Smartybones
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:44 pm

You know, I have been hanging around these boards for a few weeks now and I cant help but notice how many questions there are posted in a new thread that have been answered 20 times before and also in the FAQ and wikki... But still they come.

The same things happen on every board for every product, people just want to be told the answer without having to do any work. I blame the current school system myself, they teach kids how to pass tests instead of teaching them a subject. The problem is, and I have noticed a few posters doing it, as well as some mods, you get a quite sarcastic comment directing in the general direction of the search feature. some comments have been borderline nasty, "a fine way to welcome a new forum member" was one comment in reply.  And as someone who has set up and run a forum several times over in the past I really do understand the frustration to questions that have been done time and time again.

The problem is, and in no way take this as a criticism, the boards and website are not that "noob" friendly. All the info about the Pi is there, but it does take a effort to get all that info, and as a result, people are just too quick to ask the same question over and over. Another reason for this is the obscure titles people use in the titles of the post. The search will not work too well if you dont include keywords in the title or ignore the tags at the bottom.

Worldwide there is near enough half a million people that want a Raspberry Pi NOW, and if you could supply the Pi in unlimited numbers I am sure you could sell 5 million in the first week they ship. Out of those half a million, there is a large number of those people dont really know what a raspberry pi actually is.

Some people are thinking it is a $35 desktop pc replacement, some think its a plug in board that they can use with another computer. too many people dont understand that a Single board computer is something that cant be upgraded and dont understand the whole point of the Pi is to keep it at the $35 price point.

what you could really do with is a interactive animated sequence on the website that will go through the Pi and what its all about. Its intended market, what its capable of, what you can plug into it and why other additions are not possible, about the ram, and why upgrades are not possible plus all the rest of it. I bet there are some talented animators out there that have a few spare minutes here and there they could put it together in.

I know there are a lot of youtube video's about, but for a lot of people its just to technical to understand, and that's why there are so many repeated noob style questions !! We need to take these people and get them to understand what they CAN do with a pi,

jamesh
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:03 pm

I agree that the information is not in a readily readable format. We are moving to a new forum soon, and I think that would be a good time to try and update the FAQ and home page to reflect the newly interested people. I don't know details, but I feel sure Liz has something in the offing!
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Kernel
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:50 pm

JamesH said:


I agree that the information is not in a readily readable format. We are moving to a new forum soon, and I think that would be a good time to try and update the FAQ and home page to reflect the newly interested people. I don't know details, but I feel sure Liz has something in the offing!



I agree with this post.

@Smartybones - everything that you say is true - and hopefully the forum/site changes will make it easier for people to find things.

But people posting the same questions again and again, other posters getting annoyed etc. will never stop - I have also run some forums in my time and visit quite a few and it is just the same everywhere

The main issue is that sometimes frustration comes across as anger or belittlement and sometimes might be to do with other factors such as a difficult day at work and people need something to help them release the built-up stress.

As for the reasons I am not sure - but one point I will make is that using a forum comes easily to a lot of us - but for others who have never used a forum before it can all seem very strange and it will take them time to learn - they may never have heard of concepts such as 'searching for similar topics before posting' (especially as no-one does these things on sites like facebook/twitter which they may be more familiar with) - in addition the existing topics may seem too complicated for them. Sometimes this effect can also occur when someone is used to one software i.e. VBulletin and then visits an IPB forum.

Then  there is also the different ways in which different forums work i.e. some forums let people post all their similar issues in one topic, some say use a new topic for each issue, some say don't derail another users topic by posting your own issue in it - so forum etiquette can vary wildly from one forum to another.

Re: the FAQ page James it takes a long time to load - I think the reason is because it loads a lot of comments after the FAQ too. It would be nice if we could just load the FAQ questions themselves and have comments maybe on another page.

SeanD
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:21 pm

Smartybones, really thought provoking thread for me.

I am just thinking of other "cool gadgets" or services and the experience that the first time user gets when they go an look it up.

Having a well indexed and very easy, almost at a glace type landing page as the homepage for raspberrypi.org would I think be a very significant move in  the right direction.  Having the site based on a blogging based CMS is great for parts of the community but not the casual user.  Links to the blog or the forums could hang of of this.  If there is a designer out there that the Foundation is prepared to work with then I would be prepared to make a donation to cover the costs.

A recent example that impressed me is Sugru http://sugru.com/us/about

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:35 pm

I wonder if we need a different word than "computer" to describe the Pi.  (This is in regards to the "People think it is a $35 replacement for their desktop" thread)

It is more like a smartphone or a Kindle or even your toaster or microwave than it is like a computer (as most people interpret that term).  Maybe we should have a contest to come up with a new, spiffy, marketing friendly, term.
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)

Alchemy
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:01 pm

You could also say RasPi is a computer. As it will be used for general purpose programming.

Modern computers should be renamed App players leaving the computer word for RasPi.

Skygod
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:20 pm

Another problem I often encounter with forum software is that somebody 'does' use the search and they find a relevant thread and post their question/response and then get 'flamed' for opening such an old thread.

Or, they find a thread that interests them and after following it through, they find it's been 'locked', so an almost duplicate gets opened.

TLAs are prevalent in IT and not being able to search for VGA / CPU / HDD also causes problems.

In answer to the OP "What is a Pi". I'd say it's an 'enabling computer device', as on its own it's not a complete solution.

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:27 pm

You could also say RasPi is a computer. As it will be used for general purpose programming.

Modern computers should be renamed App players leaving the computer word for RasPi.

===================================================

I agree with thisa - and I understand the goal of trying to "take back the word computer".
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)

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danielverza
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:34 pm

Smartybones said:


...what you could really do with is a interactive animated sequence on the website that will go through the Pi and what its all about.


Yeah...  Starred by the Sesame Street characters, or maybe the Thunderbirds !

Kernel
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:38 pm

Skygod said:


Another problem I often encounter with forum software is that somebody 'does' use the search and they find a relevant thread and post their question/response and then get 'flamed' for opening such an old thread.

Or, they find a thread that interests them and after following it through, they find it's been 'locked', so an almost duplicate gets opened.

TLAs are prevalent in IT and not being able to search for VGA / CPU / HDD also causes problems.

In answer to the OP "What is a Pi". I'd say it's an 'enabling computer device', as on its own it's not a complete solution.



Indeed and this comes back to how different forums will all have different ways of doing so - so generally auto-locking old threads is bad!

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:46 pm

Many threads degenerate into a Oh yes it is v Oh no it's not, or are a duplicate of many similar threads, which is why they get locked.

Kernel
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:52 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:


Many threads degenerate into a Oh yes it is v Oh no it's not


That is because it is so important: https://xkcd.com/386/

pandapi
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:07 pm

I've seen a fair amount of nasty comments (or at least they appear nasty) from people to be honest. Not at me i have to say. They're NOT from the RPF admins and staff though, so what can you do?

Lots of these nasty-appearing comments are from a repeat offenders group as far as i can tell.

I hope when the boards hit consumers hands and this place gets inundated with people struggling with a board they don't fully understand we don't get these people belittling them and telling them they shouldn't have bought one.

I'm afraid to say that you will NEVER achieve the holy grail of getting users to read the FAQ and Wiki. It just won't happen, so you will get noob questions on here.

I think its fair to say "read the FAQs" but if you know the answer off the top of your head then why not give them the answer at the same time as saying that? It takes practically the same amount of time.

If you can't be nice then don't bother replying. Save yourself some time in the process.

riggsre
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:25 pm

Alchemy said:


You could also say RasPi is a computer. As it will be used for general purpose programming.

Modern computers should be renamed App players leaving the computer word for RasPi.


One problem is that the term “computer” has taken on the meaning of the electronic device that we use to do almost everything we do today. It wasn’t too many yeas a go we used a typewriter to create documents, a ledger to do “spreadsheets”, a calculator to do math(s), and actually played games face-to-face with other people at a table.

My phone is a computer, but I call it a phone; an abacus is a computer but I call it an abacus; my digital video recorder is a computer, but I call it a DVR… you get the point.

I wouldn’t go the auto parts store, buy an MCU for my car and expect it to do everything my “computer” does, but in fact, it is a computer.

The RasPi is an electronic device that has some (many) of the characteristics of a “computer”, so does my motherboard, but I don’t think there are a whole lot of people who buy motherboards thinking it is a “computer”.

I think one reason the RasPi caught fire like it has is because it has been “advertised” as a $25 computer. That may have been a mistake but I am pretty sure if it had been promoted as a “Single Board ARM Digital Processing Unit” most of us would not be having this conversation.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:47 pm

If people are going to use forums they do need to wise up and use the resources that are available. Forum members are more than happy to help but if people come on board who have not made any effort at all they will be direct to the faq and the wiki.

This forum is not any different from any other I have been on; if anything, it is more polite.

This forum is also more forgiving than many; often jerks and trolls will just get closed down or banned.

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nick.mccloud
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:00 pm

Smartybones said:


The problem is, and in no way take this as a criticism, the boards and website are not that "noob" friendly.


As one of the occasional perpetrators of the frustrated responses I'd like to ask a thought provoking question.

Why should this forum be "noob" friendly?

The original game plan was that the first batch would land in the hands of sufficiently savvy people that would be able to debug the hell out of everything and get all the kinks ironed out before it went to mass release.

Due to circumstances we are now faced with trying to get to grips with what's being produced AND answer noob questions.

I have no ideas how to resolve this and I am not looking forward to the first batch of Pi's being sent out as I expect we will be flooded with questions that make previous posts look positively informed.

Would it be preferable to have a "It's not baked (ready) yet" sign on the front door and let those that can/want to get to grips with the releases so when the Pi's actually land we can help with the actual tricky questions.

{Spent three hours this afternoon trying to collate all the Qemu info to get a simulator/emulator package for Fedora14 working}

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:03 pm

nmcc said:



{Spent three hours this afternoon trying to collate all the Qemu info to get a simulator/emulator package for Fedora14 working}


Woopee!!

Kernel
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:07 pm

nmcc said:

Would it be preferable to have a "It's not baked (ready) yet" sign on the front door and let those that can/want to get to grips with the releases so when the Pi's actually land we can help with the actual tricky questions.
In light of all the issues which seem to be occurring with the preferred Fedora Remix distro this may be a good idea - though most likely based on the order numbers at RS and Farnell it is already too late!




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nick.mccloud
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:29 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:


Woopee!!


Thinking of you always! I didn't watch my buddies die face down in the mud ...

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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:40 pm

I have to say that much of this thread reminds me of  post years ago on comp.unix.questions, where the poster wrote:

"Don't tell me to RFTM if you WTFM."

Bear in mind that the new people that come to the forums are getting answers from people hip deep in the technical details, which makes them questionable as a source of answers to naive questions (that is, long time "students" of the RPi are too close to it to remember what it's like to NOT see it as a new and--somewhat--mysterious object).

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:49 pm

I would point out that more than 99% of us here haven't seen a Pi yet.

poing
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:52 pm

nmcc said:


The original game plan was that the first batch would land in the hands of sufficiently savvy people that would be able to debug the hell out of everything and get all the kinks ironed out before it went to mass release.

Due to circumstances we are now faced with trying to get to grips with what's being produced AND answer noob questions.

I have no ideas how to resolve this and I am not looking forward to the first batch of Pi's being sent out as I expect we will be flooded with questions that make previous posts look positively informed.


Well yes, but things evolved differently so you have to adapt. One thing you should not do is bang the door shut in the face of anyone asking "Was lucky and have a Pi, but how fast does the RAW file of my new 36MP Nikon camera load into Photoshop?".

That would ensure a lot of badmouthing which contradicts the goal of the device. Better answer would be "Cool you've been so lucky but that won't work. You can load XMBC on the device however, look here..".

I'm sure there will be enough not-so-Linux-savvy guys like me without a Pi to steer those on the right path. You just need to clearly differentiate between 'newbie' and 'techie' forum parts.

Smartybones
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:56 pm

pandapi said:


If you can't be nice then don't bother replying. Save yourself some time in the process.


My grandmother always told me that If you dont have anything nice to say, then dont say anything at all.

the fact remains that what ever you want to call it, or even what title you give other machines, the Raspberry Pi IS a computer. same as you desktop pc is a computer, the ECU in your car is a computer. They are all just different types of computers.the problem is that a personal computer has dropped the "personal"  bit and is has hijacked the term Computer.

Since the days of windows 95 and the advent of plug and pray, computers have become more and more user friendly and people with very little computer knowledge can quite easy manage the use of the computer from day to day. this in itself had annoyed a lot of the old-school computer hackers, because instead of learning how do do things, they just want people to tell them how to do it, which is why a lot of the time forums degenerate into verbal abuse and elitism. Fact is you have start to learn sometime. LOL, another one that anoys the hell out of me is the clowns that think that the post count adds up to anything other than they have a lot of time to post stuff. (for classic examples of this, take a look at the digitalspy.co.uk forums)

oh [insert deity of choice], this post is degenerating into all that I hate about computers and the internet... lol...

The fact that computers have become a lot easier to use we have ended up with a society of people all on the internet and are not clued up enough to actually keep themselves safe from people using the internet to cheat & con them. I have often wondered if or when we will end up with a licence to go online. You have to pass a proficiency test to gauge peoples ability to spot a phishing site/email & forum etiquette.

In my days of running or being a mod on forums, the only thing I insisted on is help those who help themselves. If they ask a question, point them in the right direction to find the answer. one of my favourites was to use this little gem http://bit.ly/sTpGUV just to keep it light hearted.  If they came back and it was obvious they had been researching the problem, then I would help... again, I never just handed over an answer, just point them in the right direction. I try to ignore stupid questions, as the stupid answers I would like to give would not be taken too well.

I cant wait to get my hands on my pi, its going to be a bit like when I first went to Disney's Magic Kingdom. It made me feel like a kid again... getting stuck into some pi is going to be like the days I first got a Sinclair spectrum and became addicted to computers and computing. To this day, I get the shakes if I am more than 10 metres away from some form of computer....

Smartybones
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:10 pm

riggsre said:


I think one reason the RasPi caught fire like it has is because it has been “advertised” as a $25 computer. That may have been a mistake but I am pretty sure if it had been promoted as a “Single Board ARM Digital Processing Unit” most of us would not be having this conversation.



I agree that if it had been marketed as a “Single Board ARM Digital Processing Unit” that most of the questions were not going to be asked, but I wouldn't call it a mistake.

The Raspberry Foundation need to get as much publicity as it can to make a success of the pi. And if the bi product of that is a few people buy a pi thinking they are going to replace the desktop computer with it, then it ends up in a cupboard. then so be it.... at the price it retails at, its not a great loss. people often pay out more for stuff, to never use it much... loke bread makers, brevilles and george forman grills.  it will probably end up handed over to a neice or nephew that will make use of it.

Smartybones
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Re: Exactly what is a Pi?

Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:25 pm

nmcc said:


As one of the occasional perpetrators of the frustrated responses I'd like to ask a thought provoking question.

Why should this forum be "noob" friendly?

The original game plan was that the first batch would land in the hands of sufficiently savvy people that would be able to debug the hell out of everything and get all the kinks ironed out before it went to mass release.


as the Pi is supposed to be a tool to learn programming on, so there is going to be plenty of "noobs" around the boards. Its somthing we will all have to live with.

I do agree, there should be an area where  noob questions can and should be tolerated, and a more advanced user area where is "silly questions are asked, they should be moved to the noob section. the problem being, I can see it ending up an area where the people that know the pi in and out will avoid.

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