jamesh
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 08, 2012 11:55 am

sblaszak said:


Since the Mode A will be missing a few things (like Ethernet) does that mean that there will be a few more unused GPIO pins that will now be available?


No, I don't think so. The Ethernet is converted to USB and goes in by the single USB port - no GPIO's involved.
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redman684
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Wed May 09, 2012 4:59 pm

JamesH said:


I'm bemused. In one part of your post you are berating the foundation for not producing Model A's (and the OS will autodetect - ... - needs a bit of boot scripting, but not difficult)



What is it? Will it autodetect of does it need scripting?

If it still needs additional scripting, well.. none of the software currently being written includes that scripting. So let's hope it won't need additional scripting.

It's not just the OS, also applications being written can make assumptions that are currently true, but might not be true for the model A. Just checking the network state might cause a programm to crash on a model A when the programmer didn't anticipate the whole network adapter could be absent. Sure, it's all due to bad programming, but it worked didn't it?

Just try googling for "how to check if a variable is defined" and you'll find an unbelievable amount of pages stating "if (!$variable) {}" or "if ($variable==null) {}".

Superb programming languages are being dismissed because they are "hard to learn-by-example", while the documentation of some of the more popular programming languages is hardly anything more than a set of examples.

With the current state of programmings kills being little more than copy-pasting examples, a bad example copied over and over again could take very long to exterminate.

and yet in the second part you are berating the lack of two USB ports, which is a model B.

Yes, in response to a comment that the model A would be important for the educational market, to save $10. You can't save $10 when you want a keyboard and a mouse. Wether or not a mouse is needed for educational purposes remains to be seen though. Lets hope the software currently being developed and becomes popular over the coming months can work with only one device.

My point (again) is that demand for the model A is being ignored while an ecosystem for the model B (=the raspberry Pi) is being created. This includes software, design concepts, the user interface and even cases. And currently every day the model A potentially becomes a little less compatible with 'the Raspberry Pi'.

When there are a half a million devices produced, and large amounts of software is created... you'd better make sure that any new device you introduce is 100% compatible with the existing software.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Wed May 09, 2012 8:01 pm

Once again there seems to be a misapprehension here. The only  difference between the Model A and the Model B is the ethernet port and the extra USB port. It's difficult to see how that can lead to a lack of compatibility. It's like taking a USB port and ethernet port off a desktop PC. It's still runs the same software. It's NOT like the BBC A vs B where software would only run on the B; now that the RAM is the same on both devices, unless you use the ethernet, they are to all intents and purposes the same.

The scripting I described is done during boot by the OS, not by applications - its just starts up networking if the adapter exists. If someone checks the network state in their program, their program obviously requires a network connection. This means it's not designed for the Model A. That's entirely up to them. Some programs will indeed only work with a network connection. That's not a compatibility issues, that a design choice. The program being written needs a network connection.

I'm really not sure what you are talking about after that bit, so cannot reply to it.

As to Model A availability. There are specific orders for a pile of Model B's. It's is not yet known what the demand for A's is (for the reasons given), so it really would be silly for the disties to make Model A's over model B's at this stage. If anyone want's a A, the only reason NOT to get a B and not use the extra's, is the extra $10. Software compatibility comes with Linux - have you noticed how all those applications in the Debian repository work already - they were not designed for the Raspi - they just WORK. Some need more memory than others, so the quality of that 'working' differs, but the principle is there.

Finally, the Model A is NOT being ignored. It's being tested right now! The Foundation is not just sitting by resting on it's laurels. There is still work to do.
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redman684
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Thu May 10, 2012 5:59 pm

The lack of compatibility is easy. Software designed to use the network, won't work on the model A. Ok, fair enough, but if software unintentionally uses the network, or has a flawed check for availablity of the network it can fail.

If network==online then check_for_update() and start(), else if network==offline then start(). This simple check will fail if you do not anticipate that the network might be undefined.

I know loads of software that can't be used without a mouse, even though I see no reason for it to require a mouse. I know software which won't work without a floppy drive just because it assumes there is always an A: drive and by default shows the file listing of that drive and thus crashes. I know of software which won't run on a PC without a graphics adapter (why require a graphics adapter in a server?) or keyboard attached.

Still, it all probably seemed like safe assumptions at the time, or it was just overlooked.

Software which requires both the mouse and the keyboard will start just fine, but require an extra investment (Like a usb-hub or more expensive mouse+keyboard set) to be porperly usable on a model A.

And it's not software alone. There are a lot of cases being designed, none of which cover the network slot (which you could cut away for the model B or something)

Nobody is considering the model A. And why would they/how can they?

There are specific orders for a pile of Model B's. It's is not yet known what the demand for A's is.

It's also not know how much of the model B's orders would have been a model A order if that were an option. And you won't know how much demand there is for the model A as long the model A is postponed because the model B is stil selling. Part of the success of the model B is the fact that there is no Model A.

It's like a bakery saying "We only sell raspberry pies because everybody apears to want a raspberry pie", ignoring the people who turned around because they wanted a strawberry pie and implying that people who ordered a raspberry pie, ordered it because they wanted raspberry pi (while some might have prefered strawberry).

And who would want a strawberry pi in the future when all plates have funny raspberries printed on them, all sauces are designed to taste great with raspberry, etc. You must love strawberry very much to still go for the unpopular choice.

If anyone want's a A, the only reason NOT to get a B and not use the extra's, is the extra $10.

Some extra reasons:

- Ordering a model B increases the waiting list for a model A. If you want a model A somewhere in the future, the fastest would be not to order a model B for the time being. You won't be any quicker inside the movie theater when you leave the line to get a coke and come back later when the line is shorter.

- There are 20+ cases for the model B and none for the model A. it will (probably) fit, but with a gaping hole where the network connector would be. you'll always have the feeling you're missing out.

- There's software which requires both mouse and keyboard or a network-connector. All software is garaunteed to work on a model B, and will most likely work on the model A. The safe choice is model B.

- Why buy a model A when everybody else has a model B?

Ok, there's only a little bit of risk that some software won't work (without an email to the programmer who made it, or some extra hardware), less choice in cases, a little less support from the community. Those are all minor issues and only increasing a little bit over time, but when do they add up to $10? which also isn't much.

Would you buy a device which is $10 cheaper and said to be 'compatible'? or spend that extra $10 and go for the real thing? When do we have to say to schools "you could save a few buck buying the model A if you really want, you're only making it just a tiny more difficult on yourself".

The longer the model A is ignored, the more this grows. (not taking pre-orders for the model A, while taking 300.000 preorders for the model B, IS ignoring the model A) And the difference between the model A being usefull and being useless is only $10.

What is the use of the model A when everybody has the model B? It's not an upgrade. Is a $10 savings really worth it? Or is it only so we can keep the slogan "$25, have a bite" at the top of our page?

toxibunny
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Thu May 10, 2012 6:25 pm

I don't see any real compatibility problems, or even all that much extra expense. most people are getting a usb hub anyway, and software that just doesn't work without network is either going to be blindingly obvious (email, web browser, rss reader), or badly designed, like your 'didn't work without a floppy' example.

$10 savings *is* worth it. ten dollars is ten dollars, and then when you factor in the import tax exemptions, it can really add up. Model A might end up half the price of a model B for some people...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Thu May 10, 2012 6:31 pm

haha, I just noticed the slogan!

Now where do we order the $25 computer?

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Thu May 10, 2012 7:12 pm

we can't, yet. we can't even 'register interest'... -_-
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri May 11, 2012 3:05 pm

Regardless of the price, Model B might not be strictly better than model A. Correct me if I am wrong, but if you only connect a single USB device, Model A might use less power than Model B and it might therefore work with more power adapters.

Profit margin on model B has to be much higher than profit margin on model A. If the deadline is for the start of the academic year (I guess that means September), I would expect a "rational" company to make it available only then. To be honest, unless agreed otherwise, even then I would not be surprised to see the two models having different delivery times (e.g. model B in two weeks vs model A in two months).

I am waiting for model A myself, and my best guess right now is that I might be able to get one in December.

Max

Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri May 11, 2012 5:30 pm

JamesH said:


Once again there seems to be a misapprehension here. The only  difference between the Model A and the Model B is the ethernet port and the extra USB port. It's difficult to see how that can lead to a lack of compatibility. It's like taking a USB port and ethernet port off a desktop PC.


Possible compatibility issues could be with applications that require the date/time settings to be correct, if there is no RTC and no network connection to use for ntp.

Probably need to prompt the user for current date & time on every boot if you want programming tools like "make" to function properly across reboots.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Fri May 11, 2012 6:33 pm

Emanuele said:


...Model A might use less power than Model B and it might therefore work with more power adapters.

...

Model A uses A LOT less power then model B as the LAN chip is missing. That with the USB and thwe Ehternet uses a lot of current. I have to look up the figures which I have somewhere but if I recall correctly it is 30% less or more. And YES the foundation is looking at model A's. I have had some and they have gone out for testing. I just don't know when they are going to produce them as that is a total different story.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Sat May 12, 2012 2:43 am

Pi boards that make it into the classroom by the beginning of the school year will do so only through early adopters, be they educators and/or students.  The software and curriculum materials needed by technically-unsophisticated teachers will still be under development well past the beginning of the school year, and even computer-savvy Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) teachers unfamiliar with Linux and the Foundation-supported programming languages will need significant help to get the Pi integrated into their courses.

We can hope that when people trying to acquire the Pi for non-educational purposes beyond its capabilities realize its limitations compared with high-end desktop and laptop systems, they will cancel their orders or offer up their boards for what they paid so that more of them can get into the hands of developers, educators and students earlier.

Early adopters most likely all want the USB and network interfaces available on the Model B, and Model A systems will probably be attractive primarily to educational institutions looking to buy large quantities of Pi systems to outfit entire classrooms, schools, neighborhoods, districts, etc.  Where networking is really needed for Model A systems, powered USB hubs and USB network adapters can be acquired in bulk through higher-level government acquisition programs - it looks like at least the USB hubs are going to be needed by many Model B systems, anyway.

Model A supply and demand should be much more manageable than the Model B rollout, as institutions will probably be the majority of customers.  They will be budgeting and purchasing over a much longer timeframe than the mostly early-adopter developers/consumers/educators/students demand has been.  The distributors will be dealing with educational institutions as they are accustomed to with their volume commercial customers.
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Sat May 12, 2012 6:20 am


If anyone want's a A, the only reason NOT to get a B and not use the extra's, is the extra $10.


I want a model A to avoid VAT/customs fee to Norway (35 dollars is currently above the 200 NOK limit). That will add up to a lot more than $10.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue May 15, 2012 8:46 pm

I thought I'd pitch in my two cents. I've been browsing these boards for a few weeks and finally made an account to say what was missed throughout this whole thread (prior to the post before me). The Model A is a ~300mAh power sipping tech wonder. I already have parts and plans to convert a motorola lapdock into a low power, extremely long battery life laptop. I know that I most likely wont get it to be as integrated as I'd like (unlike motorola's official implementation, my only way to check battery levels until someone reproduces their drivers is by using the "battery meter" button on the lapdock itself) and for this reason, the $10 savings is completely irrelevant, but the 700mAh to 300mAh difference is a world of battery consumption to me.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Wed May 16, 2012 7:51 am

I appreciate the updates on Model A since I'm also waiting for it.
I do wish there was a poll to count those who are waiting for Model A instead of buying Model B. Not suggesting taking "expression of interest" / reservation.
.

tufty
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Wed May 16, 2012 10:33 am

Gert van Loo wrote:I have had some and they have gone out for testing.
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:27 am

This delay is beyond a joke. Christmas will have come and gone. Model A was the best fit for my project, which was to build a DRM radio decoder. The extra features of model B are not required and I wanted low power consumption. I also would need quality sound input and output, so will probably use something like via APC or one of the micro-iTX boards instead.

I would have rather supported the Raspi idea, but looks like that is not going to happen

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:56 am

Thunderbird5 wrote:This delay is beyond a joke. Christmas will have come and gone. Model A was the best fit for my project, which was to build a DRM radio decoder. The extra features of model B are not required and I wanted low power consumption. I also would need quality sound input and output, so will probably use something like via APC or one of the micro-iTX boards instead.

I would have rather supported the Raspi idea, but looks like that is not going to happen
Spend a little time searching rather than posting and you would find that youre statement just is not true. You could have been developing your idea on a B model so it would be ready for the A model when it launches. Or of course just use a B model.

Below is a lionk to a script that disables the ethernet. It works
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... pt#p155671

Search for R37 and you will find posts about how to bypass the LAN9512 chip. People have converted B models to A models.
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Vindicator
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:01 am

3 post in 5 months and 2 are negative, well anyway here goes, I also have been waiting for the model A's to come out but if I was as adamant as you are about getting one I would convert a B into an A and posted a How-to , BTW I think there maybe how-to to convert a B to an A

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 32#p131332
Burngate made his an A.

http://rich1.dyndns.tv Lob0426 removed components from his Pi to reduce the size for one of his project.

Or do a search for r37 and you will find out how to disable the LAN chip.
If you are more worried about ,spelling, punctuation or grammar you have probably already missed the point so please just move on.

teeth_03
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:25 am

You are forgetting this is a charity organization. Having the 512 RAM models for the same price as the 256 model is 10x better news than the release of the model A.

Im just confused over your sense of entitlement :roll:

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:09 am

There have been recent statements from the Foundation that we should still expect the Model A this side of Christmas!

Now that the suppliers have a better handle on supplying Pi's in the required volumes I would think this timescale is less likely to slip through purely logistical reasons than was the case for the Model B. Therefore I would not think that those who have a real desire/need for the Model A should have much longer to wait.

jamesh
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:33 pm

Thunderbird5 wrote:This delay is beyond a joke. Christmas will have come and gone. Model A was the best fit for my project, which was to build a DRM radio decoder. The extra features of model B are not required and I wanted low power consumption. I also would need quality sound input and output, so will probably use something like via APC or one of the micro-iTX boards instead.

I would have rather supported the Raspi idea, but looks like that is not going to happen
Hmmm. The model B is $35 and would have allowed you to get your SW up and running. You should regard its as a prototype - all proto's I deal with have added features to help with software development and debugging and cost a lot more than the final product. As others have said, you could mod a board to make it a model A once your software is sorted. If you have bought a Model B, that would have cost $10 more than the Model A. Is that such a massive financial commitment for your project?

I'm not seeing why you think this is a joke. If we had spare production capacity, then perhaps you might have a point, but every single board manufactured has been sold as it came off the production line, so up till now there has been NO capacity to make the model A.
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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:21 pm

teeth_03 wrote:You are forgetting this is a charity organization. Having the 512 RAM models for the same price as the 256 model is 10x better news than the release of the model A.
Is it hell. 512Mb RAM means people (temporarily) stop whining about lack of memory and "pi as overpriced set top box" makes a bit more sense. The release of the model A means roll out to educational establishments, means the Pi as a teaching tool in the hands of educators. I'll leave it to you to work out which of those I think is better, and which of these fits more with the aims of the aforementioned charity organisation...

Annoying "eyes rolling" emoticon right back atcha.

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Re: What happened to the Model A?

Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:29 pm

Just to recap before I lock the thread (as the answer is quickly becoming a dead horse to beat ;-) ) Everything the foundation has been saying is model A around Christmas time (this Christmas).

I would also add that the lack of the model A has not meant a lack of educational work (see the blog post here)
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