cashaw
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Re: Setting expectations...

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:07 pm

First off, I love the RaspberryPI and all it stands for, I feel like a kid again, waiting for my BBC B to be delivered in 1983 ! (Is it real 30 years ago ??)

I have followed RPI for almost a year and have been as excited about it as most everyone, I am willing to wait a little bit longer until I finally get one in my hands !

However, the hysteria that has followed the RPI launch in the past week has got me concerned. I know that the RPI is purely a development platform from which lots great ideas will sprout, but some of the members on my non-technical forums seem to have jumped on the bandwagon without really understanding what the RPI is.

I had a long discussion today with someone who had bought the RPI as a pure media streaming platform. We all know it can potentially run XBMC, but how well ? In my friends mind the RPI was "a media centre", and that is why he had bought it. I am sure he is not alone in mis-understanding what the RPI is all about....

I am just a little concerned that when people start receiving their RPI's, there are going to be a lot of upset users who are expecting the RPI to do a lot more than they are expecting. This forum is going to be flooded with complaints and comments along the line of "I've just received a circuit board in the post, what I am supposed to do with it now ??"

Sorry to be negative, it just seems that some people I have spoken to seem to have a completely wrong idea about RPI and what it can do.

jamesh
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Re: Setting expectations...

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:11 pm

Don't worry - we are preparing ourselves for the onslaught.

My personal thought is that it will be worse than the launch day palaver, and that really brought the trolls out.

On the other hand, a lot of people who know exactly what its capable of, and who have sensible expectations, will also be here to help. I hope.
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Lynbarn
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Re: Setting expectations...

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:15 pm

Hi and welcome, cashaw,

I can see the point you're making, but to be fair, nobody had to buy a 'Pi, and there is plenty of information around on what the 'Pi is all about, and what it is designed for. It is a case of "caveat emptor", and you can hardly blame the RP Foundation for somebody buying something without doing even some basic research.

All is not lost however, if anybody you know isn't happy with their purchase, I'll be happy to take it off their hands for them!

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Re: Setting expectations...

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:17 pm

I bet there"s loads of people who missed out on the first batch that would offer to take them off their hands.

See above (while I was typing LOL)
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Re: Setting expectations...

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:36 pm

Do you know if they will be shipped with a single A4 sheet of paper giving the essential 'safety' (Electrostatic and Power Supply requirements) Data Sheet, and 'where-to-look' information? ....I'm thinking  in terms of the 'HDUK bargainhunters' and the like...

Although the normal range of 'components' from RS/Farnell don't get packed with them in all cases (since its usually been read before ordering), I wouldn't be surprised if their QA/support teams were working on something-  for their own preservation!

(and avoid damaged returns)

Although regular foundation/forum readers know of this as a development pre-release, and will be helping write the documentation, andapplications, in time for School's use, much of 'interpretation' of the coverage will have overlooked the diistinction and time scale for the 'general public' launch of the cased product etc.

I'm not sure they'd like a cartoon of 'fitting windows' to a Pi using a jigsaw to cut

a round wndow, or a square window.....   they might be inclined to kick 'BigTed'/the Pi across the Studio Floor**   (with due credit to Playschool (c) BBCtv)  

**Fred Harris,as I recall

cashaw
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Re: Setting expectations...

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:46 pm


That's an idea ! Bring Fred Harris out of retirement to present a new series of "Making the most of the Raspberry" !


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Tass
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Re: Setting expectations...

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:01 pm

alexeames said:


I bet there"s loads of people who missed out on the first batch that would offer to take them off their hands.



Woohoo!!  Cut-price units!!

Honestly though, they're only out £30, they DO have a working media device of some kind (small, portable, low-power, capable of holding 50+ hours of media).  And as everyone's said, it was all there in black and white for them to read.

@Phil - good point, lets hope they get something with their delivery that'll help them figure it out and not blow it up.  Lets admit it - a Pi in the hands of someone that doesn't appreciate it is still better than burnt Pi!

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scep
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Re: Setting expectations...

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:41 pm

Yes, we expect lots of "complaints" along these lines. But if one in ten (a hundred? a thousand?) people who don't immediately get it  - or get it to work - perhaps think, "hang on, what happens if I try this... hey, that's interesting"*, then this is part of what the Foundation is trying to acheive. The curious owners will come on the forums and ask for help and try to learn something instead of moaning that their Pi won't play Skyrim. The latter have "wasted" the cost of a few DVDs and can pass it on.

(*Perhaps the Foundation's byline should be Asimov's observation that the most exciting phrase to hear in science is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny...' )

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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:27 am

If there are unwanted boards perhaps the foundation could set up a collection box and donate them to schools.

I am hoping, despite what I read in the forums, that most of the non-technical types either persist and learn something or got scared off by RS/Element14 being serious electronics distributors.

adlambert

Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:44 am

Hi and welcome, cashaw,

I can see the point you"re making, but to be fair, nobody had to buy a "Pi, and there is plenty of information around on what the "Pi is all about, and what it is designed for. It is a case of "caveat emptor", and you can hardly blame the RP Foundation for somebody buying something without doing even some basic research.


All true. However, consumer law and DSR are all stacked in favour of the buyer (in EU), so they can blame whoever they like. Luckily it"s RS and Farnell who are going to have to bear that one.

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oztrailrider
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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:12 am

I do expect there will be quite a few hitting ebay when the people who ordered them without understanding what the Pi is for and what it is capable of think "this is crap!". I had a discussion the other night with one such person in the #raspberrypi IRC channel on Freenode.

This person was bagging the foundation for not being able to deliver boards yesterday and making comments like "where do they make them? in their basement?". The channel regulars quickly came to the foundations defense but when we asked this person what their intention was for the Pi it became apparent that they were one of the people who ordered the Pi simply because of it's price without understanding it's real purpose. They wanted a cheap NAS unit.

There will be lots of people like the example above when units start shipping, I hope the foundation doesn't get too swamped by them and manages to ignore them. They have done a brilliant job of holding up to the storm of undeserved criticism so far.

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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:22 am

Agreed, there is certain to be some of this, from folks who jumped on the bandwagon thinking they were buying a very cheap Windows PC. Hopefully it won"t lead to negative publicity, being outweighed by positive stories about cool projects with the Raspi, increasing demand, etc.

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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:38 am

I think "Media Center" is the number one use I've heard people cite for using a RasPi for. It makes me grit my teeth a little because I know playing hi-def video is pushing the limits of the device, and isn't really the intent. Seems like such a waste to use the RasPi for that kind of function. I'd sooner invest in a slim line high power PC as a media center then try and squeeze every last drop of processing and memory unit out of a RasPi just so I could watch videos on my TV.

Yes, expectations need to be set...

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meltwater
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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:44 am

Without fitting some mind controlling circuits on the RPi, people will always apply wishful thinking to such things.

There are two sad things though,

1) They brought a RPi which someone else could have brought.

2) If they hang on a few months, chances are there will be lots they can do with it as the community gets to grips with it.

Perhaps we can have a whole section for people, "I brought a RPi and now I don"t know what to do with it…".

As for documentation, I did notice that Farnel had some form of User manual on their site(not sure if this is the edu user manual talked about previously by the foundation or their own).  Overall looks ok (along the same lines as the wiki) except the whole SD card stuff looks a little complex – again scanning over it looks like the wiki text (I"ve not tried that part yet, but I"m sure there are better ways).

At least they also refer people to the wiki at the end, so they should have somewhere good to get more information.

The whole media player thing has come from the XBMC videos and the air play stuff.  The RPi should be able to cope thanks to the super GPU, but codex support may not cover everything.  Also, how ready it is to go in the wild, is another thing.
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jamesh
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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:18 am

Markavian said:


I think "Media Center" is the number one use I've heard people cite for using a RasPi for. It makes me grit my teeth a little because I know playing hi-def video is pushing the limits of the device, and isn't really the intent. Seems like such a waste to use the RasPi for that kind of function. I'd sooner invest in a slim line high power PC as a media center then try and squeeze every last drop of processing and memory unit out of a RasPi just so I could watch videos on my TV.

Yes, expectations need to be set...


Actually, H264 1080p30 playback isn't really pushing the limits that hard. The SoC GPU was designed to run 1080p30, so that exactly what it does. The CPU is running very quiet during playback. What processing on the CPU XBMC chooses to do during playback is up to them.
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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:19 am

scep said:


Yes, we expect lots of "complaints" along these lines. But if one in ten (a hundred? a thousand?) people who don't immediately get it  - or get it to work - perhaps think, "hang on, what happens if I try this... hey, that's interesting"*, then this is part of what the Foundation is trying to acheive. The curious owners will come on the forums and ask for help and try to learn something instead of moaning that their Pi won't play Skyrim. The latter have "wasted" the cost of a few DVDs and can pass it on.

(*Perhaps the Foundation's byline should be Asimov's observation that the most exciting phrase to hear in science is not 'Eureka!' but, 'That's funny...' )


Foundation? Asimov?
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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:24 am

meltwater said:


Perhaps we can have a whole section for people, "I brought a RPi and now I don"t know what to do with it…".


It would be a good idea to document a few things that amateurs can do usefully. We already have instructions to build a NAS. Is there anything else that an amateur could do with an unwanted RPi?

We could also create preloaded SD cards for common appliances like a NAS or firewall. Some may think that this is too much hand-holding, but it might make some people realise that the RPi can do something useful and encourage them to experiment just a little bit.

Even the the experience of burning an SD card to create a NAS could be the first step for some people to open their minds.

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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:29 am

A couple of comments from someone who understands the Pi, what it can and can't do and what it is "intended" for, but yet, at the same time, one who is a little less thrilled about it now than before.  I.e., the bloom has come slightly off the rose.

1) My first thought on hearing about/seeing the Pi, actually was "cheap media player/center" - and I was, as someone alluded to, initially impressed by the videos of XBMC running on the Pi, although I'd actually prefer to run VLC.  I sort of cooled on this idea when I learned that it only plays H.264 natively.  People on this forum were talking about having to convert all their media files to H.264 (Yuck!)

2) Someone upthread mentioned "cheap NAS" as another one of those things that the unwashed heathens expected to be able to do with their Pi.  Well, I think that "cheap NAS" is an entirely good use of the device.  It seems to me that "plug in a USB hub and some USB hard drives, set it up in Linux with Samba" and away you go!  Is there a problem here that I'm not seeing?
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:36 am

JamesH said:


Foundation? Asimov?


Surely we're really looking for the 2nd foundation
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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:43 am

bredman said:


meltwater said:


Perhaps we can have a whole section for people, "I brought a RPi and now I don"t know what to do with it…".


It would be a good idea to document a few things that amateurs can do usefully. We already have instructions to build a NAS. Is there anything else that an amateur could do with an unwanted RPi?

We could also create preloaded SD cards for common appliances like a NAS or firewall. Some may think that this is too much hand-holding, but it might make some people realise that the RPi can do something useful and encourage them to experiment just a little bit.

Even the the experience of burning an SD card to create a NAS could be the first step for some people to open their minds.


With this in mind, I"m thinking about re-expanding the "Getting started" section of the wiki, I would welcome thoughts and ideas from people.

I"ve put some ideas down on the wiki discussion page:

http://elinux.org/Talk:R-Pi_Hu.....#Layout

You can comment here, if you don"t want to register within the wiki:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....e-4#p50206

You can never have enough hand-holding, the RPi is intended to encourage people to try things out, failing to do things isn"t too encouraging.

A lot of people (perhaps even most…scary thought!) will not even know what linux is, let alone a Samba server (is it someone who dances while bringing you your drinks?).
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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:57 am

RaTTuS said:


JamesH said:


Foundation? Asimov?


Surely we're really looking for the 2nd foundation



I'm positronic you're looking too far ahead! 

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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:23 am

Joe Schmoe said:

 2) Someone upthread mentioned "cheap NAS" as another one of those things that the unwashed heathens expected to be able to do with their Pi.  Well, I think that "cheap NAS" is an entirely good use of the device.  It seems to me that "plug in a USB hub and some USB hard drives, set it up in Linux with Samba" and away you go!  Is there a problem here that I'm not seeing?

IMHO running a NAS on anything less than Gigabit ethernet is like watching paint dry. Using USB2 hard drives just makes this worse. If you want a NAS get something like a HP Proliant Microserver (when they have the £100 cashback) and load a Linux server distribution. Ubuntu server "just works" but I suspect that any distribution would do. Much more capable and not much more money.

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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:33 am

I would also envisage the following complaints from people who haven't done their research:

a) It's not as fast as your average PC

b) It won't run Windows Visa/XP/7

TheManWhoWas
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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:55 am

My first post to the forum a few weeks back was the "Isn't this all too complicated?" thread because I was concerned the Pi was too hardcore for its intended audience.

At the time the official response was that the first batch were for the "dev hackers" and the educational release at the end of the summer would be the "consumer friendly" version with a case, pre-configured software etc.

So I was a bit surprised with the whole "set your alarms" launch as I genuinely assumed the first batches would only be available to those who had already "expressed an interest" by signing up to the mailing list (kind of thought that was the point TBH).

But now the world and his dog know about and want the "$25 computer" which is great at many levels, but presumably means the original hacker -> consumer release plan has been completely derailed doesn't it?

Equally I can see with RS and Farnell on board that presumably bundles with cases and all the accessories should come online a lot sooner, so effectively bringing consumer release forwards. If they also sold SD cards with pre-configured images on them for particular uses, that would be a bonus too.

Anyway, I think the biggest thing for the Foundation is going to be trying to anticipate the issues and thinking up ways to mitigate them e.g. the zillions of people who are going to buy £5 HDMI to VGA cables that don't work.

I don't envy you guys!!

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Re: Setting expectations...

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:58 am

PisRUS said:


I would also envisage the following complaints from people who haven't done their research:

a) It's not as fast as your average PC

b) It won't run Windows Visa/XP/7


And from the more tech-aware, "Can it run Win 8 ARM?"
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