Skygod
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:07 pm

In the workplace, I started out using an ACT Sirius 1 (dual boot CPM or MSDOS) based on an 8088 running I believe at 4.77MHz.

Added the maths co-processor and RAM upgrade and also did the upgrade from DOS 1 to DOS 2 (sub-directories yee ha!)

Now we are looking at the Raspberry Pi running on an \'older\' ARM chip; is the upgrade path going to available for these devices over time such as moving up to faster processors ( equivalent to the 8086 / 80286 /80386 / 80486 / Pentium progression ) or is it to be simply a static base for learning?

I did a lot of stuff on 8086 / 8088 / V20 based systems in those early years of \'personal\' computing, but none of it would be of benefit in the GHz processor world of today.

I DO applaud the initiative, but as a long term project, I\'d just be interested to know what the roadmap is for keeping abreast of chip upgrades.

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liz
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:24 pm

We will move to faster processors and more wihzz-bang as time goes on - development doesn\'t stop once we\'ve got a release model. But new models with different processors will require a complete board revision, which takes a lot of time, so you\'re unlikely to see anything along those lines for a good long while.
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Oxwivi
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:33 pm

Will there be anything like return programs? That is to say, can we send our old R-Pis back to be recycled for the new revisions?

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liz
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:37 pm

No. :)
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piglet
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:57 pm

Though I\'m sure they\'d be happy to recycle them to good causes if you want to donate your old working one... :)

Skygod
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:31 pm

[quote]Quote from liz on November 2, 2011, 16:24
We will move to faster processors and more wihzz-bang as time goes on - development doesn\'t stop once we\'ve got a release model. But new models with different processors will require a complete board revision, which takes a lot of time, so you\'re unlikely to see anything along those lines for a good long while. [/quote]

Thanks for the info

Oxwivi
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:55 pm

[quote]Quote from liz on November 2, 2011, 16:37
No. :)
[/quote]

Well, in case you misunderstood, I am not saying such a program should be free.

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liz
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:57 pm

Like I said, a new SoC would require a complete board revision. It\'s not a case of popping one chip out and replacing it with a new one: routing changes, and we\'d probably be adding some new features too, so the layout would also be different.
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Oxwivi
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:02 pm

Yes, I get that. But it is material recycling I\'m talking about. If I\'m gonna upgrade to the new R-Pi, might as well recycle it which can reduce the cost for everyone, even if slightly, provided the program catches on with a lot of folks.

obarthelemy
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:36 pm

Most electronics shop have a \"recycle\" bin, no need to ship it halfway across the world.
The best recycling is to pass it on to the next generation though ^^

Oxwivi
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:02 pm

Well it\'s not quite that way in the Middle East, as far as I know. And for the record, I live in the United Arab Emirates.

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liz
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:23 pm

Certainly here in the UK all municipal dumps have electronics recycling facilities too.
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kme
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:31 pm

[quote]Quote from liz on November 2, 2011, 20:23
Certainly here in the UK all municipal dumps have electronics recycling facilities too.[/quote]Same in Denmark. Actually it\'s strictly forbidden to put electronic waste in the household bins. Same goes for batteries, light bulbs, glass, newspapers/magazines...

However I think we could do much more to reduce waste, but that\'s a personal rant not related to R-PI. At least R-PI produces very little waste due to size and complexity.

subminiature
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:41 pm

I am surprised that it has a video out as composite video is disappearing on all equipment with HDMI (which it has) coming in; at least in the developed world.

Equally the lack of a mic input. It would make a perfect very low cost recording device with direct editing and mixing under Linux where quality is only limited by the quality of the mic you can afford. But, without a low energy screen it wouldn\'t be any use as a portable recorder, but still very flexible in the music room/recording studio. I\'ve never seen a USB mic, other than low quality not suitable for music - but I haven\'t looked either.

I expect a case will be provided with a built in USB hub (Logitech nano receiver, Edimax Bluetooth & Wi-fi, Web cam, external drive, external 5+1 sound and mobile phone/camera) and second SD card slot.

I would like to hang one off my TV to be the media player and web browser that I don\'t need to turn off taking media from the network or internet. My TV arrived just before they started building in smart systems. At this price level it would be worth hanging another one off my computer monitor for fast web browsing instead of booting up the PC.

A case with optional battery pack I could see as very useful in places where electricity supply is intermittent and this drops the price of a useful PC to under a fifth of those low energy PCs I have seen.

I hope for something else that the days of Nascom and the BBC Model B had - I/O used to control experiments and additional hardware to bring back the fun of programming and control. But this would require projects, external devices (a bit like the technical Lego) and software building blocks.

I am not sure about being the solution to getting schools interested in programing. Children would like to write software or more accurately games software but don\'t have the time and patients to create the graphics and logic and the few that do would already be doing that on their desktops and laptops. There is software that makes programming games easier - but who is using it - none of the schools I a familiar with who - like the video clips talk about only teach very boring Excel, Word and throw in a little Power Point. They don\'t even use VBA or macros. All useful, except when they should be using these they don\'t have access to the computer suite. The Raspberry Pi wouldn\'t help - no screen and no power supply for 30 pupils in every classroom.

Even giving every pupil one only goes to the first stage. Many homes can\'t afford the broadband or even dial up modem rates to connect to the internet.

I guess someone has already considered these points and anything else I can think up.

I still think in the right case and with the right software it could be the coolest Christmas gift for every kid from 8 to 80 even if they already have Xbox, playstation, Wii and a PC or Mac!

But schools should be interested in the network version where assignments can be download and completed work upload to the network as well as sharing work with classmates. Schools have either desktops or laptops - both hugely expensive to buy in and more to maintain and not cheap on energy. But I don\'t see that even this $35 device + £ for casing will overcome the lack of developments in educational software. Schools that are moving to hi-tech are using pocket pc, now netbooks, providing every student with a portable device from which their lessons and assignments are downloaded.

The ARM was originally designed to be the fastest chip to run BASIC and anyone could do some programming in that. What\'s available under Linux that takes this on 20 years?

Skygod
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:41 am

[quote]Quote from subminiature on November 2, 2011, 20:41
I am surprised that it has a video out as composite video is disappearing on all equipment with HDMI (which it has) coming in; at least in the developed world.[/quote]

Here in Thailand, many houses still have tube TVs, so here kids would require composite.

[quote]
A case with optional battery pack I could see as very useful in places where electricity supply is intermittent and this drops the price of a useful PC to under a fifth of those low energy PCs I have seen. [/quote]

Not sure that maintaining power to the computer is of much benefit if the output device cannot be powered, but there are solutions (expensive at $80 in comparison to the cost of the Pi).
This looks a particuraly nice piece of \'kit\'
http://www.scosche.com/consumer-tech/product/2073
A 5000mAh battery with both a 2.1A and 1A USB output, so you could keep a Pi Model B and an external USB HDD running for quite a while.

Oxwivi
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:50 am

[quote]Quote from liz on November 2, 2011, 20:23
Certainly here in the UK all municipal dumps have electronics recycling facilities too.[/quote]

Looks like I forgot to add a \'not\' in my last post. What I\'m saying is there\'s no electronic recycling facility here. Not in my knowledge anyway.

subminiature
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:54 pm

[quote]Quote from Skygod on November 3, 2011, 05:41
Not sure that maintaining power to the computer is of much benefit if the output device cannot be powered, but there are solutions (expensive at $80 in comparison to the cost of the Pi).
[/quote]

Aleutia made an 8 watt PC with battery 8\" screens for field computer labs in Africa. They could run off car batteries. It also had compact flash to boot up Linux. Much higher cost and couldn\'t run 1080p video or YouTube.

A $50 Android touch screen tablet then starts t look very cheap by comparison. It is only if you already have a screen and keyboard available that the entry point is then lowered.

hippy
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Re: Maybe a little premature.....

Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:02 pm

[quote]Quote from subminiature on November 3, 2011, 13:54
A $50 Android touch screen tablet then starts t look very cheap by comparison. It is only if you already have a screen and keyboard available that the entry point is then lowered.[/quote]

I think you have to be a very special breed to do a lot of programming using only the on-screen keyboard of a tablet - not only awkward and frustrating IMO but it also eats up a lot of screen real estate - so I would suggest a keyboard was needed in both cases. That then just leaves the issue of the display.

Displays on low-cost tablets have in my experience looked less than stellar and are often quite small, not good for long sessions of programming, but if people are happy with them so be it.

There are additional costs to make an R-Pi usable above the $25 board cost but people will have a choice which they buy. The good news is that they will have a choice in a similar ball-park of pricing.

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