ErvKosch
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:50 pm

I'm putting together a feature matrix between these three products. Some of this pure conjecture so feel free to correct me or add your thoughts.

Raspberry Pi:
Cost: $25-35 + S&H
700 mhz processor
128-256 megs of ram
Two USB ports (master)
Storage: SD card
NTSC RCA and HDMI video
Analog audio port
100BASE-TX (no WiFi)
Some expandsion/debug ports
Default OS: Debian - Open for hacking and running other OS's
Additional Costs: Requires case, power supply, and SD card

Arduino Uno:
Cost: $25-35 + S&H
16 mhz processor
2 KB of ram
One USB ports (slave)
Storage: On board flash memory - 32KB
No video
No audio
No network
Many expansion ports
Default OS: None
Additional Costs: Requires case, power supply, and expansion boards (shields)

Generic Sub $100 Tablets:
Cost: $75 - 100 + S&H
400-700 mhz processor
128-256 megs of ram
1-2 USB ports (master)
Storage: 4 gigs built, usually has SD/microSD card port
Built in resistible touch pad screen
Analog speak and audio port
802.11g wireless
No expansion/debug ports (without
Default OS: Android 2.2 (usually closed off)
Additional Costs: None

Raspberry Pi Purpose:
Learn Programming Basics
Experimentation
Inexpensive Desktop

Arduino Uno:
Experimentation
Prototyping

Generic Sub $100 Tablets:
PDA function
Web Browsing
Email
Applications

IMHO: If the RasPi opens enough I/O port I could see it knocking the Arduino out the market. For the RasPi to make it as a desktop it really needs easy to use programming system like Arduino's Sketch's and a good case. The generic tablets are nice for what they do and they have a full touch screen. Until a tablet comes out fully unlocked and with easy to use I/O (USB can be slow and kludgy) it's not really going to make it in the experimentation/learn programming area.

tufty
Posts: 1456
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:32 pm

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:23 pm

I think you've somewhat missed the critical difference between "Purpose" and "Possible uses". The purpose of the Raspberry Pi is quite clearly stated, viz:
… an ultra-low-cost computer, for use in teaching computer programming to children.
The fact that it could (and most probably will) be used for other purposes is quite beside the point. That goal, and that goal only, is the reason the Raspberry Pi foundation exists, and the reason the Raspberry Pi will hit the streets.

Raspberry Pi Purpose : teaching computer programming to children

I personally see Arduino as being orthogonal to the Pi; it exists to take the "programming" out of hardware experimentation. Learn about electronics and microcontrollers without having to learn too much about all that fussy "coding" stuff (and certainly without having to learn about interrupt coding and assembler and embedded controller event loops). To use Arduino as a base for teaching programming would largely involve throwing away the Arduino toolset and getting people into developing using AVR assembler or embedded C/C++. Not that this would be a bad idea, mind, but at that point you have a wealth of choice (the various AVR boards - Teensy etc, Propellor, the wealth of venerable 8x51 solutions, ARM-M3, and so on). In any case, it requires a tether to the desktop for programming.

Conversely, to use RasPi for what Arduino does, you'd need not only to redesign the board to incorporate the various physical protections required and to make the IOs physically accessible, but you'd also need to hide all the "programming" stuff. While the latter part might well be feasible (and could probably be done "on board", from what the foundation people have said here, the former isn't gonna happen.

The tablet market exists to make money selling gadgets to people who have more money than sense. Especially at the lower end, where the feature set is limited and performance is, at best, "poor". Android itself is a poor tool for teaching programming (it's hard to program on the device) and a worse one for electronics experimentation. It's also hampered by the fact the underlying hardware is usually totally undocumented, and getting source for the kernel used (usually required in order to boot something more suitable for programming) is like pulling teeth. Your own teeth.

One could use Android as a teaching platform for programming, but hundreds of dollars per unit plus desktop machine for programming makes the cost orders of magnitude more than the Pi.

Simon

BlackAdder
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:57 pm

The Arduinos and PICs are safe from the RasPi as they serve different purposes and each come with their own capabilities and limitations. Somewhat like a bicycle vs. an automobile. Using a RasPi as a display-less embedded controller is rather wasteful use of its capabilities, however, I'll probably use one just for this purpose since it is better than the alternatives. Tablets are so often closed systems so I avoid them, maybe someone will package a RasPi into a tablet (I might just buy that) or maybe if someone hacked open a cheap tablet then that would be cool. These three devices have completely different use cases; like comparing Apples and Oranges.

BlackAdder
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:57 pm

The Arduinos and PICs are safe from the RasPi as they serve different purposes and each come with their own capabilities and limitations. Somewhat like a bicycle vs. an automobile. Using a RasPi as a display-less embedded controller is rather wasteful use of its capabilities, however, I'll probably use one just for this purpose since it is better than the alternatives. Tablets are so often closed systems so I avoid them, maybe someone will package a RasPi into a tablet (I might just buy that) or maybe if someone hacked open a cheap tablet then that would be cool. These three devices have completely different use cases; like comparing Apples and Oranges.

obarthelemy
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:53 pm

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:09 pm

Anyone knows of of cheap tablet with a host USB port and some flavor of true Linux (not Android) ?

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johnbeetem
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: The Mountains
Contact: Website

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:23 pm

obarthelemy: You might check out Always Innovating's Touch Book. At $300 It's not cheap-cheap, but it does run various GNU/Linux as well as Android. It was originally based on the BeagleBoard; they may have since gone with their own circuit board. I've never used a Touch Book myself, though I did touch a prototype once. It has a nifty keyboard attachment strategy that turns it into a netbook.

I suggest "GNU/Linux" to indicate Unix-style tools and user interface on top of a Linux kernel. Android uses a version of Linux as its kernel.

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johnbeetem
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: The Mountains
Contact: Website

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:20 am

obarthelemy: I did a little searching on the Internet and it seems people have hacked the B&N Nook Color to run GNU/Linux (e.g., Ubuntu) as well as getting it run Android. And it seems the Nook Color USB can do host (I would guess it's an OTG port).

This gets you to US$250. However, I believe you can get refurbished Nooks cheaper than that and there may be discounts of the current Nook Color when the new ones come out (maybe announced next month?)

I'm also interested in a cheap GNU/Linux tablet. However, 7" is way too small to be useful and I'd really prefer 12".

I actually played with a Nook Color the other day. It had a nifty little Sudoku program, which was pretty much useless to me because without a way to write my notations there's no way to do non-trivial puzzles.

obarthelemy
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:53 pm

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:02 am

Hey, It so happens I got a Nook Color last week. I rooted and androided it, but didn't happen upon the GNU/Linux stuff. I'll give it a try, though I'm actually using the Nook, so I'd rather not mess with it too much :-p

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johnbeetem
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: The Mountains
Contact: Website

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:42 am

A nice thing about Nook Color is that it has an accessible microSD card, so you can swap the original Nook software with an Android image without rooting (according to Wikipedia). I don't know if this is the case with Ubuntu.

tbanks
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:50 am

Re: RasPi vs Arduino vs Tablets

Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:45 am

tufty said:


I think you"ve somewhat missed the critical difference between "Purpose" and "Possible uses". The purpose of the Raspberry Pi is quite clearly stated, viz:


… an ultra-low-cost computer, for use in teaching computer programming to children.


The fact that it could (and most probably will) be used for other purposes is quite beside the point. That goal, and that goal only, is the reason the Raspberry Pi foundation exists, and the reason the Raspberry Pi will hit the streets.

Raspberry Pi Purpose : teaching computer programming to children

I personally see Arduino as being orthogonal to the Pi; it exists to take the "programming" out of hardware experimentation. Learn about electronics and microcontrollers without having to learn too much about all that fussy "coding" stuff (and certainly without having to learn about interrupt coding and assembler and embedded controller event loops). To use Arduino as a base for teaching programming would largely involve throwing away the Arduino toolset and getting people into developing using AVR assembler or embedded C/C++. Not that this would be a bad idea, mind, but at that point you have a wealth of choice (the various AVR boards - Teensy etc, Propellor, the wealth of venerable 8x51 solutions, ARM-M3, and so on). In any case, it requires a tether to the desktop for programming.

Conversely, to use RasPi for what Arduino does, you"d need not only to redesign the board to incorporate the various physical protections required and to make the IOs physically accessible, but you"d also need to hide all the "programming" stuff. While the latter part might well be feasible (and could probably be done "on board", from what the foundation people have said here, the former isn"t gonna happen.

The tablet market exists to make money selling gadgets to people who have more money than sense. Especially at the lower end, where the feature set is limited and performance is, at best, "poor". Android itself is a poor tool for teaching programming (it"s hard to program on the device) and a worse one for electronics experimentation. It"s also hampered by the fact the underlying hardware is usually totally undocumented, and getting source for the kernel used (usually required in order to boot something more suitable for programming) is like pulling teeth. Your own teeth.

One could use Android as a teaching platform for programming, but hundreds of dollars per unit plus desktop machine for programming makes the cost orders of magnitude more than the Pi.

Simon


This is a very productive discussion as it may provide an impetus resulting is an evolved purpose for the most worthy Pi mission.  Children may gravitate to this project in droves after seeing what early adopters have achieved as a result of exploring the new bleeding edge afforded by the implied expansion of the original purpose.

Please don't be frustrated by the appearance of augmentative discussion but be encouraged by the possible vistas that may open up.  The limits of a child's imagination is only constrained by superimposed boundaries.

Well Done All

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