PisRUS
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:20 pm

From looking at the board, it appears to be absolutely impossible to add more RAM - is that correct?

Are future board revisions likely to perhaps provide the abilitiy to increase the onboard RAM?

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RaTTuS
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:24 pm

Yes, [well you can via swap space]

No,

it's in the FAQ
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JoeDaStudd
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:27 pm

Not without increasing the size and cost of the unit.

Both of which would go against the purpose of the Raspberry Pi.

6+9... 2nd time this week

Kernel
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:30 pm

PisRUS said:


Are future board revisions likely to perhaps provide the abilitiy to increase the onboard RAM?



Unlikely - see the post by Gert in: http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....unt-of-ram

PisRUS
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:38 pm

Thanks, didn't see that topic (even though I did a search for 'ram' in topic titles).

Fair enough, 256MBytes is all we're likely to have for now (AND for the next year or two at least?).

Lynbarn
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:44 pm

PisRUS said:


Thanks, didn"t see that topic (even though I did a search for "ram" in topic titles).

Fair enough, 256MBytes is all we"re likely to have for now (AND for the next year or two at least?).


"RAM" is three characters – the forum search only works with strings of four or more. You might get better results using the Google site search feature on the home page.

Yes, just 256 for the forseeable future. I'm afraid we'll all just have to learn to rightwrite tighter code

Kernel
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:49 pm

Lynbarn said:


Yes, just 256 for the forseeable future. I'm afraid we'll all just have to learn to right tighter code


But first we can learn how to write "write"

p.s. this happens to me all the time too doing the wrong spelling!

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:01 pm

Actually, just to be a bit contrarian, my understanding is that a 512M PoP memory chip does exist, and could, in theory, be used in a Pi-like board.  It is not feasible now or in the forseeable (immediate) future, but it probably will be a reality (on the Pi) at some point down the road.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

Lynbarn
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:07 pm

Kernel said:


Lynbarn said:


Yes, just 256 for the forseeable future. I'm afraid we'll all just have to learn to right tighter code


But first we can learn how to write "write"

p.s. this happens to me all the time too doing the wrong spelling!


You've got me there! - it was the repetitve visual pattern that caused it, but then I even get my own name wrong sometimes!

Kernel
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:11 pm

Joe Schmoe said:


Actually, just to be a bit contrarian, my understanding is that a 512M PoP memory chip does exist, and could, in theory, be used in a Pi-like board.  It is not feasible now or in the forseeable (immediate) future, but it probably will be a reality (on the Pi) at some point down the road.



this is covered in the post by Gert in the topic I have linked to above

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RaTTuS
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:12 pm

yes there is a possibility that the RPi can go up to 512Mb - but it's not going to happen for a while [see this year / next at least]
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Kernel
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:14 pm

you could also buy more than 1 and try and run them in some type of cluster - not sure how feasible this is but could work

Smartybones
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:05 pm

as previously pointed out, that we will all have to learn to write tighter code, I think that in its self is a good reason to limit the amount of ram available.

Back in the day, (80's) you wouldn't believe the things that were done to get the most out of a tiny bit of RAM. Remember the BBC B only had 32K of ram, but in that tight space, someone managed to code (imho the best racing game ever) Revs. Ask David 'Elite' Braben about how he managed to to cram the number of planets and systems into that tiny space. I think it was the first time " Procedural generation " had been used in a game, definitely the first time wire frame graphics with hidden line removal. before that, locations were set out in arrays or a lookup table.

these days, coders are lazy and just throw in a extra stick of ram, and use a bunch of dll's  to save having to code their own file handling.....

coders need to start thinking creatively about what they are doing and one way of doing that is to be really restrictive in the space they have to work in.

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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:22 pm

Yes, but (again, being contrarian) all of those techniques are contrary to modern management science (cough, cough), for both of these reasons:

1) They are against the dogmatic principles of "computer science", which is full of things like "Don't use GOTOs", "Don't use self-modifying code", "Don't be 'clever'", "Write clean, obvious code that any moron [aka, the next 'maintenance programmer' we hire] can follow and modify", etc, etc.

and

2) Realize that computer hardware is cheap and getting cheaper, while human labor is expensive.  Therefore, from a dollars and cents (or Pounds and Pence) perspective, it doesn't make sense to write clever code.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

Kernel
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:32 pm

Joe Schmoe said:

2) Realize that computer hardware is cheap and getting cheaper, while human labor is expensive.  Therefore, from a dollars and cents (or Pounds and Pence) perspective, it doesn't make sense to write clever code.
Though on the other hand a lot of the people getting this such as schoolkids or people in third-world countries might have no opportunity to use that more powerful hardware regardless of if it is getting cheaper or not

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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:55 pm

A good programmer can write clever code so it is more obvious than dumb code.

There are also the two laws of optimisation:

1) Don't do it.

2) (For experts only) Don't do it now.

The reason being that if you optimise prematurely, you optimise the wrong parts, wrongly. Optimisation is only required for small areas of code. It follows that a well-optimised program is for the most part no different from any other.

Consider that Elite problem. Either you can have huge data structures on the disk and read them each in, with the names of files saved in tables in other files and all sorts of horribleness...

Or you can realise that the random number generator produces the same numbers each time, and if you seed it with a given number before generating the planet names, then it will generate the same names every time. And if you seed it with the name of the planet, then each planet will be the same every time you generate it.

That is the trick, the clever code, the rest is just generating names or the details of planets, with random numbers, which is a lot simpler and more obvious than reading them off a huge number of files. It is also more compact and faster. So you have less "normal" code and less data kept in memory.

Smartybones
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:59 pm

Kernel said:


Though on the other hand a lot of the people getting this such as schoolkids or people in third-world countries might have no opportunity to use that more powerful hardware regardless of if it is getting cheaper or not


that's the thing, hand over a box of 10 year old computer components that the businesses that claim to watch "pounds and pennies" have dumped, to a kid in a low income family or third world and they will make good use of this old kit.  With a little bit of imagination and ingenuity you would be surprised what can be done.  you could near enough set up the back office for a SOHO using linux servers..

most of the time "upgrades" are done as part of a maintenance contract and is dictated by the software the "lazy" programmers are compiling, because it runs too slow on the current 18month old PC. its all a happy merry-go-round designed to keep the big manufacturers turning over new kit. Oh I am so happy I am out of that rat race. The worst part was after we had worked so hard to avoid any millennium bug issues, that after the big day, when nothing happened, we got told "what was all the fuss about?" We were almost, but not quite accused of running a scam..

Kernel
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:07 pm

Smartybones said:


Kernel said:


Though on the other hand a lot of the people getting this such as schoolkids or people in third-world countries might have no opportunity to use that more powerful hardware regardless of if it is getting cheaper or not


that's the thing, hand over a box of 10 year old computer components that the businesses that claim to watch "pounds and pennies" have dumped, to a kid in a low income family or third world and they will make good use of this old kit.  With a little bit of imagination and ingenuity you would be surprised what can be done.  you could near enough set up the back office for a SOHO using linux servers..


you mean small/home office?


most of the time "upgrades" are done as part of a maintenance contract and is dictated by the software the "lazy" programmers are compiling, because it runs too slow on the current 18month old PC. its all a happy merry-go-round designed to keep the big manufacturers turning over new kit. Oh I am so happy I am out of that rat race. The worst part was after we had worked so hard to avoid any millennium bug issues, that after the big day, when nothing happened, we got told "what was all the fuss about?" We were almost, but not quite accused of running a scam..


yeah typical managers - makes you understand where comics like Dilbert got their ideas from

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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:12 pm

rurwin said:


A good programmer can write clever code so it is more obvious than dumb code.

There are also the two laws of optimisation:

1) Don't do it.

2) (For experts only) Don't do it now.


when it comes to code optimisation, the only time to actually do it, is when you have finished coding. When everything works, there are no bugs, no security issues, all the features work as they should. Then and only then, your allowed to break it by code optimisation.

Kernel
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:16 pm

Smartybones said:

Then and only then, your allowed to break it by code optimisation.
Unless you are in college and doing A Level Computing and write a perfect program - and then they tell you to break it because you get marks for having a broken program and then fixing it....

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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:49 pm

I find this discussion kind of amusing...

I learned to program on an IBM 1620 with a HUGE amount of memory--80K digits--in 1964.  My 40 years of making my living programming (mostly in COBOL) started on an IBM S/260 Model 30 with 32K bytes of memory and it really hurt (that is, we had to recompile programs to remove double-buffering on I/O) when one release of DOS bumped the nucleus (think kernel) from 6K to 8K.

And here we have people bemoaning 256 MEG of memory...

Personal prediction:  Within a year or two, it will be *cheaper* to use a 512MB PoP than to use the 256MB PoP and the R-Pis will move to more memory.

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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:50 pm

Typos'r'us...  s/s\/260//s\/360/

tufty
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:56 pm

Joe Schmoe said:


"Write clean, obvious code that any moron [aka, the next 'maintenance programmer' we hire] can follow and modify"


You'll probably find that the maintenance programmer is vastly more intelligent than you are.  After all, he's the one who has to get up at 3 in the morning and fix the bugs in your code before the world stops turning.

In a commercial environment, it's generally a good idea to write code with the assumption that the person eventually maintaining the end product will be a dangerous schizophrenic with an axe collection, a less-than-thorough approach to self medication, and your home address in his or her hand.

Simon

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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:41 pm

being too clever up front can leave up in danger of producing 'write only' code

as happened to me in the late 90's when, to prove a point (and stick one up the Tech Lead who was an arse) I wrote an MS Word Doc generator in VB - I optimized evey last microsecond out of it because it needed to generate 1000 page documents in a certain timescale - and it was deployed and used by a very large IT Corporation for a good few years.

I don't mind admitting it was a 'work of art' but... we could never change it after V1 because its logic (a combination of binary file reader/writer, finite state machine, pseudocode parser, twin object-tree walker) was unfathomable when I went back to it 6 months later...

so all good advice in this thread
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Re: Adding more RAM - presumably impossible?

Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:48 pm

tufty said:


Joe Schmoe said:


"Write clean, obvious code that any moron [aka, the next 'maintenance programmer' we hire] can follow and modify"


You'll probably find that the maintenance programmer is vastly more intelligent than you are.



Having written code that has needed maintaining, I generally find the maintenance programmer is less intelligent. Because it's usually me a few years later having lost many brain cells in the interim That's why I stopped writing write-only code not too far into the 43 years I've been coding.

Aim to produce elegant code, and the result almost automatically will be free of all vices: readable, meet well established coding principles, and not be profligate with resources. It may need forethought, but it pays off when you find it needs very little debugging and is much more satisfying. And surely that's what we all hope of the project: that it develops programmers who can fell pride in producing something well designed, or simply elegant.

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