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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:20 am

grmbbsr wrote:I feel there is tremendous potential for improvement in future versions. It can have extra ports. Port for variable RAM. Port for Graphics card. Port for Sound card. Port for Hard Disk. Port for CD/DVD. SIM Card Slot. A/V input/output Slot. More USB port. VGA, COM, LPT ports. Processor Slot. Then only it would be complete package
You can get all that...it's called an "ATX motherboard". See...the problem with throwing all that stuff onto a Pi is: Where do you put it. Look at the size of the PCB. There simply isn't *room* for a bunch more ports. Even with a fundamentally new board design--which isn't going to happen in the foreseeable future--there simply isn't *space* for any more ports unless the board is made bigger, and--given your list--a *lot* bigger. And if you do that...there goes the price point right out the window. The *board* would cost more than $35 with all that stuff on it--and that's before you start putting the chips and connectors in place.

The only port changes I could see happening to the Pi in the next 2-3 years would be to swap out the composite video for an audio in jack.

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:34 am

I can't decide whether grmbbsr was being sarcastic or not! He has basically described a standard PC motherboard as you pointed out!
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:25 pm

grmbbsr wrote:I feel there is tremendous potential for improvement in future versions. It can have extra ports. Port for variable RAM. Port for Graphics card. Port for Sound card. Port for Hard Disk. Port for CD/DVD. SIM Card Slot. A/V input/output Slot. More USB port. VGA, COM, LPT ports. Processor Slot. Then only it would be complete package
That is a netbook not a RasPi. :lol:
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:16 pm

Personally I am looking at how to mount within a project

USB go to a Header Connector, if someone wants external connectors they can get them at the local computer shop for a couple of bucks, but if one needs to stay all internal this makes it simple (I will unsolder the current connector and add the header block myself)

Relocate Ports With the exception of power, if all the ports were on the same side, than a standard header plate could be made (cut a rectangle in a box put plate in and mount) currently I will have to run internal cables to lost ports

Mounting Holes already discussed but I agree something where we can mount it into a box

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:39 pm

jb1963 wrote:
...Oh, one more thing: I honestly cannot remember the last time I have seen a composite monitor. Really. That connector could be dropped and replaced by something that could be more useful, like a 2nd pair of USB connector... or a S/PDIF connector to complement the existing audio-out?
I disagree! If this board is supposed to be low cost and used in an educational setting, you cant guarantee that there will always be a HDMI (or similar) monitor around.

I've personally used the composite video output more than the HDMI, and i do have an HDMI monitor available at home.

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:06 pm

alspvill wrote:I disagree! If this board is supposed to be low cost and used in an educational setting, you cant guarantee that there will always be a HDMI (or similar) monitor around.

I've personally used the composite video output more than the HDMI, and i do have an HDMI monitor available at home.
That was why the Composite output is supplied! The Broadcom chip used supports HDMI and Composite so the cost of providing those outputs is just the connectors.

DVI is also supported via a cheap HDMI->DVI cable and many monitors also support DVI.

The chip does not support VGA, so supporting that would have required expensive HDMI->VGA conversion chips and would have added significant additional cost for a feature many would not use. I am sure if it could have been done within the target price VGA would have been supported.

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:28 pm

grmbbsr wrote:I feel there is tremendous potential for improvement in future versions. It can have extra ports. Port for variable RAM. Port for Graphics card. Port for Sound card. Port for Hard Disk. Port for CD/DVD. SIM Card Slot. A/V input/output Slot. More USB port. VGA, COM, LPT ports. Processor Slot. Then only it would be complete package
That is called a Computer. You can buy one in the shops right now !

alspvill wrote:
jb1963 wrote:
...Oh, one more thing: I honestly cannot remember the last time I have seen a composite monitor. Really. That connector could be dropped and replaced by something that could be more useful, like a 2nd pair of USB connector... or a S/PDIF connector to complement the existing audio-out?
I disagree! If this board is supposed to be low cost and used in an educational setting, you cant guarantee that there will always be a HDMI (or similar) monitor around.

I've personally used the composite video output more than the HDMI, and i do have an HDMI monitor available at home.

I'm with you there, I use composite more than HDMI because I have more CRT TVs available than HDMI monitors :D
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:47 pm

itimpi wrote:
alspvill wrote: The chip does not support VGA, so supporting that would have required expensive HDMI->VGA conversion chips and would have added significant additional cost for a feature many would not use. I am sure if it could have been done within the target price VGA would have been supported.
Seconded. The HDMI-to-VGA device I've been using (which works VERY well, by the way), actually costs *more* than the Pi itself.

For a particular Pi project, I plan to get a couple of more converters because I already have some monitors that only have VGA. Beyond that, it will be cheaper to buy reconditioned monitors that have DVI inputs than to buy monitors with only VGA *and* a VGA converter box.

The converter I'm using is this one...
http://www.monoprice.com/products/produ ... 1&format=2

(Hmmm....checking the link, they're now on sale for less than the Pi...I'd better get an order in for the others I want...)

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:39 pm

dapa79 wrote:I really like my Raspberry Pi and can't stop thinking about new applications for it.
There are however a few minor issues that I hope could be addressed in a model C. (or B rev.2)

USB power.
Polyfuses removed

Sound.
I2S available

Size.
Mounting holes

Model ID.(codecs) .
h264 enc. for all,
mpeg2 as an optional extra
Sweet! Most of my wishes in the first post came true! Thanks RPi Foundation!!! :D

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:11 pm

I have been thinking about a realistic "upgrade" for the PI that would help its usefulness, and I think I have an idea.
One of the more often heard complaints is from users that cannot get their PI working, and yes there are many pitfalls a user must get right for anything happens. I know the most frustrating thing when trying to repair (or get to work right) something is if you plug it in and absolutely nothing happens! Where to start! :(

The main cause of this is, and it has been often mentioned, is that the PI doesn't have a BIOS.
I think I know how to give it one, with minimal extra costs!

The PI's GPU boot code now attempts to boot from a FAT (16/32) filing system it expects to live on an SD-card, and I'm assuming it uses the most simple access method to the card, namely SPI.
My proposal is to add a simple SPI EEPROM chip, that exactly acts like an SD-card, and contains enough secondary boot code to act like a BIOS, it should contain enough code to switch on the GPU to support a simple text mode, (with a minimal font) and among other things should then boot from the SD-card, but with full error reporting. Perhaps some permanent settings can also be stored in the EEPROM, so the whole thing does act like a BIOS. I doubt the EEPROM can contain a full USB stack, but maybe even that is possible, as larger EEPOMS are available. I'm sure some other uses can be found for such a setup, and the costs for such a solution may be mere dimes, but might be invaluable to get PI's in working order, especially if the one trying to get it to work is a child, (not that I underestimate what kids can do) :roll: but I daily see that even grownups can loose faith in the ability of their PI to work, and kids have a shorter attention span! :P

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:41 am

I agree that a basic Bios on board the Rpi would be a good idea for the reasons mahjongg gave.
But I also think, to justify including an onboard Bios you would need to include boot options either from
the SD card or from a USB device.

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:58 am

The real area this helps is memory sizing/splits, internationalisation

mem sizing is easy simple startup routines, allocate by default 1 or 2MB for the simple text mode, plus character set for this 'bios' boot mode.

Being able to define
  • Country/language
  • Memory partition split
  • Output modes enabled (comp/HDMI)
  • similar setups
  • maybe simple tests
  • Boot device order
This would aid less different images/kernels and simpler initial setup and running configurations.
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:05 am

The big problem with including any sort of Bios chip is that it would likely require some significant redesign of the board - as well as the cost of the extra components. Still it cannot hurt to float such ideas.

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:35 pm

Remember this thread is about a C model or future model from the foundation!

A BIOS type setup would make it easier on most users. Of course you also have to remember that there are a billion PC's out there, that the users have never even known there was a BIOS to change! They make their changes in Windows and do not even know that it is stored in BIOS, such as time and date. They add a new device and let Windows configure it. They do not know that BIOS is where windows gets its device information from, at least for disks and such. The RasPi might have less device issues and firmware updates would be an avenue, to correct ones that do crop up.

I do not know that storing regional and language information would help that much. Making raspi-config easier might help more. Set it up as a step by step on first install. The base setup for Linux is not that intuitive. But not everyone is using Wheezy which is really easy to set up. Storing these values in BIOS would help AFTER the device is setup but not really before.

I found the RasPi setup real easy. Had it working first try. But I grew up with computers that were DOS based. Many of the people that are trying to use the RasPI have not been exposed to Linux or DOS. And even though I wish I had kept up with the programming 30 years ago, I still can get around on a RasPi just fine.

There is no real way to have a great "first experience" with a RasPi, except maybe to bundle a working OS with the device. I guess storing an OS onboard with Flash memory would work well here. But it would need more components and require the device to be flashed. And then which distro do you bundle? A lot of people want a media sever or player not an OS per se.

Adding Flash memory to the board to store an OS would be too expensive and really not be a change from what is being done on the RasPi currently. Cost of ownership would go down by about $5 but cost of manufacturing would go up by a couple of dollars.

Most of the new computer returns are because people blew their first setup of Windows, a software issue, not hardware. So the issues with the RasPi are really not new. But people do not have the avenue of having the manufacturer send them another PC so they can try again.

The biggest issue with the RasPi has come from power supplies. And there is no sure cure for this except to bundle an adequate power supply with the device. Added Cost! The original idea of 6V to 20V input probably would have been more robust. Even a poorly made 12V power supply would have been able to kick out enough wattage to power any RasPi.

It all comes back to the reason the RasPi was made in the first place. Education! The people that are having the most trouble are also the ones that know the least about how a computer REALLY operates. And they are some of the target group! :?

Sorry to ramble on! :oops: But I have spent the odd moment or two trying to figure out a way to delivery a more positive First Experience with the Raspberry Pi. To do it you have to build a more expensive RasPi, or bundle more equipment with the RasPi. You have to give more education so they can get more education. How do you do that? Make them take a basic online course before they buy a RasPi? They will not bother to buy it then!
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:39 am

I think that the most useful feature for a model C, useful also for educational purposes, is to replace the ethernet interface with a wi-fi interface.
So, given the fact you have a composite output, you can esalily repurpose a language learning room, that is tipically equipped with VCR/DVD and colour TV ad a computer lab, without having to add cat 5 cables and repeaters everywhere.

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:16 am

I've said it before and I'll probably say it again....
2 NIC interface
all the ports on one [or 2] sides of the board

the 2nd is more important than the 1st
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:23 am

I think having a nice setup for making a firewall/router/filter is possibly a little specialised for the Pi's intended market. OK, probably 90% of 'em have been bought by geeks who know what 2 NIC ports could be used for......

Networking (wired or wireless) that wasn't dependent on the Pi's flawed USB would be an improvement.
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:21 pm

I got really disappointed of model b,
first of all you should make the pi use the same language as windows
I bought it and downloaded debian pi os, really hard to use and understand (did 3 hrs of googling and found nothing) make it support vga because i had to buy a screen that supported dvi which cost me a LOT of money.

Provide all the equipment when you buy it (obviously raising the price) e.g.: keyboard, mouse, etc because i had a really hard time with that.

Improve RAM and CPU power because it's really slow

Also make it support windows because there's no such thing as 'Norton antivirus for Debian pi'

Provide a switch or safety system to make it safe, and make it come with a case, I got electroshocked already more than 6 times

Make it support wifi and not wired connection

ps: excuse my bad english

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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:46 pm

michele.x wrote:I think that the most useful feature for a model C, useful also for educational purposes, is to replace the ethernet interface with a wi-fi interface.
So, given the fact you have a composite output, you can esalily repurpose a language learning room, that is tipically equipped with VCR/DVD and colour TV ad a computer lab, without having to add cat 5 cables and repeaters everywhere.
Most schools ALREADY have Cat 5 or 6, most secondary schools have 200+ computers on site already.

How do I know this I have over the years done some of the extra room setuips on sites that have fibre optic links between buildings and over 200 computers and kitting out rooms with 30 to 48 network points.
Most rooms have at least two points as for years the registration is done electronically.

Despite people raving about wireless in many reinforced concrete and old masonry buildings it means putting an access point in every room.

I dont know when you last went to a school but from primary up they mainly have interactive whiteboards with projectors run from the teachers laptop/computer.
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:47 pm

RaTTuS wrote:I've said it before and I'll probably say it again....
2 NIC interface
all the ports on one [or 2] sides of the board

the 2nd is more important than the 1st
I would say power and GPIO one side all others on the other side personally.
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:03 pm

fabbrimiccoli wrote:I got really disappointed of model b,
first of all you should make the pi use the same language as windows
I bought it and downloaded debian pi os, really hard to use and understand (did 3 hrs of googling and found nothing) make it support vga because i had to buy a screen that supported dvi which cost me a LOT of money.

Provide all the equipment when you buy it (obviously raising the price) e.g.: keyboard, mouse, etc because i had a really hard time with that.

Improve RAM and CPU power because it's really slow

Also make it support windows because there's no such thing as 'Norton antivirus for Debian pi'

Provide a switch or safety system to make it safe, and make it come with a case, I got electroshocked already more than 6 times

Make it support wifi and not wired connection

ps: excuse my bad english
Debated whether to let this post through - first post, lots of complaints, but thought - they need answering.

Windows isn't and has never been and will never be an option - it's just too expensive and not available (yet) for Arm platforms.

Debian OS. It's Linux - there is a huge amount of information on the internet on how to use Linux. Not sure how anyone could search for 3 hours and not find anything. Even posting questions here would have worked.

VGA is not possible without much more cost. Most monitors sold nowadays are HDMI/DVI. You can buy adapters for about £12 off Ebay which appear to work OK.

You can buy a keyboard and mouse very simply from almost anywhere - why did you have a problem here? Maplin do a bundle pack although that may not be available in your country.

RAM has been upgraded to 512, CPU won't be upgraded. It should be fast enough for its intended purpose.

If you got an electric shock of the device itself - I don't believe you - its runs at 5v and minimal current. If you got one from a power supply, buy a better power supply.

You don't (currently ) need antivirus on Linux. So you don't need Norton AV. or anything else.

Wifi is supported using USB Wifi sticks.


So, in precis, you don't appear to have read up on the device before buying it, and your expectations were wildly optimistic for a device costing $35. Everything you have requested/complained about is already available in the PC format, just for a lot more money. You need a PC, not a Raspberry Pi I'm afraid.
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:39 pm

techpaul wrote:
RaTTuS wrote:I've said it before and I'll probably say it again....
2 NIC interface
all the ports on one [or 2] sides of the board

the 2nd is more important than the 1st
I would say power and GPIO one side all others on the other side personally.
Forgot to say GPIO on shrouded header for polarisation, for less connection problems especially in a class of less than willing 15 year olds :P
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:02 pm

jamesh wrote:
fabbrimiccoli wrote:I got really disappointed of model b,
first of all you should make the pi use the same language as windows
I bought it and downloaded debian pi os, really hard to use and understand (did 3 hrs of googling and found nothing) make it support vga because i had to buy a screen that supported dvi which cost me a LOT of money.

Provide all the equipment when you buy it (obviously raising the price) e.g.: keyboard, mouse, etc because i had a really hard time with that.

Improve RAM and CPU power because it's really slow

Also make it support windows because there's no such thing as 'Norton antivirus for Debian pi'

Provide a switch or safety system to make it safe, and make it come with a case, I got electroshocked already more than 6 times

Make it support wifi and not wired connection

ps: excuse my bad english
Debated whether to let this post through - first post, lots of complaints, but thought - they need answering.

Windows isn't and has never been and will never be an option - it's just too expensive and not available (yet) for Arm platforms.

Debian OS. It's Linux - there is a huge amount of information on the internet on how to use Linux. Not sure how anyone could search for 3 hours and not find anything. Even posting questions here would have worked.

VGA is not possible without much more cost. Most monitors sold nowadays are HDMI/DVI. You can buy adapters for about £12 off Ebay which appear to work OK.

You can buy a keyboard and mouse very simply from almost anywhere - why did you have a problem here? Maplin do a bundle pack although that may not be available in your country.

RAM has been upgraded to 512, CPU won't be upgraded. It should be fast enough for its intended purpose.

If you got an electric shock of the device itself - I don't believe you - its runs at 5v and minimal current. If you got one from a power supply, buy a better power supply.

You don't (currently ) need antivirus on Linux. So you don't need Norton AV. or anything else.

Wifi is supported using USB Wifi sticks.


So, in precis, you don't appear to have read up on the device before buying it, and your expectations were wildly optimistic for a device costing $35. Everything you have requested/complained about is already available in the PC format, just for a lot more money. You need a PC, not a Raspberry Pi I'm afraid.
A troll, pure and simple. He had to be extracting the urine with the Norton AV thing.
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:34 pm

pluggy wrote:
jamesh wrote:
fabbrimiccoli wrote:I got really disappointed of model b,
first of all you should make the pi use the same language as windows
I bought it and downloaded debian pi os, really hard to use and understand (did 3 hrs of googling and found nothing) make it support vga because i had to buy a screen that supported dvi which cost me a LOT of money.

Provide all the equipment when you buy it (obviously raising the price) e.g.: keyboard, mouse, etc because i had a really hard time with that.

Improve RAM and CPU power because it's really slow

Also make it support windows because there's no such thing as 'Norton antivirus for Debian pi'

Provide a switch or safety system to make it safe, and make it come with a case, I got electroshocked already more than 6 times

Make it support wifi and not wired connection

ps: excuse my bad english
Debated whether to let this post through - first post, lots of complaints, but thought - they need answering.

Windows isn't and has never been and will never be an option - it's just too expensive and not available (yet) for Arm platforms.

Debian OS. It's Linux - there is a huge amount of information on the internet on how to use Linux. Not sure how anyone could search for 3 hours and not find anything. Even posting questions here would have worked.

VGA is not possible without much more cost. Most monitors sold nowadays are HDMI/DVI. You can buy adapters for about £12 off Ebay which appear to work OK.

You can buy a keyboard and mouse very simply from almost anywhere - why did you have a problem here? Maplin do a bundle pack although that may not be available in your country.

RAM has been upgraded to 512, CPU won't be upgraded. It should be fast enough for its intended purpose.

If you got an electric shock of the device itself - I don't believe you - its runs at 5v and minimal current. If you got one from a power supply, buy a better power supply.

You don't (currently ) need antivirus on Linux. So you don't need Norton AV. or anything else.

Wifi is supported using USB Wifi sticks.


So, in precis, you don't appear to have read up on the device before buying it, and your expectations were wildly optimistic for a device costing $35. Everything you have requested/complained about is already available in the PC format, just for a lot more money. You need a PC, not a Raspberry Pi I'm afraid.
A troll, pure and simple. He had to be extracting the urine with the Norton AV thing.
Maybe, maybe not. Benefit of the doubt, until next post. Then we shall see!
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Re: Minor improvements for a model C

Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:38 pm

fabbrimiccoli wrote: first of all you should make the pi use the same language as windows
Every language the Pi uses is also available on Windows...C, C++, python, scratch, an assembly language, FORTRAN, BASIC, and so on and so forth. The *difference* is that the language processors for the Pi are all free, but some of them--in some versions--on Windows will cost money.
I bought it and downloaded debian pi os, really hard to use and understand (did 3 hrs of googling and found nothing) make it support vga because i had to buy a screen that supported dvi which cost me a LOT of money.
The Pi would cost a lot more if it had to include VGA output. There are cheap (<$20) HDMI-to-VGA adapters. Some people find they work well, other people have trouble with them. The next step up is in the $30 to $50 range. In either case, that's a lot less than buying a monitor, unless you've got a reliable source of cheap, used monitors...in which case, it's a wash, most likely.
Provide all the equipment when you buy it (obviously raising the price) e.g.: keyboard, mouse, etc because i had a really hard time with that.
Some companies provide a "bundle" that includes everything you're asking for (except the monitor and any video conversion device). If you don't have the accessory items on hand (many of us have this stuff lying around the house as spares or backups), and you don't have any particular sources that you deal with to get minor items, then a bundle is generally a good deal. In any case, the web sites for the companies selling the Pi are quite plain in stating that it is a "bare board, ONLY" and that all the rest of the stuff is up to you.

Indeed...several of the sites have a drawing of a Pi and accessories so that you can click on the various "parts" to see what that vendor sells for that particular use.
Improve RAM and CPU power because it's really slow
"Slow" is relative. I have a major application for which the very oldest versions work just fine. At present, the setup utility (raspi-config) has safe overclocking setting made easy (there's part of the answer to your speed issue) and the latest versions of the Pi have more memory...512MB. (FYI...that is the same amount of memory that my--it still runs--Win98SE system has).

The other speed issue is one of software. *If* you are using the graphical desktop (GUI), *then* the work to get hardware acceleration for X should help quite a bit.

The point is...the Pi is still a "work in progress". It just happens to have fired the imaginations of a great many enthusiasts and has grown into a far larger "ecosystem" than was otherwise expected at this time in it's development. Not many hardware projects from new "companies" sell 500K units at the "developer" stage of launch. The Pi has had that happen.
Also make it support windows because there's no such thing as 'Norton antivirus for Debian pi'
Windows will NEVER run on this level and type of hardware as a primary operating system. I did read about one person that actually got Win95 to boot under DosBOX, but that was little more than a "Look what I did!" effort. You *might* be able to get something like Win3.1 to actually run an application on a heavily overclocked Pi...but would it be worth the effort?

As for the A/V issue. The viruses that are most likely to be a problem won't run on Linux (the system calls are all "wrong"), nor an ARM (and especially, ARMv6) processor. Between the hardware and software challenges and the restricted numbers (I saw a recent article that PC makers expect to sell "only" about 350 MILLION PCs this year....vs. less than a million Pis), the Pi simply isn't likely to be targeted by virus writers. If it comes to that, while something like Norton won't run on a Pi, there *are* (so far as I know) A/V programs for Linux, and those could--or could be made to--run on a Pi...if you wanted to make the effort.

One other point on Windows...Linux can be gotten for free. Windows will cost you roughly $100, at a minimum. AND, don't even think about Win8, because that won't run on a Pi either (no UEFI and wrong ARM instruction set).
Provide a switch or safety system to make it safe, and make it come with a case, I got electroshocked already more than 6 times
Neat trick, that. How did you manage it?
Make it support wifi and not wired connection
It does. What you need is called a "wifi dongle". Prices start at less than $8. If you don't want to have it occupy one of the only two USB ports, you can add a USB hub (that will give you more USB ports) or a wireless access point/bridge and make the Ethernet connection the Pi has wireless. I have also seen various listing for a device that is a wireless adapter using the Ethernet connector. Prices run from about $15 to around $30, depending on who you get it from. The default way to power it is...through a USB port. It uses *both* the Ethernet connector *and* a USB port! In fairness, the pictures show it using an adapter for the USB connection, so it should be possible to find an independent power block for this device. *That* would give the best of both worlds.

I do have to object to the "not wired" part of your remark. I run my networks wired. That gives them better security and reliability plus better speed. I do understand that a lot of people like and use wireless LANs, but the one should not be done at the expense of the other. In the case of the Pi, keeping the price low is a major goal...and adding wifi would blow the budget.

Really...the question that has to be asked is: What did you think you were buying when you bought a Pi?

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