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nick.mccloud
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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:22 pm

Just come back from the Alfa Romeo dealership - I'm very unhappy that they won't include Uma Thurman with my car even though they show her on the advert.

Drew
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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:38 pm

lewmur wrote:Sold by whom? The Foundation has never promised any of the stuff you listed. It has been very open about the fact that this first release is a developemental release.. Anyone who read the "hype" coming from outside the Foundation and didn't read carefully enough to heed warnings of many others, pretty much set themselves up for disappointment.
The RaspberryPi blog listed these two posts that suggest Quake & XMBC should work…
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1139
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/810

It's real easy to get the impression that the Pi can handle applications that are as complex as a Playstation 1 or 2. I think I have seen Eben generally comparing the Pi's abilities to PS2 in interviews. I guess it's another 'sign of the times' that people don't understand what development hardware means, lets hope that the Pi can make an impact upon this.

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:49 pm

Drew wrote:It's real easy to get the impression that the Pi can handle applications that are as complex as a Playstation 1 or 2.
It probably can, if the applications in question are fully optimised to make the best use possible of the RasPi's GPU (for comparison, the Playstation 2 only has 32MB of RAM and a 300MHz CPU). But at this early development stage, there's very few applications fully optimised for the RaspberryPi, which is why everything feels so "slow".
All IMHO, naturally ;)

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:20 pm

lewmur wrote:Why shouldn't there be positive replies? He wants to use the Pi for "process control". Using several Pi's for that purpose is just the sort of thing it's best at.
It wasn't meant to be critical if it sounded that way, it was meant to highlight what the Pi could do.

Geffers

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:24 pm

lewmur wrote: Sold by whom? The Foundation has never promised any of the stuff you listed. It has been very open about the fact that this first release is a developemental release.. Anyone who read the "hype" coming from outside the Foundation and didn't read carefully enough to heed warnings of many others, pretty much set themselves up for disappointment.
The first three were front page posts under news.
The browser, and the ability to use it a a fully blown PC has been touted many times. Without X acceleration through the GPU this is plainly not the case.
Have a look in the troubleshooting forum to see how many problems are being had with SD cards and power supplies. Surely you can expect a device to work appropriately with the components specified by the people designing it.

I am completely in agreement that it is a developmential release and I didn't buy it as anything else. But looking at the front page posts on this forum among others could easily lead some people to expect performance way out of line to what they will get. Part of this is a lack of understanding on the part of the person reading it for sure, but 'Oh, look at this Whizzy stuff you can do with your Pi' posts, when the whizzy stuff in particular is being done by someone who is highly expert in thier field (I am thinking of the home automation post recently) is going to leave a lot of people deflated.

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:36 pm

Yeah, but when you're touting your new concept device around, you don't go around saying what it can't do well (yet), you show its potential by showing impressive things that people have made it do. It can run a browser, or an Office suite, but I choose to use my i7 for that job, as it does it at a useful speed.

The publicity went viral and out of control. This is a colossal success. It's a tremendously good problem to have. There will always be people who buy things without doing their homework. You can't eliminate them. Anyone who finds out it's not for them can still sell it on at a profit for the time being, so I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for anyone about this.

The ways in which it's better than my i7 laptop are...
* GPIO
* Being able to re-image the OS in minutes
* Being able to swap out the OS in seconds for another SD card
* Being so darned cheap I'm willing to experiment in ways that I wouldn't want to on my £900 laptop that I use for business
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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:03 pm

babbage wrote:
lewmur wrote: Sold by whom? The Foundation has never promised any of the stuff you listed. It has been very open about the fact that this first release is a developemental release.. Anyone who read the "hype" coming from outside the Foundation and didn't read carefully enough to heed warnings of many others, pretty much set themselves up for disappointment.
The first three were front page posts under news.
The browser, and the ability to use it a a fully blown PC has been touted many times. Without X acceleration through the GPU this is plainly not the case.
Have a look in the troubleshooting forum to see how many problems are being had with SD cards and power supplies. Surely you can expect a device to work appropriately with the components specified by the people designing it.

I am completely in agreement that it is a developmential release and I didn't buy it as anything else. But looking at the front page posts on this forum among others could easily lead some people to expect performance way out of line to what they will get. Part of this is a lack of understanding on the part of the person reading it for sure, but 'Oh, look at this Whizzy stuff you can do with your Pi' posts, when the whizzy stuff in particular is being done by someone who is highly expert in thier field (I am thinking of the home automation post recently) is going to leave a lot of people deflated.
SD card issue is along the way to being fixed - latest Wheezy release should be much better and I think there is another issues being fixed right now.
I tried the Midori webbrowser on Wheezy. Bit slow but certainly usable. Office Apps work as well. Email is fine. So, in my opinion, you could use this as a cheap desktop replacement, depending on what your requirements are. I wouldn't myself, but I think its possible. X acceleration would make it even better.
The power supply issue is tricky, you really do need a decent supply, and not some cheap crap that doesn't do what it says on the label. I in fact run mine off my desktop PC USB port and it's fine. However, there are probably things we coudl do to improve that.

Just out of interest, should we stop posting what people have achieved on the front page? I think that would be a retrograde step - people need to aspire to stuff.If you look at what has been posted, it seems quite a good mix to me.
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babbage
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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:17 pm

Just out of interest, should we stop posting what people have achieved on the front page? I think that would be a retrograde step - people need to aspire to stuff.If you look at what has been posted, it seems quite a good mix to me.
James, I don't think that these achievements should stop being posted on the front page, I think you are right that people do need things to aspire to. I just think that a little more context to the achievement may help. I'm reasonably technical and can look at something and decide for myself how complex something may be, but a lot of people aren't but see something very desireable that can be done with a very cheap device and may not fully realise the implications of what is being said.

I know it is a difficult balance between saying 'X has done this, but he has a PH.D in Electronic enginnering, so you may as well give up now' and giving loads of in-depth information to walk everyone through it. Perhaps a post as usual, and then a link to a how-to on the wiki to show how complex it may be ?

So this would result in saying it can play HD video, with perhaps a link to a wiki page showing how to install OMX player, what files you can expect to play etc?

Steve

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:48 pm

The supported file formats was fully documented on the fornt page a while back - not sure if the data made it to the Wiki - sure someone must have done it.

I'm not sure how to implement what you suggest - the frontpage posts are fairly wordy, and should get across the difficulty, but if they don't who is to assign the difficulty level, since different people may have completely different ideas of what is or isn't difficult.

I would add that the WIki is not a Foundation run site, whereas here obviously is!
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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:07 pm

Drew wrote: Your keyboard issue sounds like you are not getting enough power - search the for 'power & repeating keys'. I remember reading about it but I can't remember where, sorry. It's probably worth checking your peripherals to see if they appear in the list of supported & unsupported devices.
http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals
Thanks, Drew. I searched and found the topic discussed here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... =28&t=5995.

My setup should take care of all issues mentioned, but I always get repeating keys and/or no response to key presses and/or mouse clicks
  • I tried 2 different power supplies, each rated 5V 1A (one is from a Huawei smart phone, the other a no-name product), while, according to the specs, a power supply of 5V 0.7A should be sufficient.
  • I also connected the keyboard via a powered hub, while simulateously the raspi was powered with the 5V1A supplies. No improvement.
  • I measured the voltage from TP1 vs ground and TP1 vs TP2 (TP2 is ground?) and for both got 4.90 - 4.92 V, well above the 4.75V user SN (see referred to topic) said to be the minimum.
The keyboard is from DELL, model SK-1825, which has a built-in hub, to which the mouse is connected.

I conclude that I don't have an issue from lack of amps.

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:10 pm

Since somewhere around 70,000 boards should be in saliva-coated hands within the next couple of weeks, the headlines in the blog should be focused on how less technically-inclined folks (and I mean anyone who's squeamish about command-line work) can get their Pi set up for successful running of the most popular applications. It doesn't help that different OSes typically have to be used for several categories of applications, particularly the multimedia kinds.

We can only hope that people unfamiliar with electronics and Linux have opted for buying a startup package from the distributors that includes a power supply proven to be sufficient for a board, keyboard, and mouse, along with the fastest possible 4GB SD card with the most current version of one of the more stable OS ports installed, and all of the HDMI, Ethernet, etc., cables they're going to need. The "it runs on a cell phone charger" phrase needs to be thoroughly scrubbed from every presentation, post, and other form of proclamation.

Once people have their boards in-hand, have wired them up successfully, and have installed an OS on an SD card with enough room left over to be useful, they will be ready to start an ongoing system improvement process. After powering up the board and verifying that it has booted up properly, the next, most critical step, will be to connect the board to a wired Ethernet network and configure it to communicate with the Internet. That's the only way that it will be possible to obtain the frequent OS updates, unless they're acquired already installed on SD cards from family, friends, neighbors, or vendors.

Getting to that point will be an accomplishment for those not imbued with the geek gene and, once they've gotten that far, the next thing they need to do is back the boot SD card up to either another SD card (requiring a USB card reader, which are pretty cheap), or a USB flash drive, if they don't know how to do it on a Linux, Windows, or Mac computer.

After all of that has been done, then it will be time to have some fun with the built-in applications, and start downloading any of the growing list of other applications ported to the Pi, but, not a moment before.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:58 pm

gregeric wrote:@ullix - what memory split are you using... I suspect the more common 224/32? The GPU needs more than 32MB for video decoding. Change your start.elf to one which allocates less memory to the arm, and more to the GPU.
Thanks, gregeric, that did the trick!!!

Under Debian Wheezy call 'sudo raspi-config' and select 'memory-split'. It allows to change between three setting for CPU-RAM / GPU RAM:
224 / 32 MiB
192 / 64 MiB
128 / 128 MiB
Indeed, I had the first selected, which did not work. Selecting either of the other ones (don't forget to reboot for activation!) allowed to show some H264 coded movies in perfectly good quality for both video and sound!

You can do this from the command line - without entering X - by simply entering 'omxplayer /path/to/video.mp4' (other extensions tried ok: mkv, avi, mov), and get sound from the analogue-out. Stop the video with CTRL-C.

You can also do this from within the desktop, but there is a catch. From the file-manager right-click on the video, and choose 'open with...'. Then click on 'Custom Command Line' and enter 'omxplayer'; click ok. The video should begin playing. The cpu load was around 30%.

The catch is that the video plays in an overlay to the desktop, and if the video has the same aspect ratio as your desktop, then you don't see the desktop - including the mouse pointer - any more. So how do you shut down the video? CTRL-C does not work, nor could I find any other key combination. My way: pull the power plug! Hmm.

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:22 pm

ullix wrote:So how do you shut down the video? CTRL-C does not work, nor could I find any other key combination. My way: pull the power plug! Hmm.
Q for quit.
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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:01 pm

jamesh wrote:I'm not sure how to implement what you suggest - the frontpage posts are fairly wordy, and should get across the difficulty, but if they don't who is to assign the difficulty level, since different people may have completely different ideas of what is or isn't difficult.
James, to be honest, neither am I ! It may (probably isn't) even the right way to do it, but I think that something to help new people to gauge accessability to some of the things shown would be a good idea. Jim's idea seems a good palce to start, a real beginners guide that assumes no prior knowledge of anything much ?

Steve

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:11 pm

I'm a programmer, I took it to work and showed other IT people what it could do, when I started OpenOffice they were blown away that it could even be installed on such a device, let alone run usably.
The greater point is though - I didn't buy it to do the things I can already do on laptops and PCs I already own why are people finding this so very difficult to grasp?

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:52 pm

Why *did* you get it then?
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:30 pm

To play about with a Linux system I could happily break with impunity, to mess about with controlling external devices (something I've never done), every time I've used it for more than about 30 minutes I've found stuff out, even if its how hard it is to get a wireless dongle working. Are you one of those people annoyed that it won't run Windows 7?

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:38 pm

The_Saint wrote:To play about with a Linux system I could happily break with impunity, to mess about with controlling external devices (something I've never done), every time I've used it for more than about 30 minutes I've found stuff out, even if its how hard it is to get a wireless dongle working. Are you one of those people annoyed that it won't run Windows 7?
Same as that. The other major plus point I forgot about was no fan noise. Powerful PCs require a lot of cooling and it can be bloomin' noisy. The pi requires NO COOLING, which means no fan noise. Ideal if you're using it to watch something.
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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:14 am

Hi,
What you bought was a development board. Too many people got caught up in the hype. I know of three pi's sat in cupboards because the monkeys who bought them don't know what to do with them.
I was forced to wait for three months to get mine, after trying to buy one at 6am in the morning on the 29th of Feb. The pi has already done me some good because it has improved my linux knowledge no end.
The pi still needs a lot of developmental work doing on it to exploit all of it's hardware features. The great thing is it is its a fixed piece of hardware, meaning that once its image has been configured it can be cloned and shared easily with others. Also because it is a fixed piece or hardware unlike the ever morphing pc it will be worth writing machine code for it. The pi is brilliant because it uses so little power and it is robust because there are no moving parts and its cheap. Take my word for it that you will see these devices appearing in all sorts of consumer electronics in the near future.

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:39 am

ullix wrote:The keyboard is from DELL, model SK-1825, which has a built-in hub, to which the mouse is connected.
That's going to be the problem. Keyboards with built in hubs rarely work. They are likely to exceed the 100mA limit for Pi's USB ports. Can you try with a hub-less keyboard?

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:44 am

I can agree with the overhype at the launch of the Pi, at the same time the foundation did little to dampen it with their main FAQ stating "It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games." which of course means different things to different people, and again there is no mention in the FAQ about it being a development release. So it is not a surprise when people are a little underwhelmed when they finally discover what they've received and do not have the energy to make it do something useful.

Myself, I have had great fun in the past month, re-learning Unix, understanding how to compile kernels, setting up shares to other computers.

As an example of how far things have already come, when I received my Pi over a month ago, I loaded it up with XBMC and found that it could play video but was clunkey, kept crashing, was still very slow performing simple tasks. Over the weekend I decided to have another go and installed Raspbmc and had a completely different experience with a UI which felt fast, watching films from my NAS without even a glitch. Best of all, support of Apple Airplay enabling me to stream from my iPAD to my TV enabling me (outside the UK) to watch the BBC England / Italy match on my 32" TV. I have been amazed at how much progress there has been in the past month (and thank all of those involved).

I have still got many projects I want to put my Pi to and will be buying another. I really want to learn Python as it would help me out in my job, but I have been putting that off in preference to fun projects like building a time-lapse camera to monitor the new house being built next to me.

It's ironic that I already had the bits and pieces to do this already, but the Pi seems to have ignited my interest in actually getting things done which I had been planning for a long time, but without the knowledge and backup by all the people on this forum.

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:04 pm

A lot of people got caught up in the hype of pre-release and the launch. I expect the majority of people including the founding members were shocked at the response that occurred and with that a lot of unintentionally misleading information got out there that probably should have been refuted if the very nature of the massive flood of it had allowed time for that.

What the board that has been distributed is though should be pretty plain at this point.

- It is a development release of a system that was designed originally for teaching basic IT skills in schools.
- It was never designed to be a replacement for any existing computers or media players.
- It can be used for programming and automation training.
- It can be developed within it's design limitations to serve as a basic computer, basic media player, basic controller/monitor for automation.
- It is relatively cheap for a SBC given it's design intentions.

Expecting it to be more than it actually is at this point is a more than fruitless endeavor. The foundation is not making piles of money from it that could be thrown into R&D to make it do everything that everyone else wants it to be able to do.

That leaves all those that thought it was something it wasn't with a few options. Learn to use it as it is, working within the development environment, wait for others to develop uses for it and then adopt those or accept the small loss of the purchase price.

Arguing over who's to blame is just crying over spilt milk and serves no real purpose.

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:18 pm

VBT wrote:accept the small loss of the purchase price.
Don't even have to do that when you can still sell them on ebay for more than retail price. So, in conclusion, there is no justification for whinging.
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:52 pm

I know of three pi's sat in cupboards because the monkeys who bought them don't know what to do with them.
Superb description, I was tending towards "muppets" previously.

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Re: Overpromised and Underdelivered?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:48 pm

I think the "spilt milk" argument is BS - and sounds like someone (or some organization) trying to avoid facing unpleasant truths.

Even if the Foundation itself never faces this situation again, which is unlikely, because there's always another time - either there's going to be other products from the Foundation in the future or the Foundation is going to cease to exist. One or the other, and I think we all hope it is the former, not the later. But, as I say, even if the Foundation never faces this situation again, the fact is that many of us will continue to evolve and grow in the tech field, and how we deal with situations like this will make or break careers.

Here, just for reference, is what they should have done.

*) Made it clear that this is a development release by charging $100 for the board. There is certainly precedent for, and it is entirely normal for, the "development release" of a tech product to cost more than the intended eventual retail price. The benefits (win/win/win for literally everyone involved) are so obvious, that I need not re-iterate them here.
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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