I continue to see comments that show a complete lack of understanding of the target audience for a Pi. For example, "It makes the difference between something a person will continue to use versus something a person will play with for a bit and then tuck away in a parts bin.", is the thought profile for a die-hard geek who has
a parts bin, not a kid who's finally got something they could never have dreamed of before - a digital device that they can fool around with and do more things with than anything else with the same price. Every kid we've managed to get in front of a Pi at our Jams has wound up leaving with raised eyebrows and talking excitedly a mile-a-minute about what projects they want to try out.
I also see comments that reflect socially-inept loners who have somehow lost the ability to find their way out of their parents' basement, not the "normal" people (whomever they are) we're trying to get exposed to the Pi. If someone is having trouble writing to an SD card so that it will boot and can't figure out what some geeks are blathering about on the Internet, they should be seeking out help in their own neighborhood in the form of a Jam, hackspace, coder dojo, or other venues where geeks who speak Human may be found.
hippy wrote:There is no absolute reason the Foundation has to limit itself to purely educational use and anything targeted at another sector can still support educational goals.
Actually, yes it does have to limit itself to purely educational use - it's sorta like pregnancy, either it is or it ain't. If a feature supports an educational goal and can have other uses, that's fine, but anything that can't be traced back to an educational purpose is strictly verboten (for example, if it had hardware encryption built-in that's only used by the financial/business sectors). The Foundation is the equivalent of a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation (UK charity) with a self-defined mission of performing an educational service to the public. The Foundation has to be very careful that they toe that line in everything that they do, or what little money they have garnered could all be sucked into some lawyers' already-overflowing coffers. They've already put extreme pressure on the low end of the computing market to the point where we might just see some platforms evaporate at some point. If you don't think the electronics giants aren't watching what the Foundation is doing with a jaundiced eye, you need to spend some time eyeballing them.
We're closing in on two million boards in the wild by the end of this year and we all know people who have hoarded upwards of a dozen in their evil-genius headquarters in their parents' basement. However, somewhere around 20% have found their way into the hands of students, according to Eben's TED interview earlier this year posted above, so there is still hope for Humanity. Obviously, once we have Pii in classrooms in significant numbers, those will become another venue where help can be obtained.
No one can use Gigabit Ethernet on a Pi for Internet access except for the lucky few who have Googlenet (e.g., the two Kansas Cities in Missouri and Kansas). Even then, you won't be able to write to either the SD card or a USB flash/hard drive at GB/s speeds due to their data rate limitations, even if the 1.8-volt mode were available on the SD card interface. If you're having contention issues on your LAN, you need to learn about network segmenting - oh, you're in luck, the Pi is meant for learning - congratulations!
I do have to say that the SD card connector is brittle - I've now joined the Broken Slot Club ... twice. However, it was at least as much my fault because I had left an SD card in and put the board in a backpack worn while biking, and the card wound up getting torqued enough to snap off the card guide on one side. It's easy enough to fix by gluing a piece of plastic over the top to constrain the card, but I need to be more careful in the future.
The reboot-upon-insertion-of-a-USB-device is definitely a power supply issue - I've been warning everyone about having a suitable power supply since April 2012, but people just refuse to listen. Go ahead, keep doing the same thing, expecting the outcome to change.
If you want quality audio, take it from the HDMI port, as the stereo analog audio port is really more for bleeps and bloops in games, not streaming philharmonic orchestral performances at performing arts center levels of reproduction.
If you want a minimal case, either "borrow" some Lego blocks or go print, cut out, and fold up one of these:
http://elinux.org/RPi_Cases#Raspberry_P ... e_.28PP.29
http://elinux.org/RPi_Cases#Printable_M ... ld-up_Case
If you're going to put on heat sinks, then go whole-hog and put on big automobile fins - they're so much more obnoxious and just as functional!
I wish we could have 1.8 volts for the SD card interface to enable highest-speed SD card access, but it looks like that's not in the (printed-circuit) cards for the foreseeable future.
While Broadcom might continue production of the BCM2835 indefinitely as long as the sales run rate remains near a million units per year and covers their costs, I wonder if the same is true of the RAM manufacturer - that might be the limiting factor. At least 512 MB is still a viable quantity for smartphones, although many tablets have much moved on to at least 1 GB.
For the history-challenged among us who think that the continuous march of technology today makes things obsolete overnight, you should be aware that the Apple ][ and ][e series of systems sold for 16 years! I don't expect that the current Pi models will have quite that longevity if for no other reason than that some of the connectors may no longer be available 15 years from now.
A real challenge that a new Pi model will face is whether the volume of sales will continue, regardless of what improvements it might have over the current models. I hope that the educational market will start to become significant in size in time to ensure that demand continues after the Nerdocracy has been lured away by The Next Shiny Bauble that becomes a gotta-have Internet craze. The bad news is that the educational acquisition process is glacial, but the good news is that the educational acquisition process is glacial. It's so slow to react that if it does start buying Pii in quantity, it will take years for it to stop buying them, even if someone were to order that to happen immediately. This is due to the fact that most acquisition decisions are made at the district level in the U.S., and there are 13,809
districts governing 132,656
schools across the U.S. alone.
No one seems to have mentioned Liz's wheels and a sandwich lately - guys, ya gotta keep yer ladies happy or you're going to lose functionality, not gain it! Of course I was talking about the Pi, what were you thinking you old codger, or was it you old geezer?