hippy
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:24 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:04 pm
On the other hand, if I want to write an app for a phone, well, I'll write an app for a phone.
When I write an app it's for that app to be used, to fulfil some purpose. I don't particularly care what the means to that end is, whether that's a Pi plus Raspbian or some other Linux, a Pi running Android Things, a Pi running Windows IoT, a Pi running Ultibo or Bare Metal, a Pi running RISC OS, or something else, an Android or IOS tablet or phone, even a PC running Windows, Linux or another OS.

What is ultimately chosen may steer how that app is, how it's implemented, but the goal is the app, not what it runs on or how it's achieved.

What's the difference between a Pi with a touch screen and a mobile phone or tablet with the same. Not much really. They are all surfaces for running apps on.

Heater
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:45 pm

I'm totally with you there. I did say "horses for courses"

When it comes to getting a job done there are many choices one can make: programming languages, operating systems, communication protocols, hardware platforms, etc, etc. Some or all of those might be dictated by your boss or just requirments and circumstances.
What's the difference between a Pi with a touch screen and a mobile phone or tablet with the same. Not much really. They are all surfaces for running apps on.
Nothing. Appart from the GPIO pins, the ethernet port, the USB ports, the HDMI port, the form factor, etc. The choice of operating system, software and languages that can be used, etc. Nothing much at all :)

As it happens most of what I do with a Pi, indeed most of the programming in my life, does not need or use a screen.

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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:32 pm

With regard to Android, yes, you can write programs for Android, but not easily IN Android. You really need an extra PC for that.

Whereas with the Pi for have a fully contained write on/run on system that just works.

So there are really no benefits from an educational point of view to Android. There are clearly benefits elsewhere - app stores etc, but the cost of porting Android is very large, and the benefits really do not pay for the cost.
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gkaiseril
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:47 pm

Unlike many laptops, the Pi comes with a lot of free software and can be configured to be used in many countries throughout the world. Many other countries impose stiff tariffs on computers built outside their country so having a low purchase price for the cpu board and offering the peripherals and accessories as optional purchased may lessen the import duties. RPF is now made in Brazil, which has some stiff tariffs for computers and computer related items.

Heater
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:55 pm

I reckon Android phones would be great if we could repurpose them as Debian running computers.

hippy
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:48 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:32 pm
With regard to Android, yes, you can write programs for Android, but not easily IN Android. You really need an extra PC for that.

Whereas with the Pi for have a fully contained write on/run on system that just works.

So there are really no benefits from an educational point of view to Android.
Having a separate development PC and a target system is the way it has been and often still is in the embedded world. Some people cross-compile for the Pi even when they could work on the Pi directly. I tend to develop my Python programs on a PC before dragging and dropping them on a Pi. Bare metal is often developed separately.

I don't think not being able to develop on the target revokes educational usefulness. One can even learn to program and code without a computer. I remember being taught flowcharts in the 60's at junior school, not a computer in sight.

Needing a separate development PC is required to use an Arduino, a micro:bit, CodeBug, FPGA's and most microcontrollers. I don't think anyone would dare say there's no educational value in those, that they have no benefits from an educational point of view. Not if they wanted to retain credibility.

That also applies to Windows 10 IoT which has its own forum here which isn't read only. If Android has no educational merit, then why isn't Windows IoT considered the same way ?

It is only Android which is singled out for this 'not educational' rejection.

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rpdom
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:07 pm

gkaiseril wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:47 pm
Unlike many laptops, the Pi comes with a lot of free software and can be configured to be used in many countries throughout the world.
There are very few laptops that cannot run Linux. You just have to get rid of the Windows stuff first...actually, not even that as you can run a Live Linux such as the Raspberry Pi Desktop for PC on them even if they are infected ;-)

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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:12 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:55 pm
I reckon Android phones would be great if we could repurpose them as Debian running computers.
You can do just that, to varying degrees:
http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/Fe ... e-to-Linux
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

Heater
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:15 pm

hippy,
It is only Android which is singled out for this 'not educational' rejection.
Personally I feel that closed source software should not be given space here at all. It is the antithesis of the academic, educational aims of the Pi Foundation. It is the cause of the problem the Pi was conceived to remediate. I see no reason why a charitable organization should be promoting a hugely profitable corporation.

I cannot harp on that too much else James will bring the hammer down on my head.

More practically I think that if Google stepped up to the plate and provided an Android for the Pi and supported it and provided educational materials to go with it, then you would find there was an Android space on this forum. MS did, Google has not, so there is an MS space here not an Android space.

Heater
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:23 pm

@rpdom,
There are very few laptops that cannot run Linux...
Very true. Us nerds have been installing Linux on PCs, laptops, whatever, since the mid 1990's.

That did not stop the decline in young kids awareness of programming since the C64 era. It's not the kind of thing I would expect the average 11 year old to stumble into doing. Even if they have a spare PC or laptop.

@mikerr
You can do just that, to varying degrees:
Yep. I know.

Same comments as above.

hippy
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:13 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:15 pm
More practically I think that if Google stepped up to the plate and provided an Android for the Pi and supported it and provided educational materials to go with it, then you would find there was an Android space on this forum. MS did, Google has not, so there is an MS space here not an Android space.
I don't see that Microsoft have provided more educational or technical support than Google has for their products. Google makes a massive investment in education just as Microsoft does. Google may be one of the largest funders of the Foundation gifting £157K to support Picademy, another £72K for Code Club, and have provided additional support in the past, funded the first 15,000 give away of school Pi's and learning packs. There may be more.

Android AOSP is, as its name suggests, an open source project and Google has provided Android Things and there's no lack of documentation. I can't see what more they can do if that and other efforts to port Android to the Pi is held back by lack of accelerated graphics which the Foundation say only they can help with but seem unwilling to do so. They used to be enthusiastic about Android at one time but that went cold. Liz got excited with the prospect of Brillo but when that emerged as Android Things there was barely a mention.

But it's not just that it might not be as usable as it could be, there is active opposition to Android. There are people tying to port full Android to the Pi but those efforts are just ignored, locked out, shooed away. I can't see that happening to anyone else who wanted to bring something to the Pi, nor can I understand why. It's not that Android can't run on a Pi; Android Things and what people have got running proves that it can. As far as I can tell there's more to it than "not educational". It's a convenient pretext but just doesn't wash.

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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:22 pm

rpdom wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:07 pm
There are very few laptops that cannot run Linux. You just have to get rid of the Windows stuff first...actually, not even that as you can run a Live Linux such as the Raspberry Pi Desktop for PC on them even if they are infected ;-)
But what are you going to pay for that laptop. If one has an old EGA monitor, keyboard, and mouse they can get up an running pretty cheaply in a country where there is a hefty duty on computers. By selling a low cost processing unit they can keep the total price of ownership fairly low in many countries compared to a full blown laptop. Also the power demands are less than a full laptop so solar, wind, and battery power is feasible. Also the students who get access to the Pi could also learn electronics besides computer programming. Many of these countries might not have a lot of internet infrastructure that the UK, EU, and the U.S. enjoy.

RPF is providing this product on a world wide basis that includes many 3rd world countries where $35.00 could be over a weeks pay for many of the citizens let alone $400.00 for a cheap laptop.

You might want to read Where In The World Are The 1.2M Raspberry Pi Microcomputers? Mostly In The West — But Pi Founders Want More Spread This Year.

Heater
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:37 pm

hippy,
I don't see that Microsoft have provided more educational or technical support than Google has for their products.
I don't know...

At the end of the day, MS provided some kind of operating system for the Pi. Google has not.

Simple as that.

hippy
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:50 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:37 pm
At the end of the day, MS provided some kind of operating system for the Pi. Google has not.

Simple as that.
So what's Android Things then ?

Heater
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:59 pm

hippy,
So what's Android Things then ?
No idea. Never heard of it.

Where do I download an Android Things image to put on an SD card and boot a Pi with?

Heater
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:04 pm

gkaiseril,
RPF is providing this product on a world wide basis that includes many 3rd world countries where $35.00 could be over a weeks pay for many of the citizens...
That is true.

However, I don't recall reading anywhere, ever, that providing cheap computers to "3rd world countries" was the name of the game for the Raspberry Pi. It was much less ambitious than that.

As it happened, demand was huge, from everywhere. Supply ramped up to meet the demand. Now the Pi is available all over the world. A happy accident.

By contrast there was the failed "One Laptop Per Child" project. Whose aims were exactly the "3rd World". It failed dismally.

Note: I put "3rd world countries" in quotes because on my travels I see a lot of people is dire situations in so called "1st world countries".

hippy
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:24 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:59 pm
hippy,
So what's Android Things then ?
No idea. Never heard of it.

Where do I download an Android Things image to put on an SD card and boot a Pi with?
That rather shows just how side-lined Android has been. Here's the link to Google's getting started with a Pi 3B page -

https://developer.android.com/things/ha ... rrypi.html

Heater
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:57 pm

You say "side-lined"

Cannot be. Google is a huge global power with billions of dollars behind it. The Pi thing is just a few guys and girls in an attic in Cambridge.

I'm going to give it a go.

If I find it's dependent Google's servers to function I'm going to sideline it.

gkaiseril
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:22 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:04 pm
However, I don't recall reading anywhere, ever, that providing cheap computers to "3rd world countries" was the name of the game for the Raspberry Pi. It was much less ambitious than that.

As it happened, demand was huge, from everywhere. Supply ramped up to meet the demand. Now the Pi is available all over the world. A happy accident.

By contrast there was the failed "One Laptop Per Child" project. Whose aims were exactly the "3rd World". It failed dismally.

Note: I put "3rd world countries" in quotes because on my travels I see a lot of people is dire situations in so called "1st world countries".
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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.
There are areas of what people call "great poverty" in Chicago but it does not even compare to areas in Africa where people walk for up to three days or more to get to a medical facility, all electricity is form gasoline powered generators, there are no food stores so all food is grown and locally processed as needed to make bread or cakes.

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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:22 pm

Each to their own on the OS Heater.
I don't mind any that let me get what I need done, easily. MS and Google do that.

Android Things is used by Google Voice (nice Hat attached to RPF's MagPi Magazine last year), Google Vision and Pimoroni RainbowHat, of which Google have used their money to get the Voice out here in the UK and elsewhere, the Vision no so cheaply in the US for now and the RainbowHat to anyone that can buy it, but mainly a large program of shipment to China (I think) for teaching over there
You can of course use them in whichever OS you choose as is the Pi way.

Android Things is much like the approach of Windows Core/IOT but Google seem to be pushing and writing more in the media.

Of course, it's all to program you up to use their system of things.
---
You can use Python in Android on a phone/tablet, some you can put Ubuntu on them (Ubuntu Touch/Ubports, but as with all things Linux, working with your hardware may vary)
---
micro:bit was mentioned above, you can use your Phone/Tablet (android, iOS) as well as a PC to program them, it was pretty much the only way they pushed forward when it was first release to the kids.
Most kids have an Android/IOS device.
It co-exists with the Pi nicely, you can borrow them from libraries now too.

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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:24 pm

hippy wrote:
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
This is a good answer!
I believe I may not have used the best wording in my original post and apologize for that.
To put it much simpler, my question was formed from a thought process kinda like this
"The Pi foundation aims to teach people to program... But I already do that on my cheap netbook which cost pretty much the same as a fully rigged up Pi. Sure the Pi has GPIO, but those are a bonus - they're not required to learn to program."

Overall I was curious what prompted the creation of the hardware and as others have mentioned; I was not around for the early models. My experience is limited to about a year or so, in which time I have come to see the community (ab)using the Pi as a Kodi or RetroPi entertainment system and not much more.
User experiencing technical difficulties.

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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:25 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:37 pm
hippy,
I don't see that Microsoft have provided more educational or technical support than Google has for their products.
I don't know...

At the end of the day, MS provided some kind of operating system for the Pi. Google has not.

Simple as that.
This.

We don't have time or reseouce to get Android up and running, and that includes moderator time to deal with an Android forum on this board.
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Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:28 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:24 pm
hippy wrote:
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
This is a good answer!
I believe I may not have used the best wording in my original post and apologize for that.
To put it much simpler, my question was formed from a thought process kinda like this
"The Pi foundation aims to teach people to program... But I already do that on my cheap netbook which cost pretty much the same as a fully rigged up Pi. Sure the Pi has GPIO, but those are a bonus - they're not required to learn to program."

Overall I was curious what prompted the creation of the hardware and as others have mentioned; I was not around for the early models. My experience is limited to about a year or so, in which time I have come to see the community (ab)using the Pi as a Kodi or RetroPi entertainment system and not much more.
We sold quite a few million Pi's this year. Lots in to industry, lots used as media boxes, lots used for retro gamiong, lots used for education. Just because you haven't seen it happening, doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Using Kodi isn't abusing anything btw.
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bensimmo
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:31 pm

Is me using a Pi Zero as a key fob, abusing a Pi ?

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Why does the 'Pi' exist?

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:36 pm

Why does the 'Pi' exist?

A vision of re-creating the 1980's need for learning to program, which plug'n'pray / pointy clicky had subsequently made much less important.
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