ArgentsQuest
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:05 pm

My first computer was the ZX Spectrum 128k followed by the Atari STE and Amiga. These machines were simple enough for one person to learn deep a understanding of.

As a kid the fun part for me was messing about with the video hardware. Learning to use the Blitter chip to move sprites on the screen. Using the video shifter chip for hardware scrolling, setting up horizontal and vertical interupts to make hardware wobble effects etc. Making simple games without relying on the OS graphic/sound API.

I\'ve read the the GPU will only be access via an API(18MB binary blob black box). As a learning tool kids are going to miss out on some basic fun things.

I know todays GPU\'s are to complicated. It\'s just a shame the RaspberryPi did not have some nice 2D hardware for tomorrows kids to sink their teeth into.

That aside, i\'m looking forward to buying one to tinker with.

shaurz
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:17 pm

To be honest, learning how to program a GPU is probably a lot less useful than learning how to use OpenGL effectively. Sure, it would be nice to have the option. As far as I know, the framebuffer will be accessible, so you could still write graphics algorithms the old-fashioned way.

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abishur
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:37 pm

oy vey, the GPU thing again. Normally I\'d shut down yet another duplicate thread, but the search feature on the forum doesn\'t work for search strings only 3 characters long so you\'re off the hook :P (from me at least ;) )

Short answer, see shaurz\'s post above. Slightly longer answer, the GPU will be just as accessible as any standard desktop GPU for 99.99% of the programming world\'s desires. There is an extremely small amount of people who would want to / have the technical know how to mess with the GPU at the level that you can\'t access. And even then without the documentation on this extremely complicated and powerful GPU, *AND* months and months of study, they still wouldn\'t be able to do anything on the GPU.

Seriously, there *really* isn\'t anything being lost in terms of GPU access that anyone will be able to notice here ;)
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

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Montekuri
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:44 pm

[quote]Quote from abishur on November 28, 2011, 16:37
oy vey, the GPU thing again. Normally I\'d shut down yet another duplicate thread, but the search feature on the forum doesn\'t work for search strings only 3 characters long so you\'re off the hook :P (from me at least ;) )[/quote]
Thinking about it, a lot of threads will be off your hook :)
Threads about: RAM, VGA, USB, SPI, CSI, PCB, LED...

tnelsond
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:50 pm

[quote]Quote from Montekuri on November 28, 2011, 16:44
Threads about: RAM, VGA, USB, SPI, CSI, PCB, LED...[/quote]

Quick, let\'s make some posts about Vim.

tufty
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:02 pm

[quote]Quick, let\'s make some posts about Vim.[/quote]
[img]http://homepages.tesco.net/~acp/badnews/vim2.jpg[/img]
Illbegettingmecoatthenyesthatonewiththetigerstripesthanks

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abishur
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:03 pm

@Montekuri it\'s sad but true! which is harsh for a forum about computers, but I\'d rather put up with this forum and get the r-pi sooner, than have them migrate the forum to something else and have to wait even longer for the r-pi!
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

Asgo
Posts: 20
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:17 pm

we always could rename them from now on to simplify the search :)
PIRAM, PIVGA, PIUSB, PISPI, PICSI, PIPCB, PILED...
would also work for 2 letter words ;)

radu
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:04 pm

I really don\'t understand the masochism of some people. having access to OpenGL (ES) and the encode/decode hardware should be more than enough for almost everyone.
Look at that Nvidia open source project, Nouveau.
They have a lot of people, they are backed by several companies, and unless if you are an OS fanatic those drivers have little value compared to the binary Nvidia drivers.

Also, you can\'t compare a Z80 with a few K transistors with a GPU with many millions.

jamesh
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:17 pm

Note you will also have accelerated OpenVG which is a 2D library, and I think OpenEGL for basic drawing surface stuff.

So if you want low (ish) level, you\'ve got it.

(I work on the Videocore at the bitbashing level - you mostly don\'t wanna do it for fun. )
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ArgentsQuest
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:11 pm

I don\'t mind using OpenGL, no point in reinventing the wheel. I was just thinking from a kids/students perspective, it would of been nice to have some simple sound and 2D video hardware acceleration for them to play with.

With the API they don\'t learn how the machine works.

Asgo
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:38 pm

In the context of GPU,
there probably isn\'t any direct way to do GPGPU other than working manually via OpenGL?
probably has been answered before, just making use of abishurs blanket pardon for not using search for GPU. ;)

radu
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Re: My $0.02

Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:03 pm

If kids want to learn hardware stuff, they should play with the GPIO and microcontrollers. There is no benefit in accessing the video hardware directly, because all the video cards have different hardware, different instructions sets, and so on.

attiatte
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Re: My $0.02

Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:34 am

I think the point is that older machines were *easier* to do graphics with. Granted, easier with simple things, more complex with complex things. You\'re not just writing into RAM, you\'re calling functions that aren\'t as straight-forward in ways of trial-and-error. We take an MMU and a structured system for granted, older systems had no such features. That said, I\'m sure there are software options that will allow for *easy* graphical work. It\'s nice being able to see things visually when starting out, right?

*easy is very relative.

Wooloomooloo
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Re: My $0.02

Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:28 am

[quote]Quote from radu on November 28, 2011, 23:03
If kids want to learn hardware stuff, they should play with the GPIO and microcontrollers. There is no benefit in accessing the video hardware directly, because all the video cards have different hardware, different instructions sets, and so on.[/quote]
I think not. \"GPIO and microcontrollers\" are all fun and games, as long as what you wanted to do is blink an LED. Which can be awesome indeed if you never did it before, but can also be done with 2 transistors. What the original microcomputers did was let you type in a few words and start interacting with the software right away - then directly with the silicon underneath. As long as you knew what the address of the pixel buffer and the color attribute buffer was, you could put a colored dot on a screen in one or two instructions. Then delete it and start moving it over the screen when, say, you pressed a key. No MCU does that for you. No PC does that for you. And I believe that kind of lowest possible barrier to entry is what went (and is still) missing. Whether RasPi will be able to provide a similarly low barrier remains to be seen, but I\'m pretty sure it won\'t be able to replace what I was just talking about.

There is indeed no benefit in accessing hardware directly if you\'re trying to get something done, yes. But if the point is to learn how these things work, there is plenty of benefit in doing it. Frankly, I found learning how to draw a continuous line over a doubly-fragmented video RAM much more fun than figuring out the 50-150 lines of code needed to put a single slider control on the screen in C / Win3.11 and up. To each his own, I guess...

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Burngate
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Re: My $0.02

Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:04 pm

It\'s to do with the picture you have in your mind. If you\'re looking at it as a black box with keyboard and monitor attached, \"How do I do this?\" comes down to \"What do I type to make this picture?\"
If the black box has its lid open, you see several black boxes inside, all connected together. Then it comes down to \"Which black box do I talk to to get that black box to show this picture?\".
So the black box labeled \"GPU\" has its lid welded shut. But there\'s another black box over there labeled \"frame buffer\", and that appears to be connected somehow to the \"GPU\" black box, and it\'s get-at-able. I could talk to this black box labeled \"Python\" or another called \"C++\" or ... and each of those will talk to the \"GPU\" black box, which will make the picture, or I could talk to the \"frame buffer\" black box directly.
If I\'m learning about computing, finding out how to talk to the top-of-the-heap black box is one thing. However, also, finding out how the black boxes are connected, and refining the picture in my mind\'s eye of what\'s in the original black box, is relevent.

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