User avatar
Imperf3kt
Posts: 1225
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:16 am
Location: Australia

Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:37 am

I was curious why the Raspberry Pi foundation made the Raspberry Pi.
According to their mission statement:
From the Raspberry Pi 'About' page:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/about/
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world, able to solve the problems that matter to them, and equipped for the jobs of the future.

We provide low-cost, high-performance computers that people use to learn, solve problems and have fun. We provide outreach and education to help more people access computing and digital making. We develop free resources to help people learn about computing and how to make things with computers, and train educators who can guide other people to learn.
But the thing is, you can do this with any computer.
The notion of providing a "cheap" computer that "anyone" can afford, is bogus in my opinion.
If you cannot afford a computer then you cannot afford a Pi.
A Pi in and of itself is cheap, yes. But it cannot be bought in a store (in most places around the world) so you need to pay for shipping which in some places, doubles the cost of the Pi. For example, in Australia, a Pi0 will cost you $40AUD to buy it from the official reseller located 1 hour from me via highway. Thats a pretty hefty jump from the advertised $5USD price.
But a Pi alone does not a computer make.
If one cannot afford a computer, then there is a strong likelyhood that they also do not have the required accessories.
Keyboard, mouse, HDMI cable, monitor, usb cable, power supply, case, micro SD card, etc. These all add up to a hefty sum of money. It is not unexpected to see these figures run into several hundreds of dollars. In many cases, more than a cheap tablet or netbook.
So where does the Pi fit now?
If the aim is to provide the hardware to enable a person to learn to program, then would not a cheaper, more powerful and more widely supported laptop or similar device achieve that?
Why is the Pi necessary?

Essentially, I'm wondering how the Pi meets the Foundation's mission statement when so many other devices meet it at a far better cost efficiency and with wider support.
User experiencing technical difficulties.

User avatar
Gavinmc42
Posts: 2099
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:31 am

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:31 am

I think that Mission Statement was written after the Pi was already a success.

If you are getting Zero's for $40 in Oz you are shopping wrong, from my oz seller it is $7.48 plus shipping.

Woolies sells mice and keyboards $5-10, SD cards on special $6, they are consumables when you have kids.
Most phone chargers will power most Pi's, with the Pi3 being a bit more picky.

I have got old monitors from Cash Converters for $10-20.
Do you have a TV? They all have HDMI these days and lets face it TV programs are boring now in Oz.

The Pi is not a necessity for life like bread and water, but if you are or want to be a coder it is the computing equivalent of the $0.85 loaf of bread, boring without butter and Vegemite, (mouse, keyboard , OS)

But all that was not why the Pi came about,
It was just some Cambridge guys saying, "No one getting into Uni knows how to code any more, let's do something about it".
So they did, "hey I know how to make a TV output from an Atmel chip", "hey we have these cheap chips at work that run Linux", "hey I met someone the other days that makes and assembles PCBs."

Right idea, right time, right place, right people = Pi's
"Er guys I think we are in trouble, lots of people want these, what are we going to do?"
RPF did not exist, RPT did not exist. Manufacturing capacity did not exist.
The original mission was to teach a few 100's Uni beginners, the Statement came later.

Hefty sum of money?
How much does a few packs of cigarettes cost, slab of beer, tank of petrol, Xbox game, school text book?

Why is the Pi necessary? Because people are buying them, duh.
Ask them why they want them.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

User avatar
scruss
Posts: 1779
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:25 pm
Location: Toronto, ON
Contact: Website

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:40 am

If you buy a cheap tablet or a netbook, where are the resources to program it? How easy is it to use a tablet or netbook to learn electronics and interactive computing? Where's the curriculum development for those other machines? The Foundation is providing all of these things.

If this post is just a moan about Raspberry Pi Zero pricing, then I can't help you. I live in a country where prices are high because people are used to paying high prices (and we Canadians love our cartels! It's just come out that most of the supermarkets had price-fixed loaves of bread by up to $1.50 each over the last 15 years, an there's minimal outrage …). The $5 Zero is a one-per-person and only really in the UK and USA. But your $40 Zero is way off - looks like Core could do you one inc shipping for AUD 28 or so.
‘Remember the Golden Rule of Selling: “Do not resort to violence.”’ — McGlashan.

User avatar
Imperf3kt
Posts: 1225
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:16 am
Location: Australia

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:49 am

Not a moaning thread about prices, just a curious user wondering what the hardware's actual intent was.

It indeed has uses beyond a general desktop.
User experiencing technical difficulties.

alcha
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:38 pm

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:29 am

Yes, you can go pretty expensive with that but you can also close a cost of everything you need to run it in 50, max 100$ and in case you damage your pi, you just replace it for 5$ or a little bit more (when I started with a second model it was 35$, I think). If you are learning programming hardware, write drivers, assembly, it is absolutely awesome to have this comfort to burn your stuff, really. I remember learning assembly looong time ago and it was so stressful, I did burn a lot of graphic cards (old Azteh, 1MB ones, full bag of them) and I was always so scared that I will damage my computer, because one false move and pufff. Pi is really awesome thing to learn assembly, especially now, with 5$ Pi Zero. That is why it exist, to let people learn.

User avatar
Gavinmc42
Posts: 2099
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:31 am

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:49 am

Once I learned (still learning) how to use them I stuck them inside gadgets.
They are cheaper and smaller than other SBC's and PCs and easier to power.
What percentage are being used for desktops/laptop replacements?
2-5%? maybe less.

Numbers used as PC replacements in schools/ numbers made .
1000's /Millions = 0.1-1% :o
So not going to take over the Laptop/PC market yet.

UK got the greatest number in schools? How many is that?
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 8795
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:55 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:37 am
But the thing is, you can do this with any computer.
The notion of providing a "cheap" computer that "anyone" can afford, is bogus in my opinion.
Before the Pi was launched, the most popular single board computer (SBC) was the Beaglebone at $90. The Pi Model B was launched qith a price of $35. At launch, there was already a thriving community forming around the Pi. Now there are competing SBCs. Some more powerful or with more features, but none--so far as I know--with up to date software, on going software development (to stay that way) and a large, beginner friendly, set of forums. Sure, you can get a faster SBC--but can you get help if you have a problem?

The Pi was--and is--intended for education. Education is not just schools. Even with that, Pi sales have grown into areas that I don't think anyone ever anticipated in the beginning. Even so, the financial returns from making the Pis feed back to the RPF where they get used for educational purposes. As has already been said (in different terms), when it's railroad time, it's railroad time. The Pi was the right device at the right time and here we are 18+ million Pis later.

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 12757
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Ankh-Morpork

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:14 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:37 am
The notion of providing a "cheap" computer that "anyone" can afford, is bogus in my opinion.
If you cannot afford a computer then you cannot afford a Pi.
When I got my first Pi I could not afford a computer. Ok, so I had computers already. None of them under 10 years old. Including the laptop that was my most powerful (Pentium 4M, 1GB RAM, 100GB disk) system. But that was starting to struggle with the load on modern programs. It could just cope with some you tube videos.

I used the last of my savings to buy a Pi and it was amazing. I had some knowledge or ARM assembler and I could put that into practice. I knew Linux well (I prefer command line anyway) and everything just worked. Five years later I got a decent job as a Linux sysadmin (and the rest). I think using my Pi helped keep me up to speed with the OS so I could get that job. Now I can afford a new computer if I want it (I don't need one because I am allowed to use my work laptop for unrestricted personal use). I'm also allowed some paid time off to run a Code Club in the city library. Some of the kids there have real promise. I tell my boss that I'm training up my replacements for when I retire. That could very well be true. I'd really like that to be the case.

Heater
Posts: 9732
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:04 am

Imperf3kt,

You should not describe things as "bogus" when you don't what they are or how they came to be.

At the time the Pi was conceived there was no Raspberry Pi Foundation. Just a man with an idea, Eben Upton. He had noticed that kids coming up to university computer science courses did not know how to program already. As they used to be able to do back in the day, when they had grown up with Commodore C64's, Sinclair Spectrums, BBC Computers and the like in their bedrooms. The idea was to create a super cheap computer that kids could own for themselves, hack on, and break without to much worry. Something they could not do easily on the expensive family PC.

At the time of the Pi's launch it was significantly cheaper than any other stand alone single board computer. For example, we were buying Pi like boards at the time for 250 Euro a piece! I'm not sure there were any that were usable as computers out of the box. Certainly not so easily.

The Pi Foundation came later. A means of organizing the unexpectedly phenomenal success of the Pi. From a financial perspective and importantly from an educational and support perspective.

The design of the Pi is predicated on the user having the usual items around the house to make it work. A TV, old keyboards and Mice, etc. This is much the same as how those old Commodore C64's, Sinclair Spectrums, BBC Computers, etc relied on one having a TV to plug them into. A reasonable assumption if ones target audience is school kids in the western world.

Of course times have changed. A great many competitors have jumped on the Pi idea and make Pi like boards. Perhaps cheaper, perhaps better performing. Personally I would not go near them for lack of support and lack of "community". Not unless I really needed some feature they have that the Pi does not.

Still today the Pi is among the cheapest, full up, Linux running computers one can buy. With a performance comparable to all the newcomers. But crucially with the best support.
If the aim is to provide the hardware to enable a person to learn to program, then would not a cheaper, more powerful and more widely supported laptop or similar device achieve that?
Please tell us an example? I cannot think of one.
Why is the Pi necessary?
I suggest you look around at all the thousands of different projects the Pi has been used for. Then ask yourself, how would one do that with a laptop?
Essentially, I'm wondering how the Pi meets the Foundation's mission statement when so many other devices meet it at a far better cost efficiency and with wider support.
Your question includes the premise that "other devices meet it at a far better cost efficiency and with wider support".

Neither of which points is true. (Unless you have a counter example)

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 12757
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Ankh-Morpork

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:11 am

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:04 am
Essentially, I'm wondering how the Pi meets the Foundation's mission statement when so many other devices meet it at a far better cost efficiency and with wider support.
Your question includes the premise that "other devices meet it at a far better cost efficiency and with wider support".

Neither of which points is true. (Unless you have a counter example)
I can only think that it is sometimes possibly to get second-hand equipment that is more powerful than the Pi for a comparable price. For most educational bodies that is not an option. Also cheap PCs don't tend to have thing like the GPIOs to play with.

n67
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:19 am

This is such a stupid thread.

Everyone jumps like trained seals to insult OP and his motives.

People should have just left it alone.

When I first saw this thread, I kept saying to myself "Will people have the sense to just leave this alone or will they jump in and try to "help" the OP - as if he were some lost soul." As if the point of this thread was really just to ask people how to buy Pi hardware for less money...

Anyway, I "get" OP's point. In a sense, he's right - in that if you are starting from scratch, and need to buy all the bits, then, yes, it does cost more than $35 (it ends up being about $100, assuming you do already have an HDMI TV - obviously, if you have to buy the TV, then it's a lot more). Still, it's a lot less than any other (welll supported - yes, this is key) alternative, and, and here's the key point, it's not just for entertainment/"productivity" (loaded word, that) - as are most of the other solutions listed in the OP.

As I say, we should have just left it alone...
"L'enfer, c'est les autres"

If a post offends you, just put that poster on your foes list, and be done with it (and with them).

To do otherwise, risks being banned.

hippy
Posts: 3622
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:33 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:37 am
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world, able to solve the problems that matter to them, and equipped for the jobs of the future.

We provide low-cost, high-performance computers that people use to learn, solve problems and have fun. We provide outreach and education to help more people access computing and digital making. We develop free resources to help people learn about computing and how to make things with computers, and train educators who can guide other people to learn.
The notion of providing a "cheap" computer that "anyone" can afford, is bogus in my opinion.
Perhaps that's why they never made such a claim. At least not in what you quoted them as saying. Yours seems to be the bogus claim.

In fact, in introducing the $5 Pi Zero the Foundation explicitly acknowledged that some people may not be able to afford the other more expensive Pi computers. I am sure they know that some won't even be able to afford that $5 and they know there is often more than just that expenditure involved.

The cheaper the computer the more people can afford to have access to it. The plan was to make things as cheap as practically possible while still providing a credible and usable computer. There was even a plan to 'buy one, donate one' so people who could not afford anything or even that low cost could still have access to one but that idea fell by the wayside.

Plus, the cheaper the computer, the more willing people will be to risk that computer in doing things they might avoid attempting with a more expensive computer for fear of damaging it. That of course falls down when the Pi computer is cheap but not easily replaceable, but it is true in principle.

That's what the bottom line intent was; to get a decent cheap computer into the hands of as many people as possible. With the higher intent of facilitating learning about computers for more people.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 20296
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:37 am

n67 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:19 am
This is such a stupid thread.

Everyone jumps like trained seals to insult OP and his motives.

People should have just left it alone.

When I first saw this thread, I kept saying to myself "Will people have the sense to just leave this alone or will they jump in and try to "help" the OP - as if he were some lost soul." As if the point of this thread was really just to ask people how to buy Pi hardware for less money...

Anyway, I "get" OP's point. In a sense, he's right - in that if you are starting from scratch, and need to buy all the bits, then, yes, it does cost more than $35 (it ends up being about $100, assuming you do already have an HDMI TV - obviously, if you have to buy the TV, then it's a lot more). Still, it's a lot less than any other (welll supported - yes, this is key) alternative, and, and here's the key point, it's not just for entertainment/"productivity" (loaded word, that) - as are most of the other solutions listed in the OP.

As I say, we should have just left it alone...
Why? OP asked a question, people are answering, no one has "insulted" him like "trained seals"! In fact your post is the only insulting one in the thread. So consider this yet another warning. Anything else from you and you are banned. Again.

As to the OP's question itself, if you are in the UK, listen to the Radio 4 inteview with Eben (The Life Scientific) which is a good introduction in to why. Basically is comes down to cheap enough to replace if broken, small enough to carry around, to give the user the sort of experience that people in the 80's received with the advert of the home computer - plug in to a telly and use.

There are some alternatives to the Pi, the MicroBIT is a good example, and actually fills the educational niche a little better than the Pi as its quicker to set up and get running - but it does need a host PC.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

Heater
Posts: 9732
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:42 am

I don't see any insulting going on.

Except the OP who came here implying that the Pi Foundation is "bogus". As in lying. That is not very nice now is it? It certainly calls out for comment.

I'm curious to know what other similarly priced machines there are out there that allow one to do what one can with a Pi. With the support and guidance one gets with the Pi.

I don't think inflating the cost of getting a Pi going ($100 really?) helps the conversation much.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 20296
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:03 am

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:42 am
I don't see any insulting going on.

Except the OP who came here implying that the Pi Foundation is "bogus". As in lying. That is not very nice now is it? It certainly calls out for comment.

I'm curious to know what other similarly priced machines there are out there that allow one to do what one can with a Pi. With the support and guidance one gets with the Pi.

I don't think inflating the cost of getting a Pi going ($100 really?) helps the conversation much.
Pi kit from Pimoroni £51.67, ex vat. Comes with everything execept monitor and keyboard/mouse. Buy parts yourself to get it cheaper.

But it's really a straw man argument.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

Heater
Posts: 9732
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:11 am

"Why does the Pi exist"?

I'm going to suggest that the Pi exists because we out here wanted it to. And continues to exist because we want it to.

Before the Pi was even launched the operating system images were available for download. Apparently there were very many downloads. A bit odd for a device that nobody has yet! It was a sign that demand for the Pi was going to be a lot bigger than the creators ever imagined.

Subsequently demand has been consistently huge. Hence the 18 million, or whatever, Pi that have been shipped.

It could have gone differently. It could have turned out that nobody out here was interested in what the Pi had to offer. It could have turned out people gave up on the Pi and migrated to the multitude of Pi clones. The Pi could have fizzed and died after its first production run. Who would have known what was going to happen?

Aside: The very existence of those Pi clones is a testament to the demand for Pi like computers and demonstrates why the Pi exists.

And that is why the Pi exists.

PiGraham
Posts: 3395
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:37 pm
Location: Waterlooville

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:21 am

n67 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:19 am
This is such a stupid thread.

Everyone jumps like trained seals to insult OP and his motives.

People should have just left it alone.

When I first saw this thread, I kept saying to myself "Will people have the sense to just leave this alone or will they jump in and try to "help" the OP - as if he were some lost soul." As if the point of this thread was really just to ask people how to buy Pi hardware for less money...

Anyway, I "get" OP's point. In a sense, he's right - in that if you are starting from scratch, and need to buy all the bits, then, yes, it does cost more than $35 (it ends up being about $100, assuming you do already have an HDMI TV - obviously, if you have to buy the TV, then it's a lot more). Still, it's a lot less than any other (welll supported - yes, this is key) alternative, and, and here's the key point, it's not just for entertainment/"productivity" (loaded word, that) - as are most of the other solutions listed in the OP.

As I say, we should have just left it alone...
But you can get all the accessories you need for next to nothing if you can be botherd. Keybords, mics and monitors can be bought on eBay for <$30 for all three or can be obtained for free if you ask the right people. Who here doesn't have a spare keyboard and mouse at home or work?

hippy
Posts: 3622
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:35 am

rpdom wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:11 am
Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:04 am
Essentially, I'm wondering how the Pi meets the Foundation's mission statement when so many other devices meet it at a far better cost efficiency and with wider support.
Your question includes the premise that "other devices meet it at a far better cost efficiency and with wider support".

Neither of which points is true. (Unless you have a counter example)
I can only think that it is sometimes possibly to get second-hand equipment that is more powerful than the Pi for a comparable price. For most educational bodies that is not an option. Also cheap PCs don't tend to have thing like the GPIOs to play with.
High street retailers often sell Android mobile phones which have incredible hardware for the price of a Zero WH plus P&P, Android tablets which are cheaper than other Pi's. They include touch screen, battery management, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, and other sensors. Great value for money but not general purpose computer platforms.

Despite the Foundation's insistence that there's no educational value at all to Android; that's simply nonsense, dogma. Learning to program and produce code for Android is really no different to learning to program and code for anything else. Android is used in educational settings, is used for teaching programming and coding, the very things the Foundation claim to be promoting. Google even provides Android Things for the Pi. Android does have its educational merits even if any mention of Android here is usually punted off to a read-only forum to curtail further discussion.

But one is limited in what one can do with Android, mobile phones and tablets, and the Pi does have more flexibility than those, more can be done with what it has. It also supports on device programming and development which Android generally doesn't, though it is perfectly possible to open a browser, develop in The Cloud for the device.

mikerr
Posts: 2706
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:46 pm
Location: UK
Contact: Website

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:40 am

The pi could have easily been implemented as a tablet or hdmi stick ... I wonder if the bare bones aspect triggered a lot of the interest ?

Low price was/is a factor too

What sets it apart is also the decision to use a full blown desktop OS instead of android... this may be as much psychological as anything else.

While android is fully capable of programming and educational tasks it will always be associated with games and media.
Give a kid an android (or iOS) tablet and they'll be distracted by gaming.
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 12757
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Ankh-Morpork

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:02 am

hippy wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:35 am
High street retailers often sell Android mobile phones which have incredible hardware for the price of a Zero WH plus P&P, Android tablets which are cheaper than other Pi's. They include touch screen, battery management, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, and other sensors. Great value for money but not general purpose computer platforms.
Well, yes. But they are usually tied to a contract that will cost a lot more in the long run.
Despite the Foundation's insistence that there's no educational value at all to Android; that's simply nonsense, dogma. Learning to program and produce code for Android is really no different to learning to program and code for anything else. Android is used in educational settings, is used for teaching programming and coding, the very things the Foundation claim to be promoting. Google even provides Android Things for the Pi. Android does have its educational merits even if any mention of Android here is usually punted off to a read-only forum to curtail further discussion.
Actually I have learned to code for Android. I first tried to write it for a Pi with additional hardware, but couldn't get it to work. I wrote the Android App, got it to work well enough for me and then later figured out why it didn't work on the Pi. Now I can make it work on the Pi, but no longer have a need for that app as I have another way of doing it..
I still prefer the Pi for flexibility. How many high street 'droid devices have GPIO?

hippy
Posts: 3622
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:13 am

PiGraham wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:21 am
Who here doesn't have a spare keyboard and mouse at home or work?
Not me. Well not when the Pi was launched, nor for a few years after. All my spares were PS/2. I didn't even have an HDMI TV or monitor, nothing which had micro-USB, so not even a power supply, nor had anything which used micro-SD cards when those started being required.

I now have everything I need ( except a USB hub which works with a Zero / Zero W ), because I have picked things up as I have encountered them. Including a fair number of full-sized SD Cards I don't have much use for now.

But the assumption is that the person buying the Pi will have those odds and sods, will know someone who does. Those aren't really the people the Pi is aimed at. Fine for makers and technogeeks but the intended target audience is kids, people who aren't already into computers.

I agree that $100 is probably an over-statement of costs. But $50-$70 is not an unreasonable figure, excluding monitor. At least here in the UK but there are many places around the world where cheap kit isn't so readily available.

User avatar
Gavinmc42
Posts: 2099
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:31 am

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:38 am

I did try Android coding years ago, before Pi , so many SDK's downloaded and installed.
Like I tried Palm OS and Symbian coding, all closed environments.
You learn how to use the tools not how to code ;)

GPIO, Pi's can do GPIO, yippee, I have control of das blinken LED :ugeek:
Like peek/poking the parallel port on the PC, before they said "das is verboten". spoil sports :evil:
Android has that silly USB OTG stuff, been there, tried that, FTDI- FT3xxdev kits.
What sets it apart is also the decision to use a full blown desktop OS instead of android...
Or yank the SD and have something else instead, maybe not even Linux based.
It is like the early PC DOS box days, remember when those fit on a single floppy?
http://damnsmalllinux.org/ Or was that Knoppix? GEM from Digital?
"Will people have the sense to just leave this alone or will they jump in and try to "help" the OP
Red flags to a bull.
I did check the OP's credentials before posting , 400+ posts so not a exactly a single post noobie trying to stir us all up.
However he/she did join less than a year ago and so missed the early days of B's and A's and why things happened the way they did back then.

Er way past $100, headed towards 30+ Pi's plus many cameras(20+) and assorted accessories, monitors on every spare desk :oops:
Work desk has 5 monitors, expanding it soon to hold more :lol: Seven years ago it was just one.

Those full size SD's fit old Pi's, sometimes get new 32GB SD cards on special for the price of the old 4GBs, time to use those old Pi's again ;)
Nearly all the old SD cards fell apart :(

Time to have a Raspberry Pi history channel?
"Way back then" :shock: In the early days Eben had this idea.....
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

hippy
Posts: 3622
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:44 am

rpdom wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:02 am
hippy wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:35 am
High street retailers often sell Android mobile phones which have incredible hardware for the price of a Zero WH plus P&P, Android tablets which are cheaper than other Pi's. They include touch screen, battery management, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, and other sensors. Great value for money but not general purpose computer platforms.
Well, yes. But they are usually tied to a contract that will cost a lot more in the long run.
Not true at all, not in the UK, and tablets tend not to have any contract, are mostly WiFi only.

PAYG mobile phones can be used with any expired SIM and that's only required to keep the nag messages at bay. Mobile phones are perfectly fine over WiFi, or Bluetooth, or tethered via USB. PAYG SIM's are available cheaply, don't even need to be registered and often come with pre-loaded credit. I'm currently using a Lebaro PAYG SIM from Poundland in my 3G hotspot.

Over Christmas Vodafone First 7e's were available on PAYG for £20 in Asda, £10 plus a £10 top-up somewhere else, £14.99 in Argos. Ironically the Vodafone store was the most expensive. Previously Alcatel OneTouch Pop C1 on EE were also £15, and unlocked Alcatel Pixie 3.5 were £20 in Sainsbury's.

They are nowhere near top of the range but perfectly usable. Have comparable processing power as a PI and about the same memory, plus a lot more.

As I have previously mentioned I'm using such Android phones as mini information displays and speech engine; greatly improved since I picked up a £16 bluetooth soundbar in Asda two weeks ago. My main use though is as a portable DVD and CD list when I'm out shopping. I considered a Pi for the job but it couldn't come anywhere near a £15 phone with everything built in and nicely packaged.

An official Pi Touch Screen is £60 and, with a Pi and bits, would probably be £100 all in. One can get a quite good Android tablet for half that price. My Android TV stick was £15, my Android TV Box £25.

Heater
Posts: 9732
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:04 pm

Horses for courses.

A cheap Android phone may well have a screen and all you say. But it won't allow me to do any of the things I have done with Raspberry Pi's.

On the other hand, if I want to write an app for a phone, well, I'll write an app for a phone.

It's a few years since I looked into creating Android apps. At the time I managed to get a C++/Qt application running on one. It was terrible hard to do and ran very slowly. I guess things have moved on a bit since then. What is the state of the art in creating Android apps?

Can it be done on the phone itself, with needing an SDK on a PC?

hippy
Posts: 3622
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:12 pm

mikerr wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:40 am
While android is fully capable of programming and educational tasks it will always be associated with games and media.
Much like the Pi will forever be associated with Kodi, a cheap media player solution, in some people's minds. Or as a games emulator.
mikerr wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:40 am
Give a kid an android (or iOS) tablet and they'll be distracted by gaming.
Give a kid a Pi without a proper environment to steer them within and it will probably be thrown in a drawer and forgotten about or they'll play the Python Games it comes with and then throw it in the drawer.

I think there's merit in leading them to understand that what they use is what they could be creating themselves. The key to educating people is finding a hook for them wanting to be educated, getting enthused.
Gavinmc42 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:38 am
I did try Android coding years ago, before Pi , so many SDK's downloaded and installed.
I would recommend giving MIT App Inventor 2 a try. It's cloud-based and uses a Blockly-style visual programming environment. That's a bit of a pain in itself but easy enough to use and, with nothing to install there's no faffing about with SDK's and IDE's, runs on anything which supports a modern browser.

It doesn't support everything, won't suit huge projects, but it's good enough for many projects which is why it's used in the educational field. It's no worse than teaching kids to code with Scratch or any other Blockly.

My notes on using MIT App Inventor 2 with Android Things on a Pi 3B can be found here -

viewtopic.php?t=169362

Return to “Off topic discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests