fruitoftheloom
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:41 pm

jdb wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote: It's not so much the design costs (though they're not cheap) as it is getting the design into Silicon to find out if you got it right...and then fixing the design and trying again (and again, and again....depending on just how good the designers are).

Beyond that, there's a big difference between Apple--a company with tens of billions of dollars to spend however it wants--and the RPF for which a million dollars is a sizable amount of money.

The reason that chips are so cheap is the scale of production of identical devices. If you can sell 100 million of *anything*, the R&D part of the cost gets lost in the noise. Bear in mind that Pis sell between 1 and 2 million units per year . The cell phone businesses sell more like a billion units per year. The SoC in Pi is cheap because Broadcom sold millions of them before the Pi ever came along...the R&D costs were already amortized off. If the Pi switched to a custom designed SoC, the RPF would have to absorb the entire R&D cost.

The net result of all this is that the Pi--and any future Pi--will use "obsolete" SoCs.
This guy gets it.

The Pi currently sells at volumes that are an order of magnitude below that which would cause a fabless chip design company (not necessarily Broadcom) to wake up and pay attention. Thus we are constrained by chips that are already on the market.

With significant software engineering effort already expended behind the current VC4 architecture, we would effectively throw that away if we suddenly migrated to a feature-equivalent chip from a different manufacturer. We'd also take a huge risk in terms of future upstream software support, community involvement etc.

Having an "obsolete" chip is actually beneficial in this case - there are no blue-chip customers that care too much about the internal architecture being publicly documented. They will have moved on to the latest and greatest new shiny toy. This allows us to insert various levers that open up bits of the chip that were previously undocumented without too much resistance.

The Pi's original laudable design goal was to be a cheap and cheerful minimal computer that could be used to learn the basics of programming. As it happens, with the hardware inside the Pi you can learn pretty much all of the advances in computer science in the last 30 years from this device - the 3D, codec and vector engines are still considered to be state-of-the-art. People whining that it doesn't do X fast enough don't know how to write software properly.
Yes has had been said before ad-infinitum, I am dismayed that this thread has not been blocked, it is a total waste of forum space and brings zero to the RPi.

Whatever is spouted here is just hot air and will not change the RPF future plans one iota.

So please please please can we have this last stupid idiotic thread yanked :shock: :shock:
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:42 pm

I suspect the reason they haven't locked it is they'd preffer to try and keep the ranting regarding a next gen Pi in one thread.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:50 pm

plugwash wrote:I suspect the reason they haven't locked it is they'd preffer to try and keep the ranting regarding a next gen Pi in one thread.
18 months and 5 pages and total achievement is I say " get a life" :D
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:29 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:Yes has had been said before ad-infinitum, I am dismayed that this thread has not been blocked, it is a total waste of forum space and brings zero to the RPi.
  • The topic is inevitable and unavoidable
  • The discussion does no harm and throws up the occasional insight
  • It is evidently of interest to those who participate
  • Those who don't find it interesting are free to ignore it

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:52 pm

[*]The topic is inevitable and unavoidable
[*]The discussion does no harm and throws up the occasional insight
[*]It is evidently of interest to those who participate
[*]Those who don't find it interesting are free to ignore it
The topic isn't inevitable, as its certain that for at least a couple of years more there will be no fundamentally new PI so there is really nothing to discuss! :P
the topic does harm as it seeds discontent, it may be only of interest to those who want to seed discontent, Those who do not find it interesting may nevertheless stumble onto it, and be influenced by its rhetoric. :(

Still, i'm not for locking the thread, as from a purely hypothetical POV it may hold some interest, as long its made very clear that nothing of what is talked about is relevant in the near future. ;)

The PI is suitable for its educational goal for quite some time, as there are almost no educational goals that it cannot fulfill in its current state. :mrgreen: And I don't see any new programming languages or computing concepts coming in the near future it wouldn't be able to handle.

as for non educational uses, I think the computer module is better suited for that, and due to its design the module can be easily updated with another SoC, without breaking any hardware built around it.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:34 am

mahjongg wrote:please stop flogging this dead horse, just to annoy!
It's really difficult to annoy a dead horse. :roll:
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:34 am

mahjongg wrote:Still, i'm not for locking the thread, as from a purely hypothetical POV it may hold some interest, as long its made very clear that nothing of what is talked about is relevant in the near future. ;) .
I would say the posts from jdb and W. H. Heydt, just before fruitoftheloom started complaining, were very relevant to the near future, and the best examples of why this thread (and those like it) should be left open!

As for being a total waste of space on the forum, how much space does it take? 356 posts @ 1k each, with two copies for backup, is less than one picture. I'm willing to donate that space on my hard-drive if we're that stressed for space

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:52 pm

The PI is suitable for its educational goal for quite some time, as there are almost no educational goals that it cannot fulfill in its current state
Some of us in front line education would respectfully disagree - lack of onboard VGA for instance adds a significant cost to school deployments.

If the Pi had onboard VGA obviously the price might have to increase - but I'd suggest that this would be unlikely to be more than an external VGA adaptor but this would make the Pi have the same connectivity as the vast majority of all other computers and would help its take up in schools.

At the moment, its an extra faff and faff is something that teachers can do without :)

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:45 pm

simplesi wrote:At the moment, its an extra faff and faff is something that teachers can do without :)
I don't need nor desire VGA, having HDMI (with a HDMI to DVI-D cable) works with my monitor and TVs. So you'll just have to wait for Gert's B+ beta VGA add-on to become a mainstream item.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:57 pm

simplesi wrote:
The PI is suitable for its educational goal for quite some time, as there are almost no educational goals that it cannot fulfill in its current state
Some of us in front line education would respectfully disagree - lack of onboard VGA for instance adds a significant cost to school deployments.

If the Pi had onboard VGA obviously the price might have to increase - but I'd suggest that this would be unlikely to be more than an external VGA adaptor but this would make the Pi have the same connectivity as the vast majority of all other computers and would help its take up in schools.

At the moment, its an extra faff and faff is something that teachers can do without :)

Simon
It would be interesting to know how many schools are actually having this problem. It's a crying shame, and practically criminal, that schools have been buying 'up to date' LCD monitors that do not have any sort of digital input, bearing in mind DVI and HDMI have been around for YEARS. Of course, it's actually quite difficult to buying a monitor without digital in nowadays (and has been for a while), so if schools are still doing so, that is a complete waste of taxpayers money and someone is ripping them off.

Still Gert's board should be useful, if it ever gets put in to mass production, but does use up a lot of the GPIO's.

The Foundation has no intention of releasing anything with VGA built in, AFAIK. It is a dead interface, seemingly only surviving in schools....
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:04 pm

They are not buying new monitors - they have loads of old VGA ones :)

Monitors don't get updated unless they break - no school would buy new monitors when they replace their computers when the old ones are perfectly adequate.

It would be criminal to waste money :)

The point I made was that for educational use - VGA is what is generally required and that the Pi lacks this

The VGA boat was probably missed when the B+ was made but who knows how long our monitors will last - if it only costs 50p to add VGA on the model C - maybe some discussion would be worthwhile at that point in time :)

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Last edited by simplesi on Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:15 pm

simplesi wrote:
The VGA was probably missed when the B+ was made but who knows how long our monitors will last - if it only costs 50p to add VGA on the model C - maybe some discussion would be worthwhile at that point in time :)
By the time a future model of the Raspberry Pi comes out there'll be even less reason to have VGA on the board. As folks move out of the 1980s into the 21st century their expensive to run and impossible to maintain VGA CRTs will die. As James said it's reaching a point where it is 100% impossible to buy a monitor that doesn't have HDMI or DVI-D there's even a thriving 2nd hand market for DVI-D ready monitors. Use one of those with a £3 cable and you're set to go with HDMI.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:22 pm

I think it would cost a sight more than 50p. It's a board redesign (6 months work), with an extra chip to be interfaced, plus an extra socket. Not sure of SW implications - if you added a chip that did the HDMI to VGA conversion you could probably have both running at the same time. I'm guessing probably £150k development cost, plus the extra cost of manufacture.

I guess your school is still using a majority of CRT's then. In which case they will fail eventually and be replaced by LCD. Ensure they have DVI when that happens!

I really must check the local primary school. They have LCD's and I've always presumed they have DVI in.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:40 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
simplesi wrote:At the moment, its an extra faff and faff is something that teachers can do without :)
I don't need nor desire VGA, having HDMI (with a HDMI to DVI-D cable) works with my monitor and TVs. So you'll just have to wait for Gert's B+ beta VGA add-on to become a mainstream item.
You are not a school user are you?

I think there are probably huge numbers of vga monitors still in use or still usable around the world, I bet lots of third world countries have tons of them but probably every school has some store cupboards filled with unused vga monitors.

Of course I don't know if the energy savings of vs costs of buying new lcds would outweigh the running costs of higher power requirements from vga crt?

I have 6 crt vga monitors still in use, old vga monitors generally seem really durable and last for years, I only bought an lcd monitor for use with the rpi, I would still not have any digital input monitors if it were not for wanting to use the rpi.

VGA sounds like a good idea if it could be done for low enough price, far better than the rca composite output for old analog tv because using an old tv really really sucks for reading text.

I would not bother adding vga unless it could be done for under $1, and the further time goes by the less useful vga becomes as more and more get put in landfill, but if it had been on the original pi it would have added huge value for schools reusing old equipment (ps2 mice and keyboards also).

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:48 pm

I really really wish that people would just accept what the situation in schools IS instead of saying its wrong :)

We have LOTS of VGA monitors in schools - you dont like this - I'd love to have HDMI/DVI as well - we don't have em

A Pi with VGA would (probably would have) be(en) excellent to have :)

Simon
PS No monitor I've got is CRT BTW - they are all LCD
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:52 pm

Sorry - let me explain why its important
If we have to buy new monitors to run Pi, then the cost/benefit of a Pi to a school falls dramatically.

Now, a VGA adaptor is £10 but even that increases the cost of Pi capital outlay by 20% and on top of that (amd more importantly) its another barrier to Pi adoption in schools

The more barriers - the less the uptake.

There are a few of us fighting to bring these barriers down but its hard to do so when getting shot at by both sides :)

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:52 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
plugwash wrote:I suspect the reason they haven't locked it is they'd preffer to try and keep the ranting regarding a next gen Pi in one thread.
18 months and 5 pages and total achievement is I say " get a life" :D
I wonder if suggestions from this thread like better usb power, more usb ports, get rid or the analog tv output, more connectors to fewer sides of the board, have some mounting screw holes, and more gpio, had any influence on the B+ design?

Do the rpi foundation pay consumer focus groups to help them design their products, do schools know what they need?

Yeah everyone has 2p dunno what you can buy with 2p these days?
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:26 pm

You would think that nobody has thought to ask the question "Can we stick VGA on here?" or "What ports do we need and what can we do without?". Reading through some of the posts here, you'd think that the raspberry pi foundation is run by monkeys locked in a dark room, randomly sticking things together and hoping it works.

Do people not realise that the raspberry pi foundation is primarily made up of educators, PhD's and people with ridiculous amount of industry experience who know exactly what they're doing? Not to mention the outreach on the education side of things and the feedback they get from schools.

The pi can't and won't be everything for everybody. It has what it needs to do the job, which it's doing well. Yes, it can be better, but when it comes to making sure that the pi is a viable product now and remains so in the future, support 80's technology is not a step forward.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:36 pm

It has what it needs to do the job, which it's doing well
As I said a few posts back - I respectfully disagree

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:49 pm

simplesi wrote:
It has what it needs to do the job, which it's doing well
As I said a few posts back - I respectfully disagree

Simon
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:25 pm

simplesi wrote:
It has what it needs to do the job, which it's doing well
As I said a few posts back - I respectfully disagree

Simon
You disagree in the context of your school. How many school do you know of that have this problem? Of the 26K schools in this country, do we have any idea how many are only VGA?

I'd say that the is no known source to confirm or deny that this is a widespread problem. Although I do have access to information on schools (I'm a school governor), I don't think this is a recorded data point. But I am going to check the one school I can check.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Foundation is not going to put VGA on. So it's a fairly moot point.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:32 pm

Another point. I've been reading and seeing a lot recently about how school are buying lots of iPads for their students.

Perhaps instead of paying over the odds for overpriced tablets, they should buy sensibly priced tablets, and spend the rest on decent monitors.

On the other hand, use the iPads as display devices....

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:42 pm

One of my local high schools has asked me as a STEM ambassador to help set up a computer club that will use RPI's. They only have VGA monitors so I suggested putting them on the network and using VNC to get round this.

Unfortunately the whole computer club / RPi idea has been blocked by the school network administrator who is a complete and utter control freak. Incompetent/lazy/unknowledgeable network administrators are a bigger issue in schools than VGA monitors.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:53 pm

jamesh wrote: It would be interesting to know how many schools are actually having this problem. It's a crying shame, and practically criminal, that schools have been buying 'up to date' LCD monitors that do not have any sort of digital input, bearing in mind DVI and HDMI have been around for YEARS. Of course, it's actually quite difficult to buying a monitor without digital in nowadays (and has been for a while), so if schools are still doing so, that is a complete waste of taxpayers money and someone is ripping them off.
Bearing in mind that the plural of "anecdote" is NOT "data"...here is an anecdote...

My grandson is in first grade. In his classroom, there are 4 computers that the kids get to use. When I first saw them, two of them had panel monitors and two had CRTs. None of the monitors was over 15" diagonal. Since then, being in the process (as I find them...cheap) of migrating from 17" panels to 19" panels, I donated a 17" panel to the classroom. The teacher was absolutely delighted for the upgrade. I plan to donate another when I decide on which one to part with.

The school is--according to the teacher--trying to migrate to all LCD monitors, but budget.

(Last year, when he was in kindergarden, I donated two 15" VGA-only panels to his teacher. The screen size and resolution stayed the same, but she was very happy to get more desk space in front of the monitor.)

So for all you out there with surplus monitors that are old, small or obsolete, but still in good working order, I have no doubt that you can find a grateful school to take them off your hands. It does help to write down make, model, and specifications (just look it all up online and write the data on a 3x5 card). If a monitor goes directly to a classroom, you will probably be asked to hook it up. At least at the level I've been dealing with schools, there is a certain amount of fear-of-tech (or, possibly, fear of union) from otherwise competent teachers. (Be sure to bring all needed cables along, too.)

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:03 pm

Incompetent network administrators are a bigger issue in schools than VGA monitors.
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