Raspberry Pi Demo

Chuckle. The trolls, paytards and evangelists of big expensive computers made fun of it but this demonstration of a Raspberry Pi by BBC shows it is not a toy. Although affordable by children it is a powerful modern computer that would put to shame $1K PCs from a few years ago running that other OS. Boot time, for instance, is about 10s to a usable GNU/Linux desktop running a browser and other GNU/Linux software. It may be affordable by kids ($25-$35!!!) but I want one too…

Read about it here.

They are sold out at the moment but you can get on a mailing list here or here.

BBC News – Raspberry Pi programming put to test by computing student.

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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32 Responses to Raspberry Pi Demo

  1. Ray says:

    As a hardware solution, if fine, but on the software side, it could do better to induce people to program. For example, It could use a built-in guide, a better interface with python, with having a scratch like interface, but actual code instead of the click and drag, etc.

  2. I think Raspberry Pi will evolve. The current models are aimed at rock-bottom price. I could see shoving in more RAM and a more powerful processor sooner or later. That will be cool. Then, again, maybe smart phones will come with and USB HDMI connectors. Everything is possible. It’s getting so the price of a unit is the price of the connectors plus a bit more…

  3. Ivan wrote, “Considering the number of articles showing how gpl use is declining, developers understand this “.

    That’s what fudsters do, spread FUD. GPL use is widespread and increasing as far as I know. The share of GPL licensed project may be declining because there are so many choices of licence, but the GPL is not going away anytime soon. Even Android/Linux which Google tried to make as free as possible of GPL has Linux kernel still GPL. I read recently GPL v3 is 6% of projects. That’s disappointing but I can live with that. It’s hard to change any of the big projects and small projects may have no motivation to change. New projects are the future and a lot of them are GPL v whatever.

  4. Ivan says:

    Changing licences has little to do with RMS.

    Wrapping bsd code in the gpl is being an asshole, Bob. Dick said don’t be an asshole.

    An authour presumably could give one permission to change the licence or to mix code of different licences.

    There is this amazing concept of not being an asshole by using the same license of the code you are extending. I would have thought that Canadians, being the stereotypically polite people that you are, would naturally accept this concept.

    The stock GPL does not give that permission but allows modification of everything else if the licence is not changed.

    Here’s the thing, Bob, you don’t have to use the gpl. You can have a decent open source project without the gpl. Considering the number of articles showing how gpl use is declining, developers understand this and are willing to use licenses that don’t turn you into an asshole by preventing the original author to use your supposedly free code.

  5. Changing licences has little to do with RMS. Legally only the authour can change the licence of software, otherwise anyone could put that other OS under the GPL and carry on. An authour presumably could give one permission to change the licence or to mix code of different licences. The stock GPL does not give that permission but allows modification of everything else if the licence is not changed.

  6. Ivan says:

    Richard Stallman says closed source is wrong so being against this is to be expected.

    I realize you have a lot of issues with reading comprehension, but Dick is against wrapping bsd code in the gpl.

    He wants developers that are extending existing code to use the same license of the code that is getting extended.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Ivan when it comes to Linux drivers it can be RCU IBM patented tech that is limited on what licenses it can be shipped under GPL or LGPL only in fact if you don’t like it argue with IBM.

    Not all developers working on the Linux kernel are allowed to release code as BSD. Some was fixes that had to be rewritten for BSD to remove the GPL because the coder who had done the fixes was not approved to release code under BSD.

    “The “Linux code extensions” you are talking about is almost always an unnecessary gpl wrapper that prevents inclusion in BSD projects.”

    You could say the same about closed source binary that the BSD has been included in where the company does not release the source. It is pure double standards from the BSD world. Either you are against something or you are not.

    Richard Stallman says closed source is wrong so being against this is to be expected.

  8. kozmcrae says:

    Viktor wrote:

    “Well, the Internet doesn’t really concern me.”

    Good, then turn it off.

  9. Ivan says:

    Linux kernel takes BSD code extends it the BSD coders come out claiming the Linux people are stealing.

    The “Linux code extensions” you are talking about is almost always an unnecessary gpl wrapper that prevents inclusion in BSD projects.

    Even Richard Milhous Stallman says that is the wrong thing to do.

  10. FreeBSD has some really fine code. The user-base of FreeBSD, however, is much smaller than GNU/Linux so if GNU/Linux has a whiff of a driver issue, FreeBSD has a huge problem. According to Wikimedia, FreeBSD has ~0.01% share of visitors. So, if popularity of a platform affects developers’ habits, FreeBSD must be a lonely place. I prefer the GPL and others do too, apparently. So, get over it.

    There’s nothing particularly wrong with the BSD licence or any licence. It’s the authour’s choice… but I find it really strange that people who prefer to give away/allow any one to use source code should be happy when folks derive code from that and don’t share. It’s like a cycle of abuse… you know, the battered wife syndrome. She keeps giving and gets beaten for her trouble. It takes real effort or motivation to escape that trap. There’s nothing particularly wrong with giving, but sharing is better. Sharing implies reciprocity/friendliness/goodness while taking and not sharing implies greed/suspicion/darker emotions.

    We have seen before, Google argued that they prefer a BSD-style licence for Android and expect other developers will too so Android/Linux will have more support. Lately that was underscored in Oracle v Google when the inner workings of the decision how to licence Android was revealed in testimony and documents. It seems to me that loving BSD-style licensing is an act of faith rather than reason. It’s clear that GNU/Linux is widely supported, particularly in the Linux kernel and infrastructure, even though much of the code is GPL. I can see why lawyers and corporate hacks might prefer the BSD but developers? No way. Obscuring source code does not bring security but it does prevent developers from having as wide a choice for code to include in a project. Everyone knows that. Isn’t that important to these supporters of BSD-style licensing? Crippling one of the most important features of FLOSS is not a good thing.

  11. oiaohm says:

    Ted its the double standards.

    http://kerneltrap.org/OpenBSD/Stealing_Versus_Sharing_Code

    Microsoft takes BSD code extends it fine no complaints from the BSD world. Linux kernel takes BSD code extends it the BSD coders come out claiming the Linux people are stealing.

    Sorry Ted it the way it is. BSD world hates it so be it.

    Really BSD world really need to make up there god darn mind either its fine for me to re-license or its not. Yes release some closed source fine containing bsd code. Release that program down the track under GPL and you might have the BSD world howling you down.

  12. I encourage M$ to use as much FLOSS as they want. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux because it works so well and has a huge repository you can install as you wish using APT (Advanced Packagine Tool).
    “Much of why Debian is perhaps the best Linux Distribution (and in fact, the best Unix) comes from the core of Debian being its package management. Everything in Debian – every application, every component – everything – is built into a package, and then that package is installed onto your system (either by the Installer, or by you).

    There are over 25 thousand software packages available for Debian – everything from the Linux kernel to games.”

    Everyone is allowed to use FLOSS because the licence comes with the code. That’s the right way to do IT.

  13. Ted says:

    From the article you link to;

    “How ironic is it that the windows developers didn’t even bother to strip the copyright notice from the code they were ripping off? Would you leave this comment line if you would be ripping off someone’s code?”

    Why does he stress “ripping off” apart from trying to show Microsoft in the worst possible light?

    It is a REQUIREMENT of BSD-licensed code that copyright notices are left in, as he states later.

    Microsoft complied with the licenses requirements scrupulously, in fact going slightly beyond them to give credit to BSD. They did not in any way, shape, or form, “rip off” the BSD code.

    Why does Microsoft legally using a freely available, stable, mature and well-tested TCP/IP stack and following the license terms draw so much ire from the FLOSS crowd?

  14. Viktor wrote, “I know that I don’t use FLOSS on my computer.”

    I remember years ago, that other OS and MacOS were getting their butts kicked by GNU/Linux because of the networking stack. I’ll bet you are using BSD networking stack these days or at least parts of it.

    see Wikipedia – Berkeley Software Distribution “These, in turn, have been incorporated in whole or in part in modern proprietary operating systems, e.g the TCP/IP (IPv4 only) networking code in Microsoft Windows or the foundation of Apple’s Mac OS X.”

    I don’t have that other OS around but, if you are willing to violate the EULA, you could try this, looking for BSD stuff in that other OS.

  15. Viktor says:

    Thanks Viktor. You don’t even know what software you use in a given day. You’re an idiot.

    I know that I don’t use FLOSS on my computer.

    Oh, wait! Yes, I totally forgot! You want to make me believe that I use FLOSS because I use the Internet! That’s it, isn’t it? Well, the Internet doesn’t really concern me. It’s nothing more than infrastructure through which services are offered. These services have to do what they should. I don’t give a damn if they run on Linux or whatever.

    Untalented morons like you seem to have the hardest time accepting the truth.

    And my question remains: what has an untalented actor like you ever done for FLOSS? Apart from waxing poetic here on this little blog.

  16. kozmcrae says:

    Kozmcrae wrote:

    “Actually don’t bother, I’ve heard it all before and it’s BS.”

    And he nailed it.

    Thanks Viktor. You don’t even know what software you use in a given day. You’re an idiot.

  17. oiaohm says:

    Viktor please pull you head in. Over the last 10 years I have done many things in FOSS projects. Some important some not. So I am not a freeloader.

    Viktor all the issues raised by Richard Stallman about Raspberry PI are addressed in the Rhombus Tech design. Rhombus Tech is most likely smarter designed to use existing factories that production volume is not filled. Where Raspberry PI was design first then tried to find factories so leading to current supply problems.

    Clarence Moon
    “Does it come with a one-year, in home service agreement, too, or do you have to phone a call center?”
    Does sub 100 dollar phones come with this. Answer is no.

    Remember Rhombus Tech goes cheaper faster yes you go up to 1G of ram and 1.2 GHz machine current target is half the price of raspberry pi. So 15 dollars from Rhombus Tech stuff could go to support contract and still be same price as rasberry pi.

    This is a true race to bottom.

  18. Viktor says:

    You’re so funny, Koz McRae. Unintentionally, of course.

    Remember? It’s my computer. And yes, I don’t have — at the moment — any FLOSS installed on it. I have commercial software, I have freeware, I have shareware — but no FLOSS. Not because I’m opposed to it, but because I’ve found that for what I do non-free software kicks FLOSS’s ass. You’d be surprised how many non-free software’s out there which is way better than what FLOSS has to offer.

  19. kozmcrae says:

    Viktor wrote:

    “On the other hand, you people here are just freeloaders.”

    And you’re not a “freeloader”? Tell me how you avoid using FLOSS so completely as to not be a “freeloader”.

    Actually don’t bother, I’ve heard it all before and it’s BS. Richard Stallman is probably the only guy on the planet who uses only Free software, everyone else uses a mixture of both. That includes you and me. And the only difference there is that you’re an asshole about it, I’m not. I use proprietary software and Free software and I do it knowingly. You do it because you have no choice but you make all kinds of excuses about it.

  20. Troll, Clarence Moon wrote, “Does it come with a one-year, in home service agreement, too, or do you have to phone a call center?”

    At $35, the thing is too cheap to service. Just by another. It is also too simple and reliable to require much service. There are no moving parts but the connectors. It barely gets warm running off USB power.

  21. While the thing is light on RAM it has superb graphics with 20 gFLOPs. The thing could be a node for a super-computer…

  22. Viktor says:

    Viktor really the idea that the rasberypi closed source parts are a worry is a joke

    It’s a real enough threat to people like Richard Stallman. He may be lunatic, but he makes no compromises. On the other hand, you people here are just freeloaders. Have you ever done anything for FLOSS? I don’t think so.

  23. Zobeid Zuma says:

    Power is a relative thing in the world of computers. The ARM processor in the Pi is pretty weak by today’s standards, and you’ve got only 256MB RAM to divide between the ARM and the GPU.

    On the other hand… It’s way, way more powerful than the Atari and Amiga computers that I learned on, and plenty capable for its intended purpose of education — and it should prove useful for a lot of other purposes too.

    Man, it’s $35! If you buy a new Atom + Ion nettop then you are looking at over 10X that much money. If the Pi is actually good enough for whatever you have planned, then why spend hundreds? Plus, the Pi’s tiny size and low power requirements will let you place it into a lot of spaces where the nettop would be a non-option.

    Why would anybody not want one of these things to play with?

  24. Clarence Moon says:

    In $35 there’s not much room for M$’s cut…

    That may be the key to it all, Mr. Pogson! All the people who are unwilling to pay more than $35 for a computer and are satisfied with the thing hanging by the wires to their wall pack, network, monitor, keyboard, and mouse (all separately acquired) can now compute on the cheap. When the things are actually available for delivery, of course.

    Does it come with a one-year, in home service agreement, too, or do you have to phone a call center?

  25. oiaohm says:

    Viktor really the idea that the rasberypi closed source parts are a worry is a joke

    Rhombus tech plans for latter in the year does not have these problems.

    Of course Rasberry pi uses Broadcom chips the developers behind it are Broadcom.

    Rhombus Tech has no such company locks. Also planing to provide something many times more powerful than raspberry pi and half the price. Better all open soruce drivers and core firmware on a chip where the firmware cannot be locked from being replaced.

    As Rhombus Tech and others start duking it out in the low end it is going to get harder to do anything closed in that segment.

  26. From http://www.raspberrypi.org:

    “What SoC are you using?
    The SoC is a Broadcom BCM2835. This contains an ARM1176JZFS, with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU is capable of BluRay quality playback, using H.264 at 40MBits/s. It has a fast 3D core accessed using the supplied OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenVG libraries.

    How powerful is it?
    The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode.
    The GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute and features a bunch of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure.
    That is, graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to Xbox 1 level of performance. Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics.

    Will it have a case?
    Not for the first batch. We’ll be making and selling cases by the summer; you’ll be able to buy a unit with or without a case, or a case on its own. The education release later in 2012 will have a case by default. There are lots of homebrew case discussions on the forum.

    Is there a GPU binary?
    Yes. The GPU binary also contains the first stage bootloader.

    What happens if I brick the device?
    You can restore the device by reflashing the SD card.

    I want a direct access to the GPU!! I don’t want a binary opengl blob driver (
    Reply ↓
    liz
    on August 31, 2011 at 7:59 pm said:
    Not much we can do about that – if it’s really a problem for you, you don’t have to buy one!”

    1. Until GPU makers open up their hardware or stop using microcode, there’s not much can be done to use Free Software to control the things,
    2. In $35 there’s not much room for M$’s cut, and
    3. Broadcom is being paid for the chip so they are cool and being paid to do real work. Wikipedia:“In 2005, Qualcomm, which was the assignee of U.S. Patent 5,452,104 and U.S. Patent 5,576,767, sued Broadcom in US District Court, alleging that Broadcom infringed the two patents by making products that were compliant with the H.264 video compression standard.[13] In 2007, the District Court found that the patents were unenforceable because Qualcomm had failed to disclose them to the JVT prior to the release of the H.264 standard in May 2003.[13] In December 2008, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court’s order that the patents be unenforceable but remanded to the District Court with instructions to limit the scope of unenforceability to H.264 compliant products.[13]”

    Software patents are nonsense anyway. The only limitation I see in this unit for many purposes is 256 MB RAM. That means sticking to CLI or using one GUI app at a time. Browsing with 20 windows open is out unless the thing is used as a thin client, which it can easily be. For the purpose of introducing students to programming, the device is solid. I have used old PCs with 64 MB for that purpose and they were fine.

  27. Viktor says:

    What I like about the Raspberry Pi:

    – Proprietary GPU with binary blob from Broadcom without which the project would’ve been impossible.
    – Payments to the MPEG-LA for H.264.

    Hell yeah!

    You also forget the intention behind the project, Pogson. It hasn’t been created to supply you and your kind with cheap toys, but for educational purposes. And how it will fare there remains to be seen.

    I think that the hope that the Raspberry Pi will breed lots of new “hackers” from inside the educational system, is quite misplaced.

  28. oldman wrote, “Any stripped control program can boot into a non GUI command shell.”

    The Raspberry Pi can do that and much more. It has HDMI output and can run regular GNU/Linux distros so you can do office stuff, web browsing, etc.

  29. lpbbear says:

    “To call this piece of crap powerful says more about the irrelevancy of your notions of computing than anything Robert Pogson. Any stripped control program can boot into a non GUI command shell.

    Junk!”

    Can’t you just feel the hate coming from the “Cult Of Microsoft” devotee above?

    Seriously….get a life loser. Its a computer, nothing there that should throw you into fits.

    I have no idea why he’s blowing a heart valve over it? Its small, fast, cheap, runs something besides Windo………oh, that last one. Yep. 😉

    (what a bigot)

  30. dougman says:

    Junk?!!? JUNK!?!…LOL The demand was so strong that not only the main servers swamped, so were their suppliers. I remember that late night, all the servers relating to the Raspberry Pi were over overloaded, error 503.

    I already have customers interested in these for many various reasons.

  31. oldman says:

    “it is a powerful modern computer that would put to shame $1K PCs from a few years ago running that other OS.”

    The power of a computer comes from what it doesn, not how fast it boots. Besides, a sold state disk will reduce the boot time to the point where it is even more irrelavant than it has alwqays been.

    To call this piece of crap powerful says more about the irrelevancy of your notions of computing than anything Robert Pogson. Any stripped control program can boot into a non GUI command shell.

    Junk!

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