Would you have paid extra to get an approved tested SD card with the firmware on it?

Yes.
18%
9
No.
82%
42
 
Total votes: 51
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carl_retrotext
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Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI / SD

Wed May 30, 2012 6:35 am

There seems to be lots of new owners who think they have followed all the correct advice that still seem to have problems to get there new boards working.

A pre loaded SD card from the foundation would have eliminated a lot of hassle and narrowed down the potential faults, and the mantra of a devise to bring coding home to Joe Public would hold up better.

More advanced users could have opted out or just overwritten the firmware for their own perhaps.

Alfadaz
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 6:46 am

The problem with having a pre loaded card at launch, is that not everything cannot be developed, tested fully, even thought of until it gets in the hands of the new owners.

Sadly the pre loaded image would have been outdated even before it landed on your doormat...

Daz

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carl_retrotext
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 6:50 am

Thanks for the reply, Alfadaz

I agree with want you are saying, but a card that could just get the board running, to say to the user I am going! don't panic!

Having been in the minority of people that received a faulty board and the advice I was given assumed it was something I was not doing correctly would have saved time and money for the supplier perhaps?

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scep
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 7:02 am

Seeing as the whole point of the first batch of bare boards was for the development community to help create stable distributions, robust software, friendly interfaces, narrow down potential faults etc etc the question seems rather obsolete.

Clearly there will be are people who would prefer to buy an official, preloaded SD card which is why the Foundation will offer exactly this with the 'education' release (as well as official PSUs and other peripherals). In the meantime they rely on the hard work and good will of the community to help it produce a product that does what it was originally made for: encourage young people to get into computing.

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carl_retrotext
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 7:12 am

scep wrote:Seeing as the whole point of the first batch of bare boards was for the development community to help create stable distributions, robust software, friendly interfaces, narrow down potential faults etc etc the question seems rather obsolete.

Clearly there will be are people who would prefer to buy an official, preloaded SD card which is why the Foundation will offer exactly this with the 'education' release (as well as official PSUs and other peripherals). In the meantime they rely on the hard work and good will of the community to help it produce a product that does what it was originally made for: encourage young people to get into computing.
I think to say the question is obsolete is a bit strong, just because its a dev board does not mean that the quality control should be any lower, I am really just pointing out that its cheap and would remain cheap if you had to pay £10- £15 more for a SD card that the 'community' could provide for the foundation, it is a social enterprise after all.

I anticipate boards going back and being exchanged and no correct diagnosis found, because there is no approved diagnostic means of standardising the tests to find the fault.
And some going back with no fault, and they could have gone to good use.

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scep
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 7:52 am

carl_retrotext wrote:
scep wrote:I think to say the question is obsolete is a bit strong,
It wasn't meant as a pejorative, just in the sense that:

a) Would some people like an official pre-loaded SD card? Yes.
b) Does such a thing exist? No.
c) Will it be available in future? Yes.

Of course there's nothing to stop anyone selling 'proven' pre-loaded cards themselves but at present the Foundation cannot give an "offical" approval to such a thing.

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am

First, let me say that I basically agree with the OP here - that it would be nice to have a boxed set version of the Pi - with a known-good power supply and a known-good SD card in the package. From the beginning, I've assumed that when the purchasing situation becomes "normal", that will be the default purchase kit - and that I (personally) am not all that interested in purchasing unless/until things *are* normalized. But obviously, we're not to that stage (yet).

Second, and not really directly on-topic for this thread, but the thing that keeps occurring to me is that there really should be a simple go-no-go test that you can do on a newly unboxed Pi - that would be pretty much the equivalent of the "POST" (power on self test) of "regular" x86 type PC. And that is specifically this: instead of doing the full WIndows/Mac/Linux reformat/repartition/Win32DiskImage/dd thing, just do a simple copy of a few files to a (small) SD card and try booting that. If everything is working, you will at least see something onscreen.

Could someone (who has a Pi) confirm for me the following two things:

1) Does my idea basically work? (I.e., can I get something that will produce "something" onscreen, without doing anything that "mungs" the SD card)
2) What is the minimum files needed (in the "FAT partition") to do this? I haven't looked in awhile to see how many files and what directory structure there is there, but it sounds to me like the number could be something like 5 (3 or 4 files for the various "bootloader" stages - and, in fact, you wouldn't even need the kernel or cmdline.txt, since you wouldn't need to even get that far).
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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bigsi111
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 8:30 am

scep wrote:
carl_retrotext wrote:
scep wrote:I think to say the question is obsolete is a bit strong,
It wasn't meant as a pejorative, just in the sense that:

a) Would some people like an official pre-loaded SD card? Yes.
b) Does such a thing exist? No.
c) Will it be available in future? Yes.

Of course there's nothing to stop anyone selling 'proven' pre-loaded cards themselves but at present the Foundation cannot give an "offical" approval to such a thing.

There's plenty of these now being sold on Ebay for buttons.

Personally, I've had so much fun getting this right myself, I would have paid more not to have a preloaded card :D

ikarus342000
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 8:34 am

With pre-loaded SD cards the question is then which operation system respectively which distribution to load.
Debian, Fedora etc. For instance I like Rasp Puppy. The nice thing when you can do it by yourself, you use the distribution you prefer.
As an educational device, loading the distribution to the SD card is already the beginning of learning.

B.K.

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Jongoleur
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 8:37 am

The SD card problem seems to arise from several approaches to sourcing SD cards.

1. Some users have gone the "more is best" route, and chosen a huge, expensive Class 10 card despite pre-launch warnings that they don't work.
2. Othes have gone for the cheapest cards to be found on ebay, often of the same size as the disk image.
3. Then there is the group that have plumped for cards that come from certain manufacturers that again have been reported as problematic.


Given that these are still essentially development boards, the operating system and its drivers still need to be refined and so its impractical to produce ready to go SD cards at a price that would make sense to a potential buyer. This WILL change by time the full version of the Pi emerges. THEN I'd be happy to pay extra for a ready to go system.

The currently recommended version of Linux is easily downloadable. There is copious information on how to download and transfer the operating system image to an SD card. There is advice on how to select a suitable card. Mainstream Linux magazines are beginning to run articles on how to prepare and use the Raspberry Pi. I'm afraid its going to be a learning experience for new users, but thats educational too. I'd say the best bet for a new user/early adopter is to read everything you can before you jump.

@Jo Schmoe: To a certain extent, its still a question of having an SD card thats happy in the Pi and getting users to transfer the test image to the card correctly. In principle, theres no reason why such a diagnostic system won't work, its just a question of creating a quasi-OS stub to be run after the binary blob has initialised the system and produce some output.

Might be an interesting little project.... 8-)
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The_Saint
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 9:22 am

Mine just arrived 30 minutes ago, if it is straightforward and I don't have any issues at all getting it working later then what was the point of buying it? I won't have learned anything. I wouldn't dream of being condescending enough to suggest that there are people who can't learn enough to get one going.

bredman
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 9:33 am

Joe Schmoe wrote:the thing that keeps occurring to me is that there really should be a simple go-no-go test that you can do on a newly unboxed Pi
This is an interesting idea.

The GPU can output a video test signal if the FAT partition contains config.txt containing
test_mode=1

What else is needed to generate this test signal? Do we actually need a kernel or an EXT partition?

If we could generate a test signal using only the FAT partition, then any user could build this by copying a few files using a Windows PC, no need for dd or formatting or anything similar.

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alexeames
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 9:56 am

bigsi111 wrote: Personally, I've had so much fun getting this right myself, I would have paid more not to have a preloaded card :D
Hear hear. At this stage, if it was too easy it would have been offputting to the adventurous types. :D
There's a lot more fun to be had in setting these things up and monkeying around with them than in using them. :ugeek:
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 10:01 am

bredman wrote:
Joe Schmoe wrote:the thing that keeps occurring to me is that there really should be a simple go-no-go test that you can do on a newly unboxed Pi
This is an interesting idea.
...
If we could generate a test signal using only the FAT partition, then any user could build this by copying a few files using a Windows PC, no need for dd or formatting or anything similar.
Exactly - that's what I've been saying all along. Yes, I know it sounds like a trivial thing to us,but the fact is that once you run the dd/Win32DiskIimage thingie on an SD card, that SD card is no longer "normal". Yes, we know how to get it back to normal, but not everyone does.

Anyway, I'm 98% sure that if you just "xcopy" (or unzip...) all the files from the FAT partition in the image to an SD card and boot that SD card, it will get as far as booting the kernel (generating onscreen display) and crash at "Kernel Panic: Can't load root filesystem" (or whatever...)

So, there is little doubt (in my mind, at any rate) that that would work. My question was whether it could be reduced/simplified any further than that.

P.S. Another idea I had was that it ought to be possible to package up the root filesystem into a loop file and boot from there (sort of like how Knoppix works) - this would eliminate the need for any partitioning, since the loop file could be right there on the FAT filesystem along with the /boot files.
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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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 10:03 am

Thanks for all the comments, i am out and about so i will try to give some comment without citation ( bleenin phone!)
Firstly the go no go can work with a unzipped firmware file that is not imaged correctly, it will boot the pi up but will hang in kernal panic.

But you will need a proven card for this, even some of them dont work well so it is still not sceintific. I f jas to proved thats its not a fake ect.

I take on board that its all learning but i suspect those posters have not recieved a defective board, I love a challenge, but give a guy a sporting chance!
Look on the trouble shooing section, is there any way that we can help without dancing around the pin head of sd- power issues if we dont even know that its is functional?

davez
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 10:06 am

I wouldn't purchase a proved working SDcard really.

A proved working PI isn't something I would have paid an extra fee for or something similar. It is however something that should work from the start so there shouldn't be a need for people to pay more to actually get one that works. We all bought it because we want it to work.

On the other hand, faults are near impossible to get rid off and that includes production faults. And there is often people who complain that is heard on the internet.
http://blog.davido.me General tech site

hippy
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 1:33 pm

davez wrote:A proved working PI isn't something I would have paid an extra fee for or something similar. It is however something that should work from the start so there shouldn't be a need for people to pay more to actually get one that works. We all bought it because we want it to work.
The problem is when it doesn't work. Is that the wrong type of SD card, the formatting or dd'ing done wrong, a corrupted download, a power supply or supply cable at fault, something else, or is the R-Pi faulty ?

No one wants to buy additional SD cards only to find it was a supply issue, or vice-versa, and certainly not, if after replacing everything, the conclusion seems the R-Pi is faulty, but maybe there's still no definite proof of that.

Paying for an official and 'guaranteed to work' card and power supply is the insurance against the aggravation and cost of narrowing down the problem if one doesn't buy that insurance.

davez
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 1:57 pm

hippy wrote: The problem is when it doesn't work. Is that the wrong type of SD card, the formatting or dd'ing done wrong, a corrupted download, a power supply or supply cable at fault, something else, or is the R-Pi faulty ?

No one wants to buy additional SD cards only to find it was a supply issue, or vice-versa, and certainly not, if after replacing everything, the conclusion seems the R-Pi is faulty, but maybe there's still no definite proof of that.

Paying for an official and 'guaranteed to work' card and power supply is the insurance against the aggravation and cost of narrowing down the problem if one doesn't buy that insurance.
I do understand your points, however. Without sounding like a douche, considering the price of the Pi and also the first consumers/target audience shouldn't people have experience with some troubleshooting? Extra SDcards, Keyboards, Voltage/Current meters shouldn't be too hard for people to get their hands on.

But I can see why it would be interesting for people to also buy SDcards and chargers, but isn't that already possible? Not sure how proven to work they are.
http://blog.davido.me General tech site

adlambert

Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 2:35 pm

I would test an SD card in my working Pi for any member near enough.
Or I would image one and test it and then send it to anyone who wanted it, all for free of course.

It's a community thing.

I voted no.

lewmur
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 3:05 pm

carl_retrotext wrote:There seems to be lots of new owners who think they have followed all the correct advice that still seem to have problems to get there new boards working.

A pre loaded SD card from the foundation would have eliminated a lot of hassle and narrowed down the potential faults, and the mantra of a devise to bring coding home to Joe Public would hold up better.

More advanced users could have opted out or just overwritten the firmware for their own perhaps.
If you had been paying attention you would know that the whole purpose of the "developemental launch" was to give the community time to develope one or more "stable" SD cards prior to the "educational release" due in the fall. At the time of the first release, there was no such thing. So how could the Foundation have provided it? They would have been placing a giant target on their backs for people to complain when bugs appeared.

Anyone who doesn't have the skills necessary to solve the problems of getting their new Pi to work should, IMHO, have waited till the fall release. It isn't as if there wasn't plenty of warning that this wasn't intended to an OOTB product.

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carl_retrotext
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 4:06 pm

lewmur wrote:
carl_retrotext wrote:There seems to be lots of new owners who think they have followed all the correct advice that still seem to have problems to get there new boards working.

A pre loaded SD card from the foundation would have eliminated a lot of hassle and narrowed down the potential faults, and the mantra of a devise to bring coding home to Joe Public would hold up better.

More advanced users could have opted out or just overwritten the firmware for their own perhaps.
If you had been paying attention you would know that the whole purpose of the "developemental launch" was to give the community time to develope one or more "stable" SD cards prior to the "educational release" due in the fall. At the time of the first release, there was no such thing. So how could the Foundation have provided it? They would have been placing a giant target on their backs for people to complain when bugs appeared.

Anyone who doesn't have the skills necessary to solve the problems of getting their new Pi to work should, IMHO, have waited till the fall release. It isn't as if there wasn't plenty of warning that this wasn't intended to an OOTB product.

I did pay attention, I got a board that was faulty, I got it changed by the supplier,It worked first time ( so I and others are not stupid) the whole process could have been expedited with an endorsed card.

Thanks for your rudeness.

How dare us noobs post a discussion on the Pi forum. :shock:

So its a dev board, so It don't matter if its not working, and we should sit an exam to get one of these too.

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AndrewS
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 4:55 pm

Joe Schmoe wrote:P.S. Another idea I had was that it ought to be possible to package up the root filesystem into a loop file and boot from there (sort of like how Knoppix works) - this would eliminate the need for any partitioning, since the loop file could be right there on the FAT filesystem along with the /boot files.
That's (almost) exactly what kernel_emergency.img is all about - it's a kernel image which contains an embedded root filesystem :)
So all you need to do is download loader.bin bootcode.bin start.elf and kernel_emergency.img from https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware ... aster/boot to any old FAT32 SD card, rename kernel_emergency.img to kernel.img, and add an appropriate cmdline.txt and you'll have a minimal-booting system.

Or to make it easier you can just download and extract http://www.andrewscheller.co.uk/rpi_emergency.zip to any FAT/FAT32-formatted SD card (even one already containing existing files - it only needs 20MB free space), bung it into your Pi, connect up power and away you go :D

hackery21
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Wed May 30, 2012 7:38 pm

Wait... Doesn't RS sell preloaded Pi SDCards?

PaulCheffus
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Thu May 31, 2012 11:35 am

hackery21 wrote:Wait... Doesn't RS sell preloaded Pi SDCards?
Hi

Yep I ordered one with my Pi on Monday. Personally I could load the image onto the SD card myself but would prefer the preloaded image so I can at least prove its all working and that I haven't done anything stupid.

Cheers

Paul
Procrastination - The Thief of Time.

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Poll, would you have paid extra for a proved working PI

Thu May 31, 2012 12:33 pm

PaulCheffus wrote:
hackery21 wrote:Wait... Doesn't RS sell preloaded Pi SDCards?
Hi

Yep I ordered one with my Pi on Monday. Personally I could load the image onto the SD card myself but would prefer the preloaded image so I can at least prove its all working and that I haven't done anything stupid.

Cheers

Paul
Great! Sounds like you hit all of your targets.

So, the problem is solved. Pre-made, known-good, SD cards *are* available for purchase.
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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