"Beginners" put off...


298 posts   Page 10 of 12   1 ... 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
by pygmy_giant » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:07 pm
Thats me told. Apologies if I seemed smug.

This was posted on another thread http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=26769

by mikerr » 01 Jan 2013 21:58

You can now use Berryboot to use a standard fat32 SD card and get the Pi to download/format/install an OS on the fly

- no image program needed, just copy files over to the card, and boot the pi.

http://www.berryterminal.com/doku.php/berryboot

(assuming you have connected your Pi to your router via an ethernet cable)


Maybe there is scope for a description of the berryboot route in the quickstart guide as it could actually be a quicker start for some, and could allow them to experiment with other operating systems should they want to. Perhaps it should be included in the official cannon on the Downloads page?
Last edited by pygmy_giant on Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by aTao » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:29 pm
If Windows is being a pain then I would strongly recommend investigating if your PC can boot from a flash drive, if it can then you can run Linux without disturbing your Windows installation. But I guess thats a sub-topic of this thread....
>)))'><'(((<
User avatar
Posts: 445
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:41 am
Location: Swine Town UK
by keracticus » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:32 am
Bit of a waffle…….

My knowledge of the RPi’s existence was probably about 12 months ago via mainstream media. Together with a bit of background reading I’d worked out it was a cheap computer with a strong emphasis on education and didn’t really think of it as a consumer product. Around about October/November time my 15 year old son started to mention it as an Xmas present and the journey begins……...

I googled, found this site and read some of the Wiki. It was obvious this was not going to be plug and play. With long lists of power supplies, USB hubs, keyboards and SD cards that may or may not work, this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. As we needed all the above I went for getting most of it from a “Pi shop” – ModMyPi. The warnings for win32diskimager (a program I’d never heard of!) about making sure the correct drive was selected otherwise you could wipe your windows drive were frightening. I got a preinstalled card.

It all fired up and worked on the first attempt. We have had a lot of fun but some of it has been hard work chasing down problems. Using XBMC we have had HD movies streaming. We’ve downloaded remotes on to our phones, we’ve streamed stuff from our phones to the telly via the RPi. We installed iPlayer. We’ve played Quake. We’ve run it headless using PuTTY, installed VNC and VNC’d in from our other PCs. All good play (unstructured learning). It’s got my son loading an old desktop with Linux just because. (And I’m now brave enough to use win32diskimager!)

There’s still some problems. Can’t get a reasonable Wifi speed unless sat next to the router, can’t get a reasonable network speed by “sharing” the desktops (Wifi) internet connection. Can’t SSH in using Ethernet on the Pi from the desktop, works fine via Ethernet and either Ethernet or Wifi from a laptop.

The RPi can take you off in many directions. If you have some knowledge of a CLI, programming and electronics but most importantly problem solving, you will love it. We’ve got a breadboard and some bits on order for more experiments and to start our pythonry.

It’s not yet Lego Mindstorms. But it has the potential to be. Mindstorms is the gold standard or benchmark for the out-of-the-box experience. But it doesn’t end there, for those so inclined there is a bunch of extra stuff. There’s a whole community out there, 3rd party support for other sensors and various alternative firmware and coding environments available. I do not believe the initial spoon feeding in anyway limits the possibilities – just google and look on youtube.

Lego would not dream of selling Mindstorms without instructions and none of us would expect them to. This is where you get into the “who the RPi is for” discussion.

The media exposure of the RPi with all sorts of great stories about stuff that could be done with it has really caught peoples imagination. The market is no longer just the “hobbyist” deciding between the Arduino or RPi as the next toy but arguably Mindstorms or RPi. Or dare I say it, an Xbox game or RPi.

Now these are all vastly different markets with people buying the products for different reasons with vastly different expectations. Perhaps more importantly, with different levels of support/documentation needs. Eg diode description on page 6 here http://ardx.org/src//guide/2/ARDX-EG-OOML-WEB.pdf vs a manufactures spec sheet.

To it’s credit the RPi has got ahead of itself and I would guess sales are beyond expectations with penetration well beyond the hobbyists & developers. The hardware manufacture and sales is all being done by commercial outfits who managed in the main to respond to the demand that was well ahead of forecasts. However they have not been responsible for any support /documentation infrastructure. They have just got on and tried to meet the hardware demand but I do not think the documentation has quite caught up.

The Wiki goes some way to meeting these demands. There are the basics with some good guides and tutorials. But some of the content is a little jumbled eg the tutorials are just listed, the guides grouped, and what’s the point of the model wizard.

Another area for consideration is RPi verified peripherals. This is a nightmare. Some of it comes back to who the RPi is aimed at. But it is not unreasonable to think if it fits the hole, it will work (or at least it won’t break stuff). But it appears the peripherals need to be chosen very carefully. Having read some stuff on the forums some of this may be down to characteristics of some devices being out of spec ie cheap. Some of it may be out of date (keyboards?). If the RPi really is so sensitive to what’s plugged in it’s holes then there needs to be a more definitive list. Possibly as far as ”Foundation Recommended”. I appreciate this would be more difficult to do in an international market and goes against the grain of plugging a phone charger, old monitor, old keyboard and old mouse into the RPi to give you a cheap computer.

Would the RPi benefit with oversite/management of the Wiki? Probably but I’m not sure that’s in the spirit of a Wiki. But it needs to be a little more than just a voluntary effort. If the foundation can’t have some oversite/management of the Wiki then it needs to be bought in house. I had a flick through the RPi User Guide in W H Smiths. I thought it was pretty good (personally I didn’t think it added much to what was on the net). But what it did do was take all that info and present it in a logical and straight forward way. If that was available free and the easiest thing to get to on the website (and the first return when you google raspberry pi) it would go a long way to address the beginners thirst for easily digestible info.

With the emphasis on an educational launch this year there are hints that I’m sure the RPi Foundation are well aware of the need for more detailed beginner type material.

Onwards and upwards.

Steve
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:19 pm
by Nipper » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:26 am
If you had looked at the back cover of the `Raspberry Pi Users Guide` whilst you were in W H Smiths you would have been able to read (as I did after buying one online from the Pi store, `Raspberry Pi Users Guide is not endorsed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation`. Is that £12.99 money well spent ? Well an organisation that cannot support a product it is selling seems odd to me. How many other items offered for sale in the Pi Store come with the same support/recommendation?
User avatar
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:55 pm
by jamesh » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:50 am
Nipper wrote:If you had looked at the back cover of the `Raspberry Pi Users Guide` whilst you were in W H Smiths you would have been able to read (as I did after buying one online from the Pi store, `Raspberry Pi Users Guide is not endorsed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation`. Is that £12.99 money well spent ? Well an organisation that cannot support a product it is selling seems odd to me. How many other items offered for sale in the Pi Store come with the same support/recommendation?


Sorry, what's your point?

There are various reasons why things are not specifically endorsed. Some legal requirements etc. Just like any disclaimer on any product. I imagine ALL items in the store will have similar statements.

However, that user guide is a decent read, written with the help of Eben, who does know his stuff.
Unemployed software engineer currently specialising in camera drivers and frameworks, but can put mind to most embedded tasks. Got a job in N.Cambridge or surroundings? I'm interested!
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 11722
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm
by WeUsePis » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:22 pm
I got the User Guide and wondered about the same thing, but it was clear to me that it was plain simple legalese so that any misprint or typo cannot be used against the Foundation. There are people who have nothing better to do than drag one to court for that.
As far as the User Guide goes, it is an awesome book that covers about everything a new Pi user needs to know. Having written books myself I know how difficult it is to get things right and the authors of the User Guide got it right! This is an excellent book and money well spent. After all, the saying is "Don't judge the book by its cover!"
Our Pi Blog - http://weusepis.wordpress.com/
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:02 pm
Location: Upstate New York
by Jim JKla » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:00 pm
Nipper wrote:If you had looked at the back cover of the `Raspberry Pi Users Guide` whilst you were in W H Smiths you would have been able to read (as I did after buying one online from the Pi store, `Raspberry Pi Users Guide is not endorsed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation`. Is that £12.99 money well spent ? Well an organisation that cannot support a product it is selling seems odd to me. How many other items offered for sale in the Pi Store come with the same support/recommendation?


In addition to the previous post on this the lead author Eben is sited as co-creator as such he probably has more insite than almost anybody currently in the mix. I'd say yes it's £12.99 well spent if for no other reason than for it's place in history.

I have a lot of books associated with various pieces of Linux software most of which don't have a foundation to endorse the said product. Considering Eben's place in the foundation any endorsement by the foundation would ring a little hollow. However the guide is endorsed by a number of Noob users right here in this forum. I would suggest that those are a better endorsement than any celebrity or foundation endorsement aimed at any product you care to name.

Back in the days of the Sinclair Spectrum and others there were a number of books produced by un-endorsed authors these tomes are still well accepted and a lot of todays, but soon to retire computer engineers, owe a nod of respect to these un-endorsed books note there were as many books for every flavour of home computer at this time (BBC, Commodore etc.) This first one for the RaspberryPi I hope will be one of many.
Noob is not derogatory the noob is just the lower end of the noob--geek spectrum being a noob is just your first step towards being an uber-geek ;)

If you find a solution please post it in the wiki the forum dies too quick
User avatar
Posts: 2195
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:15 pm
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
by richardp » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:03 pm
Jim JKla wrote:
In addition to the previous post on this the lead author Eben is sited as co-creator as such he probably has more insite than almost anybody currently in the mix. I'd say yes it's £12.99 well spent if for no other reason than for it's place in history.


£12.99 for the book on a £25 device :D Thats quite amusing :mrgreen:

/sarcasm off...
RaspberryPi's galore
Solid run CuBox
ODroid U2
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:46 am
by clive » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:27 pm
richardp wrote:...£12.99 for the book on a £25 device :D Thats quite amusing :mrgreen:

/sarcasm off...

£7.58 for the book on a bit of old rope ;)
User avatar
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Posts: 492
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:19 pm
by Jim JKla » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:34 pm
£8.09 for the kindle edition

That makes it £4.09 for the kickable portion.

I have allways been told the difference between Data/Software & Hardware/Hardcopy is you can kick hardware and hardcopy. :D

suggest you re-engage sarcasm. ;) It's so needed these days.
Noob is not derogatory the noob is just the lower end of the noob--geek spectrum being a noob is just your first step towards being an uber-geek ;)

If you find a solution please post it in the wiki the forum dies too quick
User avatar
Posts: 2195
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:15 pm
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
by jamesh » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:18 pm
Bizarre UK rules - ebooks are subject to VAT (sales tax), real paper ones are not.
Unemployed software engineer currently specialising in camera drivers and frameworks, but can put mind to most embedded tasks. Got a job in N.Cambridge or surroundings? I'm interested!
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 11722
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm
by Ravenous » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:25 pm
jamesh wrote:Bizarre UK rules - ebooks are subject to VAT (sales tax), real paper ones are not.

If ebooks were VAT free here, it would probably introduce a loophole. A downloadable ebook with any form of software functions embedded in it would then become VAT-free software. So not as crazy as it looks.

(I think.)
Posts: 1553
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK
by Nipper » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:45 pm
Seems I have had a good reaction to my last post. I put comments on this Forum to generate feedback and to get people thinking, commenting, and hopefully moving the Pi along one push at a time.

I started to interact with computers in DOS on floppy discs. Worked with Windows 3.1 all the way through to Windows XP. At this point I lost my love of typing in lines of code and let Windows take on that role thro to Windows 8. Then along came Pi. Having put together computers (since 1990, for myself and friends) I lost the programming knowledge I once had. I saw with the Raspberry Pi an opportunity to take up learning to use code once again, and with Pi I also had the means to take up another interest, Electronics.

I have always had an interest in taking things apart and then building them back up, so have ordered various pieces of kit I will need to do just that.

So please do not think that I am denigrating the Pi. As a hobby I think it is a welcome revolution in the electronics field and also in the way we will now use both software and hardware in a learning environment

p.s. Isn`t LINUX a nooby way of pronouncing DOS?
User avatar
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:55 pm
by poing » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:17 pm
Nipper wrote:Seems I have had a good reaction to my last post. I put comments on this Forum to generate feedback and to get people thinking, commenting, and hopefully moving the Pi along one push at a time.

Some of us already gathered you love attention ;)
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 pm
by Ravenous » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:24 pm
poing wrote:Some of us already gathered you love attention ;)

Ooh! Me too! Please! :lol:
Posts: 1553
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK
by pygmy_giant » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:11 pm
What about me - look at me, look at me, I exist too - I'm dancing, now I'm doing a silly walk....

... now I'm oing off topic ...

by jamesh » 01 Jan 2013 19:20

pygmy_giant wrote:I'm guessing they have problems imaging the SD card.

Apologies if I going off-topic again but...

It appears that the Foundation and an overwhelming critical mass of the community is supporting Raspian and Python, which is great, as in addition to choice there needs to be standardisation. Is this choice related to the educational curriculum in schools? Is there a programming curriculum in primary/secondary schhols that the Pi needs to follow or is part of the Foundation's aim to establish one?


I'm not sure. The current curriculum in the UK is very much biased to ICT, the use of computers, rather than the programming side. That needs to change, and I think is doing so. There are a number of initiatives to launch next year that will really push in that direction. Going to be interesting.

Whether Python is standardised I don't know - it's certainly good enough. Raspbian is the best distro at the moment on the Raspi, and I cannot see that changing (at the moment).


I think its worth considering whether BASIC (currently only on RISC OS) should get at least an honourable mention in any materials not least because in this thread: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=27276 RichardRussell said:

SiriusHardware wrote:
I personally cannot understand the apparent loathing with which BASIC appears to be regarded in programming circles


It depends on what you mean by "programming circles". As far as the teaching of programming is concerned, BBC BASIC is recommended by the OCR examining board for their GCSE qualification in computing: Unit A451 Computer Systems and Programming 'may contain questions in a generic pseudocode that looks a lot like BBC BASIC, e.g. BBC BASIC for WINDOWS, or PASCAL' and 'all tasks have been tested in VB.net and BBC BASIC for Windows to make sure they are suitable'.

Richard.


I guess this is relevant as to what should be included in beginner resources for an educational computer.
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:49 am
by mikerr » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:18 pm
pygmy_giant wrote:I think its worth considering whether BASIC (currently only on RISC OS) should get at least an honourable mention

You can install/run a few basics on raspian:

yaBASIC:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=6930&p=91693#p91693
Gordon in that thread is also working on his own version of basic which may end up with more pi specific features (GPIO,sound)
also BBC basic ("Brandy"):
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=8904
Got a Pi Camera? View it in my android app - Raspicam Remote ! No software required on the pi
User avatar
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:46 pm
Location: NorthWest, UK
by williamhbell » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:38 pm
keracticus wrote:There’s still some problems. Can’t get a reasonable Wifi speed unless sat next to the router, can’t get a reasonable network speed by “sharing” the desktops (Wifi) internet connection. Can’t SSH in using Ethernet on the Pi from the desktop, works fine via Ethernet and either Ethernet or Wifi from a laptop.


Hi Steve,

To debug the reported issues, it would be helpful if you could post the hardware types (Raspberry Pi board version, USB peripherals models) and any messages printed in /var/log/messages at the time when the failure occurs. You could leave

sudo tail -f /var/log/messages

open when testing a problematic setup.

---

There are several ways to get into trouble with USB, grounding and power supplies. Wifi drivers under LINUX are themselves another topic. Posting verbose technical information and forensics is helpful not just to you, but to the community in general.

Thanks and best regards,

Will
User avatar
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:13 pm
by keracticus » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:41 pm
Will,

Thanks for the offer, when I get the time I'll be a little more structured with my query and post it in the troubleshooting section.

Thanks,

Steve
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:19 pm
by mikerr » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:56 pm
The fall in hobbyist programmers happened at the same time as the decline of basic .... coincidence ?

Everyone should read this long but excellent article:

"Why Johnny can't code":
http://www.salon.com/2006/09/14/basic_2/
Got a Pi Camera? View it in my android app - Raspicam Remote ! No software required on the pi
User avatar
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:46 pm
Location: NorthWest, UK
by jamesh » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:10 pm
mikerr wrote:The fall in hobbyist programmers happened at the same time as the decline of basic .... coincidence ?


Yes!

mikerr wrote:Everyone should read this long but excellent article:

"Why Johnny can't code":
http://www.salon.com/2006/09/14/basic_2/


Was reading it and disagreeing with it, then realised who wrote it! One of my favourite authors. And still disagreed with it. Interested that Sundiver was written on a typewriter.

The thing is, Python is structurally pretty similar to a decent BASIC. You can write a Python program that looks like BASIC without line numbers (but more spaces..). But Python is a better bet as its used more in industry.
Unemployed software engineer currently specialising in camera drivers and frameworks, but can put mind to most embedded tasks. Got a job in N.Cambridge or surroundings? I'm interested!
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 11722
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm
by mikerr » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:22 pm
I don't entirely agree its the loss of basic per se, but I do agree its the loss of "the same standard accessible language" in every computer at switch on.

In the 80s they all had the same language - basic in rom, for free. BBC micro, spectrum, c64 etc.
Got a Pi Camera? View it in my android app - Raspicam Remote ! No software required on the pi
User avatar
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:46 pm
Location: NorthWest, UK
by jamesh » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:30 pm
mikerr wrote:I don't entirely agree its the loss of basic per se, but I do agree its the loss of "the same standard accessible language" in every computer at switch on.

In the 80s they all had the same language - basic in rom, for free. BBC micro, spectrum, c64 etc.


The thing is, the decline in computer literacy, IMO, coincides with the more general takeup of computers, and the improvements in GUI's. So everyone starting using computers as word procsessors etc, rather than programming them. In effect, the ascension of the PC (which did have a BASIC). Now of course, computers are all over, and used also for consumption of material, not just the production. Which means even fewer people actually know how they work compared with the installed base.
Unemployed software engineer currently specialising in camera drivers and frameworks, but can put mind to most embedded tasks. Got a job in N.Cambridge or surroundings? I'm interested!
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 11722
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm
by Mortimer » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:34 pm
mikerr wrote:I don't entirely agree its the loss of basic per se, but I do agree its the loss of "the same standard accessible language" in every computer at switch on.

In the 80s they all had the same language - basic in rom, for free. BBC micro, spectrum, c64 etc.


They weren't really all the same though. I remember trying to transcribe some code I can written at school on a RML Link 480Z in BASIC onto my Atari 600XL. It was actually quite difficult. I was familiar with BASIC on ZX Specrum, Atari, Link 480Z and little bit of BBC Basic. I found them all to be quite different from each other at the time. I would venture to suggest that the various BASICs, were as different from each other, as Javascript is from Python.
User avatar
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:57 pm
by poing » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:46 pm
I learned basic using this book and a XT computer with two B-floppies I got from my sister:

Image

Nostalgia, still have it lying around somewhere.
Posts: 1097
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 pm