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abishur
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Re: What have we missed?

Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:21 am

One really interesting thing I've noticed while watching this thread is the fact that a lot of people have a lot of different ideas about that one item that simply *everyone* uses and the r-pi needs to integrate since everyone will use it... but most the time it only one person mentioning it with no one else going "oh yeah that's a must have." (The one exception to this is several people have mentioned additional USB ports would be nice.)

It really seems that for the most part the r-pi team has hit the average user nail on the head and it's up to us, the end user, to customize it to our specific application. Which I think it pretty cool, I usually get some random PC part in a box and think "really you shipped this with it? I'd rather it cost 10 bucks less!" :P
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Re: What have we missed?

Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:31 am

Quote from hordecore on August 20, 2011, 23:39
I'm curious as to whether you have asked for support from ISP's for this project. I ask because I am a lowly Customer Service (don't care what you think, I'm pretty good at it! ;) ) with VirginMedia and would have expected to have seen some involvement from this quarter. Is this something that you've considered? I'm guessing purely from a tech support aspect that should a "normal" person seek assistance with linux/ARM to their ISP their up **** creek without a paddle. As it is most ISP support is pretty guff. (personal opinion incase someone higher up from VM is watching lol).

I'm not sure what input they could give - we already have all the purely technical input we need from the SoC manufacturer, Broadcom. In general, plugging a linux box in to the net works pretty easily - I've certainly had more luck with my Linux box than Vista, althogh I do use a router rather than a ADSL dongle or similar.

What sort of support are you thinking of?
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Re: What have we missed?

Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:50 am

Quote from hordecore on August 20, 2011, 23:39
I'm curious as to whether you have asked for support from ISP's for this project. I ask because I am a lowly Customer Service (don't care what you think, I'm pretty good at it! ;) ) with VirginMedia and would have expected to have seen some involvement from this quarter. Is this something that you've considered? I'm guessing purely from a tech support aspect that should a "normal" person seek assistance with linux/ARM to their ISP their up **** creek without a paddle. As it is most ISP support is pretty guff. (personal opinion incase someone higher up from VM is watching lol).

Hmm - I can see Linux support as being a way for an ISP to get some market differentiation. I'm just off out to have lunch with Jack - we'll have a chat about it.
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Re: What have we missed?

Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:04 pm

abishur: The model B is pretty much all you need to have an operational terminal or programming device. This meets their (the foundations) original goals for the RasPi. It really does not need anything else. There are things that would be nice to have included in it. For example; some sort of dedicated drive controller, that would not hog bandwidth from the USB ( this was asked for several times). Many people asked for more memory in this and other threads, I think that will come, down the line. The people in these forums currently each have their own idea as to what they want to do with a RasPi. As the RasPi finally is sent out to fulfill it's real goals, I believe that other items will be added to it as the young wish to advance in programming and hardware design. The questions here, and other forums, I am sure will influence the future of RasPi if the foundations is successful. I hope they are successful.

As a young teen in junior high I was exposed to things like crystal radios, solar experiments and building a rudimentary brushed motor. Our youth get keyboarding. No where the same thing. Of course you have to remember that there were no PC's available until I was twelve. The first PC I was near was when I was sixteen and took a college course to try one. Now I walk around with one that is much more powerful in my pocket (add in any smart phone).

The future will tell where really "affordable" computing will take us.
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Re: What have we missed?

Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:54 pm

Quote from liz on August 21, 2011, 11:50
Quote from hordecore on August 20, 2011, 23:39
I'm curious as to whether you have asked for support from ISP's for this project. I ask because I am a lowly Customer Service (don't care what you think, I'm pretty good at it! ;) ) with VirginMedia and would have expected to have seen some involvement from this quarter. Is this something that you've considered? I'm guessing purely from a tech support aspect that should a "normal" person seek assistance with linux/ARM to their ISP their up **** creek without a paddle. As it is most ISP support is pretty guff. (personal opinion incase someone higher up from VM is watching lol).

Hmm - I can see Linux support as being a way for an ISP to get some market differentiation. I'm just off out to have lunch with Jack - we'll have a chat about it.

Problem is that there simply are not enough Linux users for an ISP to find it cost effective to support it. That may of course change with the Raspi of course! ISP's (UK anyway) currently give away ADSL devices to their users - they could give away a Raspi as well and get many more people online. They won't be interested in making money on HW - theirs is made on the connection charges, so that might even work. Hmmm. Only additional cost to the ISP over Raspi cost is a keyboard, assuming their end user has a HDMI TV.

There might even be a market for small LCD panels with HDMI in, just for connection to Raspi and the like. Hmm again. Film playback/TV in cars would be a interesting area for that.

Crikey, lots of ideas whizzing around my head now...
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Re: What have we missed?

Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:27 pm

My ISP would tell me to buy a windows machine if I want support! lol
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Re: What have we missed?

Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:02 pm

So I decided to run a score on what has been mentioned. I did not score them if it was just discussion on the topic.

Power input:
USB power=4 PoE=2 Car cord or 12Volt=2 Battery=2

Wireless:
WiFi=8 Bluetooth=2

Ethernet(wired):
extra port=3 Gigabit=2

More ports:
USB=2 SD-Card=4 PS2=1 VGA=3 SIM-card=1 mini-USB=1

connectors/pinouts:
JTAG=4 I2C/CAN=3 GPIO=3 expansion interface=1

Device restore or reset:=3

Other Storage:
USB 3.0=3 ESATA=4 COMPACT Flash=1 SATA/IDE=2 PCMCIA=1

Audio:
Microphone=2 additional audio support=3

LVDS:=1

FPGA:=1

USB Boot support:=1

Boot loader:=1

User upgrade Model A to Model B:=1

LCD/touchscreen connector:=2

Additional RAM:=2

CPU:
faster=1 Dual core=1

RTC:=3

Device mode:=3

Cases:
case=1 Lanyard hole=1

It looks like you have a pretty well rounded device. Not much mention about speed or RAM. Wireless seems to be the hands down favorite addition. ESATA was pretty popular. USB power equals ESATA. There is a huge tie between RTC, Device mode, USB3.0, additional audio support, Device reset, extra Ethernet ports and VGA port. A lot of the other stuff that is mentioned is on the board already. You did a real good job there.

If you were to go by these scores RasPi Model C would have Wirelees, ESATA and be USB powered. I am surprised that more memory and faster processors did not appear more in this thread. Maybe everyone just thinks they are a given as RasPi evolves.
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Re: What have we missed?

Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:14 pm

I think incorporating the combo WiFi / Bluetooth chipset would be a great addition.

The Bluetooth would help to use this device for the new Android@home ecosystem.

WiFi is everywhere and much pervasive at any given location than Ethernet

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Re: What have we missed?

Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:31 pm

Hopefully the cost of components will come down so this is possible. The other problem is how much room on the board will it take. Do you give up wired Ethernet to get it. And so on. Everyone has a different use in mind. I want the wired connection for one project and I would like the wireless for another. One project will work just fine with a USB HDD. The other would really benefit from anything like ESATA, USB 3.0 or SATA. If you compare what the goal of the foundation is, the Raspberry Pi is a very well rounded device for the price. the fact is any device that meets every bodies needs just cost too much and are too big to meets the foundations goals. USB can be used to meet the large majority of needs by installing what you need.
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Re: What have we missed?

Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:55 am

-

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Re: What have we missed?

Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:09 am

Quote from jesola on August 23, 2011, 04:55
-
Well said

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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:57 am

I would use this device to record live video from my IP Camera network I would then be able to play the stored and recorded footage locally through it's HDMI/Video Out.
....Who knows, a bit of coding, a few AT Commands and a GSM/3G Modem later and it could SMS/MMS my mobile with any detected movement etc...
....as well as being a NAS, a networked media player and maybe even an actual IP Camera itself!
It would be nice if it could do all of those things but I suppose we will have to wait and see how powerful and hardy it's CPU and GPU are.

The scope for this device is endless and so buying a couple of each of the board versions is my intent so that I can start learning, development and deployment! I wonder how popular these little machines will become in the future, cant wait! :-)

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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:16 pm

Hi
Nice project - one that I'll activley monitor.

What I'd like to see is some way to link I/O to a programming lanuage (say Python) or spreadsheet (OpenOffice) without having to decode USB stacks. Good olde analogue in / out

As a science teacher, what is sorely missing is a piece of hardware that can easily be turned into a data logger / monitor to allow descrete components (thermistors, thermocouples, LDRs, LEDs etc etc) to be controlled without using digital tools.

Have played with Arduinos for this, but as they fundamentally don't do anything, you need to program all the functionality.

Where this beats all of them, is as a self contained micro PC, running an operating system.

Keep up the good work.
Glen Gilchrist

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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:45 pm

Quote from eben on July 27, 2011, 22:54
Quote from pmcmorris on July 27, 2011, 22:42
What kind of SD cards will be supported? Will it be able to use SDXC? Essentially, will it take the 64GB cards or just the smaller ones?

Also, that's a very small amount of ram, especially considering that there is no dedicated video memory. The cost difference between 128 and 256 seems negligible compared to the differences in capabilities afforded by more space.

As an embedded systems developer I'm accustomed to making things fit in tight spaces. But I also know how much developer time can be saved just by having more space. Since this is a general purpose device, I expect that a lot of people will want to start porting code bases from platforms like the PC.

How much of a cost difference would there be for a 512MB model?

I've not actually tried SDXC - we do support SDHC though. Adding more RAM (512MB) is actually a matter of waiting for suitable top packages to appear on the merchant market. Cost delta is likely to be ~$5 over the 256MB version.

"Other operating system kernels, such as Linux, make no distinction between SDHC and SDXC cards, as long as the card contains a compatible filesystem." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....re_Digital

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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:21 pm

The big problem would be if there's SDXC signalling available on the SoC. If it doesn't, you won't be getting it working on the R-Pi with it's onboard interface. I'm interested in seeing 512Mb-1024Mb showing up on the device- and $5 more for a B variant with everything else sounds VERY intriguing and would make for a much more aggressive system for about $20-25 more than the target price for of the A model.

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Re: What have we missed?

Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:45 pm

RasPi server version: lol.
Very reduced GPU and increased CPU. Wonder if the price point could still be met at 1Ghz+ with 512MB or 1GB and the LAN9512 chipset, composite only out for initial setup and everything else handled by another RasPi through RDP. Just asking lol.

For a server you do not need much GPU at all just enough for initial setup. Since RasPi is installed on SD card it might not need any video at all. It would still need something to set the boot if it is to remain compatible with RasPi. Reducing the amount of GPU's dedicated memory would help to reduce the processors price theoretically. But I am sure that pressing a new processor for this would not make economic sense at all. I am sure there is a processor in broad(c)oms stable that could fill this bill nicely. Again just asking.

Edit: The reason I ask is there seems to be a lot of interest in the RasPi as a server or NAS.
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Re: What have we missed?

Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:11 pm

Quote from Lob0426 on August 29, 2011, 19:45
RasPi server version: lol.
Very reduced GPU and increased CPU. Wonder if the price point could still be met at 1Ghz+ with 512MB or 1GB and the LAN9512 chipset, composite only out for initial setup and everything else handled by another RasPi through RDP. Just asking lol.


It wouldn't be a R-Pi. And, more specifically, you can already get something that does the very thing you ask for in ARM right now. Just not for the low prices R-Pi will be for at this time: http://www.globalscaletechnolo.....plugs.aspx All you need is $149US.

As an observation, unless you're doing a dynamic content heavy website or similar, you honestly don't need more than 128-256Mb of RAM.

DanielSilva
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Re: What have we missed?

Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:27 pm

A lighthttpd server will only use 5MB of ram in general and will run very good even on a 200MHz MIPS ( i've used an old wrt54g to server some static content ), the problem is dynamic content. On the lighthttpd server and using PHP through FastCGI _each_ php process will use ~3.5M so the memory requirements will go up if you want to use PHP or any other dynamic language extensively.

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Re: What have we missed?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:24 pm

Svartalf: you are taking the fun out of it. I have looked at the GURU plug server. That Dreamplug is even better. I have a WHS using an Intel D945GCLF2 Atom 330, 2GB RAM, DVD-RW and 2.2 TB of storage. I ran it originally with 1GB of memory and it ran fine until I put an Americas Army server up on it.

Years past I put up an Apache web server with 512MB, so I know you can use less. I have seen many routers that have their own web page installed, but not for dynamic content.

Do not forget that a low cost server for education and training would be in line with the foundations goals. It needs no sound other than a beep, one USB for a HDD or extra flash storage and an Ethernet. Video could be reduced to just the composite video for setup. That's two connectors removed from the board, sound and 1 video. There was a comment in another thread about how expensive the audio connector was. Basically a Model B without audio or HDMI. Of course a different SoC as why waste the money on all that GPU for a board dedicated to be a server. And if you are going to save some money why not move it to something else such as memory.

But I still want a Raspberry Server dang it. LMAO
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Re: What have we missed?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:46 am

Hi
How about accessibility? Screenreader support would be great so our vision impaired students could use this neat little device. If I could get my hands on one of the alpha boards, my group would be happy to try to port speak up (http://www.linux-speakup.org/)

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Re: What have we missed?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:29 am

We need a price on a package that actually gives all the minimum items needed for a working system. I've tried to find the cheapest credible new prices to make an estimate. (UK prices will likely be at least 30% higher, plus VAT - I cynically figure it'll be about the same number in pounds as it is in dollars.)
Power supply ($5-$10)
SD card with preloaded OS (8GB, $7 + $1 for loading = $8)
USB Hub ($2, quality may be low, but includes USB cable. Real price may be $5-$10)
Keyboard ($9)
Mouse ($5)
HDMI cable ($4)
Component video cable ($1)
Plastic custom-molded enclosure ($3)

So that's roughly $38-$53 extra with a quick-start manual and a bit of packaging for the absolute cheapest and bare minimum real cost to have a functioning computer, assuming there's an unused TV or monitor available. This should be the default package, but there should be an ability to remove unneeded items - a few will not need the keyboard or the mouse and so forth.

If a TV is needed it would add another $100. Many people might be able to scare up an old CRT locally for less, but they are likely to be hard to move and to take up an inconvenient amount of room.

For internet, most will need at least:
{Ethernet cables ($2), Ethernet hub ($8)}
or
{Wi-Fi hub ($30), USB wifi adapter ($10), ethernet cables ($2)}
(modem and service not included)

And most people will also need a power strip ($5)

So for a really inclusive package, that's as much as $229, including the Raspberry Pi. (It would be at least 50% more, perhaps even double if these were bought piecemeal with associated shipping charges or local shop markups rather than as a single package from the foundation, taking advantage of their bulk buying power.) Plus shipping and packaging of course, so that will be about another $15, and another few dollars for miscellaneous expenses will be needed to actually break even - of course those living in remote places or wanting faster shipping will pay a bit more.
Total should be about $225 for the TV-included model, or $125 without the TV, but still including the ethernet or a wifi adapter. (+$30 for either package with a wifi bridge).

This is basically the same price as a decent used laptop, though that would have advantages and disadvantages relative to the Raspberry Pi. (an order of magnitude more memory and disk space, more general-purpose, more available software, higher resolution, portable VS. less reliable, smaller screen and not tailored for the purpose) The Pi is not by any means a clear winner when all the needed components are added .

The lesson I take from this is that getting a fully usable, low cost system into students' hands depends far more on the accessories than it does on the computer itself. Keeping the headline price artificially low by not including essentials may generate great buzz, but it won't actually make the system cheaper.

Your buyers need you to offer all the accessories listed above, separately, at slightly above the lowest online retail cost you can find, and offer set packages of essentials at near cost. If you don't, it will have as much of a harmful effect on the amount customers are out of pocket as it would if you doubled or tripled the price of the Raspberry Pi itself.

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Re: What have we missed?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:34 am

^ A few points:

1. I'd argue that the majority of the people who would buy the r-pi (not including the ones donated to charity or sent to schools) would not be in need of a keyboard or mouse, and probably would not need any additional internet equipment (though that's no reason not to offer them)
2. Most of the prices you listed above are for retail components. A quick look on eBay will show you plenty of keyboards and mice for $2 or so each, not including shipping. These would also be much cheaper if bought in bulk. Agreed, they might not be of the highest quality, but that can be worked around.
3. Likewise, 7" LCD monitors can be found for ~$100. Yes, these are no-brand ones with probably average quality, but we're talking about assembling a complete package as cheaply as possible. I didn't look extensively to find these, and they are e-tail prices, so naturally cheaper options would be available if, like you say, the Foundation 'needs' to offer these.

My point is simply that your prices may not be accurate for what a user would necessarily have to pay, especially if they were unafraid of buying on eBay or elsewhere online.

In spite of what might seem as a negative view towards your post, I heartily agree that for many people the major cost will be related to the accessories that they are able to buy, and as such I think it would be a good step to offer such a 'package', though I do not know how practical that would be from the point of view of the Foundation (I have read somewhere that thet are thinking of sourcing some peripherals, but I do not want to make any assumptions/statements that could be misconstrued as being 'official' - I'll link to the info if I find it).

EDIT: Also, see this thread:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/?pa.....38;t=232.1

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Re: What have we missed?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:55 am

To send all of that to the US would cost the $200 in shipping alone. There are tons of places to find most of that free even in my little backwoods town. Some you can find cheap at yard sales. As to a TV, CRT's are pretty much gone in California as they are not allowed to be resold because they are considered hazardous material. You could not ship a CRT here at all. That is another problem, every locality has different rules on electronics. In the States you have to have it UL Listed. I am sure there is such an entity in almost every country.

Keyboards, I gave three plus mice away last spring. All Dells from systems I have bought. I still have two laying here right now. I have three Linksys routers , well two that I am not using. I give this stuff to people all the time. I offered one to Liz too. If I find a kid that needs a keyboard mouse and router to get started with his RasPi he/she gets it, probably got a wall wart laying around for them too. If not I will buy it for them. I will bet there are a lot of others here who feel the same way. I also have given away several LCD monitors over the last year. My brother has inherited two desktops in the last year one for a server and one for his gaming computer he passed on his old computer to someone else. I gave two desktop to my daughter and her husband in the Airforce. This was all in the last two years. Those of us that have the computer bug just seem to collect this stuff and most of us give it away when we are done with it.

Well not Liz she is still blogging on her BBC micro I think, and has a monkey to flip a light switch for her router. lol Eben give her a RasPI!
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Re: What have we missed?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:28 pm

How about this:

We've got the basic model A in the $25 price point right? Most of these other requests are for added functionality e.g. devs want JTAG, people want WiFi, etc. How about the Arduino kind idea? Have a little (prob standard) pin interface that could maybe be daisy chained. So then you can at your pace introduce tiny extension boards e.g. wifi board. and maybe allow them to be physically stackable or something (by means of aligned mounting holes, etc)

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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:02 pm

@ vadsamoht:
I was trying to make an estimate of the additional costs for the original target market, kids who don't have their own computer. Some families will have old peripherals, but USB is needed, so many of the old ones won't work, and of course many families do not have any old peripherals at all. Suitable used gear is not all that easy to find - it may take weeks to get it all together from individuals with extras and the driving entailed may make it difficult for many families to get the lot together. . Gear at used computer shops is often not much cheaper than the cheapest new peripherals, and such shops are rare. The prices I quoted included some eBay items, but with the lowest price items the headline price is often not realistic - the vendor pads the shipping cost to make up for it. The prices I quoted are the lowest realistic ones I could find, generally lower than most volume wholesale quotes. Wholesale quotes are often not as low as one might expect - for instance, I got a qty.1000 quote from Digi-Key on the power supplies of around $6.50. On the other hand the $100 I quoted for a TV was not a mere 7" LCD, but a 1080p monitor with HDMI, somewhere in the 17"-20" range, IIRC. Looking now at a search on "LCD HDMI" the best deal on a non-refurbished model is $127 for a 22" 1080p, (though there is a refurbished 16" 720p at $95). Even if you could get some components a bit cheaper, others would be a bit higher - overall I think the estimate was about as conservative as it could be for prices a carefully shopping family or startup company might get. Perhaps by buying bulk directly from China up to another 25% savings might be possible, but this is something families can't do and which a startup would need at least a few hundred thousand dollars to pull off.

@ Lob0426: "To send all of that to the US would cost the $200 in shipping alone. " Yes, but actually those are US prices. Shipping it to UK would be more relevant, and in either case compliance issues could be a problem, at least for the TV monitor and Wi-Fi bridge. (Or not - but it's another little hassle to check.) Using a fulfillment house with a transatlantic presence and using mostly bulk surface shipping to the fulfillment house's warehouses would cut shipping costs tremendously.

While there is a lot of surplus gear out there, hooking up with the right people and picking up all the bits with a reasonable amount of time, effort, and gas expended will not be easy for most people. Most parents will go to a local chain retailer and pay 50% more than I quoted, particularly the ones without a computer who don't do much online shopping.

tl:dr : Peripherals are most of the costs to the target market, reducing their total costs in money, time and effort should be a primary goal. This can be achieved by the foundation shopping in bulk for the best deals, offering easy packages of the most needed items, and reducing the total shipping costs by shipping 1 package instead of many.

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