Is Raspberry Pi suitable as education platform?

Yes, it encourages it even if it is very closed.
100%
3
No, it is too closed to be a really good education platform.
No votes
0
 
Total votes: 3
valent
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Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:55 am

Since reading this artcile [1] I'm thinking more and more that Raspberry Pi really good modern trojan horse. Let me explain.

If you are a company that thrives from selling closed systems, worst thing is not competition from other closed systems, but any open system. Closed companies (like Broadcom) just can't compete in with open systems. So best strategy would be to prevent open systems from even becoming a competitor. Easies way to do that is by flooding the marketplace with devices so cheap that any open hardware initiative will fail immediately. Follow that with huge viral marketing campain calling the product "25$ education computer" and you got yourself a winner.

Knowing what huge political battle was going on when OLPC project was announces any vendor working with closed software/hardware sure has some strategy how to stop similar project from re-emerging.

So is Raspberry Pi ultimate killing weapon for OLPC 2.0 or similar open source/hardware projects?

What are your thoughts regarding this?

[1] http://whitequark.org/blog/2012/09/25/w ... education/

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scruss
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Re: Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:00 pm

I read that linked article, and found it one of the more pointless concern trolls. There has been very little “open hardware” over the years, and that has not stopped generations of computer scientists from learning their craft. The Raspberry Pi was designed as a cheap computer for kids to learn on.

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Re: Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:20 pm

Can't compete with open systems?
What kind of open systems are you referring to?

Furthermore, the RPi is not a broadcom product.
It is more of a hobby project by some people who work at broadcom.
This made it convenient to use their chip.
The raspberry pi is not some evil plan by broadcom to kill every other project. They have even opensourced much of their design.
The fact that Broadcom is keeping some of their design secret is their right.

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NerdUno
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Re: Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:24 pm

Hardware needs to be open and patent-free to teach kids programming skills? Everything that's happened in the last 50 years refutes that premise. The only hardware and OS I can think of that met these requirements was the original IBM PC and DOS 1.0, both funded by one of the world's largest companies. By the time Compaq and DOS 2.0 came along, everyone had learned what a stupid idea that really was. Now move along troll. :arrow:

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adafruit
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Re: Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:29 pm

here was my reply :)

You may know Adafruit an an open source & open source hardware company - I love open source and open source hardware, but we also love usability. The lovely thing about the Pi is its low cost, low power, and small size. It has USB, Audio, Ethernet, Composite, RAM, GPIO, I2C...everything you could possibly need. When RPi Foundation talks about education, they do not mean the people who want to do chip-level programming, graphics or circuit layout - after all, those people don't need help to find a platform if they're at that level. What we are aiming for is the massive swath of people who are terrified of electronics and engineering - who are worried about blowing something up.

For a first revision (the first shipments only went out maybe 6 months ago) the Pi is a fantastic step in the right direction. By focusing on the manufacturing and licensing, the foundation is letting good old (mental? fiscal?) capitalism take over. Whomever comes up with the best educational platform built on top of the commodified Pi wins the hearts and minds of students.

Fact is, for something to be suitable for education it must be available in quantity with QC, from distributors w/ reasonable lead times, under $100 for a complete kit, and USABLE - Ladyada, Adafruit

Here are some resources from us:
http://learn.adafruit.com/category/raspberry-pi
http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-rasp ... nux-distro
http://www.adafruit.com/raspberrypi

And our we're in beta of a Raspberry Pi WebIDE:
http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/09/19 ... pi-webide/

jamesh
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Re: Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:40 pm

valent wrote:Since reading this artcile [1] I'm thinking more and more that Raspberry Pi really good modern trojan horse. Let me explain.

If you are a company that thrives from selling closed systems, worst thing is not competition from other closed systems, but any open system. Closed companies (like Broadcom) just can't compete in with open systems. So best strategy would be to prevent open systems from even becoming a competitor. Easies way to do that is by flooding the marketplace with devices so cheap that any open hardware initiative will fail immediately. Follow that with huge viral marketing campain calling the product "25$ education computer" and you got yourself a winner.

Knowing what huge political battle was going on when OLPC project was announces any vendor working with closed software/hardware sure has some strategy how to stop similar project from re-emerging.

So is Raspberry Pi ultimate killing weapon for OLPC 2.0 or similar open source/hardware projects?

What are your thoughts regarding this?

[1] http://whitequark.org/blog/2012/09/25/w ... education/
My first thoughts on reading that article are "What a complete load of B***ks". Indeed that was also my second though after reading the comments here. I don't go for third thoughts.

Let me give you some background that completely refute your Trojan horse hypothesis. You seem to be implying that Broadcom are, in effect, behind the Raspi project. That is not the case. They originally offered the Foundation (after Eben approached them) a good deal on the SoC expecting very limited sales. That by itself negates your Trojan horse idea, since there was no planning involved - it was simply an effort to help a charity. No-one expected the massive demand for the device - no-one. And only with massive demand comes the ability to influence the market.

I will add that for the last 50 years the world has survived pretty well on relatively closed systems - both in teaching and in industry. Open system are not required in either of those categories. The fact that the Rapsi is a semi open system is a great bonus - it could still fulfil it's remit as a completely closed system. In fact, as devices go, the Raspi really is very open. The GPU is closed, but you can still use the vast majority of features in through libraries, which is what the vast majority of people want to do.

I will be keeping a very close eye on this thread - it's already bordering on concern trolling which is banned here - after all, this is the Foundation's own website!
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Re: Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:42 pm

I'm not answering the vote because it is bias

to the OP
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Re: Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:42 pm

Valent - I connot believe how naive you'te being - each Pi has a microphone hidden in the tv out and a wireless transmitter under the SOC.

'The Foundation' is realy a surveilance wing of the Illuminati headed by Eben's cat.
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jamesh
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Re: Raspberry Pi - best trojan horse ever?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:47 pm

Actually, I've decided that since the two options are so biased, I'm going to lock the thread. Valent. Don't do it again.
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