work and you've got yourself a pretty cool thing going on.
 
2012-03-04 10:26:41 PM
All you salivating nerds who don't know how to program: You do NOT want this.

What you want is this: PogoPlug is a cheap, plug it in the wall, file server. Like, well under $50 cheap. Check all the usual deal websites, you'll occasionally find a model for $30. You add a USB hard drive or 12, and a network connection. (You can do it via wifi, but ethernet will be faster.)

You can pay a small extra fee if you want to use it to access your home pornmusic collection from your work computer.

The Raspberry Pi is not interesting until it becomes trivially easy to put an entire bootable OS on it. And that OS is probably going to be Linux. If we're very lucky, Ubuntu.

Probably in a year, the software department of the OLPC foundation will port their OS onto it, which will make it a fine kid-computer, once you add a monitor (you'll need a modern one that takes an HDMI cable, or a $35+ adapter), a keyboard, a mouse, an ethernet cable, and a whole lot of patience.
 
2012-03-04 10:30:29 PM
I wonder what sort of performance you could pull out of 10 of these in Beowulf cluster.
 
2012-03-04 10:33:37 PM

archichris: my 6 year old is obsessed with mine craft and skyrim, I was hoping to channel some of the time he spends in front of the computer into early computer skills.

Got any suggestions on books, programs or websites?


Not in the least. I'm far from an expert, I just have some that work for me.
 
2012-03-04 10:34:00 PM

t3knomanser: cgalant: The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".

One of my product ideas that I'm never ambitious enough to prototype is a self-configuring server-in-a-box- you turn it on and show it your wireless network, and it becomes a node in a large distributed online file-sharing/social-networking platform. Basically your own personal cloud server- each node encrypts private files then distributes them across all the other nodes. The more users, the more total file storage. Assuming the distributed file system were smart enough, and the routing system were equally smart, you could get low latency file-access from anywhere in the world.

Raspberry Pi fit-for-purpose for that application, you think?

Not that I'm running out to start working on this- even with the state-of-the-art in distributed file systems, there'd be a lot of groundwork that needs done before that could work. I'm not really qualified to design file systems, let alone distributed ones. I write invoice processing and legal document generating apps for a living.



Already been done: It's called SheevaPlug (new window) which provides basic network server functionality.
-See the various commercial product references for implementations.
 
2012-03-04 10:40:29 PM
I don't want to be "that guy", but when I found they had moved production plans from the UK to China, I didn't want one anymore. Let's start building these things in some countries with real labor laws. Even if it is doubled in price, it's still only $70, which is cheap.
 
2012-03-04 10:47:49 PM

cgalant: The Rasberry Pi is a development board PC, not a full on "computer".

I say this because I don't want the next round of orders sold out by people who are confused about what they are buying. It has no harddrive, instead using a SD card loaded with an ARM port of Linux (not included). It would be completely useless to 99% of people out there.

/use these things at work
//want one to fark with


Wrong. It is, indeed, a full on computer -- just not a Wintel one. Get an SD card, stick Debian on there, and you most definitely can run a full desktop off of this baby. Things are a bit experimental with it at the moment, and will likely firm up later in the year, but it most definitely is a general purpose computer, and, properly configured, would be just dandy for what about 50% of people use a computer for (web surfing, Youtube, etc).

/got mine on pre-order
//Element14 says I should get it in April
 
2012-03-04 10:50:09 PM

haineux: All you salivating nerds who don't know how to program: You do NOT want this.

What you want is this: PogoPlug is a cheap, plug it in the wall, file server. Like, well under $50 cheap. Check all the usual deal websites, you'll occasionally find a model for $30. You add a USB hard drive or 12, and a network connection. (You can do it via wifi, but ethernet will be faster.)

You can pay a small extra fee if you want to use it to access your home pornmusic collection from your work computer.

The Raspberry Pi is not interesting until it becomes trivially easy to put an entire bootable OS on it. And that OS is probably going to be Linux. If we're very lucky, Ubuntu.

Probably in a year, the software department of the OLPC foundation will port their OS onto it, which will make it a fine kid-computer, once you add a monitor (you'll need a modern one that takes an HDMI cable, or a $35+ adapter), a keyboard, a mouse, an ethernet cable, and a whole lot of patience.



They already have several distros ready to go for it and I believe some version of Ubuntu is one of them (however the new Ubuntu with Unity sucks).

Remember it's not designed to be ANYTHING in particular (like your file server example). It's purpose is to give kids something they can learn to program on and not just play games (they're including Python as the language of choice on the distros)

It will drive HDMI at BlueRay quality output for the person who asked about that.

I want one. I have no idea what I'll do with it but the concept seems interesting.

And if you buy one you might look into their by one for twice the price and we'll donate one to charity deal. Last I asked they were still getting that into place.
 
2012-03-04 10:50:47 PM

saintwrathchild:
Serious question: what sort of project can be done with one of these (specific examples welcome)? I've developed an interest in programming in the last year, but don't even know where to start. I learn best by "doing" and projects, so even pointing a finger toward the just the most basic thing/project, as long as there's some sort of obviously demonstrable outcome, would be helpful. Thanks ahead of time.

/not Indian


If you've already got a desktop, go download one of the million existing IDEs for Java, .Net, Phython, Ruby, PHP, the C family, ect.
The cool thing about this is (as I see it)
the GPIO (General Purpose IO), you can communicate with very simple I/O devices in a straight forward manner. This means controlling motors, dot matrix displays, consuming sensors (though it really didn't say if the broadcom chip has an analog to digital converter for those ports which is pretty much required for reading external sensor data) ect.

Probably 15 years ago I was playing around with PIC and Atmel microcontrolers. Those were comparable in performance and capability to the 8088s of the 1970's.
This is those grown up .
 
2012-03-04 10:51:24 PM

haineux: The Raspberry Pi is not interesting until it becomes trivially easy to put an entire bootable OS on it. And that OS is probably going to be Linux. If we're very lucky, Ubuntu.


How's Debian sound? (new window)
 
2012-03-04 11:08:26 PM
Just write an emulator app for an iphone with a plug in peripheral board for anything you can't emulate in software.

Emulation! Emulation! Emulation!

Besides, I think they're already sold out.
 
2012-03-04 11:08:34 PM
My wife is eyeing these for automation of her way too complicated aquarium setups... feeding, lights, CO2, etc.
 
2012-03-04 11:12:46 PM

HeartBurnKid: Wrong. It is, indeed, a full on computer -- just not a Wintel one. Get an SD card, stick Debian on there, and you most definitely can run a full desktop off of this baby.


I'm talking about for the average Joe. If you picked one of my coworkers at random and told them they could get a computer for 35 bucks - they would assume more than this is offering. I'm not saying it's a bad deal - this is a pretty badass little package - but it's really not for everyone.
 
2012-03-04 11:13:06 PM

HeartBurnKid: haineux: The Raspberry Pi is not interesting until it becomes trivially easy to put an entire bootable OS on it. And that OS is probably going to be Linux. If we're very lucky, Ubuntu.

How's Debian sound? (new window)


Yeah I know on Fark nobody reads articles but I figured the supposed techy people would before commenting about the lack of this or that. Given the Raspberry Pi website has the linux distro download link right on the homepage I hoped people would at least realize all you need to do is load the think on an SD card and stick it in the device and boom you got a computer.
 
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