Raspberry PI Is Serious

For those who claim the ultimate small cheap computer, Raspberry Pi, is not serious look at it running XBMC, a multimedia system (which I run under two TVs in my home on Atoms). It’s clearly good enough. No need for that other OS at all to enjoy great multimedia on a minimal PC.


see Raspberry Pi notice

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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24 Responses to Raspberry PI Is Serious

  1. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser funny enough simple to use robot control software exists for Linux. Its the same software that is used to drive robots in car and chip production plants.

    Yes the Raspberry PI has a big enough processor to drive it.

    When I say close to real world devices I am not kidding its big enough to drive all the same software just on a smaller scale. Dr Loser.

    Really who said I would be dropping them in Gcc straight up. No reason to. Blender you can run 3d simulations with a factor robots really controlling the robot. Placing logic controls and other things.

    Basically kid build robot. Kid control robot.

    Schools also run robot competitions school vs school. It fits perfectly into what schools do. Except instead of using cut back software like legos and other force. You can use the same software as production line robots. Useful skill.

    Python most likely is what they would be dropped into.

    What does the raspberry pi replace. Logo robot controller. Raspberry pi + Gertboard has more interface controls. Under half the price per student. Lego only software vs Industry standard software stacks for robot development.

    Hardest thing will be setting up the Industry Standard Software to ID the Gertboard as a control interface. Currently they don’t have templates for that yet. Yes we are not talking big and complex here. 3d printers can already produce suitable prototype cases to use with lego also the board size means it will fit into standard junction boxs. Need to add a few holes for cooling and wires coming in and out.

    Of course DR Loser is going to be far enough away from robotics not to know that the ARM chips are common in robots driving them. Worse they are Linux machines.

    PC is really not part of the robot world these days.

    Clean up of the device simple. Unplug the Flash card place in duplicator and duplicate off master. Yes it simpler to reset to factory than a lego and its possible to change the memory cards over between classes. So students can keep there work on a memory card setup ready to go.

    Dr Loser cannot dream there is a market where MS has lost that should be represented in schools and should be running Linux. Robot control is one of those areas.

  2. Dr Loser says:

    @oiaohm:

    “Raspberry PI is perfect in so many ways for teaching kids in something close to a real world devices.”

    Perfect, except in the sense that almost nobody will ever acquire it to do such a thing.

    Just like the Linux desktop, in fact.

    The world is full of ingrates, isn’t it?

  3. Dr Loser says:

    “Mommy, can I write an Android app, please?”

    “Certainly, my darling. But let’s make sure you don’t bloat and you pay attention to the restricted nature of the environment. And always remember to clean up after yourself!

    “Here’s an R-Pi: you can start off by writing a linked list, and when we’ve celebrated that with a good, old-fashioned, bucket of deep-fried pigs knuckles, we can move on to even more exciting stuff, like writing your first plug-in hardware driver.”

    Sure, Mr Hill: that’ll wow the lads down at my local Comprehensive in Kings Norton.

  4. Dr Loser says:

    @Mr Hill:

    Regardless of how you learned what you learned: thanks to Moore’s Law, we are for all intents and purposes in a different universe.

    “By bringing out R-Pi, it is meant to promote programming from a very young school age level. So they can grow into solid programmers by the time they reach university and employment. David Braben gave it the first high profile exposure, and the project then sky rocketed.”

    I think the tortured syntax speaks for itself.

    The people who bring you Raspberry-Pi, or as you prefer to think of it a non-singing but rilly cool hardware equivalent of Jennifer Lopez, do so with the best of intentions.

    Those intentions are farcical.

    There were two reasons, as recently as the late ’90s, why you had to learn your programming craft in a very restricted environment:

    (1) PCs were bloody expensive. Sans Internet, there wasn’t even much of a reason for most households to acquire one.
    (2) The only available toolsets were inconceivably primitive, by today’s standards.

    If you really believe that plunging a twelve year old kid who is used to a smart-phone and a games console and an always-on Internet connection into the retrograde world of GCC and makefiles and the CLI, then I wish you good luck.

    Because … you’re sure gonna need it.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Mr Hill and the fun part of computer science is robots. Other items like it.

    Small cheap and if destroyed does not matter computer has a place in teaching programming.

    Problem is all the fun parts of IT normally risk destroying the computer. Like sending a computer to 30 000 feet.

    Robots do bring out good programmers. Yes a Robot OS crashing most likely will equal damaged robot. Coding errors have direct bad effects.

    Robotics is a common one done in schools to get the basic ideas of programming with something like a lego computer that is not really that powerful and quite limited in accepted programming languages.

    Robotics basically is the target best to think of. Yes highly possible to destroy the thing. Standard desktop is useless for the fun things that will hold the kids attention. Too big and too expensive.

    Raspberry PI is perfect in so many ways for teaching kids in something close to a real world devices.

  6. Mr Hill says:

    oiaohm

    Well it wasn’t originally set up for robotics. It was set up in the UK for school children to learn real computer science as the main engineer behind the project Eben Upton wasn’t happy with the quality of graduate programmers as Computer Science isn’t really done in the schools systems, only at university level.

    By bringing out R-Pi, it is meant to promote programming from a very young school age level. So they can grow into solid programmers by the time they reach university and employment. David Braben gave it the first high profile exposure, and the project then sky rocketed.

    Here is Eben’s background on the Raspberry PI project

  7. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser Raspberry PI prime target is robotics.

    With the option of performing other roles.

    Small and cheap and functional kinda 3 major requirement. Usage in robotics it might not last a class.

    “Parallax (P)BASIC Stamps and the C-based Rabbit Boards” oe correct class of stuff.

    Ray there is a universal hdmi to what ever converter chip out there. The chips themselves is less than 2 dollars. Boxes with it in on retail are badly 30+. There is room for a open hardware clone of this bit.

    Raspberry pi does not restrict the IDE that can be used or the language selection.

  8. oiaohm says:

    XBMC maybe one of the first application using the dri2 opengl interfaces without loading X11 at all.

    Running direct to screen using the dri2 opengl drivers. Is a interesting step forwards.

    Question is what XBMC is that.

  9. oe says:

    Funny I have stayed away from Visual Basic like the plague and stuck with gcc (ANSI-C), Fortran 77, FORTH, and a couple others. Admittedly I haven’t done much UI-interface programming, mostly have done file-batch I/O or port based IO as have done mostly numerical computing and embedded stuff. That said the FOSS tools, much like the FOSS apps (Apache, WordPress, Samba, etc.) always seemed “just easier” to use with generous HOWTO’s (early on), and later-on, tutorials and well-commented codes, config files….These R-PI’s remind me of the Parallax (P)BASIC Stamps and the C-based Rabbit Boards with a fairly easy to use, results-oriented, newbie friend approach but with a lot of power…intriguing.

  10. Ray says:

    I still say it needs an RF cable.

  11. Mr Hill says:

    Dr Loser, you just don’t get it. Seriously, you are smoking something illegal from Richmond. R-Pi is for school kids so they don’t trash their main PC’s. The problem i see working in software engineering is that most programmers i work with only know how to use IDE’s; which is dangerous as it promotes lazy habits. Compiling code straight from a compiler is helpful to learn the intricacies of coding. IDE’s hide a lot of things you might miss when things go wrong.

    Visual Studio isn’t worth using if you are writing a ‘hello world’ program for a newbie. Using a makefile and knowing about object files libraries, and source files helps you when you do progress to work with a IDE. Knowing how compilers work from my uni days with Unix with GCC helped me when things go wrong with Visual Studio or Code::Blocks. Also the memory restriction of the R-Pi will help newbie programmers learn about allocation and memory constraints, instead of writing code bloat (which i guess you know of). Thats good as they will learn how to write better and more streamlined programs.

  12. Dr Loser says:

    Where did you pick this fantasist up from, Robert? Another habitue of Tech Rights, I would assume?

  13. Dr Loser says:

    @Mr Hill:

    Well, it’s not going to run Eclipse for you any time soon. Remember Eclipse? That IDE that you believe trashes the heck out of Visual Studio?

    OK, I’ll accept that as an assumption. But I don’t really see what useful programming you can get done on an Raspberry Pi that you can’t get done on a PC or laptop (or even tablet or phone, I guess). And I can’t see why you’d limit a future programmer to the modern-day equivalent of Commodore Basic.

    It’s a neat little gadget with no educational value whatsoever.

  14. Mr Hill says:

    Sorry about Typo. Mr Pogson.

    The purpose of Raspberry Pi is for programming, especially within schools; as real computing has been lost over the years as it has been neglected in the country of its origin (the UK). I think it is brilliant, especially for its price.
    Its even more brilliant that it can run a full-blown multimedia system like XMBC. A real added bonus. We need the next generation of programmers not spreadsheet supremo’s and I think R-Pi is an excellent thing just like the C64 back in the day.
    The things we are going to see this little kit is going to be capable of is going to impress not only IT enthusiasts, but also the mainstream as a whole.

  15. Mr Hill says:

    The purpose of Raspberry Pi is for programming, especially within schools; as real computing has been lost over the years as it has been neglected in the country of its origin (the UK). I think it is brilliant, especially for its price.
    Its even more brilliant that it can run a full-blown multimedia system like XMBC. A real added bonus. We need the next generation of programmers not spreadsheet supremo’s and I think R-Pi is an excellent thing just like the C64 back in the day.
    The things we are going to see this little kit is going to be capable of is going to impress not only IT enthusiasts, but also the mainstream as a whole.

  16. Ivan says:

    Meh, let us know when it plays BluRay and streams NetFlix rather than movie trailers and poorly written short films from the Blender Institute.

  17. Kozmcrae says:

    Looks like there’s no need for me to post. Everyone else has got me pretty much covered.

  18. Hanson says:

    @Mr. Serban:

    This post was quite alright, until Robert felt the urging need to very artificially make it about Windows. Everyone who has read about the Raspberry Pi knows that it was designed with Linux in mind. By which rationale do you suddenly involve the OS? Sometimes Pogson writes rather sensible posts — before destroying them with some “Hey, did you know? That other OS sucks!” drivel at the end. Yes, yes, it’s his job, but I’m just saying…

    The Raspberry Pi is a cool little device. When someone wants to build a cheap media center or whatever with it, why not? I won’t buy one, as I have enslaved myself to the evil movie industry and want to play back my Blu-rays.

  19. Dr Loser says:

    Nice video, though.

    Can’t be arsed to watch it.

  20. Dr Loser says:

    @Hanson and Koz:

    “Kotzmcrae would now spit out, imitating as best as he can James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader voice, the words: ‘FLOSS is everywhere! It is pointless to resist, my son.'”

    I am irresistibly led to another iconic quote:

    This isn’t the dreck you are looking for. Move along!

  21. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    Actually, and despite my throwing insults at it, the Raspberry Pi is an interesting little gizmo. I’m not quite sure what it’s good for, but it’s cheap enough and powerful enough for people better than I to experiment with.

    This “multimedia PC” thing though? Well, whatever rocks your boat. But let’s assume that you have a perfectly decent Beast (Debian-based, of course) which you already need for other purposes. Let’s assume that the Beast in question has H.264 capability. Let’s assume that you can add the necessary cabling, or perhaps a WiFi connector.

    Where’s the need for the gizmo?

    In fact, if the thing came equipped with WiFi in the first place, it would seem to me to be a jolly useful thing to play around with. But since it’s just an end-to-end connector (correct me if I am wrong), its utility appears limited.

    I’d actually like to see the thing take off. Not as part of a moral crusade; just because, like you, I am at heart a tinkerer.

  22. Dr Loser says:

    @Dan:

    I’m at a loss to guess what sort of authority you possess, really. Are you a Scientologist? A Phrenologist? A Hat-Check Girl?

    Or merely a dismal little nobody with no argument whatsoever and a predisposition for petty spite in the direction of anybody else whose views you disagree with?

    Well, I’m going to be extraordinarily generous and admit that you are probably not one of the first three.

  23. Dan Serban says:

    @Hanson, I’m not a psychiatrist, but I believe you need to get your head checked.

  24. Hanson says:

    I’m not quite sure what you want to proof. It was, among other things, designed to work like this, having a built-in H.264 decoder and all. And what has the OS got to do with it? Perhaps you haven’t noticed that pretty much all consumer media players these days, like the WD TV Live, are based on Linux.

    Oh, wait, you wouldn’t have missed that. So you mentioned the OS only because you wanted to make a post that has little to do with operating systems about Windows. Good thinking. Kotzmcrae would now spit out, imitating as best as he can James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader voice, the words: “FLOSS is everywhere! It is pointless to resist, my son.”

    But, yes, I like it that the Usenet downloading crowd doesn’t have to pay outrageous prices for a media player in the future. They can just get a Raspberry Pi for their basement.

    However, what will they do about those pesky 10-Bit encodes?

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