User avatar
pluggy
Posts: 3635
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 3:52 pm
Location: Barnoldswick, Lancashire,UK
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:43 pm

Over twice the CPU horsepower, and works out of the box if you've got a PC to power / control it via the supplied cable. Mini USB and wired as a client port so it will talk direct to a PC. Supplied with an OS on the built in flash storage. Its cheaper to get running than a Pi at the minimal level. To get a Pi to run at the absolute minimum (headless) you need a PSU / Good microUSB lead to power it from a PC, an SD card and an ethernet lead. You'de be struggling to get that for six quid. Its unashamedly a cut down Beaglebone (they make a feature of the cost cutting in the manual). 4 LEDS on board connected to GPIO so it will make pretty flashing LEDS under user control as standard, powered from the barrel socket the USB can put out the full 500mA and as already mentioned it has a 'proper' ethernet not joined at the hip to the USB. Boots from onboard flash, Micro SD, USB or serial (although you'd need to provide a TTL/serial lead to do it) and has reset and a couple of other buttons onboard.

If there was ever a Pi killer, the BBB is it. It probably won't play videos as well as the Pi......

You can burn me at the stake for heresy now.
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
I must not tread on too many sacred cows......

simplesi
Posts: 2327
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:19 pm
Location: Euxton, Lancashire, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:33 pm

The RPi has a VERY big user base - it didn't matter that BetaMax was better than VHS - everyone used VHS so the game was over - learn from history young padawan :)

Simon

PS I bought a BetaMax of course :)
Seeking help with Scratch and I/O stuff for Primary age children
http://cymplecy.wordpress.com/ @cymplecy on twitter

User avatar
alexeames
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 2869
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:57 am
Location: UK
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:38 pm

pluggy wrote: You'de be struggling to get that for six quid.
You can both talk to a Pi and power it using a USB to 3V3 RS232 via the UARTs. If you had an old SD card already, you could use that and it would still be a comparable price or even slightly less. :D

Or use Meltwater's technique with a network cable and PC (I bet you've got one of those already) and a USB to micro USB (£1) to power it from the same PC.

Not ideal, I know, but it can be done. :D
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

User avatar
eastpole
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:17 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:56 am

simplesi wrote:The RPi has a VERY big user base - it didn't matter that BetaMax was better than VHS - everyone used VHS so the game was over
Simon, surely if we are hardware geeks, or computer enthusiasts, or merely humans who want stuff to work well, then we should stand against this? I'm not saying BeagleBone Black is better, or that there isn't lots of room for both platforms -- I'm saying let's not assume that the first mover takes all.

To me it looks like there might be room for a $25 computer with awesome GPU AND a more powerful $45 computer with built-in analog and PWM i/o.

They might even both run Debian!

Nothing has to kill anything because the boxes are built for different purposes.

eastpole

adlambert

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:07 am

jamesh wrote: I agree that since TI make the chip, and the Beagle, they can price how they like - but I don't reckon they are making very much per board on this - $1 perhaps, once you take distributor markup in to account. That's very low margins for someone like TI. The Foundation is a charity, they can afford low margins, and Broadcom still make money on each 2835.
TI might even be selling it at a loss, because it is part of the TI strategy to encourage a tinkering community. I have their sensor tag, amazing little gadget, surprisingly cheap.

Nobody should underestimate the size, scope and infrastructure behind the TI tinkering and development world.
http://e2e.ti.com/

In my opinion, the appearance of a cut down Beaglebone like this should be considered a success for the Raspberry Pi. If the Pi hadn't appeared then I doubt whether this BBB or the UDOO would have shown up so quick. Pi is spearheading this movement, popularising it whilst finding its place in education.

simplesi
Posts: 2327
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:19 pm
Location: Euxton, Lancashire, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:55 am

then we should stand against this?
Like Canute? :)

Seriously, the diffs between the two could only be argued over by true geeks :) (Which of course they will till the cows come home)
They are the same to anyone passing the showroom except ones green and ones black so no chance of the BBB selling 500,000 (or a million -i forget which) in its 1st year.

The geeks have been all over the RPI for the past 12 months - its been to space several times etc etc.

Like I say if the BBB had been twice as good or half the price then it'd be worth the effort to convert but otherwise not.

Simon
BTW I just recenlty discovered the TI Launchpad - now that is 1/3 the price of the cheapest cut down Arduino Nano - that's the sort of thing that could disrupt a market but even then, the traction of the Arduino means it'll only be people like me (where I'm looking for cheapest educational i/O board) that'll probably latch onto it - everyone elsewith money to burn :) will stick with Arduino.
Seeking help with Scratch and I/O stuff for Primary age children
http://cymplecy.wordpress.com/ @cymplecy on twitter

Hrw
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Szczecin, Poland
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:40 am

recantha2 wrote:Here's someone else's viewpoint:
http://marcin.juszkiewicz.com.pl/2013/0 ... n-a-market
As this post gave me most views in last year I decided to register here and reply.
jamesh wrote:Well he contradicts himself at least once - "No dependencies on closed source components. You can boot board and use it with what ever you want and still have control on all sources used. Sure, there are some binary blobs for OpenGL ES but if you do not need this then you are fine. Try to boot R/Pi without binary blobs…" - you can't say no dependencies and yet you need OGLES binary blobs in the same sentence!
I own around 20 different ARM boards -- from armv4t to Cortex-A15. And freedom to alter anything on them is one of things which I care about. All of them can be used without any binary blobs and serve well.

OpenGL ES is an example of optional binary blob dependency. Read it as "there are some features which require binary blobs" rather than "your use of board requires binary blobs" as they are two different things. As long as I can grab any generic FOSS ARM rootfs and boot it on my board (to text console or X11) I am fine with it. It may not give me OpenGL ES or WiFi firmwares but I will have working device.

On Chromebook I use Ubuntu 13.04 and do not care about Mali T604 OpenGL ES driver. On Pandaboard or Beagleboard I went same way.
jamesh wrote:I really don't get this fixation on binary blobs. It's a non-argument. Since the blob is freely available, you can boot your Raspi with it. The fact it's there makes no difference to 99.9999% of users anyway, and most of the remaining people seem to only have this issue because of principle, not because they would actually do anything with the source code if they had it.
Pandaboard was bootable only from SD. Bootloader sources are available so one day someone added USB booting so we can do automatic testing without any playing with SD card (which now keeps only very minimal bootloader).


And note one thing: for me BeagleBone (white or black) is microcontroller on ultra steroids cause I can connect nearly everything I want to control. And this is where R/Pi (which was supposed to be education device not HTPC) lacks signals.

Ravenous
Posts: 1956
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:18 am

hrw, you have to admit that beginning a piece with "Death to..." is just an invitation for trouble. Are you going to apologise for, OR EXPLAIN, that? I'm not being hostile myself, if you can explain your title, I'll be happy with your explanation.

Hrw
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Szczecin, Poland
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:47 am

Ravenous: I never been a fan or Raspberry/Pi - mostly due to old processor core, hype around it and false information about openness and certification of other developer boards.

Sure, for some education maybe it is good (despite lack of technical documentation or mainline kernel support) but it is not a board which I can recommend to anyone as it had only one pro: price. Which now is beaten by BeagleBone Black or one of those AllWinner based cheap boards.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 24157
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:49 am

Hrw wrote:Ravenous: I never been a fan or Raspberry/Pi - mostly due to old processor core, hype around it and false information about openness and certification of other developer boards.

Sure, for some education maybe it is good (despite lack of technical documentation or mainline kernel support) but it is not a board which I can recommend to anyone as it had only one pro: price. Which now is beaten by BeagleBone Black or one of those AllWinner based cheap boards.
I have no problem with constructive criticism. But you DO NOT come here and accuse the Foundation of false information. That has NEVER happened. Now if you are saying that 'false' information came from elsewhere, perhaps you should take it up with them, not here?

As to old processor core - so what? As to hype, so what? The Rapsi does exactly what it says on the tin. Just because you think it not up to scratch/oldd oesnt mean the vast majority of people using it do too. Of course, it 's not going to win any prizes for speed. Again, so what? Mainline kernel support? Irrelevant to the majority. Lack of technical documentation? You have the Arm side datasheet - not the best in the world, but for educational purposes this lack is again, irrelevant - in fact I would say there is more educational material available for the Raspi that in all your other Arm boards put together. Technical docs do NOT educational material make.

As to Allwinner - sorry, they are not as good as their headline promotes (perhaps you should accuse them of false claims since they are a much more culpable target - some of the claims for those boards are so far from accurate it's stunning)

It has one pro point? Price? You are wrong. Price is one, GPU power is another (that's three points at least - 3D, video and camera), huge support community another, technical support from the SoC manufacturer yet another one. The number of people working on the Pi to improve it is fantastic - there's some cool stuff in the pipeline.

You need to think more before you make such claims.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.” – Steven Wright

User avatar
Mortimer
Posts: 924
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:57 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:14 pm

One thing to look out for is that early versions of the BBB (i.e. v4) have the wrong CPU on them. See page 10 of the PDF datasheet on the Farnell page.

The datasheet suggests that the CPU clock is about 800MHz. Reading further, table 2 suggests that if the BBB is powered via USB, then the speed drops further to 600MHz. This all seems at odds with all the media reporting where interviewers are being told that the BBB has a 1GHz CPU. The Beagleboard.org website doesn't mention CPU clock speed at all, and has 'x's in the CPU product number, possibly to hide the fact that early boards will have the AM3352 CPU rather than the AM3358 they were supposed to have.

I wouldn't get one until things settle down a bit. At the moment there doesn't seem to to be much to really differentiate it from the Raspberry Pi. I suspect in the longer run, they will become complementary rather than competing products.
--------------
The purpose of a little toe is to ensure you keep your furniture in the right place.

DirkS
Posts: 10017
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:46 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:09 pm

Ravenous wrote:hrw, you have to admit that beginning a piece with "Death to..." is just an invitation for trouble.
Hmmm... I actually read this in the sense of 'death of' as in 'the reign of the Pi is coming to an end'. Maybe that's because I'm not a native English speaker either, combined with the fact the the writer's command of the English language is pretty poor to say the least.

Personally I don't think the Pi is at its end... not even the beginning of the end... after one year of Pi we're just at the end of the beginning :D

Gr.
Dirk.

Ravenous
Posts: 1956
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:21 pm

Heh - well I really just wanted to see if his headline was just attention-grabbing internet expert hype, or whether he had a more interesting and considered opinion on whether he saw these devices as competing for the same markets and applications. He kind of answered my question, I think...

photomankc
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:58 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:24 pm

Looks to me like revisions prior to A5A are not what's going to market. Seems the early prototypes were just BeagleBone "White" boards that had the tweaked hardware prior to adopting the new processor. All the places I see to order from are A5A and that seems to clearly have the new processor. I am confused about the reduced clock speed as a USB device though? It's not entirely clear if the newer processor behaves that way or not.

All that said, I've put in my order for a couple. Since my target was always a robotics app, that board really appeals to me and eliminates a lot of custom work I was going to need to get the RPi's I have to work for me. On-board ADC, DAC, CAN, 3 I2C and power are all really helpful additions. I was just putting the finishing touches on HW/SW combo to allow the Pi to control it's power, some thing I would have out of the box on the BBBlack. It looks like a really good fit for me since a lot of my effort was aimed at adding those items to the Raspberry.

There is no doubt in my mind the Raspberry is responsible for creating this offspring. In my mind that is a good thing and does not require "death to" anything. The more variation there is to fill needs the more innovation there will be out there and the less custom work I have to do to get something off the ground. I'm lazy, so that appeals to me greatly!

User avatar
cyrano
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:48 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:10 pm

Go ahead James, chase 'm off...

When it comes to openness, this forum isn't a prime example.

Nobody's accusing the foundation. And if it's the poster's perception, to him, at least, it is true.

There is certainly a part of hype involved. Very carefully and professionally created by the foundation. How else are you going to get a massive project such as the RPi to liftoff if you don't have a million dollar budget for publicity?

And being a very good product (for education) doesn't mean it doesn't have flaws. Such as sending everything from 2 USB ports and a 100 Mb ethernet port over one USB link. It means the ethernet port can't reach full capacity. It's not important for most uses, but it matters to me. And it matters to me because it means I'll have to give up the dream of one development platform for everything I want to do.

What surely makes the RPi stand apart, is its huge community. So, don't ruin that by being paranoid and closing every discussion that is a tad critical of the RPi. You 'll end up with a forum with a lot of questions and no answers. Eben et al are fine people I admire a lot. I think we share a number of visions. Doesn't mean we have to agree on everything. And I don't think the foundation needs that kind of "protection".

I was excited when I saw the first data on the BBB. Especially that gbit ethernet caught my eye. But I'm skeptical. So I'll have to buy one to supplement the two RPI's I have. And then I'll decide what it's worth, for me. I can't decide for anyone else...

wirelessmonk
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:58 am
Location: The Colonies

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:23 pm

cyrano wrote: ..There is certainly a part of hype involved. Very carefully and professionally created by the foundation. How else are you going to get a massive project such as the RPi to liftoff if you don't have a million dollar budget for publicity?
Sorry, what? You aren't at all familiar with the RPi background? Are you? The original run was to be 10,000 units. The target was potential Cambridge CS program students. Thanks to a an interview with Eben that was published and went viral, demand sky rocketed.

Ignorance is one thing, but omission is another. When I imagine the headaches Liv and Eben and the -small- team have endured, I don't think they were envisioning a "massive project" with a "million dollar" budget.

User avatar
recantha2
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:34 am
Location: Potton, Bedfordshire
Contact: Website Facebook Twitter

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:26 pm

I dont think a little competition is a bad thing. People will still like the Pi even for no other reason than it has a cool name. You never know a little competition might push people to make the Pi even better whether thru hardware development or community support.

I am still not sure that a product having good marketing is a reason for disliking the product tho. Seems very reactionary.
--
Michael Horne - @recantha
Raspberry Pi blog - http://www.recantha.co.uk/blog

Cambridge Raspberry Jam
Website: http://camjam.me
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cambridgeraspberryjam
Follow the Cambridge Raspberry Jam on Twitter - @cambridgejam

User avatar
cyrano
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:48 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:29 pm

wirelessmonk wrote:
cyrano wrote: ..There is certainly a part of hype involved. Very carefully and professionally created by the foundation. How else are you going to get a massive project such as the RPi to liftoff if you don't have a million dollar budget for publicity?
Sorry, what? You aren't at all familiar with the RPi background? Are you? The original run was to be 10,000 units. The target was potential Cambridge CS program students. Thanks to a an interview with Eben that was published and went viral, demand sky rocketed.

Ignorance is one thing, but omission is another. When I imagine the headaches Liv and Eben and the -small- team have endured, I don't think they were envisioning a "massive project" with a "million dollar" budget.
I'm sorry, that's more or less what I'm saying. Have I expressed myself so badly that you seem to conclude the opposite?

I admire Eben and the team for what they have done. It's remarkable. But there is a hype factor. You say yourself one interview went viral. I feel we don 't see the same semantics in "hype", maybe?

simplesi
Posts: 2327
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:19 pm
Location: Euxton, Lancashire, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:32 pm

@cyrano
Your doing fine :)
I understand you :)

Simon
Seeking help with Scratch and I/O stuff for Primary age children
http://cymplecy.wordpress.com/ @cymplecy on twitter

User avatar
cyrano
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:48 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:47 pm

Yfory wrote:The Beagle Bone Black has plenty of flaws too, at least from my perspective, but I'm not sounding off about them on their forum(s) or supporter sites. Pi was never meant to be a development platform to do everything you or I want to do, a little perspective is required here. I am sure, like me, you own multiple machines for multiple purposes, that's life.
True. But I've learned about those flaws here. I'd be glad to be able to continue a discussion like this even if there something a bit clumsy worded not even about the foundation, but about the RPi. But I think I 'll keep shut. I've done enough trolling for a day, it seems. :lol:
cyrano wrote:So, don't ruin...
Just my two pennies; I feel that's a tad overly harsh on james who's just trying to keep the peace and remind people to keep things balanced and in perspective.
You 're right. It is, isn't it. Sorry for that.
cyrano wrote:I was excited when I saw the first data on the BBB. Especially that gbit ethernet caught my eye. But I'm skeptical. So I'll have to buy one to supplement the two RPI's I have. And then I'll decide what it's worth, for me. I can't decide for anyone else...
Yfory wrote:I wasn't excited, I am skeptical; I'd rather have a dual core 1GB Pi, but that's because I'm a proud supporter of the whole made in Britain, Cambridge-based foundation, Wales-based manufacturing set up. Do I need such an item? Funnily enough, yes. Will I die without it? No. Would the Beagle Bone do the job? I don't think so, but good luck to them.
We can always dream, can't we?
Last edited by cyrano on Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

uberscubajim
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:22 pm
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk. UK.

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:48 pm

I think this is very similar to the original RaspPi vs. Ardunio argument. As it turns out they're highly complimentary (look at the Gertboard which adds an Arduino to the Pi in a rather nice manner).

Similarly the BBB is a similar thing. It has different properties: the greater I/O makes it better for robotics, the worse graphics means it won't be as good as a media centre and so on.

My sixth Pi has just arrived and I'm planning on buying a BBB too. Oh, and a CubieBoard. I've already got a PandaBoard.... I'm also going to get a GertBoard at some point but after I've been to Maker Faire UK this weekend (I want to know what all the cool toys are).

And has anyone mentioned odroid yet?

They're all very different systems with different uses.

In the meantime let's get on with doing stuff! That's what all these systems are about and a “one size fits all” approach is ridiculous!

adlambert

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:29 pm

uberscubajim wrote:I think this is very similar to the original RaspPi vs. Ardunio argument. As it turns out they're highly complimentary (look at the Gertboard which adds an Arduino to the Pi in a rather nice manner).
Yes, the Arduino, and how the irony worked out for me.
I hadn't heard of Arduino before the Pi, and as I played with Pi I realised I needed less power and less functionality (and the consequent simplicity that brings) to do what I was interested in, so I bought Arduino Uno and that is my main toy now. I than the Pi for helping me find arduino.

I thought about backing the UDOO, but really I only need the Arduino so I ended up backing Femtoduino projects instead.

gritz
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:58 pm

adlambert wrote:
uberscubajim wrote:I think this is very similar to the original RaspPi vs. Ardunio argument. As it turns out they're highly complimentary (look at the Gertboard which adds an Arduino to the Pi in a rather nice manner).
Yes, the Arduino, and how the irony worked out for me.
I hadn't heard of Arduino before the Pi, and as I played with Pi I realised I needed less power and less functionality (and the consequent simplicity that brings) to do what I was interested in, so I bought Arduino Uno and that is my main toy now. I than the Pi for helping me find arduino.

I thought about backing the UDOO, but really I only need the Arduino so I ended up backing Femtoduino projects instead.
I think that the Pi has introduced many people to the multitude of hardware and software possibilities that are out there. It's only natural that these people will want to discuss their new discoveries - there are lots of knowledgeable folks here and this forum might be our beginner's first step into the world of computers that aren't in beige boxes, as well as programming, Linux, hardware interfacing (without burning the house down) and allsorts... I don't think that people should be too surprised or upset when topics such as Windows or supposed competitors to the Pi get mentioned. It's usually pretty easy to differentiate the genuine enquiries from the mischief, trolling and fanboyish nonsense.

And I don't think that there are any competitors to the Pi - in the sense of there being any other projects created for the purpose of promoting computer science education (Arduino promotes inclusivity of course, but it's a very different piece of hardware and not the flagship product of a charity). I think that a lot of people forget what the Pi's real purpose is. Hardcore consumerland is a tough gig, even if you're only there by accident...

User avatar
meltwater
Posts: 1014
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:38 am

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:04 pm

I have to admit, the BBB looks good.

I guess it just comes down to your specific needs and what you want from it. On paper, the BBB looks like an excellent unit, and as mentioned above TI probably aren't making much money on them (it is about getting people using their products). That does mean good value for money (much like their Launchpad units)! It is an interesting one, since I wonder what the effect would be if they did manage to beat the RPi price (even at a loss).

I have my dev-boards for fun and to play around with, so I might get one, although I can't think of a specific application which I need to do which would be easier using the BBB (but then I've not used one) over the RPi.

Plus, like I've said before, a huge part of the RPi is the community, the foundation and the support that provides. It may not be a RPi killer, but it is a bonus to have it available to use (cheaper dev boards are great for everyone).

I'm sure there will be more boards which will be fighting for that perfect balance of price/performance/io/power usage/connectivity/community/fun etc etc. the RPi is rather close to the mark though it seems (although perfect? clearly a huge step forward either-way). The simple answer is that they will all be better in some ways than others.
______________
http://www.themagpi.com/
A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

My new book: goo.gl/dmVtsc

Meltwater's Pi Hardware - pihardware.com

Like the MagPi? @TheMagP1 @TheMagPiTeam

User avatar
Jim Manley
Posts: 1600
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:41 pm
Location: SillyCon Valley, California, and Powell, Wyoming, USA, plus The Universe
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black

Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:22 pm

The only hype I've seen is from "journalists" looking for easy increases in on-line clicks and print circulation. They regurgitate each others' blurbs that are based on speculation by the nerdocracy about what the Pi could/should be, not what the Foundation has stated it would be very clearly from the beginning. The Foundation certainly can't be faulted for not being able to keep up with demand initially, especially when the original target was only a few hundred boards a year for Cambridge University CS program candidate secondary school students. Plus, it's been a volunteer effort, the cofounders risked their homes to raise the initial production capital that got it through successful CE/FCC testing (before it was thought to be needed), and a Chinese manufacturer made an unauthorized substitution of an incorrect Ethernet jack that compounded early production delays.

The initial interview with Rory Cellan-Jones (technology correspondent at the BBC) that started it all occurred on May 5, 2011 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters ... young.html). The comments to that piece are still quite amusing and are even echoed somewhat in this thread, varying from "Great idea!" to "It will never happen." Eben showed the pre-alpha prototype one-off at the request of the BBC - it was not the Foundation seeking publicity for a non-existent product because the Pi was still just a concept at that point, as the article clearly points out:

Rory:
There's a lot of work for Raspberry Pi to do. The volunteer team has to produce a better working prototype, has to show that it really can be manufactured for around £15, and then has to capture the imagination of the people in the educational establishment who will decide whether to give it the thumbs up.

So there is no guarantee that a new generation will discover that there's more to a computer than turning it on, updating your Facebook status, and making a Powerpoint presentation. But wouldn't it be great if an idea dreamed up by a group of Cambridge enthusiasts ended up inspiring young people here and perhaps across the world to engage with computers in a new way?
Rory had initially seen/heard about what Eben was doing at a UK tech trade show and immediately realized what the possibilities might be, having lived through the BBC Micro, etc., era. Eben and the rest of the Foundation were initially amused, then amazed, and finally rightfully frightened when the view count of the BBC video interview climbed past 600,000 in the space of something like a month, IIRC. Taking into account typical actual purchase uptake vs. mere interest, that's when they figured maybe 10,000 boards would be a more adequate number to produce (and all they could afford, really). It wasn't until later in 2011 that the realization that at least 100,000 people thought they had been promised a $25/$35 computer that the earlier fear transformed into quiet panic, and the contracts were eventually pursued with Farnell and RS only weeks before the announcement of availability of ordering the Model B on February 29, 2012. The rest of the pandemonium is, as they say, now history.

Those who haven't figured out by now why the BCM2835 with an ARM11v6 CPU was selected will probably never understand (hint: it's the availability at manufacturer cost and the very spiffy GPU, noodnik). More RAM, a faster CPU, analog I/O, Gigthernet, etc., would have all been nice, but the price would have been even higher, and the $25 Model A was envisioned as the educational volume product for students, with the Model B for software and content developers and advanced students who would need Ethernet and a second USB port. The quality of the Pi appears to be at least as good as for anything else of any volume, possibly better as there have been virtually no reports of hardware issues beyond the SD card speed limitation and the occasional sporadic USB activity, both of which could theoretically be fixed in a future revision. Such a potential revision wouldn't really devalue the earlier revisions since there are ample applications for which these are not problems, especially in the education domain. In fact, those could be teaching opportunities for budding computing engineers where they can be shown how even the best professionals can make mistakes and how to prevent them during their careers.

The only "competition" with the Pi is in the eyes of those jealous of its quite accidental huge market ... in which no one can make a profit, or it would already have happened earlier. The Foundation's efforts continue to be to maximize the capabilities of the existing hardware base as a well-defined standard, not play the specsmanship game in which the nerdocracy insists everyone must participate no matter what their intended customer base is. I suspect that the BBB is an attempt at the Gillette razor blade gambit - sell the razor below cost and hope to make up the difference in volume on blades, the Kodak model of selling early cameras below cost and make up the loss on massive film sales, etc. The BBB is probably being sold very close, if not at or even slightly below its production cost because TI can afford to do so, at least for some limited number unless the volume reaches the Pi level, or possibly beyond. They may be concerned at how many developers have tasted the Pi and liked the flavor enough to put up with a few seeds in the filling (the choice of the raspberry name just keeps on giving linguistically, doesn't it? ;) ). Perhaps TI felt compelled to respond somehow, maybe even by shareholders (which include their board, executives, and many employees).

There certainly hasn't been any concomitant publicity about corporate "competitors'" desire to help foster computing education beyond the existing developer community. That's a lot smaller than even just the UK secondary school STEM student population the Pi was meant for, let alone that for the rest of the world by which the Foundation has quite unexpectedly found itself being embraced. The Foundation is now even being begged to help solve the international regressive politics of excessive customs duties that its own country is guilty of to a degree (the reason for initial Pi production starting in China).

There's a big difference between being a tad critical of the Pi and just plain bad-mouthing it for whatever personal agenda the critic may have (e.g., the misconception that any use of open source in a project means that everything in the project has to be open-source). The Foundation has been pretty tolerant of some outright inflammatory commentary (including some from me when I should have been safely asleep in bed instead of tappy-typing away, half-awake closer to the break of dawn than midnight after a protracted period of working in MeatWorld as well as NetWorld). Poor Liz should have snapped long ago and joined Al Qaeda in carrying out jihad ... except they gladly made the mistake of not wanting ladies on their team. Given her terrific foodie pedigree, I suspect she's not that big a fan of chewing qat anyway though, so there was never any danger of her posting from Yemen or some other deity-forsaken territory. See how I deftly turned a potentially grossly inflammatory post into a unicorn fart? Uh-oh, there's an incoming PM I'm going to need to read immediately ... please hold ... Ummm, the opinions in this post do not in any way reflect those of the Foundation, and any wild speculation that Liz could ever condone violence against anyone (except a certain denizen of SillyCon Valley) is completely uncalled-for and will result in being sent to the time-out corner ... :shock:

Per the comment about the inevitability of Android tablets displacing iPads, that won't happen in education anytime soon because it hasn't even happened in the consumer or business markets. There simply isn't anything compelling enough about the Android tablet environment (not just price, but quality as well as quantity of tablet-optimized apps, content, ease-of-use, consistency, features, etc.) to cause anyone who has made a choice, or is considering a choice, in education to select Android over iOS. Before anyone jumps out of their knickers and into mine, you should be aware that a Galaxy SIII is hanging off my belt and there is a pile of Android tablets on my work area, but I develop for all platforms, foreign and domestic, so there are also plenty of Apple phone and tablet offerings there, too. If you haven't seen what iBooks Author can produce in the way of interactive e-(text)books, get thee to an Apple shrine and ask for their education expert to show you how it all works, including how easy they've made it to author some spectacular content. There is simply nothing in the Android ecosystem that even vaguely approaches it that I've been able to find.

Such e-books can be either given away at no cost to the author or recipient, or sold at a recommended maximum price of $15 (I routinely encounter hard-copy STEM books at prices of upwards of $400-plus). For starters, check out the free sample chapters of E.O. Wilson's "Life on Earth" - you will be astounded (the entire e-book, now eight chapters, is $1.99, and as new chapters are released, they are free to purchasers of earlier versions). Also, ask Amazon, Samsung, et al, where their version of free iBooks University content and courseware is. Sometimes you do get what you pay for, and sometimes you get a whole lot more. It would be really cool if the Foundation were able to eventually foster generation of tools for the Pi (probably multiple Pii working in concert) that could produce and display e-books like that of "Life on Earth" - the video, 2-D vector, and 3-D graphics display capabilities are already there in the hardware and low-level software. They already have the beginnings of a store (which I'm not thrilled with, but this post can only get so long), so an extension of that might be workable for textbooks.

As for the dream of a single platform on which one could develop all of their personally-desired functionality, please let us know when you find it. Life is a compromise from the get-go - despite the delight in preparing and consuming food, wouldn't all of us rather live without the messiness of waste products? Do the wonders of technology come with the risk of pollution? Heck, even living in "paradise" on a tropical island comes with the price of sunburns, increased risk of cancer, and becoming shark bait - been there, done that, got the ripped wet T-shirt! :lol:
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

Return to “General discussion”